2017 was another very good year for the Village of Minster. Village employees and the village council worked very hard to ensure that the village continues to undertake projects and programs that are in the best interest of the community. Several projects were completed in 2017, while several more were started that will carry over into 2018. The village also saw some changes in personnel as well as a considerable amount of growth in the community, and I’d like to share some of these items with you this morning.
In terms of personnel, the village reluctantly accepted the resignation of Dale Dues as fire chief in 2017. Dale had been a member of the fire department for 40 years and served as fire chief for the past 21 years. Dale’s experience and leadership will be truly missed.
To replace Dale, the village looked to another veteran firefighter and appointed Rich Prenger as the new fire chief. Rich has been with the department well over 25 years and has served as assistant chief for the past several years. Rich exemplifies the same leadership capabilities as Dale, and I’m sure will do a great job for the department.
Late in 2017, the village also accepted the resignation of Greg Sommer from the village parks and recreation department. Greg had been with the village for nearly 10 years. To replace Greg, the village hired Andy Roetgerman to fill that position.
Finally, the village hired Kyle Wildermuth as an employee of the village’s wastewater treatment plant to replace Tom Mertz, who retired in late 2016.
A number of projects were undertaken during 2017. Village employees completed the installation of a 16-inch water line along state Route 66 in front of the Dannon Company. This new water line replaced an old 12-inch line that was causing us some problems.
Crews also finished improvements around one of the concession stands at the Four Seasons Park. These improvements were part of an effort by the village, the school and the athletic boosters to develop one of the diamonds into a high school girls’ softball complex.
Finally, the village completed its annual minor street resurfacing projects, which involved over $300,000 being spent to repave various streets in the village.
2017 also saw the start of several projects that will overlap into 2018. The village awarded a bid for the construction of east Fifth Street between Garfield and Paris Streets. This $1.2 million project will involve the complete reconstruction of Fifth Street with new utilities, curb and gutter, sidewalk and asphalt. Another project that started in 2017 was the development of the village’s new industrial park land on state Route 66 south. Early last year, the village came to an agreement to sell a parcel of land to Minster Distributors for its new building, so improvements to the parcel of ground commenced. Improvements to the ground include leveling off dirt, the extension of all utilities and the construction of a new road to serve the park.
As I mentioned previously, the village saw a considerable amount of growth in 2017 as well. The village grew by an additional 57 acres as four new parcels of ground were annexed into the village. The village issued 36 new building permits in 2017. Of those 36 building permits, seven were for new residential home construction valued at slightly over $2.75 million, and nine were for the commercial and industrial sector with a value of $8.2 million. The village also welcomed in Ryder Logistics, who is working with the Dannon Company to operate its new 285,000 square foot distribution center.
The village received a couple of honors and awards in 2017 as well. The village water department had its lab certified as an official testing lab by the Ohio EPA, and the police department was awarded an Ohio Collaborative Law Enforcement Agency Certification. The American Public Power Association awarded its energy innovator award to the village for its work on the development of the solar and energy storage system. Finally, Amanda Winner of the community was awarded a $2,500 scholarship by American Municipal Power.
Some other items of note included the village’s approval of the Armed Forces Recognition Project. This project, sponsored by the Sons of the American Legion, will honor service members by erecting banners on various light poles throughout the state Route 66 corridor. The village also joined 130 other municipalities in the state challenging the constitutionality of the new municipal income tax law that was enacted in 2017. The village feels strongly that this new law is a clear violation of the home rule powers granted to communities by the state constitution and hopes to have the new law overturned.
2017 was a good year in terms of its budget and finances. The village received over $3.7 million in income tax revenue in 2017. This is the second highest amount of income tax received since the village started collecting income tax. The village did very well with its budget and appropriating monies in 2017 as well. At the beginning of the year the village budgeted $23.5 million for all of its operations, however, the village only spent $17.5 million throughout the year.
What does 2018 look like for the village in terms of projects? 2018 looks to be another busy year for the village.
The village will continue with the development of both east Fifth Street and the south Route 66 Industrial Park.
2018 will also see the start of construction of the second phase of the village solar and energy storage project. This will involve the construction of another 4.2 megawatt solar field and 7 megawatts of energy storage near the existing solar field. The construction of this phase will once again enable the village to save on transmission and capacity costs and reduce its peak demand.
The village will welcome the start of two new residential subdivisions in 2018. These subdivisions will be located in the northeast part of the village and are set to begin this year.
Finally, the village will be undertaking new projects in 2018. The first of these is the construction of a new sanitary sewer line and lift station which will serve the northeast section of town. This project, which is partially funded by grant funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission, is scheduled to start in spring of 2018.
The second major project that will start in 2018 is the renovation of the village’s north electrical substation. Village crews will completely rebuild the substation which his approximately 50 years old. This project will complete a planned upgrade of all of the village’s electrical substations.