Local Archived News January 2005


Livestock killed, equipment burned in barn fire
MPD sees number of reports rise - Chief attributes much of it to population growth
Money matters, strategic plan highlight hospital board meeting
Millcreek trustees urge discussion - Tell Marysville City Council township residents must be heard
Skating Palace sold
Tillman a center for stability - Will retire from Memorial Hospital after 25 years
Local physicians published - Treatment of patient in 1967 has relevance today
Honda and Disney team up
Mediation program to expand - Lawsuit will not need to be filed to take advantage of service
County budget approved
No agenda, no discussion in Jerome
Night court to end in Richwood - Number of common pleas court cases drops
NU grad to host national show
Rezoning issues get blasted - Marysville council sends two issues back to planning commission
Short to speak on panel with Governor
Home  Depot to open within a year - Plans for facility approved  by design  review board
MacIvor land donated to city - Will be used as wildlife preserve
Meeting offers little on sewer plant
Smith is Triad board president
Millcreek weighs options - Township residents want to know how to deal with proposed Marysville wastewater plant
Appointment of official draws debate in Richwood
Fairbanks moves forward with building plans
Fraker tapped as Marysville School Board president
Former Jerome Twp. attorney sentenced
New Acura will be  produced at Marysville Auto Plant
Marysville schools name Good Apples
Flood insurance information offered
Talk focuses on sewer plant - Millcreek Township residents want answers about Marysville's plans
Search begins for new jail director
U.C. Health Department offers flood cleanup tips
Frozen or flowing, water a problem - Plain City area hit by flooding; other areas of county deal with ice storm
Meeting will focus on land use in Millcreek Township
Wal-Mart Supercenter design approved
N.L. council passes rate increase
Residents may be eligible for disaster assistance
Trustees clash over appointments
County feels Stern effect - Sirius satellite radio sales boom following shock jock announcement

Livestock killed, equipment burned in barn fire
From J-T staff reports:
A barn fire that occurred in Millcreek Township over the weekend is being investigated.
Saturday at around 9:30 p.m. Marysville fire crews provided mutual aid
for a barn at 15125 Bellepoint Road that was fully involved with flames.
The scene was being handled by Jerome Township Fire Department and crews
from Scioto Township.
According to reports, livestock and farm equipment were inside at the
time of the fire. Jerome Township reported some animals caught in the
barn, such as chickens and feeder calves, were killed and some just injured.
At this time officials are investigating to determine how the fire was
started. No people were injured in the blaze.

MPD sees number of reports rise - Chief attributes much of it to population growth
By RYAN HORNS
In 2004 the Marysville Police Department saw a steadily increasing number of criminal reports.
The year was one which also saw changes in the department. Former chief
Eugene Mayer retired in March and Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse appointed
Floyd Golden to fill the role in April.
Golden said the number of criminal reports continues to increase in the
city. A total of 2,114 total incident reports came in over the year.
This figure is up from 1,868 in 2003 and 1,656 in 2002.
"It's mainly due to population growth and more traffic moving through
Union County," Golden said.
But the trend seems to be that the department will need its officers
more and more as the city grows. At the end of the year, there were 29
full-time officers, eight communications officers and three auxiliary
officers. A total of 120 officer-initiated arrests, 11 bike patrol
arrests, 25 canine units arrests, 66 warrant arrests, 76 drunk driving
arrests were reported.
Golden's annual report to city administrators noted improvements in
crime prevention throughout 2004, with a significant reduction in theft
by deception reports, criminal damaging, child abuse and drinking and
driving. Some of these issues were dealt with by police administrators
through notices. For example, specific criminal scams striking local
elderly residents were highlighted to warn citizens.
One program which has lead to increased traffic patrol and arrests was
the overhaul of the department's bike patrol force. Currently there are
four bikes being used, with nine officers trained. The patrol procedure
was modified to allow the use of the bicycles 24 hours a day. The use of
the bicycle patrol in areas for senior citizens, parks and to check on
businesses overnight has also been popular.
Golden said these officers were able to station themselves in heavy
traffic complaint residential areas, equipped with laser speed
detectors. They were able to find speeders and call them in for officers
in nearby vehicles to apprehend.
Another program which saw success was the canine unit. Indi, the
department's dog, was responsible for the arrests of 37 suspects, the
second highest total in the canine's seven years of police service.
"That brings Indi's career arrest total to 201 suspects," canine officer
Dave Nist said in his report.
Nist said in August Indi tracked a burglary suspect across several
streets, through an entire neighborhood and finally ended up at the
suspect's front door. Indi also aided in solving several burglary cases
and assisted several law enforcement agencies in the search for a cop
killer in northern Union County.
Population increases did lead to some rises in criminal activity. The
amount of counterfeit cash being distributed by criminals was up this
year from four reports in 2003 to 18. Sex offense reports also increased
from three in 2003 to 18 last year.
Vandalism was another significant increase with 12 in 2003 to 38 in
2004. Other notable increases were seen in domestic violence, fire
investigations and fraud cases.
The department's investigations section was also noted in Golden's
report. During 2004 investigators were assigned 361 incident reports for
further investigation. This was 17 percent of the total reports taken by
all officers. The clearance rate for their work averaged 56 percent. In
addition to these reports, 44 covert or confidential were conducted.
Investigators were assigned to aid in a murder/suicide in the Links
apartment complex in October and also to assist the Columbus Police
Department with the Alrosa Club murders in regard to Nathan Gale, the
man responsible, who lived in the downtown area.
Additions to the department included two new police cruisers; eight new
armored vests; a grant for advanced tracking equipment; two new taser
devices; vehicle unlocking equipment to help residents; and seven
additional MARCS portable radios and 11 MARCS mobile radios through a
grant from the Homeland Security Department. The units were installed
with the help of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

Money matters, strategic plan highlight hospital board meeting
From J-T staff reports:
The board of trustees of Memorial Hospital of Union County honored
retiring administrative assistant Carol Tillman, heard a financial
report for 2005 and approved a capital budget of $573,000 and a
strategic plan before going into what was called an executive session
over the financially troubled Memorial Physicians Inc. (MPI) at
Thursday's regular board meeting.
Actually, it was not a formal executive session because the only person
asked to leave the room was the Journal-Tribune reporter. Attorney
Michael K. Gire of Brickler & Eckler said he was present to discuss a
proposed model for MPI, potential litigation and even the possibility of
bankruptcy. Hospital CEO Chip Hubbs called it, "The most complicated
issue I have ever faced."
In regular session, the board unanimously adopted a resolution honoring
Tillman, who served under three permanent and two interim administrators
during her 25 years with the hospital.
The board also heard a financial report for 2005 from CFO Jeff Ehlers
for both the hospital and The Gables. He said that for December, the
hospital had $6.9 million in revenues, which was $700,000 below budget.
He added that expenses were also under budget and that for the entire
year, the hospital showed a net income of $322,000.
He reported that The Gables had a net income of $531,000 for the year
for a total consolidated net income of $853,000.
Hubbs told the board that the capital budget included $100,000 in a
contingency fund and that the $573,000 figure was whittled down from
$6.5 million in "wish list" requests. He said items on the list were
prioritized. He indicated that the budget didn't include some ongoing
projects such as those in the OB department, the pharmacy and others
totaling $745,000.
He told the board that he is looking at other ways to provide and fund
capital budget items such as leasing instead of purchasing. He also
mentioned other sources of funds such as the Hospital Golf Classic,
which he hopes will raise $35,000 this year, and the development council.
Some of the items in the budget included those in the outpatient lab,
infusion chairs for the oncology conversion, operating room video
monitors and ultrasound machines.
He said an expensive item not in this budget but which will be needed in
the future is a high-powered CT scanner which he estimated would cost
$1.3 to $1.6  million.
A strategic plan for both the hospital and The Gables was presented to
the board for review. Board member Greg Traucht called it "one of the
most important things we have been involved in."
It sets expectations and goals for each department and requests the
departments to each develop and present five ways to best impact the
plan and provide the means of achieving the goals.
Nancy Conklin, vice president of marketing and development, reviewed the
plan and told the board that aspects of it would be explained to the
public in the annual report to the community, in articles and ads in the
Journal-Tribune and on WUCO radio.
She said that during the next several weeks there would be meetings with
physicians, senior leaders, department managers and other staff members
to go over details of the plan.
Hubbs indicated that such a plan would not be done again for two to three years.
In other matters, Hubbs reported that the board executive committee had
renominated the current board officers for another term - Chairman Ann
Allen, Vice Chairman Jackie Lazenby and Secretary Treasurer Bud
Westlake. The slate was approved by the board.
The following modifications of professional privileges were approved -
Fred Leess, MD, addition of CO2 laser; Holly Recob, DO, active to
courtesy staff; Andrew Highberger, full operative anesthesia.
A risk management policy for a new insurance provider was approved and
Adam Bauman, vice president of clinical services, who is leaving the
hospital, was acknowledged.

