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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Millbury
With the completion last year of storm sewer replacements along Cherry Street and Hille Drive the Village of Millbury is ready to proceed with extending the storm sewer this year along Hille Drive, says Mayor Mike Timmons.

Village officials also hope to enhance recreational facilities for residents.

“We are also looking at available money for a bike/recreation path to tie the Lake Township Park with our Veterans Memorial Park. We also believe that there may be money available for the acquisition of the railroad property for the Millbury terminal end of the North Coast Inland Trail,” the mayor said.

The village contracts with Lake Township for police service and Mayor Timmons said the two are in negotiations for a new pact.

Village voters in November approved a 1-mill continuing levy to help fund the service which costs the village about $65,772 annually.

Declining revenues from an existing 2.1-mill property tax – originally passed in 1984 - for the service, led village officials to seek the additional revenue. The township board of trustees last year agreed to a request by Mayor Timmons and village council to waive a scheduled 3 percent increase in the contract for the service.

Prior to the passage of the 1-mill levy, council had to tap into the village’s general fund to make up the difference in what the revenue generated for the service.

Mayor Timmons said revenue in 2012 was up slightly from  2011 but still lower than in 2008.


Lake Twp.
Lake Township trustees this year plan to focus more of their time on job creation, including holding a jobs initiatives “summit.”

“We had very good results from the 2009 meeting and hope to build on the continuing state and federal economic recovery to help create jobs for Lake Township residents,” said Richard Welling, a trustee. “We are also looking at the possibility of having a Lake Township jobs fair for local residents and businesses to get together and compare employment opportunities.”

He said the trustees have made “every effort possible” to assist the local business community.

As an example, he noted their work with Love’s Truckstops, which located along I-280.

Mark Hummer, township administrator, said a feasibility study of a proposed merger of the emergency dispatching systems for the township, villages of Millbury and Walbridge, and cities of Rossford and Northwood will be completed in the first half of this year.

If officials from the entities agree, one dispatching center would handle calls for all. Currently, the township provides dispatching service for itself, the two villages, and Rossford. Northwood handles its own dispatching service.

Township residents may also see changes at the township cemetery.

Welling said the board of trustees is looking at having columbariums installed.

Last year, the trustees established a third park in the township – Moline Meadows Park – to have a park area in the western end of the township.

A shelter house and playground area are planned for this year.


Gibsonburg
Work on an industrial park and continued repair or replacement of sewer lines and connections to prevent storm water infiltration are some of the capital improvement projects on Gibsonburg Mayor Greg Gerwin’s list of objectives for 2013.

The administration also plans to work with the Gibsonburg Community Improvement Corp. to come up with ways the downtown business district can be improved, he said, adding village officials want to continue to work with businesses to improve the relationship between the municipality and the owners.

Gerwin said village officials plan to periodically review a plan by the state to issue bonds backed by revenue from Ohio Turnpike tolls to help finance infrastructure projects.

He said he was wary of a “slight of hand similar to the Ohio Lottery.”

Among the projects that were completed last year were a contract for free Wi-Fi Internet service village-wide, a new generator installed at the municipal well field, and a water line replacement and upgrade along Stevenson Street.

Village officials banded together with officials in the Village of Woodville and neighboring townships last year to block the merger of two judgeships of the Sandusky County District Court and replace that court with a new Sandusky County Municipal Court and one full-time judge.

In a case that went to the Ohio Supreme Court, the district format, which has courts in Woodville and Clyde, remains intact.


Genoa
Whether it’s the infrastructure, economic development, or utilities, Genoa Mayor Mark Williams says he expects the village to build on projects started last year and embark on new initiatives.

He said the village is expecting funding this year from the Ohio Public Works Commission for the final phase of a storm sewer project and the replacement of water meters with radio-read systems is about 85 percent complete.

“What used to take five days has been cut to one day to read,” the mayor said.

The third phase of replacing street lighting with more energy efficient lights will also continue this year.

The building that housed Brunner Elementary School has been sold to private owners and opened as a home for small businesses and the mayor said the downtown business district is filled.

The mayor described the building as a “great asset to the community” that encourages new development.

The village is securing a loan and grant for the second phase of the reconstruction of Washington Street and the next phase of a village-wide sidewalk program will begin this year.

Village council’s ad hoc committee continues to engage in negotiations with property owners for the Rails to Trails project and to update the master plan for Veterans Park.  Some projects in the park that will be done in phases include replacing the bath house, water slide, and diving board. The tennis court will also be resurfaced.

