The Press Newspaper
For Gary Baker and his family, a camping outing in Williams County was cut short by the storm systems that spawned the tornadoes that struck Ohio and Michigan.
They raced home to Williston from a Nettle Lake campground just minutes ahead of the storm.
“The sky looked really ominous behind us,” he said. “We got on the turnpike and we were only ahead of it by 10 minutes or so.”
Only five minutes passed after they pulled into their Toledo Street home and the emergency sirens sounded, he said.
The storm flooded Baker’s yard but his home didn’t suffer structural damage.
“We were lucky,” he said. “There was quite a bit of damage in Ottawa County.”
A team of meteorologists from the National Weather Service conducted an extensive survey of the tornado’s path in Wood and Ottawa counties and determined it reached an intensity of 4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, indicating wind speeds reached 170-175 miles per hour.
The most extensive damage occurred in two spots: at State Route 795 near Lake High School and on the northwest side of the Village of Millbury.
Oregon City Council will consider submitting an application to the Ohio Department of Development for a $75,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for sidewalk and street improvements.
City Council at a committee of the whole meeting last Monday agreed to place the resolution on the following Monday’s council meeting agenda.
The funds would be used to complete the third phase of improvements within the Pickle Road area. Paving replacement on Pickle Road would connect improvements made through the Wheeling Street widening project and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Pickle Road overpass project.
The funds would also be used for sidewalk improvements on Munding and Isaac streets. The improvements would provide a continuous pedestrian route, connecting improvements made through the Wheeling Street widening project and the fiscal year 2009 CDBG Pickle Road Phase 2 sidewalk project.
Council member Sandy Bihn said she has received an increasing number of inquiries from the public regarding safety issues from a lack of sidewalks from Coy Road to the area near Wal-Mart on State Route 2.
Oregon council will consider awarding a contract on Monday to a firm to conduct smoke testing in the sanitary sewer system to find the causes of flooding that have occurred in parts of the city following heavy rainfall in the last few years.
“Over the past few years, we’ve had issues with wet weather, and storm water getting into the sanitary sewer system,” said Public Service Director Paul Roman. “One of the tools to find out where the storm water sources come from is smoke testing. It is just a matter of blowing a lot of smoke into the sanitary, and walking into a neighborhood, looking to see where exactly the smoke comes out.”
The city has been vigorously addressing flooding problems after heavy rain, including the installation of temporary flow meters at five locations in the sanitary sewer system to reduce or eliminate excessive storm water from getting into the wastewater collection system. Flow monitoring, video detection and smoke testing help identify Inflow and Infiltration (I&I).
Data collected from the meters showed that a lot of I&I throughout the older sections of the city in the Wheeling Street district is a significant source of direct storm inflow into the sanitary sewer.
Genoa Village Council voted unanimously Monday to hire a new solicitor.
Northwood attorney Brian Ballenger was given a two-year contract at $130 an hour, with hours determined on an as-needed basis, said fiscal officer Charles Brinkman.
Ballenger, who has been an attorney for 25 years, operates a private practice and does work currently with the Village of Walbridge and City of Northwood.
He replaces Cindy Smith who resigned in March after more than two decades of service with the Genoa administration.
Council put him to work immediately, asking him to review several pending ordinances as well as the hiring procedure of a part-time clerk.
The clerk issue surfaced earlier this year when councilman Eric Hise questioned the legality of the hiring which had not been approved by council.
The Ottawa County sheriff and prosecutor both reviewed the possible misuse of funds complaint. They had been consulted because the village did not have a solicitor on the payroll.
Neither believed a crime had been committed regarding the hiring, officials said.
Walbridge village officials have scheduled June 19 as Family Fun Day at the municipal pool, opening the facility to the public for free from noon to 5 p.m.
“We want to build support for the pool,” said Mayor Dan Wilczynski. “We want to let people know it’s there, it’s in good shape, and it’s a nice place to spend time with their family.”
The Walbridge Fest committee will be serving food and Maureen Jacobsen, who chair’s village council’s parks and recreation committee, is making plans for entertainment for children.
The pool, which is located on Parkview Drive, opened June 5 and will be open seven days a week through Labor Day. Hours are noon to 8 p.m.
Facing a lean operating budget, the village administration had considered leaving the pool closed this summer with the understanding it and other budget cuts could be re-instated if tax revenues increased.
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