Local Archive April 2002
Two vying for Union County
Overly hopes levy won't confuse voters
Contributions roll in from out of town
NU officials hope area voters see 'good deal'
Jon Alder looks to take advantage of state offer
City residents may face income tax hike
Adversity hasn't stopped Fairbanks Thrush
Breeder brings rare horse to area
After accident, three dogs in need of good home
Outlook for Jerome Township to be focus of committee
Executive session questioned
Fairbanks Board gives posthumous diploma
North Union Board deals with staff issues
The Castle gains spotlight
Marysville council approves rezoning
City eyeing increase in lot size
M.C. Council raises reconnect fee
Bouic loves to root around in family trees
Trustees find gridlock
Work set to begin on new Metro Park
Two vying for
Union County Auditor's post
By CINDY BRAKE
After 20 years of working in the auditor's office and eight years as Union County's auditor, Mary Snider is seeking re-election because she finds the job fascinating
"I help people in their pocketbook," she said about her reasons for enjoying the job. As Union County's auditor she has brought several innovations to the county, while keeping Union County connected to district and state auditor associations.
Under Snider's watch the auditor's office has gone on the World Wide Web with geographical and real estate information. The weights and measures program has become accredited and property owners are now notified when values change due to triennial or revaluation updates. "You will see not just property valuations, but dog registrations, the last year's financial report and property maps, along with various forms and explanations," Snider said about the website that has been available since 2000.
In 1997 Snider was elected secretary of the Southwest District County Auditors' Association and served as president in 1999. She has been a member on the County Auditor's State Association's legislative board since 1998. This year she was appointed to the agriculture committee and an all-encompassing committee called Future Directions. She has also been awarded commendations for training and education twice.
A lifelong Union County resident and voting Republican, Snider offers the following reasons why voters should re-elect her:
. Continual recognition for Excellence in Financial Reporting by Governmental Finance Officers since the 1995 financials
. Receiving the Auditor's Award continuously by the Auditor of the State since 1995. This is the highest form of recognition for state and local governments
. Receiving Outstanding Auditor and Distinguished Auditor awards by the County Auditor's Association of Ohio
. Implementing direct deposit procedures to simplify the return of tax dollars to local entities
. Accrediting the Weights and Measures program to ensure business and consumers confidence
. Implementing notification to property owners when values change due to triennial or revaluation updates
. Implementing geographical and real estate information on the worldwide web at www.co.union.oh.us, click auditor
. Continuing to educate and provide services to the taxpayers and consumers of Union County
. Continuing to promote communication and cooperation between local governments and departmental agencies
. Saving entities more than $500,000 by not withholding fees from the October Tangible Tax Settlement in many years as auditor
Snider has connections to many areas of the county.
The daughter of John and Lydia Bell of Claibourne Township, she graduated from North Union High School. Her son graduated from Fairbanks High School and her daughter is a sophomore at Marysville High School. Her goals for the next four years are to make accounts more uniform while keeping the county current with new legislation such as the recent deregulation of public utilities and manufactured homes. Snider said it has been an honor to serve the citizens of Union County during the past eight years and she plans to continue to serve with dignity, honesty and integrity.
In her first race for an elected office, Lisa Carroll of Richwood is a Republican candidate for the Union County Auditor seat.
"We need change," Carroll said. "I want to bring professionalism and customer service to the office."
For the past year she has been an application developer with the Union County Data Board, which is under the direction of the Union County Auditor's Office.
"I have over 15 years of accounting, tax and business experience," Carroll said, and "over 20 years of computer information systems experience" which actually began when she was a student at Indian Lake High School.
A recently converted Catholic, Carroll cites numerous events in her life that were divinely directed, including her decision to begin working for the Union County Auditor's office in 2001 and moving to the Richwood area four years ago.
For 13 years she and her husband of 17 years, along with their children, lived in Franklin County. When prostitutes, driveby shootings and an increasing crime rate moved into their neighborhood, they began looking for a new community. They chose a home on Fish Daum Road because of the community's good schools and library and the county's political affiliation and rural setting.
Up until her decision to run for an elected office, Carroll had always been an independent voter but regularly voted Republican. She is now a registered Republican.
Carroll earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix, an online college, in 2001 majoring in information systems and business management. Currently she is working on a master of business
administration/technology management degree from the same university. Prior to joining the Union County Auditor's Office, Carroll was a software engineer/installation manager with Macola Software of Marion. Her other work experiences include working as an accountant with her husband's trucking business, J.A. Carroll Transportation of Columbus from 1995 to 1998; owner/operator/accountant of Lisa's Christian Day Care in Columbus from 1988 to 1995; and accounting for Sisters International of Westerville from 1986 to 1988.
Carroll volunteers for numerous organizations, including every Saturday with her daughter at Memorial Hospital of Union County. "We volunteer often and this is a big part of our lives," Carroll said. She lists the following community activities she has been actively involved with: the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Mid Ohio Food Bank, Turning Point, Salvation Army, Hospice, Samaritan's Purse, St. Mary's School and the North Union schools.
Her professional affiliations include CompTia member, TechRepublic member, IEEE member, Government Finance Officers Association, A+ Certification, Certificates in Report Accounting, Republican Women's Club, Century Club, member of the Union County Data Processing Board and member of the Union County Data Technical Advisory Board. "I am willing and happy to work hard for you," Carroll said.
Overly hopes levy won't confuse voters
By RYAN HORNS
This year marks the end of a 9-1-1 emergency levy.
According to Union County Sheriff John Overly, the 9-1-1 operating levy has been functioning since 1989. Every five years it must be renewed and on May 7 voters will face the option again. However, this year the levy verbiage will state it is a "new" operating levy, which may confuse some voters.
Overly said the levy language was reworked because Attorney General Betty Montgomery suggested all 9-1-1 levies must pay only for the actual phone systems and must stop there.
For example, when a call comes into a department the dispatcher organizes the details and then hits a button alerting the needed emergency departments, Overly said. According to Montgomery's new condition, funding cannot pay for anything after the dispatcher hits the alert button, because at that point it becomes a communications issue which must be kept independent. "We don't want the public to be confused," he said. "The levy will ask for the same millage but it has to be reworded now." Union County's 9-1-1 system currently consists of two Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs.
Overly said one of the dispatch centers is at the sheriff's department and the other is at the Marysville Police Department. The two points work in conjunction with each other and serve as a needed backup service should one malfunction or break down.
"All emergency calls that come in from the county ring into those two locations," Overly said.
He said the Marysville Police Department 9-1-1 service was knocked out when City Hall was flooded a couple of years ago. During such problems the backup system redirects all those calls to the sheriff's location. In the event both are affected, the calls go to Logan County sheriff dispatchers.
Because the changes made to the language, the levy will be considered a new one by law, regardless of the fact that the results will be exactly the same as they have been since 1989.
For the past couple of 9-1-1 renewal levies, Overly said the amount has always remained at .5 mill. This costs the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $15.31 per year.
The county commissioners expect an estimated revenue of $475,692 going toward software, equipment costs and maintenance. The city helps kick in additional money to pay dispatcher salaries, positions which has proved difficult to fill on a national basis.
Because of the high turnover rate for dispatchers, Marysville City Council has been pushing an ordinance to increase the hourly rate to $11.25. The measure was approved at the last council meeting.
Another angle for the funding this year, Overly said, is to update the way the PSAPs handle 9-1-1 calls made from cellular phones. Between the two dispatcher points, an estimated 7,822 calls come in from land-line based calls made from homes. Another 1,500 calls are produced from cell phones.
However, the current 9-1-1 system does not automatically display the direct location of the cell phone caller. That information must be gathered by the dispatcher from the caller, whereas land-line calls automatically display location information before the call is even answered. This is essential in emergency situations when callers are unable to speak.
"We have seen a tremendous increase of cell phone use," Overly said. An update must therefore be made to a software which displays cell phone location information that is provided automatically. The software exists and its usage will be looked into pending the May levy passage.
Contributions roll in from out of of town
By CINDY BRAKE
One Republican candidate in the primary race for Union County Common Pleas judge has drawn a lot of dollars from outside Union County.
Pre-election campaign finance reports filed by Thursdayıs deadline show that Jeffery Holtschulte has received $9,780 from 40 contributors with 30 of those having out-of-county addresses.