Millcreek trustees urge discussion - Tell Marysville City Council township residents must be heard
By RYAN HORNS
Among the crowd at Marysville City Council meeting Thursday night,
Millcreek Township trustees were present to speak about the future
wastewater treatment plant site on Beecher Gamble Road.
Trustee Keith Conroy spoke on behalf of other trustees when he addressed
council on the relationship between Marysville and his township. He said
the trustees have a duty to look after the residents they represent. One
of those duties is to preserve their rural way of life. Millcreek
Township residents are concerned about how this may be affected with the
wastewater treatment plant, he said. They are also concerned about
preserving property values. What he would like from Marysville is to be
included in discussions.
"Trust is key," Conroy said. "Open discussions are important and you
need to work together to improve the quality of life of the people."
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse said the informational meeting the city will
hold on the wastewater treatment plant this coming Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
at the Union County Serviced Center on London Avenue will be a perfect
time to discuss all these issues.
The first steps in purchasing the land off Beecher-Gamble Road were
conducted. The opening reading of the resolution authorizing Kruse to
purchase the land was held.
An ordinance also had its first reading on the appropriation of $1.7
million from unappropriated sewer replacement and improvement funds and
another $1 million from unappropriated incremental wastewater capacity
fee funds to purchase the land.
In other discussions, the path to resolving Marysville Police Department
contract negotiations with the city could be coming to an end.
City administrator Kathy House said that out of 37 articles of
contention, negotiations have resolved 30 of them. The remaining seven
issues were referred to a fact finder who recently returned with the
results. An executive session was held between council members and
administration to discuss the results and after returning to regular
session, council voted to approve the issue.
House said the next step will be for the Fraternal Order of Police to
meet and come up with their decision on the results sometime in the next two weeks.
"If they approve of the fact finder's recommendations then it will be
the end of contract negotiations," House said.
Council members and city administrators took a moment to commend two
members of the local safety forces who will be retiring soon.
Kruse publicly thanked both Ed Sheiderer of the Marysville Fire
Department and police officer Art Johnson for their commitment and
service to the city over the years. He presented both men with a
commendation plaque for their service.
Other topics included:
. Kruse's State of the City Address.
. Two annexation issues had readings during the meeting. The first
concerned 9.8 acres of land off Route 4 North in Paris Township for use
as commercial business locations. Dr. Kevin Cowgill is hoping to
relocate and expand the Cowgill Chiropractic office in the area. The
remaining land may be used for condominiums.
The second annexation issue pertains to 87.692 acres of land to be
annexed from Darby Township.
Kruse said at this time he has not been given permission to reveal what
developers have planned for the acreage. He said the plan should be
discussed during the public hearing of the annexation at the next
council meeting in February. Developers were not available for comment
before press time.
Kruse wanted to explain that regarding annexations in the city, these
two are prime examples of how the city intends to handle them. He said
the city does not intend to seek annexations but will properly review
those that come before them at the request of property owners or
developers. The next step is to decide if the annexations are right for the city.
House also noted that the annexation legislation is the first step in
the process for these developments. They must first go through planning
commission review before they will come back before council for consideration.
. Council brought back an ordinance for reconsideration concerning the
rezoning of 45.33 acres located on Route 38 at the junction of Route 736
from Agricultural Zoning District (A-R) to Suburban Residential Zoning
District (S-R). Reportedly some council members had further questions
they have since had answered. The ordinance passed in a 5 to 2 vote.

Skating Palace sold
From J-T staff reports:
After 12 years of operating The Skating Palace, Carl and Luella Drumm
announced recently that they have decided to sell the property. The
business will close March 31.
The Drumms say they have enjoyed their time with the children who have
passed through their doors and they are proud of the great speed skating
team but it is time for them to slow down. They have received several
offers to sell over the years, they said, and Doppco, a Cleveland
development company, offered what they wanted.
Although the deal has not yet closed, a contract has been signed.
The Drumms bought the skating rink 12 years ago in July. It had been
closed for several years and when a petition for someone to reopen the
business was started by a student, the Drumms decided to buy it as an investment.
Their children and grandchildren do not live in the area and it was a
way to connect with the younger generation, they said.
They said they hope that, in time, another skating facility will open in the area.

Tillman a center for stability - Will retire from Memorial Hospital after 25 years
By CINDY BRAKE
Carol Tillman, administrative assistant to the president of Memorial
Hospital of Union County, has had a knack for making people look good all her life.
The beautician turned administrative assistant is retiring Jan. 31 after
25 years with the hospital. A tea is planned in her honor Friday from 11
a.m. to 2 p.m. and the public is invited. The tea will be held in the hospital's Civic Room.
Tillman's career has taken unique twists and turns.
Fresh out of high school, Tillman, a native of Union County, passed up a
scholarship to beauty school and worked briefly as a secretary for Ray
Lewis and the Marysville Mobile Home Park. After collecting rent and
dealing with contracts for less than a year, she had a change of heart
and decided to go on to Nationwide Beauty Academy in Columbus. Working
in Hilliard at her first salon, she met her husband, Dick, who happened
to a nephew of her employer.
Tillman eventually returned to Marysville as a stylist and worked for
the Starlight Salon, which she eventually purchased.
When Honda came to town, Tillman said, she took a refresher secretarial
course in hopes of landing a job at the factory. While she never got an
interview with Honda, she did get an offer to work as a secretary for
the hospital's home health care division. In less than a year, she was
administrative assistant for the hospital's president.
Over the years, Tillman has worked under four administrators and one
interim, each a different person with his own management styles, said
Dr. John Evans, vice president of medical affairs. Evans called her a
stabilizing force during the hospital's good and bad times.
"She calms people down and brings them up when they are down," Evans
said, adding that "she has a great understanding of the word confidential."
He, like many others who have worked with Tillman through the years,
describes her as "fiercely loyal" and always reliable.
Her current boss, president and CEO Chip Hubbs said Tillman is perfect
for the role, admitting that he doesn't know half of what she does
because she just takes care of things so he doesn't have to worry about them.
"I think she knows more about this organization than anyone," Hubbs said.
Before he started working for the hospital 10 months ago, Hubbs said,
Tillman was making his life easier by offering helpful advice about
relocating to Marysville. When his daughters occasionally stop by for a
visit, Tillman can be found clicking her computer onto Barbie.com for the girls, he said.
Former hospital president Danny Boggs said working with Carol for nearly
18 years was one of the greatest pleasures of his career.
"As a CEO, when you have an administrative assistant that is respected
and trusted by everyone, that is confidential when appropriate, is
willing to listen and be compassionate with others' problems and calm
the situation and that is always one step ahead of your needs - your
work life is much easier."
"Fiercely loyal, organized, detailed, reliable, friendly, professional"
are the words that Laurie Whittington, chief operating officer, uses to
describe Tillman. Dr. Mark Stover, chairman of the department of
surgery, echoes those sentiments, as does Ann Allen, president of the board of trustees.
Stover said Tillman was his main contact to the administration when he
was chief of staff. He said she was "always upbeat and pleasant" with an
"innate gift" of honesty and integrity.
Dr. William McLemore, current president of the medical staff, said
Tillman is amazing with a sixth sense, especially when it comes to
purchasing Christmas gifts for the annual medical staff and board of
trustees party. Tillman has been known to begin shopping in the summer
for the unique items and even hand wrapped each earlier in her career.
Now she gets help in wrapping from hospital volunteers.
Much has changed since she began working for the hospital - a new
intensive care unit, parking lot expansions, cafeterial renovation, two
obstetric renovations, two emergency room renovations, a lobby
renovation, construction of a new health center and the addition of the
Gables and mental health services.
Tillman said that when she began working for the hospital there were 215
employees, no orientations, no faxes, no e-mails, no computers and no
voice mail. One of her daily tasks was to sort the mail, all of the
hospital mail, including bills and patient get-well cards. Since 1980
the medical staff has increased from 56 to 182; emergency room visits
grew from 7,493 to 23,083; and total lab procedures have risen from
198,976 to 407,172. The board of trustees has also increased from six to eight members.
"I like my job," Tillman said, in particular the chance to be involved
in everything and meeting people. However, she said it is now time to do
other things. She and her husband hope to travel and help family out more.

