The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will delay construction of the Wales Road overpass for one year so that BP Refinery can build an electric substation that would replace overhead wires near the site.

The $14 million project, which was going to be bid this December, with construction slated next year, will now have to wait until 2012, Northwood Administrator Pat Bacon told city council at a meeting April 1.

Bacon said she was contacted by Mike Ligibel, ODOT’s district two administrator, last month to inform her of the problem.

“Mike said, `Pat, we have a problem.’ When ODOT says we have a problem, it’s usually pretty major,” said Bacon.

FirstEnergy has major lines at Wales Road that feed electricity to the BP refinery, said Bacon. To relocate these lines would require a shutdown of the plant, which would cost ODOT $1.5 million.

“And that’s a really big deal,” said Bacon. “ODOT would be responsible to pay the $1.5 million because the problem is being created by the project, so therefore that would add to the cost of the project. It would come from taxpayers’ money.”

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FirstEnergy’s Bayshore power plant will be required to install technology to reduce fish kills at the plant’s intake system.

“Ohio EPA has decided, for the first time, FirstEnergy will be required to install technology that is designed to minimize fish mortality,” said Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA’s northwest district coordinator.

The plant will install devices called “reverse louvers,” she said.

“Once those are in place, FirstEnergy will be required to study the effectiveness of the devices,” said Pierce. “If the study proves the technology effective, then the company will have to permanently install the devices. If the study shows the technology is not effective, then Ohio EPA will require the company to pursue another solution to the fish impingement and entrainment problem.”

The fish impingement and entrainment issue is particularly important at this location near where the Maumee River drains into the Maumee Bay because it is a very productive fish spawning area, according to Pierce.

FirstEnergy conducted detailed studies on I&E and on the thermal plume created by heated water discharged into the Maumee Bay from the plant’s cooling system. Ohio EPA asked an independent environmental engineering firm, Tetra Tech, to examine FirstEnergy’s studies and the technologies available to reduce the Bayshore intake system’s impact on fish and determine which ones would work best at the plant. Ohio EPA also held a public information meeting in Oregon in March, 2009 to review the studies and get feedback from the public.

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Lake Township trustees are hoping a new fiber-optic telephone and Internet system for the administration building on Cummings Road will not only cut costs and improve service but also give a boost to economic development.

The trustees Tuesday approved a 3-year contract with Buckeye Telesystems for $1,000 a month for the new system, which will expand the number of available phone lines at the administration building to 25 from the current 14.

Phone numbers for township offices won’t change but the trustees said the new system will streamline service, which now is a “patchwork” of phone networks by three providers, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.

The township last month paid about $2,500 for phone and Internet service, said Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, adding the new system is “state-of-the-art.”

Three nearby businesses, Tri-State Expedited Services, Inc., Nagle Companies, and Service Spring Corp., have indicated they would also purchase service from the new system and any business that locates in a Joint Economic Development District that was established on the grounds of Metcalf Field will also be able to purchase the service, said Richard Welling, a trustee.

He said the fiber-optic system is part of the township’s on-going effort to make the area more attractive to business and create jobs.

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For anglers looking to catch prize walleye, yellow perch, steelhead, and smallmouth bass, Lake Erie remains the best place to cast a line, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.

Lake Erie and a dozen inland lakes were among the best places to reel in "Fish Ohio" catches, the ODNR program that recognizes noteworthy catches among 19 species.

With 2.25 million Lake Erie water acres, 451 miles of the Ohio River, 40,000 miles of streams, about 200 inland lakes and thousands of private ponds, Ohio anglers have good opportunities to catch fish that qualify for the recognition program, the ODNR says.

The state's best "Fish Ohio" waters in 2009 were:

Lake Erie: Tops for walleye, yellow perch, steelhead and smallmouth bass

Trophy walleye received the highest number of entries with 2,235. Lake Erie was the top place to catch them, followed by the Maumee and Sandusky rivers and Pymatuning Lake. Catches of yellow perch were the second most caught fish at the lake with 1,376 entries.  Mosquito Lake Reservoir in Trumbull County followed in the yellow perch take.

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Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) is offering caulking, weather stripping, insulation, and other services to eligible homes as part of its Weatherization Program.

Dora Tharp, energy coordinator for NHS, gave a presentation on the program to Oregon council at its last meeting in March.

The program has been in existence since 1977.

Not only does it offer caulking, weather stripping, some insulation, but other weatherization services as well, said Tharp.

“Over the years, it’s become much more complicated and technical. I’ve been with NHS wince 1984. The program now deals with not only the insulation measures, but also with some inspection of the heating unit and hot water tank,” she said. “We do combustion analysis and other types of diagnostics to make sure that the heating systems are operating not only efficiently but safely as well.”

NHS also offers attic and sidewall insulation, she said.

The program is free for people who meet eligibility requirements, she said.

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