The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

An article in the March 1 Metro edition of The Press incorrectly stated that Dr. Leah Dorman, a former veterinarian with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, was an appointee to the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

She hasn’t been appointed to the board. She will discuss State Issue 2, which established the board, at the Ottawa County Agriculture Community Breakfast on March 26 in Oak Harbor.

After 35 years and millions of investment, River East Economic Revitalization Corporation has closed its doors.

The East Toledo-based Community Development Corporation assisted and educated the local business community, created and maintained jobs, operated a business incubator, and redeveloped existing buildings and vacant land, in particular, brownfield sites.

A recent real estate assessment on the Lucas County website had 53 properties listed as being owned by River East Corporation, but former board members say those properties have been sold or have been negotiated for sale and are awaiting closing.

“Fifty-three properties is a lot — that basically has been whittled down to nothing,” said Neil MacKinnon, an east side businessman who served over 10 years on the board. “We didn’t file for bankruptcy and we worked out agreements with the creditors and everybody has been very creative working with us.”

River East is best known for The Docks in International Park, the renovation of the historic Weber Block at Main and Front, Starboardside Condominiums, and its role in nurturing the proposed Marina District.

At least two of the three owners who partnered to purchase the Weber Block wish to continue renovating the building.

Businessman Bill Lorenzen and his son Justin Lorenzen are two of three partners who purchased the historic building from the River East Economic Revitalization Corporation, which closed and liquidated its assets. 

Justin lived in East Toledo until he was 10 years old, and understands the historic importance of the Weber Block. His family later moved to Oregon, and Justin lives in downtown Toledo now.

The partnership is in business to develop and sell commercial estate, including shopping centers, heavy industrial buildings, and warehouses.

“(The Weber Block) doesn’t really pull a profit right now, but as a kid walking through there and stuff like it is a little bit of nostalgia for us,” Justin Lorenzen said.

“We’re looking forward to remodeling it and bringing it up to speed, and in the next year or so we hope to have it fully occupied or as much as we can. We’re going to have all new windows, probably all new furnaces, and to do that is not going to be cheap.

Columbia Gas of Ohio this week filed its Gas Cost Recovery (GCR) adjustment for March with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), a cost that is considerably less than the cost of natural gas last March.

The GCR of 44 cents per Ccf (100 cubic feet) of natural gas will be 51 cents lower than last March, when it was 95 cents.

Warmer weather decreased the typical residential customers March bill to $91.60, compared to $104.31 last month.

The March bill will be $70.73 lower than last March, which was $162.33.

The March GCR will be in effect from March 1 through March 29.

The low GCR has had an impact on Interstate Gas Supply (IGS), an alternate natural gas supplier hired by the Northwest Ohio Aggregation Coalition (NOAC), a consortium of communities that includes Oregon, Northwood, Lake Township, Toledo, Maumee, Sylvania, Perrysburg, the Village of Holland, and unincorporated areas of Lucas County. It’s rate is always 3.5 cents per Ccf less than Columbia’s price.

Family farms in Wood and Lucas counties are among the 11 properties totaling nearly 1,000 acres being added this year to the holdings of the Black Swamp Conservancy.

The new properties, which are protected through perpetual land conservation agreements with the conservancy, include:
• Family farms in Wood County (41 acres) and Lucas County (147 acres)

• South Lake Hunt Club, a 71-acre marsh in Ottawa County

• Four farms covering about 320 acres near Delta in Fulton County

• A scenic overlook parcel near Sidecut Metropark in Maumee

• Port Clinton Lakefront Preserve, a 14-acre public park near Lake Erie

• A 73-acre wildlife sanctuary along the Maumee River in Paulding County.

• A 247-acre farm near Tiffin


Based on the current refugee vetting process, should the U.S. suspend the program allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the country?
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