The 10 local contributors donated $1,505, while the out-of-county contributors raised $8,275. Among the contributors are former area doctor Kathleen Bartunek, now of Kimbolton, and Janet K. Voinovich of Cleveland. Bartunek is the widow of Paul Mifsud who was Ohio Gov. George Voinovichıs former chief of staff. A copy of a note of support from the Voinoviches appears in todayıs paper in a paid Holtschulte advertisement.
Mifsud pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges involving altering public records to cover up a Union County home remodeling job and was sentenced to the Marysville work release center for six months by Union County Common Pleas Judge Richard Parrott who is seeking his third term and being challenged by Holtschulte.
The vast majority of Holtschulteıs contributors gave $275 donations, the maximum contribution allowed by individuals by the judicial code of conduct. One contributor with the same Kimbolton address as Bartunek - Kingwood Investments, LTD - donated $2,700, the maximum allowed by limited partnerships.
³It is what it is,² said Holtschulte about the contributions.
He noted that many of the donors have dealt directly or indirectly with the commons pleas court and for their own reasons are supporting a change. ³This is part of our democratic process. Itıs what makes our system work,² Holtschulte said.
Holtsculte said he does not know Bartunek professionally or personally but did talk to her once on the telephone when he called her after he had been contacted by a reporter.
³I cannot comment on contributions,² Holtschulte said. He explained that judicial candidates are prohibited from directly soliciting or receiving contributions.
³Thatıs the work of the committee,² he said. ³We want to do everything the right way.²
Concerning the small number of local contributors, Holtschulte said donors know that if they make a contribution their names will be listed and that is ³cause for concern² to some. Holtschulte lists expenditures to date at $5,898 with a balance on hand of $4,881. He lists no in-kind contributions and a $1,000 loan owed by the committee.
Judge Richard Parrott, on the other hand, lists total contributions of $5,795 with all of the money coming from loans to himself. His expenditures to date total $5,613 and an outstanding loan of $181.72.
Commissioner, Republican nomination
The committee to elect Gary Lee for Union County Commissioner reports $5,225 contributions with $1,800 in other income for a total of $7,025. He lists 23 contributors and two fundraisers. Contributions ranged from $200 to $50. His expenses to date are $5,336.
Commissioner candidate Charles Hall lists one $100 contribution and $5,200 of other funds supplied by himself. His expenses total $2,646.
Dennis Schulze, who is seeking the Republican nomination of Probate/Juvenile Judge, lists $675 in contributions with expenditures of $567.16. Contributions range from $200 to 25.
Charlotte Eufinger who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Probate/Juvenile Judge did not file a pre-election campaign finance report.
Only candidates with expenses or contributions of more than $1,000 are required to file.
Auditor, Republican nomination
Challenger Lisa Carroll lists contributions of $20 with $4,500 in other income, namely an outstanding loan from herself and her husband. She reports monetary expenditures of $4,410 with $715.11 of in-kind contributions.
Auditor Mary Snider did not file a pre-election campaign finance report. Only candidates with expenses or contributions of more than $1,000 are required to file.
North Union Levy Committee
The North Union Levy Committee reports monetary contributions from 65 local contributors totaling $3,624 and monetary expenditures of $2,093.50.
Contributions ranged from $15 to $500.
Republican Central Committee
The Union County Republican Central Committee reports bringing forward $27,591.80 and $3,375 in monetary contributions. Total expenditures are $9,621 with a balance on hand of $21,465.38.
The Union County Democratic Party reports bringing forward $532.26 with $1,267.02 in monetary contributions. Total expenditures are $82.78 with a balance on hand of $1,716.50.
NU officials hope area voters
see 'good deal'
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
If McDonalds offered a free burger and fries with every soda purchased, customers would be lined up down the road.
Thatıs essentially the offer that will be put before North Union voters on May 7 and local officials hope citizens in favor of a good deal will turn out just as heavily.
If district voters approve a bond issue that will pay for the construction of a new elementary school on that date the state will kick in enough of its own money to pay for a new elementary school and a huge addition to the high school. Funding for the entire project breaks down into 36 percent local funding and 64 percent state funding.
The high school plans include additional classrooms, more technology, more space for art, increased security measures, a paved parking lot and air conditioning.
The local issue includes a seven-mill, 28-year, construction levy and a half-mill permanent maintenance levy. Passage of the levies would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $229 per year.
If the issue passes in May, the appearance of the district will change greatly. The middle school and Claibourne Elementary School are scheduled to be demolished. Jackson and Leesburg elementaries would be maintained for office space or could be leased to another entity in the future. North Union Superintendent Carol Young is optimistic about the levyıs chances, despite the failure of three previous levy attempts. Those prior attempts didnıt include the promise of state money and citizen involvement wasnıt nearly as prominent.
Young estimated that in the previous levy attempts citizens involved in the campaign numbered in the single digits. The current citizen group has more than 200 active members. ³I really think you are seeing the community take hold of its future,² Young said.
Young said the citizens group has taken over nearly all aspects of the levy campaign, from gathering research to printing pamphlets.
The community seems to be responding. The committee has passed out nearly triple the number of campaign signs as in prior campaigns and the 500 signs were scooped up by citizens in just three days, meaning many more have probably found their ways into area front yards.
Dennis Hall, co-chairman of the citizens steering committee with Bryan Bumgarner, said the committeeıs priority from day one was to get as many citizens involved in the campaign as possible. That goal proved to be fairly easy to attain.
The committee began with about 30 people split into 11 subcommittees Bumgarner said. When those 30 individuals began to solicit more help, the number of volunteers shot up. Bumgarner said the sheer number of volunteers has allowed the committee to benefit greatly from the individual talents and collective wisdom of its members.
³We have had such a broad base of support no one has gotten burned out,² Bumgarner said. Hall said the committee has also benefited from having a good project to put before voters. ³While we may want to think that our organizing efforts have helped, I am under no delusion that what has helped most is the 64-percent state cost share,² Hall said
Bumgarner said the merits of the state offer has molded the committeeıs approach to campaigning. He said the primary objective is to simply get the information out to all of the voters so they can decide if it is a good deal.
³We believe that this opportunity has built within it the ability to revitalize our community and district in looking toward the future,² Bumgarner said. ³Based upon the response to date, many other district residents feel the same way.
Young said the primary negative comments she has heard in the community are that the deal sounds too good to be true. She said some residents are skeptical that the state will live up to its end of the bargain if the economy gets sluggish.
That shouldnıt stop the project, according to Young. She said any officials who try to wipe out the funding for a statewide school improvement project would be committing ³political suicide² and would open the state up to a lawsuit.
³This is a solution that will take our kids 60 years into the future,² Young said.
Young said that regardless of what happens at the polls, the North Union School District has been strengthened by the efforts of the citizens committee. Getting hundreds of residents from across the district to work together for the betterment of the schools can do nothing but help North Union, she said. Youngıs biggest goal now will be to get those residents involved in other aspects of running the district.
Jon Alder looks to take
advantage of state offer
By JUDY BOEHLER
If a levy for the Jonathan Alder schools passes May 7, there will be a whole lot of shakinı goinı on in the district.
According to superintendent Doug Carpenter and levy committee member Robin Yocum, itıs time for a change and now is the time to do it because the state is making money available to certain school districts.
Under the Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP), the state will pay 54 percent of the cost of building and renovation projects if a the Alder district can come up with the remaining 46 percent. That would equate to $27.2 million from the state approximately the cost of two new school buildings and $25 million from the levy.
The 8.9-mill levy would raise the funds over 28 years and would cost the owner of a $100,000 house an additional $300 per year.
Carpenter said that since 1991, the district has spent $3.5 million on improvements with no tax increases. Three years ago voters passed a renewal on a permanent improvement levy and two years ago a renewal of an operating levy was approved. Neither of those raised taxes.
Carpenter said the districtıs aging buildings are becoming too costly to keep up. Now is the time to move, he said, because the ELPP is available for only one year and bond rates are at a 20-year low. He added that if the levy is passed, Alderıs school tax rate will still be very low, the second lowest in a seven-district area.
Monroe Elementary School in Plumwood was built in 1916. Canaan Middle School at U.S. 42 and Price Hilliards Road dates back to 1917. Plain City Elementary School on West Main Street was built in 1935 and Jonathan Alder High School opened in 1955 when the district was consolidated.
The Monroe building has plumbing, heating and structural problems which can no longer be repaired. Yocum said that in a basement kindergarten room, water seeps through the walls and only the center of the room is carpeted. Canaan Middle School has a heating system so old that replacement parts cannot be found.