The mayor said new software will be installed to help the village deal with delinquent utility accounts.
 

Walbridge
The Village of Walbridge celebrates its centennial this year.

Mayor Ed Kolanko, who took office recently when Dan Wilczynski forfeited the office, said village council is planning a special event for the council meeting set for April 7 – the 100th anniversary of the village’s first council meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. in council chambers and there will be a video feed next door at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post 9963 where there will be refreshments and a display commemorating the village’s history.

The village ended 2012 with a surplus in the general fund budget, Mayor Kolanko said, even while absorbing some unexpected costs.

“This is a testament to everyone’s attention to operating within our budget,” he said. “However, there are expenses on the horizon for infrastructure and equipment of which we must be mindful.”

Village officials are working on a prioritized list of road repaving and curb replacement projects for the year and the mayor said the village will be awarded an Ohio Public Works grant of $209,000 to improve a section of Union Street.

The mayor and council will continue to develop a policy for setting speed limits in town, he said, crediting councilman Fred Sloyer for working to make sure the policy is implemented properly.

The village police department is organizing a Facebook page and Kolanko said it will be a “great tool for communication between our residents and police department.”

Council’s recreation committee continues to work on completing upgrades to the municipal pool. Mayor Kolanko said he’s hopeful they’ll be completed before the pool’s scheduled opening.


Elmore
Two major projects are scheduled for completion this summer in Elmore.

A $5.2 million wastewater treatment plant is scheduled to be operating by June 30, said Mayor Lowell Krumnow, and an electrical substation that will step down high voltage is also planned for completion this year.

Village voters in 2005 approved a 0.75-percent income tax increase to help fund the treatment plant, which is being constructed to alleviate overflows of raw sewage into the Portage River.

The project includes the installation of a new sewer line from the west side of the village to the east where the plant is located.

The new facility will treat all of the water entering the village’s sanitary sewer system as well as address overflow problems. The village has been relying on a treatment facility with a capacity of processing 450,000 gallons a day, the mayor said. The new plant will be able to treat 1.8 million gallons daily.

Village Superintendent Buck Stoiber said the new facility will also be able to meet regulations for treating mercury and phosphorus.

The decision to construct another electric substation was made after the village suffered through 56 hours of having of no power in July 2011 when a lightning strike knocked the town’s only station out of service.

Both stations will receive power on 69,000-volt lines coming from the areas of Toledo and Oak Harbor.

Equipment will be in place to switch over almost immediately if one feeder line is incapacitated, which should cause only minimal power interruption during the switch over process, according to Stoiber.   

The mayor said the village is positioning itself for business growth by completing the projects. In turn, an agreement to establish a Joint Economic Development District with Harris and Woodville townships may be completed this year, he said.

If it is approved, the district would encompass about 80 acres near the Ohio Turnpike Exchange south of the village.

Village and township officials have been meeting for about five years with the Ottawa County Improvement Corp. to discuss a JEDD for the area. Under a JEDD format, the townships and villages would share tax revenues from business locating there.


Woodville
From plans for a new solar field to the completion of a sewer project, several items are on the agenda for 2013 in the Village of Woodville.

Mayor Richard Harman said the sewer project – which includes separating storm sewers from sanitary sewers in residential areas – has entered the final phase.

And village officials are “exploring” the development of a solar field.

A parcel near the village’s utility building has been proposed for the field, which would be able to generate 750 KW of power, according to the mayor.

Several upgrades over the next five years to the village water treatment plant are also being planned, he said.

Residents will also see a change to the downtown business district.

“We look forward to purchasing the Temple Furniture building (which also housed the Limelite Theatre) and working with the Woodville Business and Community Association to develop the space into a walkway to connect Main Street to the village parking lot,” the mayor said. “Where we shop, eat, and have fun – all make our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an essential part of the distinctive character of our village.”

The opening of new businesses – Main Street Mocha, Novelties & Nostalgia, and a Dollar General store – is evidence of a thriving business district, he said.

The village police department will be adding a canine unit. Officer Steve Gilkerson will partner with a dog that will be trained in drug sniffing, patrol assistance, and tracking.

Mayor Harman said the unit will also be available for administrators in the Woodmore School District to help with random searches and recovering illegal contraband.

The mayor said the village is sound financially despite the economy still recovering from a recession.

“Although economic times continue to strain our budgets, it is with great pleasure that I report that the state of our village remains fiscally strong,” he said.

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