The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

A $1.5 million solar array project is underway at the Pilkington Research and Development Center in Northwood.

The project includes the installation of solar panels on a one-acre Brownfield site originating from the company’s former East Toledo float plant. Pilkington once used the area as a sand pond, which has gone through a clean-up process.

“In order to take advantage of recycling the Brownfield property, we’re installing the solar array to reuse the property and put it back into a beneficial use,” said Kara A. Allison, spokesperson for Hull & Associates, an engineering, energy and environmental consulting firm that has partnered with Pilkington to install the ground mounted solar panels.

The large-scale panels will be mounted on posts and built out in rows, according Allison.

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Genoa’s former administrator may have left without a word but the village will be paying nearly $65,000 to him following his departure.

Garth Reynolds left his job of more than three years officially on Dec. 31. Mayor Mark Williams announced his resignation during a Jan. 3 meeting. Reynolds’ letter offered no explanation as to why he left and neither has the mayor. Other village officials spoken to say they also do not know why he resigned.

But according to a severance package agreement filed with the fiscal officer Charles Brinkman, he will leave with a hefty sum.

He will receive a lump sum of $45,000 to forgo any claims to the village in the aftermath of his departure, Brinkman said, reading from the agreement.

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The Eastwood school board is asking the Ohio Department of Education for a waiver from being required to offer a full-time kindergarten program for the next school year.

Board members approved a resolution seeking the waiver at their regular meeting last week.

A requirement for districts to offer all-day kindergarten classes was included in the state’s biennium budget but district’s can seek a waiver in certain circumstances.

Noting the state’s operating budget cut state aid to schools, State Representative Randy Gardner last year sponsored a bill allowing districts to opt out of having to offer full-time kindergarten classes and what he said were other unfunded mandates.

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Wichita, Kansas is a marketing superstar in an area of expertise all of the USA should be striving to reach: net exporting (exporting more goods than they are importing). Wichita’s model offers an example of what our own small and medium businesses could employ to restore the local economy throughout the communities of Northwest Ohio.

Wichita ranked first in export growth from 2003 – 2008 then suffered declines in 2009 and 2010. A Brookings Institution study of Wichita’s exports showed that those exports translated into jobs (22 jobs out of every 100 are export related) and more importantly these jobs paid 10 – 20 percent more than non exporting industries regardless of worker educational level. The area is now gearing up to resume its leadership role in net exporting by marshalling its communities, governments, banks, local colleges and various exporting organizations to work together toward increasing  area exports of goods and services.

Northwest Ohio should follow that example. Now is the time to consider exporting. We as Americans cannot ignore globalization and we cannot afford to continue to be net importers of goods and services. Government data predicts that half of all US businesses will be involved with International Trade by 2010. By that time 96 percent of all exports will be sold by small to medium businesses.

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The City of Oregon took in considerably less revenue last year than the year before, according Administrator Mike Beazley, who gave an end of the year financial assessment to city council at a meeting on Jan. 10.

“Our revenues came in about $1.6 million under budget,” he said. “Last year, we took in $17 million. This year, we took in $15,496,000.”

Income tax revenue fluctuated between $17.4 million and $17.6 million each year in 2007, 2008, and 2009, he added. “There was an overpayment by a large corporate taxpayer that got refunded the following year. This year, on the income tax side, we took in $15.9 million. That’s a fairly significant downturn,” he said.

“We did manage to control the impact on our revenues by really curtailing expenditures this year by $800,000. We ended up this year with a hit to the reserve of about $780,000. We expected it to be something north of a million, and it ended up coming in a couple hundred thousand dollars short of that.”

After the meeting, Beazley said the city has about $11 million in reserve.

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