NEW KNOXVILLE — The mayors of Minster, New Bremen and New Knoxville all said their villages had successful years in 2019 and previewed upcoming projects at a State of the Villages breakfast Thursday morning.
The Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce hosted Thursday’s event, which also included updates from the offices of Sen. Rob Portman, Rep. Jim Jordan and state Rep. Susan Manchester.
New Knoxville Mayor Keith Leffel announced his village eclipsed $400,000 in income tax revenue for the first time in village history. New Knoxville received more than $410,000, an increase of approximately 2 percent compared to 2018.
New Knoxville had $3.2 million in revenue in 2019 and $2.7 million in expenditures. The village’s revenue was up 15 percent while expenditures were up 14 percent.
Minster Mayor Dennis Kitzmiller said his village received $4.1 million in income tax revenue in 2019. It also received $293,000 in revenue from the Minster/Jackson Township Fire and EMS Department levies that passed in 2018.
New Bremen Mayor Robert Parker, who was elected in November to replace the retiring Jeff Pape, said his village had a decrease of more than $100,000 in tax receipts in 2019.
“The strong economy has kept our tax receipts above the $4 million mark, but we can’t rest on our laurels,” Parker said. “We have to stay fiscally responsible and prepare for a downturn when it eventually does come.”
Aiding the strong financial numbers for the villages was expansion from residents and businesses.
Kitzmiller announced Minster issued 34 building permits in 2019. Eight were for single family homes with a total value of almost $5.4 million, and three were for commercial and industrial projects with a value of $3.2 million.
New Knoxville issued 13 building permits, Leffel said, which amounted to an investment of more than $3 million in the community.
Street improvements were among the biggest projects for the villages in 2019 and will continue to be a focus in 2020.
In 2019 New Bremen purchased property for a new electrical substation that is being built. The community also saw ground broken for the school’s new kindergarten through eighth grade building, which will be completed this year.
Minster also began work on a new substation project, replacing the substation on North Ohio Street in a $2 million project that will be completed this year. The village has improved its electrical system and completely rebuilt the underground electric service at Parkview Acres and Rosebud Acres subdivisions with new lines and new transformers.
Minster also is constructing eight Pickleball courts and two basketball courts at Four Seasons Park. Last year the village completed renovation of the gazebo in Minster Machine Centennial Park with a new roof, railing and steps.
The Auglaize-Mercer County YMCA managed New Bremen’s pool in 2019 and will do so again in 2020. New Bremen’s new snow machine was operational for the first time in January 2019 at the community’s new sledding hill, White Mountain.
“What a joy it was to see so much activity on that hill last winter,” Parker said. “So far this winter really isn’t cooperating from a temperature perspective, but we hope to get that fired up very soon again.”
Manchester, a Republican who represents Ohio’s 84th House District, recorded a video that was played during Thursday’s meeting. She is in Columbus as the Ohio House and Senate work on education issues.
In her video, Manchester discussed legislation she sponsored including House Bill 8 that passed unanimously through the House and now is in the Senate. It would reform the way Ohio handles foster care.
She also discussed House Bill 183, which would award a tax credit for landowners who sell or rent land or assets to beginning farmers.
“I’ve been able to pass a few pieces of legislation that I’m really proud of and excited about,” Manchester said of her first year in office.
Cameron Warner, district director for Jordan, spoke on behalf of the Republican congressman. Jordan, who represents Ohio’s 4th congressional district, also recorded a video in which he praised President Donald Trump and the economy. He criticized impeachment proceedings.
Cayla Shreffler, the northwest Ohio district representative for Portman, appeared on behalf of the Republican senator.
Portman’s efforts include combating the drug abuse crisis, creating jobs, helping Americans save for retirement and protecting non-profits and religious organizations from terrorism.
The State of the Villages event will be rebroadcast on NKTelco Channel 3 and 503 at 9 a.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Monday.
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