The high school, which houses 436 students and 80 who attend Tolles, is pretty well filled up and the auditorium cannot hold all the students at one time. Carpenter said the gym, which also serves as a sort of community center, is used sometimes until 9 p.m.
Yocum said that according to state ratings of school facilities, Alderıs buildings were rated lower than all but one of the Columbus schools which are being slated for closing.
Carpenter said the district prides itself on using funds wisely. He said they have supplied the schools with one computer for each three students and the district offers honors courses and advanced placement courses. Proficiency scores have risen steadily and the districtıs report card rating showed a grade of 17 out of 27.
A survey of school district residents is done every three years and Carpenter said the one constant request is for better facilities for the students.
³Our kids need to be in better facilities,² Yocum said. ³If I didnıt say another word, that would be enough.² Carpenter said there are those who say the buildings were good enough for them and even their parents. But, he said, those people must realize that the schoolroom today is no longer a place where a teacher stands in front of rows of desks and talks to the students. Technology has made changes, he said, and when computers and other technical equipment are put in a room, the space shrinks considerably.
Growth is on the way, Carpenter said. Periodic assessments are required by the state. The state then makes projections for growth and requires that facilities allow for the space.
Carpenter and Yocum said planning for the levy included both short and long term needs. These include:
A new elementary school to be built on the Monroe property by the beginning of the 2004 school year, at which time the old building will be razed.
A new high school to be built on district-owned property 1/4 mile north of the present school. The building would house 600-650 students and would open in the fall of 2005.
A new Plain City Elementary School would be built when more state funds become available in 2008.
The 1917 section of Canaan Middle School would be torn down and a new wing would be added to a recent addition. Canaan would house fifth and sixth graders.
The current high school would be renovated and used as a junior high school.
The levy committee has mailed information and is calling all parents to urge them to vote yes. Non-parents in the district will receive two letters and a phone call to encourage their support. In addition, a video made by high school students showing highlights of the school program and the condition of the buildings is being shown at several public sites.
Questions about the levy may be directed to Carpenter at (614) 873-5621; Yocum at (614) 879-6891; or school board president Jim Phillips at (614) 873-8319.
City residents may face income tax hike
Residents could be faced with an income tax increase levy this November.
In the first Marysville City Council financial strategy meeting of 2002 held on April 18, Mayor Steve Lowe and his administration began discussions over a five-year plan for the city finances. According to Lowe, a mantra the city must adhere to is: Raise the revenue of the community so we can pay for what we have now. Council members and city administrators proposed six methods of increasing revenue.
. An income tax rate increase is an option. The current 1 percent income tax was enacted in 1968. Even though the city has a solid income tax base, its growth has put additional demands on the general fund. In 2001 income tax revenue represented more than 51 percent of the total general fund revenue. As the city continues to grow, the demands on this fund will increase as well. Discussion: Lowe reported that he has met with a group of residents who agreed it was time to bring the income tax rate out of the 1960s. However, both council and administration believe that nothing can officially be decided until the income tax figures come in on May 15. Depending on the amount of funds brought in, he said, council and the administration will know how much of an increase to pursue.
. The Ohio Revised Code permits the city to levy an excise lodging tax up to 3 percent on transactions by transient guests. Currently the county levies an excise tax of 3 percent with a distribution to the city which amounts to less than $10,000 per year. If the city enacted this additional 3 percent tax, approximately $70,000 tax revenue would be
realized. Discussion: Council President John Gore and the city administration agreed this was an idea to consider. "It's not much of a tax to residents," Gore said. All sides agreed the excise tax in other communities is much higher and the city could use the additional funds.
. The city could enact an additional license fee of $5 on city auto license registrations. This fee would generate approximately $85,000 which would be used in the city street and state highway funds, reducing the financial burden on the general fund. Discussion: The general feeling was that residents would not like the idea and Lowe said he was not in favor of it.
. An increase in EMS billing to city residents is another alternative to consider. Based on information of EMS activity, the city could realize between $400,000 to $500,000 annually if an increase is enacted. Discussion: According to Lowe, this issue cannot be decided upon until the income tax revenue figures come in on May 15.
. An impact fee study will be completed this year which may provide the justification to enact fees for capital-related expenditures from new development in the city. Impact fees are one-time fees charged on new development intended to make growth pay for itself. The revenue realized from impact fees will reduce the financial burden on the general fund. Discussion: This was considered an idea to pursue.
. Increasing property taxes is another consideration for increasing revenue. This alternative is not being endorsed by the administration because this tax tends to be a regressive tax that hits senior citizens and low-income residents. Discussion: The topic was opposed on all sides. Regarding future capital projects, Lowe said, plans must be made with consideration of what the public wants.
1. New Justice Center/City Hall . $1,440,000
2. Fire truck/building . $272,000
3. Park construction . $600,000
4. Streets . $1,000,000
5. Other . $120,000
The need for the new buildings is most important, Lowe said. He said if any cuts are made, the areas might come from putting off future park construction or pulling back on smaller projects in the "Other" section of the plan such as getting cameras in police cruisers, fixing the fire station's floor or a sand volley ball area at Legion Park.
The goal of the administration is to build up a cash reserve equal to 30 percent of the annual general fund expenditures, which is approximately three months of city operations, for emergencies. This would require $250,000 to be set aside each year until the goal is achieved. The Marysville Fire Department might be getting a new building for its prospective new engine ladder. However, when is up in the air. "We can't build it unless we get more money," Lowe said. Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson had reportedly requested additional firefighters for the new building, however, city administrator Bob Shaumleffel stated it will not be possible because of lack of money.
Instead, the current staff would have to be reorganized between buildings. Shaumleffel reported that discussion between council and administration has been about a fire building designed in brick to ensure its ability to blend in with its surrounding area. What Lowe wants to make clear is that no concrete decisions have been made on these issues. The discussions held during the meeting consisted of throwing balls on the wall to see where they would land. He said more financial discussions may be held during the city council meeting tonight and that further special meetings will not be fruitful until the income tax numbers come in on May 15.
stopped Fairbanks Thrush
By CORINNE BIX
Despite several sports injuries, Abby Thrush a senior at Fairbanks High School, is not one to give up on her desire to keep active in sports.
"Ever since I was little my brothers were involved with sports so as soon as I could walk I became involved," Thrush said. Thrush has four older brothers and one younger brother. Thrush began to play basketball in elementary school and played on softball summer leagues. She was introduced in middle school to her sport of choice, volleyball.
Amy Scheiderer, the Fairbanks high school volleyball coach, said it has been an honor to have such a talented and hard-working athlete on the team. "Abby has a unique talent of making other athletes around her play better. She is a class individual both on and off the court," Scheiderer said.
In addition to the high school team, Thrush is involved with an off-season club volleyball team based in Wittenberg. She started with club volleyball when she was in the seventh grade. The season begins in January and runs through May.
She is one of the original members and has had the opportunity to do a great deal of traveling with the team. "We travel all over. The past two years we have qualified for nationals and we have gone to Salt Lake City and New Orleans," Thrush said.
She said out of the places she has visited Salt Lake City is her favorite. While in Utah, Thrush and her teammates climbed a mountain. She added that she enjoyed the warm weather and pretty scenery.
The club volleyball team practices twice a week at Wittenberg University. This requires a two-hour total commute for Thrush who lives with her mother just west of Plain City.
Thrush said she has sprained her right ankle too many times to count. "I can't even tell you how many times I have sprained it because it seems like every season and every sport," Thrush said.
However, her most serious injury to date came during club volleyball season her sophomore year. Thrush came down on her left knee and instantly fell to the ground. She later learned that she had torn her ACL, the major tendon in her knee. "It was very frustrating because it is a six-month recovery period," Thrush explained.
In May of 2000 she underwent major reconstructive surgery to repair the damaged tendon.
Although it was suggested she take six months off, Thrush was determined to return to her favorite sport for her junior season. "I made it back to play too early," Thrush said. She explained that the decision to return after only three months was a hard one. Thrush said her doctors left the decision up to her based on how she felt. "I know my mom was a little worried," Thrush said. Her biggest challenge with returning to the court was the mental hurdle.
"I had the feeling I would never play again," Thrush stated. She said she had to work very hard to recover both physically and mentally in order to play the game. Scheiderer said, "After her knee surgery, Abby pushed herself to the max. After fully recovering, she proved herself a champion as a senior."
Thrush said she feels she is just getting back to where she should be athletically. She is considering the nursing program at Capital University and the early education program at Muskingum College.
