The Press Newspaper
Oregon City Council last Monday approved professional engineering services to Tetra Tech for the design of the Wheeling Street Bridge Replacement project, in an amount not to exceed $62,000.
The two lane bridge goes over Otter Creek, between Starr Avenue and Seaman Road, according to Public Service Director Paul Roman.
The $750,000 project is being funded mostly through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Municipal Bridge Program, according to Roman. “We received a grant in which ODOT will pay 80 percent of construction, and we have a 20 percent local match,” he said. The project is expected to start in the summer of 2012.
Most of our other construction is done for the year,” he added. “This is probably one of our biggest construction years ever. But a lot of our work is done. We still have some projects going on through the winter. Right now, we’re just going through the budget process for future capital improvements. A lot of it is stuff we couldn’t finish this year. About one third of the projects are just carrying over from 2010. I don’t have as many projects next year as I have had in the past.”
Environmental organizations in Ohio last week were applauding the delivery of recommendations for implementing the Great Lakes Basin Compact to Gov. Ted Strickland and the state legislature but were calling it only a “critical first step” that lacks significant guidance on how to implement a water management program.
The Compact, which went into effect two years ago and requires each Great Lakes state to develop conservation and water management programs, contains broad guidelines, leaving the states to fill in the details for implementation.
An advisory board of environmental groups, utility companies, manufacturers, farming interests, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, negotiated for months to compile recommendations for Ohio lawmakers.
Kristy Meyer, director of agricultural and clean water programs for the Ohio Environmental Council and a participant in the board’s negotiations, said many critical issues remain unresolved and will require a lot of work in the legislature next year.
Despite a sluggish recession across the nation, Oregon has seen some investment in the local economy in the last 12 months.
Gary Thompson, executive director of the Oregon Economic Development Foundation, said the city has seen new retail, the construction and opening of a new BP-Husky quality assurance laboratory, and more business inquiries about industrial development.
BP-Husky built the quality assurance laboratory at DuPont and Cedar Point roads to replace a former lab that was antiquated, said Thompson. “It was built by local employees and opened on October 26,” he said.
The lab, which tests fuel, took 12 months to build.
“It’s a very beautiful place,” he said.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has released draft rule revisions for water quality goals for waterways in eight of the state’s 23 drainage basins, including the Portage River basin.
To meet goals outlined in the federal Clean Water Act for attaining suitable conditions for fishing and swimming, the Ohio EPA periodically updates the water quality standards to reflect current scientific data. The agency is basing its proposed rule changes on sampling conducted from 2007 through last year.
The on-going monitoring schedule includes surveys of the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of the water bodies to determine the present condition and appropriate uses.
Other basins covered by the proposed revisions, include those spanning the Sandusky, Grand, Huron, Great Miami, Muskingum, and Mahoning rivers and Mill Creek.
By Spring, expect a three-year-old demonstration garden of native plants at Lutheran Homes Assisted Living to begin attracting butterflies, songbirds, and hummingbirds.
The garden is also helping clean the area’s water supply.
“It really looked good this year. It takes a while for a native garden to get established,” said Sue Horvath, chairperson of the Ducks and Otter Creek Partnership.
“All the plants are native. They have deep roots,” Horvath continued. “One of the neatest things about native plants is they don’t require fertilizer or irrigation so that when you put them in you are not going to have to do things to keep those plants going that will endanger the wetlands. All the native plants are of great benefit to our water supply.”
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