State funds OK’d for studying turnpike options
The Ohio Controlling Board has given the nod to the allocation of $2.85 million for the state to contract with a Texas firm for a study of whether it’s feasible to lease the Ohio Turnpike and rest areas.
The board gave its approval to the Ohio Department of Transportation to contract with KPMG Corporate Finance, of Austin, Texas, to assist the department in evaluating options for leveraging the turnpike and rest areas.
“The consulting team….will identify and evaluate a range of potential options that will include maintaining the status quo, potential changes in governance, or implementing a public-private partnership concession lease…” the controlling board meeting agenda says.
Several local officials have come out in opposition to a lease or sale of the turnpike, including Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown, the Lake Township trustees, state legislators Matt Szollosi and Randy Gardner, the Ottawa County commissioners, and others.
A trooper working out of the Fremont post and a dispatcher who works at the Bowling Green Dispatch Center are among those winning Ohio State Highway Patrol 2011 Leadership Awards.
Matthew Davis, of the Fremont Post, received the Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award, which recognizes assistance to motorists, letters of commendation, and community involvement.
Dispatcher Denise Blue was selected Dispatcher of the Year. She joined the patrol in 2006.
Damschroder plans forum
State Representative Rex Damschroder (R-Fremont) will host a public forum regarding Internet cafes March 8 at 7 p.m. in Fremont at Terra Community College, Building B, Room 101.
“Over the last few years, we have witnessed the growth of a new industry referred to as Internet Cafes,” Damschroder said. “These new businesses have been a major issue in the district. It is very important to give the public an opportunity to have their voice heard, not only on recent actions in Fremont but also regarding if and how the state of Ohio should regulate these businesses. Local elected officials, members of the law enforcement community, and individuals involved with internet cafes have all indicated their attendance at this event.”
Damschroder serves on the House State Government and Elections Committee, which is considering House Bill 195 that would regulate Internet cafes.
For information about the forum call Rep. Damschroder’s office at (614) 466-1374.
B-C-S board to meet
The Benton-Carroll-Salem Board of Education will hold a work session Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. in the board of education office, 11685 W. St. Rt. 163, Oak Harbor.