2017 was an interesting year for the Village of Ottawa. We had over $5,6 million invested in various areas of our municipality. Hirzel Canning was the biggest investor, with over $3.7 million to expand its facility and build an additional warehouse. Casey’s is building a general store in town that will serve pizza and convenience foods as well as sell gasoline. Tractor Supply opened its doors for business, and the wind turbine that will provide power to Whirlpool is completed.
Some good news on the flood mitigation efforts: The appellate court has sided with the Maumee Conservancy District for the acquisition of the property for the diversion channel. Hopefully that project will move along quickly and be able to be bid out early this year. This project will definitely have a positive impact on flooding in Ottawa, and the entire area has a lot of recreational and environmental possibilities.
The village is always working to maintain and update village properties. We are working with the engineering firm of Poggemeyer Design Group on a comprehensive study for the Water Treatment Plant, which will include numerous EPA-mandated improvements. Initially we were looking at approximately $7 million for these improvements. We’ve since reduced that to less than $4.5 million with suggestions from our staff.
At the wastewater treatment plant, we are also involved in some improvements. Initially this project was estimated at $3 million, and village staff has worked to reduce that number to around $2 million.
The village spent $350,000 improving our streets, curbs, gutters and storm sewers, as well as more than $200,000 improving water and sewer lines this year. Although we are working our way down 2nd Street, we need to replace some underground infrastructure in order to finish all the way down to Agner Street.
The open space committee is working to develop uses for the properties which were purchased with hazard mitigation grant monies. Meetings were held to determine a list of priorities, and it all comes down to a stage or pavilion area for the former Paul’s lot, a canoe ramp and a walking path in the Arrowhead Park area and a couple of soccer fields off of Fourth and Maple streets. We’re working with the state and area civic organizations to help with some of the funding for these projects.
Memorial Park has seen some improvements in 2017. The village spent $219,000 to add new lighting, improve the ball diamonds and add fencing. Another big project that has been in the works for a while is the lighting for Memorial Field. The Rotary Club was able to secure a bridge loan, and through the help of many very generous donations along with the village, we have raised enough money to replace the lighting for the ball diamond at Memorial Park. I would like to give a very big thank you to all donors as well as all the groups and individuals who were involved in the process.
Along those same lines; on Arbor Day this year we planted trees at SPPS and Ottawa Elementary. Wouldn’t you know, the students named the trees, and when SPPS named their tree Barbie (Barb Schroeder’s class was out planting the tree), OE found that out and named their tree Ken. That gave us quite a chuckle. I look forward to seeing Barbie and Ken grow to their full potential.
Just a reminder to our residents, the village has a community reinvestment program (CRA) in place. This allows a property tax abatement of up to 10 years if you build a new home or remodel your existing home. If you’re considering a new home or a remodel, please stop up to the municipal building and ask about this program.
It’s been a pleasure working with Curt Croy and the CIC these past few years, and we’ll miss him but I look forward to working with the new director, Amy Sealts. I definitely hope to continue a great working relationship with the CIC.
While I’m thanking people, I’d like to thank council for doing all that we need to do and giving the time and effort with long meeting nights and special meetings to do what is needed to keep this village prosperous.
And I would like to give a huge thank you to our employees for working together to overcome labor shortages in several areas of our village this past year. I know it’s been trying at times, and I really appreciate the extra effort that you’ve given. Thank you for a job well done.
Now, go Titans, go Tribe, go Cavs, and how about those Browns? They had a better season than the Bengals and Cowboys and a few others; at least we get the No. 1 1 pick in the draft.