"I wanted to go to a small school and I am going to play volleyball," Thrush said. On nursing versus elementary education, Thrush said both fields interest her for one reason.
"I love working with people and helping others," she said.
Breeder brings rare horse to area
By RYAN HORNS
Knights in armor may be long gone, but their steeds are still around and one of them has made a home in the area.
One of the oldest domesticated breeds in Europe, the Friesian horse, was once famous as the preferred mount of knights who favored its combination of agility and showmanship beauty.
This year the first of its kind arrived at a farm in nearby Ostrander. The stallion was brought over on an airplane in February by the Rhea Range Exotic Animal Farm and now resides just outside of Ostrander. Vicki Peffers, breeder and owner of the farm with her husband James, purchased the horse in Holland after a friend visited the region to pick a Friesian for her. She said the task proved a difficult one in that her reason for buying the Friesian was for breeding purposes. Owners of Friesians in the Netherlands, the species' native land, prefer to keep the horse at the purest quality of breed. This means the horse can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000.
"I want to make it affordable for the little guy," Peffers said. Her desire is to breed her Friesian in various mixes with other horses to keep the lineage alive.
At the turn of the century there were just three Friesians left in existence. The breed had been nearly wiped out due to the abundance of new automated modes of transportation on the streets and on the farm. "All of (the Friesians) around now come from those three stallions," Peffers said.
She is doing her part now to breed her stallion and introduce it back into American show rings. The Rhea Range Exotic Animal Farm brought Fafnir to the Equine Affair, an exhibition in Columbus from April 11-14. But that wasn't her only reason for breeding them, she said.
"I've always liked them," she said. "It is a real dual-purpose horse. It had to be athletic for the knights or strong for work in the fields." The Peffers named the stallion Fafnir, after a mythological warrior who could turn into a dragon.
At 13-months old Fafnir is still a few years away from being full grown and to the point of displaying the breeds flowing mane. However when mature, it will have all the qualities that have made the breed famous at horse shows.
The stallions mature at a slower pace than most horses because of the poor land condition of their home land. Good land in the Netherlands requires is hard to come by so the animal only eats the simplest of grass quality hays. Anything more robust could kill the animal. She said the stallion is favored because of its flashy mane and high stepping trot, which gives the animal a noble presence. "People just flock around them," Peffers said. Currently Fafnir walks among other stallions at the farm in Ostrander, along with ostriches, rheas, goats and even a camel named Moses.
three dogs in need of good home
By CINDY BRAKE
Three orphans are looking for a new home.
Their mother, Deb Wilds, died in a tragic and unexpected accident last week and now Mac, Lucy and Teddy wag their tails in their fenced-in yard along Plum Street, awaiting her return. Mac, Lucy and Teddy are dogs, but they were really Wilds' "children," say her family and friends.
They are now hoping to find someone who loves dogs as much as Wilds did and has a need for them as she did. They are also looking for a home that will take all three.
"Only sincere dog lovers need apply," said Wilds' best friend, Judy McDaniel.
Mac, a male shepherd and lab mix, is the biggest and oldest dog. He is approximately seven years old, real friendly and a good judge of character, McDaniel said. Wilds' family said he can talk and Deb could understand him. He has also suffered from seizures and takes special medication.
Teddy is a blond male, part beagle and spaniel. He is shy. Lucy is very loving and the smallest of the three dogs.
Mac came to live with Wilds as a puppy seven years ago. Within weeks of moving into her home, she answered an advertisement for a free puppy. He was 6 weeks old and a little black ball of fur, said Wilds' sister, Sandy Markin of Columbus.
He, along with Lucy and Teddy, have their own photo albums documenting their lives with Wilds. She kept their puppy teeth in her jewelry box and the dogs have their own jar of peanut butter. They also enjoyed prime rib every Friday night. Even if Wilds wasn't in the mood for prime rib, she would have it on Friday so the dogs would get the leftovers as treats, McDaniel said.
"They had the last bite of every meal she ever had," McDaniel said. Lucy and Teddy joined the family after Wilds found them five years ago abandoned alongside a road. They were starving and scared. She believed they had been abandoned and abused. It is because of this special bond between Lucy and Teddy that the family is hesitant to separate the dogs.
"Her world totally revolved around the dogs," said Wilds' mother, Joyce Erwin of Marysville.
As an example of her love and devotion, the family shows a sheet of instructions Wilds wrote more than a year ago when she went out of town. Every line of the single sheet of paper is filled, front and back, with instructions for a friend who watched the dogs. In her neat handwritting, Wilds began the instructions with emergency telephone numbers and then explained that dog food is crunchies and biscuits are cookies.
"They get up about 5 a.m. every morning. If you let them out for 10 to 15 minutes, you can go back to bed and they'll let you sleep for a couple more hours. The rest of the day they kinda lay around most of the time," she wrote. "Her schedule ran around the dogs," McDaniel agreed.
When Wilds' daughter played ball games in Buffalo, N.Y., or Kentucky, the family along with Mac would hop into a motor home and head to the games. After Mac's first seizure, Wilds called off work to stay home with him.
Wilds' passion for dogs went beyond her three, say her family. When she would see a dog riding on the back of a truck or locked in a car, she would talk to the owner about the dangers.
Her final request was for someone to take care of her dogs. Unfortunately, none of her family or friends are able to take all three of them. One sister lives in Wyoming and has a dog, another has an apartment in Columbus with a dog of her own. Her mother has a cat and cares for an elderly parent.
"We want someone who wants them," said her family. The Union County Humane Society is assisting the family in finding a home for all three dogs. Anyone interested can contact them at 642-6716.
The Castle gains
By CINDY BRAKE
Six million people will soon hear about Marysville's Castle on Fifth Street.
The Fifth Street landmark has been selected by HGTV (Home and Garden Telvision) to be featured in the show "If Walls Could Talk," a weekly series that explores the many homes across the country with intriguing pasts. The series profiles homeowners who make surprising historical discoveries about their homes as they research and restore them.
On Monday a producer and cameraman from Denver, Colo., were at The Castle, a bed and breakfast with antique shop, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to prepare for a six to 10-minute segment that will air sometime in the coming season.
Owners Susan and Barry Cordell were first contacted in February after their recently-renovated home was submitted by the Gahanna Library. A library employee knew of The Castle's recent acceptance to the National Registry of Historical Places and some of the hidden treasures found during the restoration. The Cordells then answered 32 questions about the house, its history, the restoration and items found during restoration.
The Marysville home was one of five locations in Ohio by the production company. The other locations are in Norwalk, Belleville, Kenton and Columbus.
Susan Cordell said HGTV's main interest points are the time capsule items found during the restoration and the hidden room in the basement which was part of the Underground Railroad.
Cordell writes the home is very rich in Marysville history and unique elegant architectural design of the 1880s era. A museum room documents items found during the restoration, along with before and after pictures of the building.
The Cordell family purchased the 1884 late-Victorian Italianate style home in 1998. It had stood unoccupied for 20 years and was overgrown with trees, shrubs, grasses and poison ivy towering up to the rooftop. "The home was in very sad shape, being an eyesore of the community and doomed for the wrecking ball," Mrs. Cordell said.
It took 16 months to fully restore this 4,000-square-foot home. During the removal of an unused chimney in the kitchen area, a time capsule was found with items dated 1909-1914. The items included postcards, pictures, a flame-tipped light bulb, a medical tool, a ladies buttonhook, a shoe horn, a program booklet from the "Hartman Theatre" performance of "Robin Hood" in 1913 and a musical group's 1914 performance roster for the year. The capsule was put together by the Braun family, the home's second owner.
Mrs. Cordell writes that the home was built by Dr. David W. Henderson, a Civil War doctor, and sold in 1903 to the Charles Braun family for $6,000. Braun was a clothier. He sold the home in 1920 to the BPO Elks #1130 Lodge and the Elks lost the property in 1929. Possession returned to the Citizens Home Savings and Loan during the Depression. The home eventually was sold to the Skillman family and used as a boarding house through two owners. It was also used as a temporary nursing home for a short time.
North Union Board deals with staff issues
The North Union School Board dealt with numerous staffing issues Monday night, including rejecting the findings of an arbitrator regarding a position in the district.
A grievance was filed on behalf of the North Union Education Association, the collective bargaining unit covering employees of the district, regarding a fifth grade teaching position. The issue at hand was whether the open position should be posted and new applicants sought, despite the fact that the position could be filled by transferring a teacher from another position.
