The Press Newspaper
Five Oregon businesses were honored at the 17th Annual Prism Award ceremony
Wednesday night at Sunrise Park and Banquet Center in Millbury.
The General Excellence Award went to Sunoco Toledo Refinery, the Pioneer Award to A.A. Boos, the Horizon Award to Eagle’s Nest Sweet Retreat, the Community Improvement Award to the James “Wes” Hancock Oregon Senior Center, and the Best Practice Award to Bay Park Community Hospital — all Oregon businesses.
Sunoco, a manufacturer and marketer of petroleum and petrochemical products with 500 employees and 400 independent contractors on the site daily, has been in businesses since 1986. Sunoco is one of the largest independent refiner-marketers in the nation.
“Sunoco has been a part of this community for well over 100 years,” marketing director Olivia Summons said. “Despite all the activity that’s going on right now in East Toledo, we aim to stay here and keep these jobs in East Toledo.”
The General Excellence Award is given to either large or small businesses based on how the company excels in certain criteria.
Bob Marquette, chairman of Oregon’s Health and Welfare Committee, was
honored as Person of the Year, and Gross Electric was honored on its 100th anniversary at the 17th Annual Prism Award ceremony at Sunrise Park and Banquet Center on Woodville Road.
The business awards were hosted by the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce, and local television news broadcaster Chrys Peterson returned as emcee.
Peterson recognized the camaraderie displayed by businesses and community leaders throughout the ceremony, despite the economic conditions locally.
“We all know that every single job is worth fighting for in this bad economy,” Peterson said.
“I was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and when I go home I know it’s not like this — people that give you a hug and shake your hand,” Peterson continued after the ceremony.
“For those of you who grew up here, I hope you appreciate that because it’s not like this everywhere you go. We do a lot of negative news, especially in this bad economy we’re in, so it’s always good to see something positive recognized.”
Terry Breymaier, the 2009 Person of the Year, presented Marquette with the 2010 award. Breymeier was awarded mostly for his community service with Friends of Pearson Park.
The state auditor’s office has issued a finding for recovery against former Jerusalem Township Trustee Rodney Graffis for receiving health insurance reimbursements of $7,566.03 in 2008 for which he was not eligible.
The finding is part of a 2008 audit of the township’s finances that trustees requested last year.
It is the second time the auditor has issued a finding of recovery against Graffis. In 2007, an audit showed the township paid Graffis $20,174.04 in health insurance reimbursements he was ineligible to receive.
The Ohio Revised Code permits townships to reimburse their officers and employees for health insurance premiums when they incur out-of-pocket expenses for coverage. Though Graffis asked for, and received health insurance reimbursements from the township in 2007 and 2008, he was already getting such coverage from his union.
“A finding of recovery for public monies illegally expended is issued against Rodney Graffis and the Ohio Association Risk Management Authority, his bonding company, in the amount of $7,566.03 and in favor of the Jerusalem Township General Fund,” states the audit.
Consumer and environmental groups are opposing a proposed rate plan of FirstEnergy Corp. that has the backing of organizations representing schools, hospitals, and manufacturers.
FirstEnergy filed the plan with state regulators last week. If approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio it would set in place a schedule for how rates would be set for three years, starting in June, 2011 when the current plan will expire.
The plan would use a competitive bidding process to establish supply and prices for customers who don’t choose alternative providers. The same process was used by FirstEnergy’s operating companies, Toledo Edison, Ohio Edison, and Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co., last May. There would be four separate bidding sessions – one each in July and October of 2010, July 2011, and July 2012 - to determine rates.
While the plan calls for base distribution rates to remain in place, it provides for the utilities to recover the costs of property taxes, Commercial Activity Tax, income taxes as well as upgrades to distribution systems, including substations and related equipment that were not included in the rate base determined in January, 2009.
In 2005, Pemberville made plans to pay $132,000 to purchase the old Ford
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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