Local physicians published - Treatment of patient in 1967 has relevance today
Editor's note: The following information was supplied by Memorial Hospital of Union County.
Some doctors never retire.
Such is the case with Dr. James Sampsel and the late Dr. Malcolm ("Mac")
MacIvor. The two locally famous physicians and Dr. Emilio
Barbera-Guillem, their research partner and a clinical pathologist
affiliated with OSU, have recently been published in Melanoma Research,
a medical journal published in London, England and distributed
internationally. The group's letter in response to another's research on
the same topic has also appeared in the December 2004 New England
Journal of Medicine. Their research stems from the care of a melanoma
patient cared for at Memorial Hospital of Union County in 1967 who to
this day lives a full and happy life, in Marysville.
In April of that year, MacIvor was Peggy Barry's general practitioner
when a tumor on her left leg became cause for concern and he referred
her on to Dr. Sampsel for a surgical consultation. According to the
published article, the tumor was removed, but "two years later, multiple
recurrences appeared in the leg and thigh, 15 in all."
Sampsel reveals that in the 1960's the standard course of treatment
would have involved surgery and possibly a course of an oral
chemotherapy as they were just then being approved.
"I called on one of my friends and colleagues at OSU, Art James (for
whom the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital is now named)," Sampsel said.
"He told me about this brand new chemotherapy drug called methotrexate
and the positive effect it may have on Mrs. Barry's case. And then based
upon experience I had in Cleveland, I thought we'd try an arterial pump
to deliver a low dose of the medication slowly, over a long period of time."
Barry remembers those days of treatment with what to some may be a strange fondness.
"That pump was quite a contraption," Barry said. "My husband, Lloyd,
helped me wind it up everyday. They didn't have battery powered ones
back then, you know. He provided me with amazing support."
With two young children at the time, Barry said that her goal was to
live long enough to see her youngest child, then 10 years old, be able
to stand on her own two feet to take care of herself.
"Dr. Sampsel is an amazing man," she says.
When asked if she feared the experimental nature of the chosen course of
treatment Barry said, "Not really. Dr. Sampsel was and still is an
amazing man. He has a low-key, unexcitable nature and I had a lot of
confidence in him. I really think I'd have done anything he told me to do."
Barry remembers that the treatment didn't slow her down. She continued
with her job as a secretary at East Elementary School, toting her pump
along. The only great change was that of a selection of attire.
"My lower leg got pretty big and I was sick of everyone asking about it
so I started wearing dress slacks. Back then, ladies still wore dresses
and skirts, especially to work and to church, but people understood my
situation and didn't bother. Now I'm in style," she said.
For many years, Barry really wasn't sure she'd live long enough to even
know her grandchildren. With two careers ? secretary for East Elementary
and her beloved First Presbyterian Church - and two retirements behind
her, she's now 76 years young. Barry will be the first to tell you that
she's most happy with her third career as a babysitter to two of her
great-grandchildren, five-days-a-week.
"I'm so glad the treatment worked and I'm alive to play with these babies," she said
Simply put, the physicians share the belief that the selection of
long-term, low dose chemotherapy is the main factor behind Barry's
survival. And it appears doctors Sampsel's and MacIvor's treatment
option may have simply been ahead of their time. There are currently
three or four national trials exploring the effectiveness of the same
course of treatment they exercised in the 1960s.
MacIvor remained an active, practicing physician in Marysville caring
for Barry and myriad other patients until the time of his passing in July of 2002.
"I haven't given up the research that has evolved from caring for Mrs.
Barry with Dr. MacIvor," said Sampsel, a surgeon on staff at Memorial
Hospital of Union County for more than 45 years who remains an honorary
physician. "I'm honored to share this accomplishment with Mac and we'll keep going."
The work and intense caring of two small town doctors had three end
results: an international medical journal publishing, continued research
and the survival of one very happy 76-year-old great-grandmother.

Honda and Disney team up
From J-T staff reports:
A new 10-year business alliance was announced today between American
Honda Motor Co., Inc. and the Disneyland Resort that provides
sponsorship of the theme park's new 50th anniversary fireworks show and
its annual Grad Nite celebrations.
The parties are also in the process of finalizing an agreement to
develop a new exhibit at Innoventions in Tomorrowland that may feature
ASIMO, Honda's advanced humanoid robot. Additionally, Honda will be
designated the official product in each of the company's existing
product categories of automobiles, motorcycles and selected power equipment.
The alliance also provides Honda with opportunities for use of company
products and other advanced technologies at locations throughout the
Resort, which entertains millions of people each year. Honda will
continue exploring other partnership opportunities with The Walt Disney Company.
"This new alliance creates many new and exciting opportunities for both
of our organizations," said Koichi Kondo, president and CEO, American
Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Our two companies hold a common belief in the
importance of dreams. It is particularly exciting to enter this
partnership as Disneyland celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2005."
"We are thrilled to welcome Honda to the Disneyland Resort family. Honda
is known throughout the world for quality, innovation and family values
- qualities that our own founder, Walt Disney, instilled in Disneyland
park 50 years ago," said Matt Ouimet, president of the Disneyland Resort.
Debuting in May, Disneyland's new fireworks show, "Remember Dreams Come
True," is a spectacular nighttime extravaganza. The pyrotechnic
production features bursts of color precisely set to riveting music and
a compelling narrative. It is presented through the use of air launch
technology, a safer and more environmentally friendly way of displaying
fireworks that is being hailed by the pyrotechnic industry as the
biggest innovation in decades. Honda also has a long history of
environmental leadership and is committed to offering customers cleaner,
more fuel-efficient products in all its product lines.
"The creativity and quality of the fireworks show along with the
break-through technology used to present it are perfect examples of the
high standards Honda and Disney are known to uphold," said Ouimet. "We
look forward to sharing our cutting-edge technologies, like ASIMO, with
Disneyland Resort Guests and working with Disney to discover new
business, marketing and promotional opportunities in all areas of our
respective businesses," said Kondo.
Beginning May 5, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will celebrate its
biggest event ever, the "Happiest Celebration On Earth," an 18-month
global salute to mark the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland park.
Honda is the world's preeminent engine-maker, building more than 19
million engines globally in 2004 for its diverse line-up of automobiles,
motorcycles and ATVs, power products, marine engines and personal watercraft.
Honda began operations in North America in 1959 with the establishment
of domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda began assembling
motorcycles in America in 1979, with U.S. manufacturing starting in
1982. Honda now employs more than 26,000 Americans in the design,
manufacture and marketing of its products in America. Honda currently
builds products in 12 manufacturing plants in North America, with three
major R&D centers in the U.S.
ASIMO is the world's most advanced humanoid robot, with the ability to
climb stairs, walk forward and backward, turn smoothly without pausing,
and maintain balance while walking on uneven slopes and surfaces. Honda
engineers began developing a humanoid robot in 1986 for the purpose of
someday helping people in need. ASIMO has two arms and two hands, which
ease such tasks as reaching for and grasping objects, switching lights
on and off, or opening and closing doors.
Located on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, California, the
Disneyland Resort includes the Disneyland® and Disney's California
Adventure? theme parks, three hotels with a total of 2,238 rooms and the
310,000 square foot Downtown Disney® retail, restaurant and
entertainment district. With 20,000 employees, the Disneyland Resort is
Orange County's largest employer. In January 2004, the Resort welcomed
its 500 millionth Guest since opening on July 17, 1955.