Superintendent Carol Young said the arbitrator's decision on the matter was vague and actually said the position of a fifth grade math teacher should be posted, even though the position was not in the math department.
The board voted 3-2 to not accept the arbitrator's decision. Board members Kevin Crosthwaite and Marcy Elliott voted no on the decision. The dissenting board members apparently felt the matter could be passed and the wording of the decision could be smoothed out later. The other board member would like to see the wording of the decision cleaned up before the board accepts the findings.
In other business the board voted to approve contracts for several certificated staff members.
. One-year contracts were approved for Susan Barr, Chris Hansen, Tyler Tingley and Cynthia White.
. Two-year contracts were approved for Kelly Byers, Jennifer Compton, Morgan Cotter, Kurt Gurnert, David Hatfield, Tom Jolliff, Doug Lichtenberger, Natalie Loose, Melissa Masters, Linda Mathis, Robert Moore, Maryann Morrison, Richard Rausch, Steven Somerlot and Sally Wiley.
. Three-year contracts were approved for Kristi Matlack, Dawn Newell and Marcia Ziegler.
. Five-year contracts were approved for Vickie Grose, Maureen Handler, Jan Jerew, Larry Joseph, Rebecca LaRue, Ivan Leavitt, Linda Mathys and Jeff Waltz.
. Continuing contracts were approved for Nancy Beckholt and Tenah McMahan.
The board also approved contracts for several non-certificated employees.
. Two-year contracts were approved for Lacy Crofut, cafeteria worker, Peg Curts, aide, Peggy Disbennett, sweeper/cleaner, Tina Dysert, cafeteria worker, Penni Jolliff, bus driver, Ruth Lewis, cafeteria worker, Debra Moreland, cafeteria worker, Jason Rice, bus driver, and Brandee Valentine, cafeteria worker.
. Continuing contracts were approved for Shauna Chapman, cafeteria worker, Ronald Monroe, bus driver, Amy Moore, head cook, Edra Ridgeway, aide, and Suzanne Springer, aide.
In other business, the board:
. Voted to non-renew the limited teaching contracts of Rebecca Wade, Evelyn Titus and Emily Hinton due to expiring temporary certification.
. Voted to non-renew the one-year substitute contracts of Roger Miller, Kathy Schrader, Danielle Schurch and Brent Wygant due to the temporary status of their assignments.
. Voted to non-renew the contracts of Sherry Rhea, SACC director, Lisa Bumgarner, team assistant, and Tara Rowlee, team leader, for the coming school year due to the expiration for program funding.
. Voted to non-renew all limited supplemental contracts for certified and non-certificated staff members at the end of the coming year.
. Voted to non-renew all limited supplemental contracts for extended duty at the conclusion of the school year.
. Voted to approve rates for summer employees. Painters will be paid $9.50 per hour, summer workers will be paid $7.50 per hour and summer school teachers/tutors will be paid $15 per hour.
. Approved Patricia Dean, Maryanne Hayden, Dwayne Manning, Larry Price, Deb Stewart, Regina Taglione, Cecelia Van Oss and Sondra Weist.
. Approved a resolution that essentially gives the board options on what to do with school buildings it no longer deems necessary. Those options include anything from selling the buildings to demolition.
. Approved a list of fees for summer school classes. Proficiency tutoring will be $10, summer physical education will be $100, proficiency camps are $10 per session, super summer classes are $10 per session and building blocks classes are $10 per session.
. Approved May 6-10 as Right to Read Week in North Union.
. Set June 7 at 7 p.m. in the NUHS gym/athletic field as the date, time and place for commencement for the class of 2002.
. Set June 5 at 7 p.m. in the NUHS gymnasium as the date, time and location of the eighth grad promotion celebration.
. Heard a report on recent grant-funded technology programs at North Union.
Fairbanks Board gives posthumous diploma
By JUDY BOEHLER
The Fairbanks Board of Education awarded a high school diploma for the late Milton R. Nicol to his widow, Betty Nicol-Boerger at Monday night's regular meeting. The diploma was given as part of a program initiated by Gov. Bob Taft to acknowledge those World War II veterans who joined the service before finishing their high school educations.
In other matters, the board approved a move to deduct $80, the pay for one board meeting, from each board member's pay to be donated and paid to the Board Scholarship Fund. The board also approved a field trip to Washington, D.C., from May 14 to May 17 for the eighth grade and a trip to Dearborn, Mich., May 9 and 10 for the seventh grade.
In personnel matters, the board approved:
. Substitute teachers for the 2001-2002 school year Patricia Dean, April Fox, Maryanne Hayden, Jodi Konczal, Jill Kramer, Dwayne Manning, Jay Ohlinger, Deb Stewart, Cecilia Van Oss, Sondra Weist, Regina Taglione, Sandie Miller and Jeff Williams.
. Three-year contracts for high school teachers Nevin Taylor, Rob Riddle and John Finney and two-year contracts for Karen Saffle and Lisa Keller.
. Three-year contracts for middle school teachers Sara Scott, Mark Geer and Ben Keller and a two-year contract for Stephen Fillman.
. Three-year contracts for elementary teachers Debbie Hegenderfer, Heidi Pearson and Kacey Williams; two-year contracts for Tony Hammond and Kathryn Phillippo; and a one-year contract for Laura Cryder.
. Three-year contracts for B.J. Thaman, technology coordinator; Jeff Pica, dean of students; Bill Frye, middle school guidance counselor; and Ed Rebmann, media specialist; and a continuing contract for Barbara Croft, high school guidance counselor.
. Summer school personnel Joetta Shellabarger, Michelle Scheiderer, Rachel Jones, Pam Graber, Tony Hammond, Ed Rebmann, John Finney and Heidi Pearson.
. Kathy Marshall as a home tutor for the 2001-2002 school year.
. Non-renewal of certified contracts for the 2001-2002 school year for Tammy Ainsworth, John Anderson, Kim Bailey, Melinda Bossert, Deann Bradley, Scott Brooks, Mary Ann Corbin, Holly Crowson, Brock Cunningham, Douglas Davis, Jim Davis, Judy Davis, Douglas Dawson, Daryle Day, Patricia Dean, Shelly Detwiler, Ami Eibert, Floyd Emery, Roslyn Etter, Dorla Finch, April Fox, Geoff Geist, Robert Gerber, Herb Gern, Larry Green, Teri Grunenwald, Lisa Hales, Maryanne Hayden, Susan Hoover, Tod Jervey, Rebecca Johnston, Rachel Jones, Lisa Kasberg, David Kiley, Joan Kirby, Christine Kokoruda, Jodi Konczal, Jill Kramer and Elizabeth Lavender. LynnMarie Ledbetter, James McCoy, Dwayne Manning, Pamela Marks, Ruth Mochi, Marjeanne Morrison, Jay Ohlinger, Jon Price, Larry Price, David Quincel, Casey Rausch, Jane Riedmiller, Josiah Robinson, Glenn Saunders, John Sommer, Andrew Stefanik, Deb Stewart, Kelli Stuckey, Patricia Sweeney, Regina Taglione, Adam Tornberg, Sarah Trumbull, Robert Urbanek, Cecelia Van Oss, Kanda Vecchirelli, Sondra Weist, Brian Wendel, William White, Eldon Wigton, Mary Sue Williams, Megan Wion, Suzanne YoungGardner, Sandie Miller, Jeff Williams, Susan Miller, Melissa Vollrath, Rebecca Repasky, Carol Fretz, Emily Hinton and Kathy Marshall.
. Athletic/supplemental contracts for the 2001-2002 school year for
Steve Chamberlain, Jim Andrews and Frank Holdren.
. Non-renewal of athletic contracts for the 2001-2002 school year for
Mary Beth Gore, Barry Keigh, Debra Dellinger, Trevor Burns, Dan Stillings, Matt Cachio, B.J. Queen, Kevin Franke, Brian Smith, Bob Williams, Matt Weikart, Doug Weikart, John Gore, Vicki Geer, Steve Mangum, Steve Kolcun, Mary Beth Gore, Bob Williams, Matt Cachio, Jason Heard, Ron McGough, Scott Miller, Dave Reed, John Koehn, Melissa Spires, Megan Rausch, Dave Reed, Tyrone Hammond, Daryl Hayes, Rick LeMaster, Steve Chamberlain, Jim Andrews, Frank Holdren and Kathy McCoy.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken.
