The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Officials in Lake Township and the Village of Walbridge want to establish a consistent speed limit on Walbridge Road.

The township trustees plan to ask the Ohio Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic speed study on the south lane of Walbridge Road from the village limits east to the I-280 overpass – a stretch of about .2 mile – as part of a request to lower the speed limit.

Currently, the speed limit on the eastbound lane in the township is 55 miles per hour and the limit on the west bound lane in the village is 25 miles per hour.

Village officials plan to increase the limit to 35 and have asked the township to lower the 55-mile-per-hour limit to 35.

“We’ve told the village we will try (to lower the limit),” Melanie Bowen, a trustee said, after the trustees Tuesday approved a motion to request the ODOT study. “If this gets lowered it will set a precedent.”

Police Chief Mark Hummer said the different speed limits make it difficult for motorists.

“It’s very hard to enforce two separate speed limits in one roadway,” he said. “It’s not practical.”

The chief said he also plans to ask ODOT for an update on plans to lower the speed limit on State Route 51 in the township to 50 miles per hour from 55.

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Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian expects to hire a new fire chief by next month.

Seferian wants to hire a chief from within the department.

“We’ll be talking to 24-26 different people within the department,” said Seferian. “We’re going to talk to all the captains, the assistant chiefs, chief of training, and a few part-time firefighters.”

He’s also seeking input from within the department on the selection process to improve morale.

“We want to open it up to get as much input from the department itself as we can,” he said.

”Not only do I want to be happy with the appointment, they have to have an appreciation for the process so we can have a happier department, then we can work on the issues,” he said.

“We’re hoping to name a chief within the first week of April,” he added.

The position has been vacant since Fire Chief Bill Wilkins left the post last month to take a job with the state fire marshal’s office.

Assistant Chief Paul Mullin is acting chief until a replacement is found.

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The Eastwood School District’s allocation of stimulus money is being used to help meet the costs of special education services and not for bonuses for administrators, Brent Welker, district superintendent, said.

He said a school board member received a phone call from a district resident who asked if administrators were paid bonuses through stimulus funding.

“You never know how some rumors get started,” Welker said. “This one is false and I felt the need to address it because as we head to the ballot in May to renew an existing levy, we do not want falsehoods and misstatements to hurt those efforts.”

The district has received about $350,000 in Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part-B stimulus funding.

The funding is meant for assisting children with disabilities through special education and related services.

Eastwood has until September, 2011 to spend its share, Welker said, adding that the district can use half of its funds to cover costs of special education services not covered by current state and federal revenues.

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Falling local revenues and doubts that reimbursements from the state will be sufficient to meet the costs of required programs and services prompted the Ottawa County commissioners to approve an emergency resolution that raises the sales/use tax by 0.25 percent.

With the increase, the total tax rate will be 6.75 percent, with the county share at 1.25 percent and the state portion at 5.5 percent.

The 0.25 percent increase will be in effect for three years and then automatically end, said commissioner Steve Arndt.

“State funding for many services has been dropping,” he said. “Unfortunately we are the delivery point for those services and it really puts a bind on us. We’re at the point it’s going to reach core services.”

Commissioners have cut the county’s operating budget by about $2.6 million over the past two years, he said, and the state is about six months in arrears in reimbursements to the county for service programs.

County officials said they expect the increase to go into effect in July. State law mandates a delay in the start of collections to allow for possible referendum challenges to an increase.

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In 2005, Pemberville made plans to pay $132,000 to purchase the old Ford

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Garage at 118 East Front Street for the purpose of revitalizing it into a “mini-mall.”

 

Bob Renz purchased the building from the village at auction for $38,000 last year, and three businesses are now located inside.

Bob Renz, his brother Bill, and a nephew have done “a lot of renovation and more is planned for the future,” stated a letter written by Bob and Bill's mother, Joan Renz. Bob estimates he has spent $15,000 so far, which includes removing part of an old wall and rebuilding a new wall, removing two windows and replacing 16 windows and siding, remodeling the bathrooms, and adding a bathroom, new door, and an office in the back.

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