Mediation program to expand - Lawsuit will not need to be filed to take advantage of service
By RYAN HORNS
During this year, the Union County Court of Common Pleas will expand a
program which has helped resolve numerous lawsuits that came before the court.
Mediation is a process in which two parties involved in litigation meet
with an impartial third person associated with the court system to help
make informed decisions and help them come to some kind of acceptable agreement.
Previously, mediation was open only as the first step after filing a
lawsuit. The expanded mediation program at the common pleas court will
now offer free pre-lawsuit services in select situations. Business
community members, governmental agencies and non-profit companies may
now resolve their disputes with the help of a mediator.
Union County Common Pleas Court mediator Kenneth Davis said his job is
to help people get back to communicating face to face. It's a trend
modern society has begun shying away from. For example, he said, instead
of two farmers talking face to face over their fence line, they might
file a lawsuit and never really have to discuss their problems in person.
"I like to describe my job as helping farmers go to the fence and talk," Davis said.
What he has seen in the county is a situation happening nationwide, that
of increasing civil lawsuits flooding the court system. He said Union
County has seen 83 percent of cases in mediation get resolved before trial.
"It speaks to the fact that it works," Davis said, "and those are local statistics."
But mediation is not for everyone. Disputes are divided between the
municipal court and common pleas court systems. Typically, cases in
common pleas jurisdiction include those exceeding $15,000 in damages.
Anything less is handled at the municipal court level. He said examples
of disputes eligible for common pleas court mediation may include
contracts, delivery or performance of services and shared resources.
"If your neighbor's tree falls on your fence, that isn't something that
would be in our jurisdiction," Davis said. "But if your neighbor's tree
falls on your house, then we can help."
Davis said the county has worked with municipal courts to provide
mediation in litigation at that level. Within five years, he hopes there
will be some kind of community mediation program in effect for both the
municipal and common pleas courts to use.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott said Davis is
recognized statewide as an excellent mediator and is frequently
requested to participate in educating others engaged in mediation.
In his 2004 summary report, Parrott explained to Union County
commissioners that the state of Ohio suggested the use of mediation as a
possible way to weed out a lot of civil lawsuits in 1997. He wrote that
no program had been in effect locally at the time. With financial help
from the commissioners, by 1998 the county started mediation hearings in
cases involving children or property problems. Then in 1999, the
domestic relations program was expanded to include mediation in all
cases and victim/perpetrator meetings were begun. He said it has met with great success.
"The program is again being expanded," Parrott wrote, "at no additional
cost to Union County."
Davis explained that because the current mediation program had time to
take on more cases, all it took was a reorganization of how they
scheduled meetings. The staff was then able to handle more at no extra cost.
Some wonder if the court systems will lose money with extended
mediations keeping cases out of the court system.
Davis said it would only affect the income of court fees which barely
cover the cost of paying personnel to handle the cases. He also noted
that it is cheaper for the county to have a mediator deal with a case
than for a judge to spend his time to resolve it in court.
"This saves the expense of a suit, sometimes the expense of attorneys,
as well as allowing the court's time to be devoted to those matters
requiring juries, judges and court facilities," Parrott wrote.
For residents interested in mediation, the process is simple. For
example, if a tree falls on a resident's home and nothing is being
resolved, one party can contact the Union County mediation department.
If the department determines the case is within its jurisdiction, a
mediator will accept the case and write a letter to the second party.
The letter would describe the complaint against them and because
mediation is confidential and entirely voluntary, the mediator will ask
if they would like to be involved in mediation. If they are a willing
participant a time will be scheduled and the two parties will meet with the mediator.
"Mediation is highly successful in guiding the parties to agreement on
important matters such as support, custody, visitation and property
division, as well as agreement on damages, contractual obligations and
even workers compensation cases," Parrott wrote. "We are finding the
parties much more satisfied with the court and their own situations."
For more information, those interested can contact Ken Davis, Mediation
Coordinator for the Union County Common Pleas Court, at (937) 645-4176.

County budget approved
By CINDY BRAKE
The Union County Board of Commissioners approved a $16.3 million
temporary budget for 2005.
The 2004 temporary appropriations was $15.9 million, more than $1
million over the 2003 total of $14.3 million.
The largest source of general funds for the county comes from a sales
tax, followed by property taxes.
In 2004 the county realized $6.2 million from the sales tax. and $3.6
million from property taxes. Fees and revenues brought in the third
largest amount of money at $1.5 million in 2004 with the recorder
collecting the greatest amount of fees, $428,988
Other sources of revenue and their totals for 2004 are grants, $975.812;
local government tax, $898,336;  licenses revenue, $865,582 (more than
$806,000 was realized from sales rental); refunds and reimbursements,
$690,901 (jail housing reimbursement brought in the greatest amount in
this category, $123,034); property transfer, $596,083; depository
interest, $523,023; and other, $280,150.
Financial consultant Bob Fry, who assists the county board with its
financial planning, projects that 2005 figures will increase slightly
over 2004 numbers, with the greatest percentage increase in general property taxes at 7 percent.
"It's always nice to sit on rock instead of sand," Fry said during a
recent meeting with the board.
He is also predicting that more people will be spending more money in
Union County in the coming year and forecasts an increase in the county sales tax.
Temporary appropriations for this year's general fund are listed below
with last year's actual appropriations listed when available in parenthesis:
Union County Board of Commissioners, $808,323 ($483,032)
Environmental Engineer, $54,000 ($48,289)
Auditor, $338,384 ($326,405)
Assessing personnel, $48,000 ($48,000)
Treasurer, $156,155 ($146,158)
Prosecuting Attorney, $210,481 ($324,565)
Board of Revision, $300 ($200)
Bureau of Inspection, $71,500 ($69,252)
County Planning Commission, $11,000 ($10,973)
Data Processing, $280,000 ($262,927)
Economic Development, $203,745 ($167,972)
Risk Management, $201,448 ($724,180)
Court of Appeals, $15,000 ($11,655)
Common Pleas Court, $380,615 ($392,230)
Jury Commission $920 ($975)
Juvenile Court, $356,165 ($346,758)
Detention Home, $353,517 ($550,312)
Probate Court, $178,046 ($160,352)
Clerk of Courts, $288,148 ($264,825)
Coroner, $91,921 ($67,283)
County Court, $67,000 ($56,959)
Election Board, $280,862 ($275,620)
Capital Improvement, $300,000 ($1,103,126)
Maintenance and Operations, $1,469,000 ($1,507,585)
Sheriff, $498,096; Sheriff Law Enforcement, $1,546,123; Sheriff
Communication, $214,691; Sheriff Jail, $1,483,863; Sheriff
Investigation, $426,746; Sheriff Community, $286,514; Pursuit Sheriff,
$10,000, for a total of $4,466,028 ($4,050,349)
Recorder, $167,759 ($178,322)
Humane Society, $45,000 ($40,000)
Agriculture, $269,091 ($421,221)
Public Defender, $316,000 ($297,382)
Insurance and Bonds, $260,399 ($190,250)
Fringe Benefits, $1,898,834 ($1,831,507)
Equipment, $250,000 ($319,501)
Law Library, $39,500 ($33,081)
Agriculture Health, $1,740
Other Health, $143,156
Veterans Services, $499,999
Children's Services, $262,500
Other Endowments, $92,094
Public Assistance, $511,074
Conservation/Recreation, $226,750
Education, $10,000
Historical Society, $20,000
Other, $485,000
Engineer, $114,500

No agenda, no discussion in Jerome
From J-T staff reports:
The Jerome Township board of trustees met Tuesday in spite of no
chairman, no agenda and no public comment.
Trustee Freeman May announced that he would conduct the regular meeting
in the absence of trustee Sharon Sue Wolfe, who was re-elected chairman
at the January organizational meeting. At that meeting, May and trustee
Ron Rhodes both declined nominations for vice chairman.
Clerk Robert Caldwell said after the meeting that Wolfe had called him
earlier in the day and said she had the flu.
May announced that he had received a fax from Wolfe Tuesday asking him
to lead the meeting. He announced to the several residents present that
there was no agenda and there would be no public comment allowed.
He said the board would pay bills. That is exactly what they did - and not much else.
May and Rhodes failed to approve minutes for the Nov. 1 meeting. After
repeated attempts to get the minutes approved, Caldwell said he would be
contacting the Union County Prosecuting Attorney for a ruling. One
sentence appears to be causing the problem. The sentence states that
Rhodes asked the township's consulting engineer to submit a bill.
Minutes were also tabled for the Dec. 20 meeting because Rhodes had not
received copies of the updated minutes.
Clerk Caldwell reported that the township had receipts of approximately
$7,100 since the first of the year and expenditures of $19,000. To a
citizen's question, Caldwell said the township had a $100,000 operating
deficit in 2004 and the 2005 general fund budget is balanced after cuts
were made in the public safety officer program. The 2005 budget covers
PSO costs through September or October, Caldwell said.
Prior to adjourning, May said there was no truth to rumors about Dublin
annexing the township. Rhodes disagreed, stating that Wolfe has
discussed creating a Cooperative Economic Development Agreement with the
city of Dublin and there have been efforts to hire an attorney to guide
the township in creating a CEDA. Rhodes said CEDAS were contractual annexations.
May moved to the adjourn the meeting without public comment but Rhodes
refused to second the motion.

