February 7, 2012
OTTAWA ‚?? Ottawa‚??s director of economic development referred to 2011 as a ‚??year of drama‚?Ě in Ottawa.Jeff Loehrke was the speaker during Tuesday‚??s Ottawa Chamber of Commerce luncheon. He gave a State of the Village Address that included looking back on progress during 2011 while looking forward to what is expected to happen in 2012.Quoting Mayor Dean Meyer, Loehrke said, ‚??In 2011, we continued to realize what I like to categorize as fiscally responsible economic developments.‚?ĚLoehrke said since 2000 the village has seen private sector industrial investment totaling $47 million with the creation of 781 jobs.‚??Ottawa‚??s overall investment to assist in this growth totaled just over $2.3 million,‚?Ě Loehrke said, which cost the village $2,945 per job created.Examples Loehrke gave of growth in the village included Silgan Plastics along with DOGR Enterprises completing renovation of manufacturing space and building a distribution center with an investment of $12.6 million with 127 new jobs. Other examples included Whirlpool‚??s announcement it will bring a new trash compactor line to Ottawa in 2012 with a capital investment of $2 million and 30 new jobs; Industrial Millwright Services plans to build a 10,000-square-foot facility with potential capital investment of about $500,000 with 14 to 20 new jobs; and Lima Memorial Health System, in conjunction with Bellman Brothers and Mark Jarvis, moving into its new urgent care, lab services building, representing an investment of $700,000 with the potential of 10 to 14 jobs.A new revenue stream for Ottawa may be using its old wastewater treatment plant as a treatment for manure produced on local mega and small dairy farms.Loehrke also said the village had dealt with seven floods of record during 2011.‚??We realize the general public is losing patience with the length of time it is taking to get our studies completed,‚?Ě Loehrke said.He said they had passed their concerns on to Army Corps of Engineer officials and been told the officials would do what they could to expedite the process.‚??Even with that, we are still looking at 2015 as the earliest we could have a final plan in place,‚?Ě Loehrke said.He concluded his speech by defining 2012 as a benchmark year.‚??It‚??s been 10 years since Philips closed their doors and five years since we had the major flood,‚?Ě he said.