Executive session questioned
By CINDY BRAKE
A marathon Jerome Township meeting Monday night took several contentious turns when citizens challenged the trustees.
Trustee chairman Sue Wolfe attempted to move the open meeting into executive session twice and was called on a point of order both times by Mike Buchanan, a 30-year resident of the township and six-year member of the zoning board.
Calling the move into executive session "highly inappropriate" and a "hardship on the crowd," Buchanan said he had been asked to attend the meeting in a business capacity to present information about a pending referendum and calling an executive session in the middle of the meeting was inappropriate. Wolfe withdrew her first motion but chose to go into executive session 20 minutes later, ignoring Buchanan's second objection. Buchanan received applause from many of the approximately 100 people present.
When the trustees recessed into executive session to discuss pending and imminent litigation, Buchanan, with the approval of Union County
Prosecutor Alison Boggs who attended the meeting, began an informational meeting to explain the proposed changes to the zoning code under referendum in the May election.
A request by Mac McKitrick was also denied by the trustees. As a member of the New California Alumni Association, he requested that costs to rent the township hall be waived for a Friday meeting. He also reminded the trustees that the association had donated the piano to the township on condition that it be tuned and kept in proper
operation. His first request received no response. As the meeting was ending, he again asked for the fees to be waived and was denied. Reading a written statement, resident Beth Day asked the trustees to immediately restrict videotaping of the meeting. Specifically, she was concerned about a person who turns his camera on individuals in the
audience rather than the business at hand and continuing to tape personal conversations when the trustees are in executive session. "It's wrong," Day said, adding that she believed the taping infringes on her rights of privacy.
The trustees took no action on her request. Instead Wolfe said she had viewed all the private tapes and found nothing objectionable, then suggested Day might pay to view them. Prior to the meeting, Boggs presented a framed certificate to retiring clerk John Woerner in recognition of his assistance to her office.
Woerner then formally announced that April 30 is his final day as clerk after 22 years of service. He will be honored with a reception on May 5.
Woerner said that since he took office the township's budget had grown from $150,000 to $3 million. The number of employees has increased from six to 84. Over his tenure, Woerner said, the issues have become more complex. He then listed numerous accomplishments that involve the township's bookkeeping system. "I urge the current Board of Township Trustees to strive to work for the people of Jerome Township. Incessant bickering does not accomplish anything. Township officials are elected to lead, not to follow the whims of a vocal minority that does not have the best interests of the township at heart. As Township Trustees, you have the ability to leave a legacy to future generations. Your choice is to leave either a legacy of bitterness, fighting and stagnation or a legacy of accomplishment, good government and a community in which we are proud to live and work," Woerner said in a prepared statement.
His words appeared to fall on deaf words when the trustees again discussed road improvements. Each of three suggested a different solution and no action was taken.
Rhodes placed a motion on the table to hot seal and widen Hill and Wells Roads, while seeking Issue II funds for Ketch Road. Trustee Freeman May disagreed, saying the township should tar and chip Hill and Wells, then use the saved money to work on Ketch Road. Wolfe recommended the trustees do nothing until an April 23 meeting concerning Issue II funds. Rhodes' motion died for lack of a second.
The trustees did agree to chip and seal a section of Ketch Road which they share with Darby Township.
Wolfe presented a motion to direct attorney Susan Kyte to create employee job descriptions, along with organization rules, regulations and conduct. Kyte said the motivation for the motion resulted from one trustee, Rhodes, negotiating on behalf of the township about a ditch problem along Ketch Road. Rhodes responded that he became involved in the neighborhood situation, after another trustee, May, ordered a township employee to make ditch improvements. May said he did not order anyone to do anything. He said he asked road maintenance supervisor Denzil Collier to work on the problem when he had time. Rhodes said he became involved when the residents contacted him and said they did not want to work with May or Wolfe. The motion to direct Kyte to create job descriptions was tabled.
The board took two official actions during the three-hour meeting with none of the three trustees able to agree on either of the motions. Bob Caldwell was appointed township clerk with Rhodes and May voting in favor and Wolfe abstaining.
After the 20-minute executive session, the officials returned into open session and voted on a motion to name the county's prosecuting attorney as the township's legal representative for pending and imminent litigation, while Kyte will hand administrative matters. The motion passed with Wolfe and May voting yes and Rhodes voting no.
"Why did we hire Susan Kyte?" Rhodes asked, noting that to date the township has paid her basically $1,500 to attend two meetings.
for Jerome Township to be focus of committee
By CINDY BRAKE
Anyone wondering what Jerome Township will look like in 20 years, might want to talk to Susie Wolfe or Joe Sullivan.
Both Wolfe and Sullivan are members of a land use planning committee that has been working since October with senior planner Stacey Boumis of Burns, Bertsch and Harris Inc. and Joseph E. Looby, a landscape architect and land planner with R.D. Zande & Associates Inc.
The public is invited to an April 25 meeting at the Jerome Township Hall from 7 to 9 p.m. for a formal presentation and to ask questions.
"This is a prime opportunity for the people to be involved and share their ideas," Wolfe said. "It is an opportunity to look at the work map, give opinions, offer suggestions and ask questions." Sullivan agreed. "People should be part of the process." he said.
Other members of the committee include Jeannette Harrington and Scott Sonnenberg, both members of the Jerome Township Board of Zoning Appeals; Craig Miller, Fred Neuschwander, Mark Spagnuolo, Glen Hochstetler and former township trustee Rick Priday.
The plan looks at approximately 5,500 acres of southeastern Jerome Township between U.S. 42 and Route 161 which is zoned M1.
While the final plan will not affect the zoning code, it will offer this township, which is under intensive pressure for development, a vision of what it wants to become.
The committee created three goals to guide the plan:
. Maintain the rural character of Jerome Township.
. Encourage infrastructure (transportation, water and sewer) improvements consistent with the future land use plan.
. Enhance the tax base of the township
Committee chairman Joe Sullivan said the group has worked to identify the problems and look at the big picture.
Out of these discussions a working map has been created to define specific uses which range from light industrial to mixed uses and office/warehousing. With an eye to protect The Glacier Ridge Metro Park located in this area, the committee is suggesting single and multifamily dwellings to border the park land.
Planner Boumis said the single family dwellings would be similar in density to existing neighborhoods like Kimberly Woods and Frazier Estates, except they would also include common open space. Densities in Kimberly Woods and Frazier Estates are one home on 3/4 to 1 1/4 acre lots and these neighborhoods do not have common open spaces.
Currently the plan suggests 40 percent of the land will go into single family housing; 20 percent is in the metro park; 14 percent light industrial; 7 percent mixed use that includes office, commercial and multi-family; 7 percent commercial; 4 percent office warehouse; 4 percent multifamily; and 4 percent mixed residential.
Mixed residential is proposed in the Weldon Road area. This land use is an attempt to protect the existing residential homes from becoming islands surrounded by industrial and commercial businesses. Mixed use includes offices, commercial and multi-family residences.
The second part of the plan is to look at design standards, Looby said. Design standards include requirements for buffering to avoid seas of parking lots and visual clutter; open spaces; consistent signage; incentives to maintain environmental features such as stands of natural trees, drainage corridors and access points; lighting criteria; and
building orientations to control the location of the good side and bad side of structures.
Boumis said the plan will protect existing and future development. It will also let citizens and businesses know what they can expect for the future. Rezonings should be consistent with the plan. The land use plan, however, does not affect zoning. It is only a road map for future development.
"A plan can bring a community together," Boumis said. This plan is a first step for the township. Boumis and Looby said the township's entire zoning code needs to be reworked. The existing code was written 30 years ago by the Logan-Union-Champaign Planning Commission as a blanket code adopted by all the county's townships, Boumis said.
In the end, the plan has to make economic sense if it is to become a reality, Boumis said.
council approves rezoning
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville City Council expressed its faith in the Connolly Construction Company and rezoned its land on Emmaus Road Thursday night.
Members voted to allow Steve Connolly to rezone a portion of his property from R4 zoning to B1 zoning, enabling him to follow through with the construction of a possible future insurance agency building.
Residents along Emmaus Road expressed worry about the unnamed insurance building not going in, leaving room for anything from a gas station to a restaurant to take down property values.
One resident, Sargent Chamberlain, submitted a letter to withdraw his objection at the council meeting two weeks ago. However, resident Jim Loftus would not. He said he has spoken with the unnamed insurance agency and reported that "the party is not 100 percent confident it will build on this property." Therefore, his concerns are still the same regarding the uncertainty of allowing the B1 zoning. >From council's standpoint, the majority of the land in question is already zoned B1 and legally Connolly could build the insurance agency in those portions anyway.