Night court to end in Richwood - Number of common pleas court cases drops
From J-T staff reports:
Night court will be ending in Richwood this year, while the Union County
Common Pleas Court expands night court in Marysville to twice a month.
"We will be discontinuing our night court in Richwood in 2005, but will
institute an extra night for night court here in Marysville. This allows
a record to be taken with the new video and audio reporting equipment,"
states Union County Common Pleas Judge Richard E. Parrott in the 2004 yearly status report.
Parrott began night court in Richwood and Plain City once a month in
2002 for the convenience of those who live in one of those areas and work during the day.
"This allows the case to be heard without the necessity of having one or
more individuals missing their work schedule," Parrott writes. "We find
that the litigants like night court, while the attorneys do not as a general rule enjoy night court."
Parrott reports that the overall number of cases filed for the year is down in each category.
They are:
. Criminal felonies - 128 filed in 2004; 150 in 2003; 147 in 2002; 124
in 2001; 98 in 2000; 98 in 1999; 90 in 1998; 105 in 1997; 110 in 1996;
and 92 in 1995. These numbers do no include extradition cases arising
out of and from the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
. Civil, including foreclosures - 460 filed in 2004; 471 in 2003; 333 in
2002; 295 in 2001; 236 in 2000; 222 in 1999; 191 in 1998; 213 in 1997;
92 in 1996; 161 in 1995.
. Divorces and dissolutions, new - 246 in 2004; 278 in 2003; 254 in
2002; 255 in 2001; 273 in 2000; 214 in 1999; 228 in 1998; 238 in 1997;
218 in 1996;211 in 1995.
. Domestic reopens for purposes of changes of custody, visitation and/or
support - 124 in 2004; 170 in 2003; 165 in 2002; 123 in 2001; 140 in
2000; 139 in 1999; 146 in 1998; 162 in 1997; 196 in 1996; 157 in 1995.
These numbers do not reflect administrative changes of support by the
Child Support Enforcement Agency or agreed entries needing court
approval but include 1,291 hearings for the year by either the judge or magistrate.
As of Dec. 31, Parrott states, there are two civil cases pending beyond
the Supreme Court guidelines and no criminal cases pending beyond the guidelines.
The total pending civil and criminal cases in Union County as of Dec. 31
is 176, as opposed to 193 in 2001, 173 in 2002 and 215 in 2003. The
pending domestic relations caseload at year-end is 93 cases.
Mediation has resolved 81 percent of civil cases.
"We find a high percentage of civil cases being terminated through the
mediation program," Parrott writes, adding that the program will be expanded this year.
The court's parenting class for persons divorcing or dissolving
marriages with children had 201 participants in 2004. This compares to
287 in 2003; 205 in 2002; 256 in 2001; 280 in 2000; 217 in 1999; 263 in
1998; 262 in 1997; 267 in 1996; and 257 in 1995.

NU grad to host national show
By CINDY BRAKE
North Union graduate Kathy Fowler will host a nationally-broadcast television feature Feb. 21.
A journalist for 16 years, Fowler will be hosting "Birth Day Live" on
the Discovery Health Channel. The show will document the journeys of
families from three hospitals across the United States up to, during and immediately after birth.
"I love telling stories and meeting people," Fowler said during a recent
telephone interview. She is the medical correspondent for the ABC
affiliate in Washington, D.C., and also works for Discovery Health.
The daughter of Paul and Lana Fowler of Richwood, Fowler said she is
probably related to every Fowler in Union County. Her parents moved to
Union County when she was in sixth grade. When her father served in the
Air Force, the family lived in Germany, California and Florida.
As a girl growing up in Union County, Fowler said she was always
fascinated when watching news broadcasts by Columbus news anchors Lou
Forrest and Michelle Gallian. After graduating from North Union in 1986,
she headed to Ohio State University to study broadcast journalism and
"never looked back," she said.
Fowler said she had some luck along the way, along with her share of
discouragement and "so many rejection letters." Very supportive parents,
however, allowed her to "follow this crazy dream," she said.
"It was tough," Fowler said to aspiring journalists, "but don't give up."
She notes that talent can be developed. Fowler recalls standing in front
of a mirror and reading the newspaper to build confidence with her T.V.
voice when she was starting out. She also suggests that people "read,
read, read" to keep up with current events.
Fowler got an early start with her professional career by working in
radio and then on an overnight anchoring job with a Columbus television
station. While working in Columbus, she met her husband of seven years,
journalist Marc Silverstein. He hosts the nationally syndicated Food
Television Network show call "The Best of" and is now on a book tour
promoting his book, "The Best of the Best."
After reporting on news breaks and entertainment for WBNS in Columbus,
she went to Raleigh, N.C., as a health reporter. Fowler said her lack of
professional medical training gives her a fresh eye when covering a
subject and she has the ability to speak normal talk, not doctor talk.
Her next stint was as a general assignment reporter in Baltimore, Md.,
when the murder rate was out of control. She recalls shots being fired
at a helicopter she was riding in while covering a story and bottles thrown at her another time.
Glad to be back at medical reporting with ABC7, Fowler said the beat is
"ever changing, exciting and interesting." Her stories, she said, make a
difference in lives and quality of lives.
She is especially proud of one medical story covering the international
black market-trade of human organs. She traveled to the Philippines to
document how Americans are traveling overseas to purchase hard-to-find
organs from desperately poor Filipinos. Fowler earned a regional Edward
R. Murrow award for the report. She also broke stories before other
national sources about the Food and Drug Administration's close
affiliation with pharmaceutical companies.
One of the best parts of her job, she said, is the ability to help
people understand complex issues. For example, when reporting on the
stem cell controversy, she used Play Doh to explain what a stem cell is.
For her Feb. 21 special, Fowler will be one of four correspondents to
show viewers what she calls "the most incredible accomplishment," a
birth. As the mother of two, she said motherhood is definitely one of
her greatest accomplishments. "Every birth is incredible."
Hospitals in California, Louisiana and Maryland will be turned into
production studios with more than 50 cameras and 100 crew members
creating the live report from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
"This is the very largest product Discovery does," she said.

Rezoning issues get blasted - Marysville council sends two issues back to planning commission
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville City Council decided to nix two ordinances which would have
rezoned rural areas of the city to prepare for residential development.
At Thursday night's meeting council members received an earful from
residents voicing their complaints over the ordinances, one of which
would affect 18.240 acres on Weaver Road and the other affecting 45.33
acres located on Route 38 at Route 736.
In the end, members voted unanimously to send the two ordinances back to
planning commission for more discussion.
On Weaver Road the land would be rezoned from U-1 Township Zoning to
Suburban Residential Zoning.
Weaver Road residents Alice and Larry Ahlers spoke to let council know
that their neighbors are also against the legislation.
"We have found citizens don't want it," Alice Ahlers said.
Neighbors told her that growth in Marysville is going too fast and the
city has no control over it.
"It's got to stop," she said. "People have had it up to here with it."
Larry Ahlers said he collected signatures from his neighbors on Weaver
Road and it wasn't very difficult. "Only four people turned me down," he said.
He said Marysville is growing so fast that the city will never be able to catch up.
More importantly, residents said, the area is a flood plain and
development would push more stormwater into the city.
Weaver Road resident Debbie Jolliff said there are horse farms in the
area and it doesn't make sense to place residential development next to
farms. She added that traffic would also be a problem.
Residents Jay and June Evans said many drivers do not pay attention to
the speed limit change from U.S. 33 to Weaver Road. Residential
development may make traffic hazardous around East Elementary School
where children regularly walk across the street.
Boerger Road resident Lucille Eger said she is against the ordinance for
the Route 38 development for traffic safety reasons.
After public discussion, members of council explained why they were
siding with residents. Regarding the Route 38 rezoning, councilman Dan
Fogt said he is concerned about the condition of the wastewater
treatment plant and the affect more development would have on flooding
in the city. He is similarly opposed to the Weaver Road ordinance.
Councilman John Marshall said he believes traffic safety on Boerger Road
and Route 38 would actually be improved by the development planned for
the area but, he said, the issue needs more discussion. Regarding the
Weaver Road issue, he said it is a tough situation because the land sits
next to an area already zoned for residential development. There is not
much council can do to control growth when property owners have the
right to sell their land for profit. He said he would vote no on both
because of water drainage issues. "We'd be bailing out city hall," he said.
Council member Mark Reams said that medium density zoning should not be
placed next to an agricultural area because of its density.
In other business:
. Council conducted its annual election of officers. John Gore was
elected president and Nevin Taylor will be vice president. Clerk of
council Connie Patterson was reappointed. Grant Underwood, Anne Daniel,
Avanelle Oberlin and Bart Jackson were suggested for the Charter Review
Board by council members. Other members will be introduced at the next council meeting.
. An executive session on property acquisition was held at the request
of Mayor Tom Kruse. No action was taken.
. City administrator Kathy House and economic development director Eric
Phillips thanked the city design review board for its work in getting
high-end versions of Home Depot and Super Wal-Mart for Marysville.

Short to speak on panel with Governor
From J-T staff reports:
Kristina Short, 2004 governor of Buckeye Girls State and a senior at
Fairbanks High School, will speak Monday at the 20th annual Martin
Luther King Jr. birthday breakfast at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
The breakfast committee chose Short  to speak on a panel with Gov. Bob
Taft and Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman after reading her essay
reviewing her past accomplishments.
"I am honored to be part of speaking at a breakfast honoring a man who
paved the way for a person like me to accomplish my goals and dreams," Short said.
Short is the daughter of Alfred and Annie Short of Marysville.

