Pemberville welcomed Gordon Bowman as the new mayor and new council persons Eileen Schuerman and Randy Rothenbuhler at the first meeting in January.
Council honored former mayor James Opelt and councilman Christian King for their years of service at a reception following the last meeting in December. Opelt served two four-year terms and did not seek re-election in November.
The new $2.5 million wastewater treatment plant is the newest infrastructure asset for the village. Funded partially with a $1.25 million grant from the Ohio EPA, Mayor Bowman says, “It was built with an eye to the future, with extra capacity and able to process from outside the village. Careful high-tech processing returns water to the Portage that is cleaner with less chemicals than the river itself.”
The water tower was repainted last year, and three village wells were refurbished and now have improved production.
Pemberville and Freedom Township officials encouraged residents to complete a survey designed to gauge what they think should be priorities for their community. The survey link on the village’s website asks residents if they would support a wide array of projects such as additional bike paths, park improvements, senior citizen activities and programs, residential development, and downtown development.
In 2011, a new village beautification group, The Pedal Pushers, improved parks and buildings with plantings, trimming and weeding. Bowman says all these efforts are supported by village employees, including Pemberville police, and the streets, electric, water and sewer departments.
“Pemberville continues to be a great community of volunteers and service,” Mayor Bowman said.
In 2012, Bowman says the village will continue maintenance on the Memorial Park pool, look at resurfacing the tennis courts, work to develop soccer fields at Northwest Park, and clean up the Walking Trail and Oberhouse Park.
The Pemberville Fair Board will hold the 66th edition of the Pemberville Free Fair August 15-18 on American Legion and Village Park grounds, including the nearly two-hour Free Fair Parade on Saturday. The Pemberville Independent Merchants Association holds Classic Cruise-Ins the first Thursday evenings of June, July, August and September.
The fourth Saturday in October the Pemberville-Freedom Historical Society stages the Autumn Fest and Craft Show at the American Legion, Pemberville Elementary, Freedom Township Fire Hall and in downtown Pemberville.
The historical society is raising funds to construct an elevator in the Pemberville Opera House. Three options were provided by architect Scott J. Heacock for the 1891 building, ranging from $178,900 to over $300,000, with the mostly including an upstairs restroom.
“The elevator would be placed on the exterior of the opera house, but of course, it would be made to enhance the town hall,” businessman Todd Sheets said. “It wouldn’t take away from the historical value. That’s what we’re all about.”
Further north, the Stony Ridge Summer Festival and Flea Market closed before it could celebrate its 40th year. The economy, torn up roads, state licensing mandate, a lack of volunteers and bad weather forced organizers to take a year off.
“Karen Nicely, president of the Stony Ridge Civic Association, said, “We decided to take a year off, regroup, and maybe do something next year (2012).”