Planning director Kathy Leidich said the main idea was to keep uniformity of zoning in the entire property.
Also discussed was Marysville's vision statement for a new Geographic Information System (GIS). The process has been embarked upon to develop, build and maintain a technology update to be operated in support of all city-wide departmental government activities.
The process involved will provide computer organization of people, organizations, technology and data in the city.
Council president John Gore said that since the city has already invested $32,000 from the general fund as its initial investment in the project and has allotted $100,000 in the 2002 budget for the project, it will invest more for its completion.
GIS representatives Tim Dewitt and Ming Zhang of Bennett and Williams Co. gave a presentation on the project to council. Over a 10-year period it will cost the city an additional 1/4 million dollars to the $132,000 already allotted. "We made a long-range commitment to this community," Gore said.
In other topics, council amended the Community Reinvestment Area last night during its third reading. The specific land proposed at the last council meeting was changed to include more area and will now be back for a second reading again at the April 25 meeting. In addition, the minimum investments were lowered from the previous plan from $15,000 to $10,000 for residential upgrades and $500,000 to $350,000 for industrial projects to enhance the core of Marysville.
The second reading and public hearing was held on amending Chapter 373 to forbid bicycles, skateboards, scooters and roller blades from the downtown area. Enforcement and possible signage were discussed and Mayor Steve Lowe stated that due to a truck recently running down signs on U.S. 33 and taking off, the city has no extra sign money. What will be done is a combination of police enforcement and asking residents to put up signs of their own if they so desire.
The majority of the Thursday meeting was dedicated to the arduous process of adopting pay policies and benefits in the city's policies and procedures manual.
City administrator Bob Schaumleffel reported an update on the water and sewer situation at Mill Creek. The sewer work has been completed and the water lines will be tested soon. The city will be meeting Tuesday with a contractor on the restoration project. The plan is to restore the walking paths first and then seed the fields. He added that the project is 60 days ahead of schedule.
In other business:
. Eric Phillips reminded council that "A Taste of Marysville" is coming up on April 27.
. He also stated the Rollin Kiser litigation has two deposition meetings scheduled for April 26 and May 1. He will inform all parties when they will be called.
. Local student Amanda Garrabrant submitted a letter to council asking for traffic lights to go in at the hospital intersection of London Avenue and Ninth Street. Her father was involved in a traffic accident there. Gore said the issue will be looked into.
. The second readings on two annexations of 16.7 acres on County Home Road and 8.4 acres on Glen Ellyn Drive moved forward. The first annexation is for a future school spot and the second for the future Honda Credit Union.
eyeing increase in lot size
By CINDY BRAKE and RYAN HORNS
For Marysville the best is yet to come. At least that is what Marysville Planning Director Kathleen R. Leidich believes.
Leidich and the planning commission have been working for the past two months to create three new residential zoning districts.
She said the new districts will encourage types of development that will add value to the community and eliminate the low and medium density residential districts that currently exist. The low-to-moderate-type homes haven't added a lot of value or alternatives to wealthier individuals who want to live in the city.
"We need to look at what will make us stronger," Leidich said. City administrator Bob Schaumleffel wants to stay away from more builders coming in, making stock developments with a quick turnover and getting out fast.
"We've got enough of the cookie cutters," Schaumleffel said. However, a roomful of construction and realty representatives at Wednesday night's planning commission meeting were very concerned with the plan that requires larger lot sizes. Builder Lee Simpson expressed his concerns with the width of lots which increases development costs and then prices the owner out of the area by raising the lot's maximum minimum square footage. "It doesn't make any sense," he said. "It does not jive with the current
market . How many people can afford a $100,000 lot?" "You'll price them out," builder Judy Box said. "They have to be able to afford it."
Nevertheless, Leidich said a look at past building patterns reveals that the city of Marysville has a glut of low-to-moderate-type homes on small lots, while high-end housing is locating outside the city in unincorporated areas of the county. The larger lot plan is expected to lessen the city's density and put it more in line with other central Ohio communities.
Some lots in Marysville are smaller than 6,000 square feet, while most are 7,500 square feet and the largest minimum standard is 11,000 square feet.
An acre of land can hold nearly six lots the size of those in the Mill Valley subdivision. If the new standards are enacted, an acre would be able to hold only a little more than four lots. The proposed plan would eliminate creating any new developments with lots smaller than 11,000 square feet. The proposed new districts are:
. Urban residential with a minimum lot size of 11,000 square feet
. Suburban residential with a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet
. Conservation Development District which establishes homes in rural settings with no farm use permitted. This would maximize the community's resources and conserve rural features.
Even if the district standards are changed there will still be plenty of smaller lots available to build on, Leidich said. Currently the city has 444 smaller lots platted and available for construction in every subdivision except Hickory Run and Ashton Meadows.
"I think we all agree the new districts are a good idea," Box said, "just be careful about all the setbacks and regulations." More importantly, commission members stressed the need for a comprehensive plan, something they have been pushing for all along. Without a comprehensive plan the commission has been struggling, John Cunningham, chair of the planning commissioner, said.
"None of this would be an argument if we had a comprehensive plan," Leidich said.
Cunningham said the input of citizens who are indirectly affected is a key point to the process.
The commission decided to meet again on April 23 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers to discuss the zoning regulations changes again. Leidich said the planning commission hopes to finalize its plan and present it to council at the April 25 meeting.
Council raises reconnect fee
By CINDY BRAKE
The cost of reconnecting water service in Milford Center went up Monday night.
Council members voted to increase the reconnect fee from $35 to $50. The decision revolved around repeated call backs for new construction. Village administrator Keith Watson told council he has had to go back to four new construction sites recently to install water meters when leaks were discovered ahead of the meter.
"Their mistakes shouldn't be our cost," agreed zoning inspector Leroy Holt.
Council also learned the village is losing approximately $1,500 a month in water.
Consulting engineer Gary Silcott of R.D. Zande said the village is losing 30 percent of its water or 18,000 gallons a day. The industry standard is 10 percent loss for operations and maintenance. Silcott suggested the loss could be due to either old inaccurate meters or leaks in older water lines.
A mass replacement of the 350 meters in the village could cost approximately $140,000. Watson, the village administrator, said many of the current meters are 25 years old and becoming obsolete. Newer meters would not only provide more accurate readings, but also save time. With the newer radio-style meters Watson would no longer have to read each meter individually and the utility billing clerk would not have to input the readings into the computer system. Watson said he spends about 12 hours a month reading meters. Replacing the meters would also eliminate problems with hard to read meters.
Council also discussed the possibility of having the village water lines checked for leaks. Some water lines in the village were installed more than 100 years ago. Lines that have not been replaced are along sections of Railroad, Reed, Short and Mill streets.
Silcott said he will have more information about the water loss for council at the May meeting along with an estimate for the cost of having the lines checked.
Paperwork has come through confirming that the village will receive $242,400 to pay for 50 percent of a new 150,000-gallon water tower. He said two styles of tanks will be bid.
Third and final readings were heard for two ordinances. One ordinance establishes new schedules for fees, permits and licenses. The other ordinance reduces the speed limit on a portion of West State Street to 35 miles per hour. Both ordinances passed unanimously.
Administrator Watson recommended that council review the village's 10-ton weight limit on State Street. There is a question about whether the limit is enforceable in court because of where signs are located and the village has never done tests on the streets. Watson said the village's one-ton dump truck filled with gravel weighs 21,000 pounds.
Council agreed that additional signs need to be posted at Streng and Woodstock roads to inform trucks of the limit prior to entering the village.
An executive session followed the meeting with council returning into open session and taking action.
Solicitor Charlotte Eufinger was authorized to proceed with legal action again Jack Phillips concerning a zoning violation at 32 E. Center St. Council will be seeking injunctive relief and correction of the situation. Phillips built a pole barn without obtaining a permit or variance.
In other business:
. Clean-up day is May 11. Refuse and yard waste will be accepted. Tires and hazardous materials will not.
. Council learned that a double-headed traffic light at the intersection of Reed and North Mill streets would cost a minimum of $15,000.
. A fogging contract for mosquito control was approved with Able Pest Control. The contract is from April 1 to Sept. 30 and includes fogging twice a month.