Home  Depot to open within a year - Plans for facility approved  by design  review board
By RYAN HORNS
Things are moving along quickly for the future Home Depot in Coleman's
Crossing. The Marysville Design Review Board approved the plans for the
new project during its Wednesday night meeting.
According to planning commission member Don Bergwall, the business may
break ground around May and should be open before the end of the year.
It will be situated across Coleman's Crossing Boulevard from the future Super Wal-Mart.
"Leading up to this review, we looked at many different Home Depots,
mostly in the Columbus area, and we believe that the design that was
accepted is more attractive than any of the those we've looked at,"
design review board member Alan Seymour said. "It is not a basic beige
and orange building. It has a lot more character with softer colors that
support the design review board's goal of quality design for commercial facilities."
Seymour said before the meeting that it might be difficult to compromise
with Home Depot architects in the same way they saw success with Super
Wal-Mart because the new business would be visible on all four sides
from both highway and local traffic. While this meant great exposure for
the business, it also created four sides that could use design review
input. Super Wal-Mart architects did not face this problem.
Bergwall said what eased the Home Depot project along was the fact that
the business was the third to come aboard the Coleman's Crossing
development. When Wal-Mart came into the picture the company was mainly
concerned about updating its presence in the city with a larger store.
But now discussions are more open between developers, economic
development and city officials about the quality of designs they are
going to require for the new business district. He said the Honda
dealership is special because it is a flagship business for the company.
Seymour initially reported that Home Depot architects had plans to bring
a standard business design to the board. With the focus on making
Coleman's Crossing a "gateway" to Marysville, design review members were
hoping for more - and they got it.
Bergwall said Home Depot architects learned what kind of quality was
going to be required and came to the meeting fully prepared.
"(Home Depot) architects learned it was very likely not going to be
approved," Bergwall said. "So in five days they turned out a whole new concept."
He said the structure now has more decorative brick, ornamental steel
work and architectural features. The signage is on all four sides of the
building and was designed in such a way as to break up any large vacant walls.
"There were very little improvement recommendations from the board
because of the early work the city administration and the economic
development corporation did to encourage them to provide a better design
than their traditional look," Seymour explained. "This speaks highly to
the understanding and the support that the city and business community
is giving to the design review process. They have joined the effort and
because of that, the process will continue to become faster and easier."
Seymour said he believes the community will be pleased with the
appearance of the new Home Depot and thinks that store and Super
Wal-Mart will add nicely to the overall plan for Coleman's Crossing.

MacIvor land donated to city - Will be used as wildlife preserve
By RYAN HORNS
A new wildlife refuge has been created in Marysville, thanks to a Marysville family.
Heirs of Dr. Malcolm and Virginia MacIvor came before city council on
Dec. 16 to donate what will soon become MacIvor Woods. The donated land
is just under 56.7 acres located between West Fifth Street and the U.S.
33/Route 4 Bypass. It is across the street from Oakdale Cemetery. The
tract of land is part of 90.60 acres owned by the MacIvor family and
held perpetually in conservation by the Humane Society of the United
States Wildlife Land Trust.
The Wildlife Land Trust is a non-profit corporation in Washington, D.C.,
that holds properties in easements for the purpose of maintaining them
forever as open space in their natural conditions. The woods in the
MacIvor donation will remain in a natural state of wilderness,
undeveloped and unoccupied by human industry or settlement.
Dr. Malcolm MacIvor was a prominent Marysville resident and physician
who had been treating patients in town since the days of home births.
His son, John MacIvor, said his father planned to make the wildlife gift
to the city in 1998. He said he could recall the days when the woods
used to reach clear to Edgewood Elementary School but over time they
shrank from development. Some of the trees are hundreds of years old, he
said, and Otter Creek winds through the woods.
One thing he wanted to make clear was that his father was not exactly a
"tree-hugger" in his intentions for the wildlife gift. Malcolm MacIvor
enjoyed hunting on the property and was a member of the National Rifle Association.
"But he certainly loved those woods and it was important to him to keep
it pristine," Jon MacIvor said. "He saw it as the best way to protect it."
Along with his brother, Dr. Duncan MacIvor, and his sister, Peggy
Hendricks, John MacIvor said their role in gifting the land was simply
to follow up with their father's intentions.
"We're glad that he did it," he said.
The gift also makes the woods more useful to the public because it will
be easier for the city to arrange school tours and other activities.
According to city administrator Kathy House, the city has not determined
exactly when the property will be accessible to the general public but
the plan is for a spring or summer opening. The public entry point for
the park will be the middle gate from Fifth Street. The MacIvor land has
three driveways currently accessing it:
. The farthest driveway east, just west of the Shell Gas Station, goes to the MacIvor house.
. The farthest west driveway leads to the existing barn.
. The middle driveway leads to the woods.
"Basically the city intends to make the enjoyment of the property in its
current state open to Marysville residents. Educational and recreational
uses such as school field trips, scout troop observations, and family
outings to enjoy the flora and fauna will all be permitted uses. No fee
will be charged for these uses," House said.
The deed states that non-permitted uses for the land include hunting,
trapping, logging, construction of buildings, installation of
advertising structures, dumping and mining.
The MacIvor family also donated to the city an easement of .736 acres
for the use as a location to build a public bathroom and to provide
public parking for visitors.
Councilman Dan Fogt expressed some concern about the bathroom working
against the notion of a nature preserve.
House, a former school principal, joked that he must not have taken a
large group of children on a field trip before. She said a bathroom on
site is probably needed but it is still up for consideration. She
explained that the restrooms would not be in the preserve itself but on
the .736 acres. A parking area would be installed in a small space
adjacent to the woods along the entry's driveway which is not a part of
the easement with the Wildlife Land Trust.
City council president Nevin Taylor thanked the MacIvors on behalf of council.
"It's a great opportunity to say thank you to a family who has served
the community for a long time," Taylor said.

Meeting offers little on sewer plant
By RYAN HORNS
The city remains quiet about its choice for a new wastewater treatment
plant site. Updates on the project and city street repairs were given Tuesday night.
Mill Creek Township officials met Monday to discuss the possibility that
the city's wastewater treatment plant would be located on 100 acres
along Beecher Gamble Road. Letters were sent by Marysville's engineering
firm to township residents about the site and white stakes sit on lawns.
City administrator Kathy House said at the Public Services Committee
meeting that nothing is final. The reason is because final details are
in the works, such as financial matters and where exactly the boundary
lines will be for the 100 acres. She said the city could announce its
choice within the month. The meeting was also attended by councilmen
Mark Reams and Dan Fogt, along with city engineer Phil Roush and public
service director Tracie Davies.
House said the city is working with three engineering groups on three
different projects, such as finalizing the land acquisition and
conducting geotechnical surveys and soil borings. The weather has been
working against them because of flooding. On Dec. 17 Roush said work was
completed on the aerial photography for the location they have not yet
announced. He said they were able to get one day with some sun and they took it.
Davies said she has been working closely with the Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency to keep them in the loop on what is happening on their
projects and to meet their guidelines. She will meet with Mike Sapp of
the EPA again on Jan. 25.
Members also discussed where the sewer lines would go when the project starts.
Roush said they are looking at how deep sewer lines will run down
Industrial Parkway and Cherry Street to the plant. One option is going
underneath the pavement. The Columbus engineering firm DLZ is in charge
of the work and is expected to do well if they go underneath the roads.
"That group has a lot of experience in tunneling," Roush said.
"It's less disruptive for everybody," House agreed.
Regarding the current treatment plant, Davies said she spoke with the
EPA about it and since the city plans on building a larger capacity
plant than originally intended, upgrades at the current plant can be kept to a minimum.
Davies said because of recent flooding, plant flows have reached new
highs, with up to 18 or 19 million gallon per day flows documented.
There have been sewage spills but they still fall within EPA guidelines.
One problem Fogt discussed was the fact that more than 1,000 new homes
have been approved for development in Marysville. On Chestnut Street he
said there are about 250 more homes expected. It does not look good for
the city. There is currently a self-imposed moratorium on proposed new
developments such as Adena Pointe that would affect town run flows but
new developments keep stacking up.
"Every developer has been told that nothing will be happening without
lifting that moratorium," House said.
She said nothing will go forward on those projects until the city can
accommodate them. To do this they are working with the EPA to find ways
to lift the moratorium by July.
"Have (the developers) stepped up to make that move along more?" Reams asked.
House and Davies both answered "No" at the same time.
Fogt also said that the city can't afford more residential development
and he feels Marysville residents will "be in an uproar" if their
service rate fees go up again. He said Mayor Tom Kruse had mentioned a
possible 13 percent increase in fees over two years.
"I'm not satisfied with that. I'd hate for it to be over 3 percent,"
Fogt said. "I think new residents moving in need to pay more of the
costs . We've got to get every penny we can out of those developers when they go in."
Roush said new residential developments are already paying through the
TIFs and if the TIFs were not in place it would mean current residents
would be footing all the cost - an almost 38 percent increase in rates.
By sharing the cost it works out better for everyone.
"I think we're making a valiant effort to manage it," House said.
Fogt explained that he receives complaints from residents every single
day about how the costs to live in town are becoming too expensive.
Davies said she agrees that the city's water rates are too high, but
explained that the city bought its own water company years ago and is
still paying for that. The sewer rates, however, are middle of the road.
Regarding street repairs, House said the city is meeting with ChemCoat
for a pre-construction meeting to discuss projects this year. She said
the company does not want the Marysville project to be first on their list.
"They said it can take a while getting work crews back in sync," she
said. "So we're second on the list."
They are looking at a start date of late April or May, Roush said, and
they have 90 days to complete the work, according to the contract.
House said she anticipates great patience from the public when these
projects get under way because many want their streets fixed.

