A sign outside Bench Farms on Route 2 in Ottawa County reads, “Welcome
Top: Michael Lamarche focuses on some egrets at McGee Marsh. Lamarche, of Montreal, joined birders from all over the world. Bottom Left: Black-throated blue warble Bottom Right: Black-throated green warbler
The staff at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, located in the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, are talking to bird watchers arriving here from Uganda, England, Japan, Holland, Spain, and across the North American continent.
“Everyday has been very busy. It’s wonderful,” BSBO Executive Director Kim Kaufman said. “People are coming from all over the country and really from destinations from all over the world.”
What is the attraction? Birders come here in May to see concentrations of warblers and other migratory songbirds.
“The attraction is this is a critical area — a stopover habitat for migratory birds,” Kaufman said. “Another words, they can’t get from the tropics where they are over wintering without having some place to stop. It’s like a bird gas station.
“What happens is that these small birds, these song birds — they migrate at night. As they come up they see the lake and they think, ‘Okay, here’s a big body of water. I’ve got to stop and refuel before I cross this big body of water.’
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has approved redevelopment of the former Sports Arena property on Main Street following a pollution investigation and clean up of the site.
The City of Toledo and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority assessed the 55-acre property at 1 Main St. through the Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP), which gives property owners the chance to voluntarily assess and, if necessary, remover pollution from a property, according to Dina Pierce, northwest district media coordinator for the Ohio EPA. The agency then issues a release of liability, known as a covenant not to sue, once the property meets cleanup standards of the Ohio EPA.
A site assessment showed there were several areas contaminated with metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, total petroleum hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds that were above direct human contact standards, according to Pierce. Soil was removed from the site for disposal and pavement was laid in one area to prevent future contact with soil. An environmental covenant will prohibit the use of ground water under the site.
Oregon City Council on Monday tabled a proposed ordinance that would have provided for a fee schedule for non-resident participation in city recreation programs.
It will discuss the matter further at this Monday’s committee of the whole meeting.
Recently, the city’s recreation and parks committee came up with a fee schedule for non-residents to participate in the recreation program.
Non-resident participation would continue for Jerusalem Township residents, but the ordinance would extend participation to include Oregon Board of Education open enrollment students and non-resident participation for immediate family members of city employees.
An agreement for the collective purchasing of electrical power for residents and small businesses in 16 Ottawa County townships and municipalities could be in effect by the end of the summer, a county commissioner says.
Voters in the communities overwhelmingly supported ballot measures which authorize local elected officials to enter into electrical aggregations agreements and have the county represent them in negotiations with suppliers for service.
Jim Sass, a county commissioner, said the next step in the aggregation process is for the elected officials from each jurisdiction to approve resolutions allowing the county to represent them as a certified aggregator.
Townships that would be covered include Allen, Bay, Benton, Carroll, Catawba, Clay, Danbury, Erie, Harris, Portage, Put-in-Bay, and Salem; villages include Clay Center, Marblehead, and Rocky Ridge. The City of Port Clinton is also part of the aggregated group.
The city last week entered into a $4,098,725 contract with Hank’s Plumbing & Heating Co., to furnish labor, materials and equipment, and a $260,263.31 contract with Davey Resource Group, a division of Davey Tree Expert Company, for furnishing labor, materials and equipment for wetland mitigation for the Big Ditch improvement project.
Public Service Director Paul Roman received bids on the project on May 4.
Hank’s Plumbing, of Toledo, was the lowest of seven bids submitted for the project. Vernon Nagel, Inc., of Napoleon, submitted a bid of $4,381,577, Geo Gradel Co., of Toledo, submitted a bid of $4,588,802, Underground Utilities, Inc., of Monroeville, Ohio, submitted a bid for $4,465,313, Crestline Paving & Excavating Co., Inc., of Toledo, $4,549,002.50, Haynes Construction, of Norwalk, $4,479,497, and Mark Schaffer Excavating, of Norwalk, $5,024,567.70.
The city received three bids for the wetland mitigation project. Deitering Landscaping, Inc., submitted the low bid of $207,024.24, but later withdrew it due to a clerical/arithmetic mistake. Legally, the city could either award the project to the next lowest bidder, Davey Resource Group, of Kent, Ohio, or reject the bids for wetland mitigation and resubmit the project for bidding. The city recommended the contract be awarded to Davey because it has extensive experience in wetland mitigation and stream restoration projects, including work on the North Pearson Park Wetland Project, and the Heckman Ditch Stream restoration along Wynn Road. Aaron Landscaping, Inc., of Broadview, Ohio, has submitted a bid for $339,085.83.