Bouic loves to root around
in family trees
By JUDY BOEHLER
For more than 45 years, Margaret Bouic, a lifelong Union County resident, has spent hours doing something that has benefited and will continue to benefit people searching for their roots: She has created indexes of family history and genealogy records.
Bouic, now 90 years old, said she had been working on her family genealogy and found that it was hard work because there were no indexes to refer to. She decided that she would create those indexes instead of focusing on her familyıs story.
³Anybody could do it,² she said. ³It just requires a lot of patience.² Bouic said her work is something that is not done to the same extent in other counties. Beginning with surnames starting with the letter A, she has worked through the alphabet. Her records have been computerized through the letter R with some help from her granddaughter, Patti Roush. She said that at the time she began, there were three histories of Union County and two of Delaware County. She began with those books and incorporated information from census lists, cemeteries, family Bibles, newspaper clippings and other sources. ³I have 14 filing cabinets at home,² she said, that are filled with clippings.
Bouic works at the Marysville Public Library every Tuesday afternoon. She and her daughter-in-law Marie, who helps her with the research, volunteer at the Delaware library two days a month. She said people often tell her that she knows more about their families than they do.
In the early days of her project, she filled about three pages a week. Now, she spends four to five hours a day, six days a week, working at home when she is not at the library.
Bouic has completed more than 60 volumes which were bound by the Ohio Genealogical Society and are housed at the Marysville library. Copies are sent to the Delaware library and the DAR national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
She said the work can be hard because records often donıt agree. She said information from newspapers, the family Bible and cemetery records can differ on the same person.
³I donıt believe anything,² she said, meaning that those differences have to be traced until the true facts are known.
She said people often come up to her and say, ³You have helped me so much.² On March 11, Margaret Bouic received an award for outstanding community service. The award came from the Ohio National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Union and Delaware counties. Additionally, Bouic received second place for the DAR State Community Service Award. Bouic has a daughter who lives in Alaska and four sons who farm together in this area.
Trustees find gridlock
By CINDY BRAKE
Not much happened at Monday's regular Jerome Township trustee meeting.
With trustee Sue Wolfe absent due to illness, trustees Ron Rhodes and Freeman May found much to discuss but little to agree upon. May and Rhodes discussed and disagreed on how to handle road improvements, paying employees extra for Saturday burials and their perspective on an upcoming referendum.
Since the last regular meeting all three trustees reportedly viewed the Ketch Road drainage problem with Union County Engineer Steve Stolte.
Citizens living along this road have been asking elected officials to do something about their road and water problems. Past trustees have wrestled with possible solutions that would require the use of public funds on private property. Several years ago the Union County Commissioners considered a petition to improve the ditches but the petition lacked support from the then-trustees and citizens in the watershed.
At Monday's meeting May said the trustees are now waiting for dollar figures from Stolte before moving ahead on improvements. May offered a quick fix to clean a portion of the ditch and then chip and seal the road.
"It's about time we do something for them," May said. Rhodes, however, said Ketch Road is a long-term problem that needs to be corrected.
"I don't want to spend good money after bad," he said.
For the second meeting in a row, Rhodes recommended that the township's employees be paid time-and-a-half for Saturday burials. May disagreed, saying that part-time employees should not be paid extra. Rhodes then asked May for his perspective on the upcoming referendum and suggested the trustees take a position on the May referendum.
"I don't know what it is about," May said, adding, "I don't have to tell you or the people in this township how I'm going to vote." Rhodes said he personally supports the zoning board and is encouraging voters to vote yes.
The referendum will ask voters to approve changes made by zoning board to the zoning book. Rhodes said the zoning board met twice a month for six months to clean up the old zoning book by clarifying definitions. Several of the approximately 75 persons in the audience voiced interest in the referendum and suggested that copies of it be available at the next township meeting. They also suggested a zoning board representative be on hand at the next meeting to give an overview of the changes.
Also during the public comment time Terry Cosgray of Shawnee Hills presented pictures of his brother's grave in the Jerome Cemetery that sank six to eight inches and then filled with water. Of specific concern was the fact that this grave was dug six feet deep, rather than the normal four feet.
May admitted that he instructed the township employee to dig the grave the extra depth. He has since changed his instructions and graves are now being dug to approximately 56 inches.
A funeral home spokesman and township employee who has dug graves for 15 years both said today that graves are traditionally dug 4 to 5 feet deep. The extra depth did require the funeral home to use longer cables when lowering the vault. Township employees have since backfilled the grave site to fill in the sunken area.
A 10-minute executive session was called to discuss pending litigation. Upon returning to open session, Rhodes proposed discussing other possible litigation, but May pled no knowledge of the lawsuit and adjourned the meeting.
In other business:
. May 6 has been set for a hearing to consider the rezoning of 4.364 acres at the southeast corner of U.S. 42 and Industrial Parkway from U1 to B14 with deed restrictions to be developed.
. The cemetery rate increase goes into effect May 6. Because of the dramatic increase from $100 to $700 for a double lot, Rhodes said several elderly residents have asked if they could pay the fee in installments. Attorney Susan Kyte said a resolution would be required. May said he would not disagree with such an action.
. Larry Peck with the Metro Park system said no township dollars will be involved in the 1,000-acre Glacier Ridge park near Brock and Hyland Croy roads.
. The 14th Cycling Safari is May 4 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and several thousand cyclists of all ages will be traveling through the township.
. Retiring Clerk John Woerner introduced Bob Caldwell, a certified public accountant and lifelong township resident, and recommended him as his replacement.
. The Jerome Township Fire Department is seeking two grants - $60,000 for communication equipment to provide mutual aid in Franklin County and $62,000 for emergency medical services. A $1,400 grant has been received for computer upgrades
Work set to begin on new Metro Park
By CINDY BRAKE
Work to start transforming nearly 1,000 acres of Jerome Township farm ground into Glacier Ridge Metro Park may begin in May.
"We've assembled land. Now we're going to start doing some things," said Larry Peck, Metro Parks deputy director.
Peck said Metro Parks will spend $1 million in construction this year for Glacier Ridge's phase one which focuses on the northern part of the park. Glacier Ridge stretches from Brock Road south along Hyland Croy Road past Mitchell Dewitt Road.
Construction bids close April 8 for a one-mile road off Hyland Croy Road and two 50-car parking lots. Last week the National Highway
Administration approved a $180,000 recreation trails grant to assist in the construction of a 12-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail that can be used by joggers, walkers, bikers and inline skaters.
Other planned improvements for this year include running utility lines for a picnic shelter and restrooms, as well as construction of the multi-use trail that will eventually stretch nine miles and pass by a prairie restoration area, habitat restoration area and wetland restoration area.
"There will be no trail like it in central Ohio," Peck said. Construction will also begin this year on a 7-mile bridle trail for horse riders and a 150 to 200 acre wetland restoration area that is planned to be a haven for wildlife and a popular spot for birdwatchers.
Honda has already committed $500,000 for a wetlands education area. Peck predicts the park will have rangers available on a daily basis with a full-time manager to be hired, plus several part-time rangers who will work out of a temporary office that will probably be one of the existing houses on the park land.
With a goal to minimize costs to taxpayers, Peck said Metro Park is seeking a $690,000 conservation grant and $350,000 trail fund grant from the newly-created Clean Ohio Fund.
The conservation grant would a portion of the cost of100 more acres. These final pieces of land would connect existing properties and serve as buffers. The trail fund grant would pay for portions of the multi-use trail.
Planning for a northern metro park dates back to 1989. After Metro Parks looked at several possible areas, a memo of understanding was signed in December 1997 with Jerome Township, Union County and the city of Dublin.
The memo states that Metro Parks will not support annexation of the area from Union County into Franklin County nor to any village or municipal corporation.
"If you're concerned about the quality of life in Jerome Township, then how can you be against the park?" asks Peck. "It's a time of change.
This park may be some stability in this time of change." During 1998 and 1999 land was purchased for the park and in January 2000 an 18-member advisory group was formed. Since then Metro Parks has held public open houses to review concepts and public comment periods. In July 2001 the park was officially named Glacier Ridge Metro Park.
While the park is exempt from county real estate taxes because it is land for public use, Peck said the park will be a great recreational facility that will enhance the area economically and educationally. "We're in this for the long haul. Fifty years from now residents can decide if this was a success," Peck said. Metro Parks is a regional system of natural area parks. Created in 1945, Metro Parks has 14 parks with 19,200 acres in seven central Ohio counties.
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