Smith is Triad board president
By CORINNE BIX
The Triad local board of education met Monday night for the 2005
organizational meeting and January regular school board meeting.
Regular school board meetings were set for the third Monday of the month
at 7 p.m. in the modular boardroom. Rick Smith was re-elected board
president and Jim Reid was chosen again to serve as vice-president for 2005.
School board members were elected to the following committees. Rick
Smith will serve on building and grounds, negotiations, legislative
liaison and special committees. Jim Reid will serve on athletics,
finance and as board member of Ohio Hi-Point JVS. Chris Millice will
serve on curriculum, finance and legislative liaison. Jackie Watson will
serve on curriculum, negotiations and special committees. Randy Moore
will serve on athletics and building and grounds.
Beth Boyd made a presentation about student performance on proficiency
practice tests. Board members were given the practice test results for
grades K-10 from November of last year.
Dan Kaffenbarger, superintendent, recognized members of the board with
certificates in honor of board appreciation month.
Kaffenbarger also asked board members for recommendations for someone to
chair the Citizens for Triad Schools levy committee. The district will
try for a third time to pass a .5 percent tax levy for the schools in May.
Kaffenbarger informed the board that Area 2 of the Ohio Department of
Education (ODE) accepted the district's cost reduction plan.
The district is required to submit a course of action that would put
them in the black by fiscal year 2006. The ODE did have the power to not
approve the current cost reduction plan if they had felt the district is
not allowing for a sufficient cushion of funds.
The board approved a core reading program for grades K through six at an
approximate cost of $61,500 to be paid by cutting overall district
supplies to paper only for next school year.
Jill Smith, treasurer, informed the board that the district has received
its final audit report and was given a clean audit.
The board adjourned into executive sessions to discuss a Level III
grievance hearing and the employment of personnel. No action was taken.
In other business, the board:
 .  Authorized the superintendent to act as district purchasing agent;
employ temporary personnel in an emergency situation, with
recommendations for employment of these individuals by the board made at
the next scheduled board meeting; attendance at all professional
meetings and to represent the board at all county and state meetings
within amounts appropriated by the board; approve or disapprove personal
and professional leave requests as per the negotiated agreements;
approve school related groups, such as boosters to use school property.
 . Adopted the budget for the FY2005 as presented by the treasurer to be
submitted to the Champaign County auditor
 . Approved the authorization of the treasurer to set bonds for the
treasurer, board members, superintendent and other employees; make
advance draws on taxes when funds are available; invest funds and post
interest to funds authorized by law; pay all bills and modify accounts
within limits of the appropriations.
 . Approved authorization of the district's participation in state and
federal programs with the superintendent acting as fiscal agent
 . Authorized waiving the reading of minutes if distributed prior to the meetings
 . Approved a resolution determining to proceed with the income tax levy.
 . Approved a contract with Loulee Yen for PALS training to be paid from
special education access grant.
 . Approved Jacquie Smith as a tutor for home instruction.

Millcreek weighs options
Township residents want to know how to deal with proposed Marysville wastewater plant
By CINDY BRAKE
With survey stakes sprouting along their roads, Millcreek Township
residents met Monday with county officials to gather information about
the city of Marysville's plans to build a wastewater treatment plant on
100 acres along Beecher Gamble Road.
What the group of approximately 50 residents learned early in the
meeting was that there is little the township can do to stop Marysville.
Union County Prosecuting Attorney David Phillips said the city has a
constitutional right to acquire land for a public utility, even if the
land is outside its jurisdiction. He added that public utilities are
exempt from zoning and trustees' powers are limited.
On a personal note, Phillips said he has first-hand knowledge of the
fact because he lives near Paris Township land outside the city limits
that was purchased for a reservoir.
Marysville has been ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency to
correct their current wastewater plant problems by 2007, said Union
County Commissioner Gary Lee.
"Are we as a community going to fight this with our bare knuckles or
will it be accepted on our terms?" asked trustee Bill Lynch.
While he received no direct response to his challenge, citizens seemed
to realize there was little that could be done to stop the proposal. A
citizen's group, however, is forming and is scheduled to meet Sunday at
4 p.m. in the township building.
Property owner Andy Thomas asked what odors, sounds and appearances to
expect from a wastewater treatment plant.
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said plants are "across the board"
with much depending upon a lot of factors including how well they are
operated and the age of the plant. He noted that "even the best will
have times when they get upset and there is an odor."
Stolte pointed to Delaware's first plant along Olentangy River Road. He
said the 30-year-old facility looks like a park and has million dollar
homes across the road and upwind of the plant. A newer Delaware plant is
located in Westerville.
Stolte encouraged the residents to identify issues and ask the city what
they are going to do to address them. He also suggested that the
community hire a landscape architect to guide them and create a
citizen's committee to work with the city.
Asked to list negatives, Stolte said potential problems could include
disruption of roads for two years for construction to lay large sewer
lines to Mill Creek, odors, although they should not be as bad as the
existing plant, and the potential for growth.
Commissioner Lee said everyone has yet to see the city's proposal and
there will be time to comment during the permitting process.
"If they are going to locate it there then they are going to have to
answer to this community for years to come," Lee said.
Marysville City Council is expected to have a first reading on the
property at their Jan. 27 meeting, said trustee Bill Lynch, who met
recently with a council member. Lynch said he was assured council would
have a full three readings on the matter. He was also told the city
would talk with township residents in three to four weeks.
Some present at the meeting wondered about the site selection, saying
that until recently other locations had been rumored to be the city's first choice.
Lynch was told by a councilman that this site was not an option at
Thanksgiving and was proposed by a developer. Prior to that proposal,
the city was looking at a site near Fladt Road and Industrial Parkway.
At one time, the city had also discussed a site near New Dover.
Annexation was also a concern of many during the evening.
Clerk Joyce Beaver recalled an unfriendly annexation by Marysville of
Millcreek property approximately 10 years ago which ended up in court.
Marysville's annexation petition included businesses along Industrial
Parkway and residences in Timber Trails in Paris Township. At that time
the law required approval by 51 percent of the petitioners. The majority
of those in favor of that annexation lived in the Timber Trails
neighborhood, while the Millcreek property owners were not in favor of
the inclusion. The matter ended up in court and was eventually approved,
although it has left several Millcreek Township residents with bad
memories and distrust for the city of Marysville and specifically Mayor
Tom Kruse who was in office at the time of that annexation.
Prosecuting Attorney Phillips said the city can not compel property owners to annex.
Commissioner Lee explained that the law allows for three types of annexations.
He said if the municipality owns all the ground and it is contiguous
with the current municipality, then it is unlikely the petition can be
stopped. Annexations with 100 percent of the land owner signatures is
also a certainty, he said. The 51 percent annexation still exists but requires more hearings.
"If people are agreeing ... generally, it's going to happen," said
assistant prosecuting attorney Terry Hord.

Appointment of official draws debate in Richwood
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
By a 4-2 vote, Jim Thompson was hired as Richwood village administrator
at Monday's village council meeting.
As the vote indicates, not all council members agreed with the decision.
Thompson's water and sewer licensure was called into question.
The Richwood water plant is designated by the Ohio EPA as a class I
facility by while the sewer plant is a class III facility. Higher class
designations require increasingly difficult licenses to operate.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, a village must either operate under
the direction of an administrator or a three-member board of public
affairs. According to the ORC definition of an administrator, the
official must be able to manage, conduct and control the operations of
water and sewer facilities but the law does not state that he must be
licensed to directly operate them.
A facility must be run by a licensed operator of the appropriate
classification. In the past the village has hired administrators who had
a high enough license level to operate the water and sewer plants but
Thompson has only a class I license for water and sewer plant operation.
"Management of the plant doesn't require licensure but operation of the
plant does," said engineer Ed Bischoff of Bischoff and Associates, the
engineering firm that assists the village on large projects.
Because of this, council members Arlene Blue and George Showalter said
they felt Thompson was not qualified to hold the position.
Engineers from Bischoff and Associates, has been assisting the village
with operation of the plant, including signing mandated reports required
by the EPA. Bischoff said that assistance is meant to be a temporary fix.
Mayor Bill Nibert said having Thompson in charge is saving the village
$75,000 over hiring a new village administrator. Thompson currently
makes $16.74 per hour for his work and no new salary was discussed at
the meeting. Thompson's previous position in the village will not be filled.
Nibert also noted that the village has an employee who is in the process
of obtaining his class III license. If that occurs, Thompson could
oversee village operations and the employee could operate the plant.
Showalter said the village could run into a potential problem having an
appropriately licensed employee operating the plant but not being in
charge of operations. He said that with no authority over the plant,
there would be no incentive to stay.
Showalter said employees with such licensing are in high demand and
could go to nearby municipalities and make more money. This would leave
the village back to square one, according to Showalter.
Bischoff said that in order to keep an employee with the appropriate
licensure the salary and working conditions must appeal to him. He said
a smart administrator would put the employee in charge of the facility
and focus his efforts elsewhere.
Blue's problems with hiring Thompson did not stop with the licensure
issues. She said she felt the village needed an administrator who is
more well rounded with more of a background in engineering.
While a pair of council members disagreed with the move, members of the
public in attendance did not. Several individuals spoke in support of
Thompson and said operations of the village are currently better than they have ever been.
Nibert put the issue to a vote. Council members Wad McCalf, Scott Jerew,
Peg Wiley and Jim Ford voted in favor of the appointment, giving it the
majority it needed for passage.
In other business, council:
 . Heard from residents on Maple Street who did not like the no parking
signs being switched from the west side of the street to the east.
Council opted to switch the no parking signs back to the west side.
 . Learned that the village might be able to get up to 70 percent of its
recent snow removal costs reimbursed under federal disaster assistance.
 . Voted Wiley as council president for the coming year. Wiley and Blue
tied during an initial vote and Nibert cast the deciding vote.
 . Discussed closing an alley in the area of the post office. The issue
was directed to the planning commission.
 . Approved an contract between the village and Ohio Edison.
 . Discussed two positions within the village that are not being paid
appropriately as designated by ordinance.
 . Discussed making an alley near the Richwood Bank open to one-way
traffic. The issue passed 6-0 on first reading.
 . Discussed a new job title and job description for the village water
and sewer billing clerk and increased compensation for the position.

Fairbanks moves forward with building plans
By JUDY BOEHLER
The Fairbanks Board of Education heard from superintendent Jim Craycraft
that the district is moving ahead with building plans.
Craycraft told the board the plans will probably include a new
elementary school and retrofitting of the middle school/high school
building. He said he has received 20 to 30 letters from architectural
firms regarding an ad placed by the school system and their proposals are due by Jan. 21.
On Jan. 24, the proposals will be screened and he and treasurer Aaron
Johnson will select three firms for interviews and a final decision will
be brought to the board at the February meeting. The district's
attorneys and board members will be part of the decision process.
Craycraft said the design firm chosen will provide input as to whether a
renovation of the middle school/high school building would be the best
use of funds or whether a new facility should be constructed. He said
the funding could be proposed as a construction bond for the building
and a small short-term income tax for furnishings.
The board also heard from Craycraft a plan for tutoring student in
preparation for the upcoming proficiency tests. This plan came from
administration recommendations.
Craycraft called the tutoring a "full court press," saying it is
necessary to meet state standards and move up to an excellent rating on
the State Report Card.
The plan involves using five to six third and fourth grade teachers,
four sixth grade teachers and four high school teachers to tutor
students who need help one hour per night after school. Craycraft said
this plan will depend on how many students and teachers will be willing
to spend the extra hour after school.
Two substitute teachers would tutor those students who cannot stay after
school. The cost of the plan would be about $15,000.
Craycraft reviewed for the board other administration recommendations
for future consideration. These include a full-time reading intervention
teacher, increased guidance counseling, a school nurse, expansion of the
choral program and changes in food service and the security system. It
has also been recommended that the blocked classes which were instituted
several years ago be discontinued and that the high school go back to regular period classes.
Craycraft said these are proposals which will be worked on little by
little over a period of time. "We didn't pass a levy for new programs," he said.
In other business, the board approved:
 . A resolution of recognition for Patty Pease who has been selected for
the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
 . The function of the Athletic Boosters, Music Boosters, Dugout Club,
FES PTO, FMS PTO and Touchdown Club as eligible adult organized groups
that support official school programs.
 . The resignation of Jason Grimes as junior varsity basketball coach.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss the superintendent
and treasurer evaluations.
Before the regular meeting the board held its organizational meeting,
electing Kevin Green as president and Alan Phelps as vice president.
Meetings will be held at 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month.
The board authorized the superintendent to employ temporary personnel as
needed for emergency situations and to serve as purchasing agent for the district.
Jaynie Lambert was named legislative liaison and the treasurer was
authorized to secure advances from the county auditor; invest interim,
active and non-active funds; pay all bills; and maintain and operate all bank accounts.
The board approved the revenue estimates for fiscal year 2005-06.

Fraker tapped as Marysville School Board president
From J-T staff reports:
Members of the Marysville Board of Education elected Roy Fraker as
president and Steve Ader as vice president at the 2005 organizational
meeting held Monday night. Regular meetings will b held at 7 p.m. on the
fourth Monday of the month.
The board set compensation at $80 per meeting for Mike Guthrie, Jane
McClain and Steve Ader and $125 per meeting for Roy Fraker and Bill
Hayes. The Marysville Journal-Tribune was designated as the official
newspaper for notification of board meetings and the amount of $7,500
was set for the Board Service Fund.
Members were named to various committees and the superintendent was
authorized as purchasing agent and suspension hearing officer. The
superintendent was also authorized to employ staff prior to formal board approval.
The treasurer was authorized to request advances of property tax revenue
from the auditor; invest interim funds; and pay all bills.
The board reaffirmed its use of the law firms of Means, Bichimer,
Burkholder and Baker in Columbus and Britton, McGown, Smith, Peters and
Kalail in Cleveland for consultation on legal matters facing the school
district; and CBIZ Benefits and Insurance Services of Ohio Inc. for
consultation on matters pertaining to employee insurance benefit matters.
The board approved membership in the Ohio School Boards Association,
OSBA Legal Assistance Fund, Union County Chamber of Commerce and
Metropolitan Education Council. The board also approved contract
agreements and duties between itself and Marysville Digital Academy.
Assistant superintendent Neal Handler was named to serve as acting
superintendent when the superintendent is out of the district and the
treasurer received approval to pay the annual filing fees associated
with the filing of the superintendent's and treasurer's ethics form.
The 2006 organizational meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Jan. 9.
The next regular meeting will be Jan. 24

Former Jerome Twp. attorney sentenced
Former Jerome Township attorney sentenced Friday
Columbus attorney Susan J. Kyte, who worked for Jerome Township and a
local political action committee, surrendered her law license Friday in
the Franklin County Common Pleas Court prior to spending three years in
prison, according to printed reports.
Kyte, 48, pleaded guilty in November to 19 felony counts of theft, money
laundering, election falsification and filing false income-tax returns.
She admitted to writing 119 checks for $221,000 to herself from campaign
accounts. Ohio law does not permit convicted felons to practice law.
She was ordered to pay restitution and report to jail on Jan. 19.
During her sentencing, Kyte reportedly apologized for violating her
clients' trust. Her attorney said Kyte began spending the stolen money
in 1998 for business and personal expenses. He said she is now broke and owns no property.
Earlier reports stated that the former German Village resident is now
living out-of-state with her mother and working in a department store for minimum wage.
Kyte's thefts were uncovered in an investigation by the Ohio Secretary
of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and forced other officeholders who hired
Kyte to audit their records.
Other victims included representative Linda Reidelbach, State Sen.
Robert A. Gardner, former state Rep. Amy Salerno, Ann Wormer who ran for
congress in 2002, retired state Sen. Eugene Watts, former clerk of
courts Virginia Barney, former Columbus council candidate Mike Tanner,
Hilliard city councilman Mike Cope and a Republican political-action committee.
Kyte worked for the Jerome Township Board of Trustees in 2002 and wrote
several referendums on Jerome Township rezonings for the Committee for
the Preservation of Rural Living, a political action committee.
Kyte could have faced up to 30 years in prison or received probation.
Common Pleas Judge David E. Cain, reportedly said he chose the
three-year sentence after discussion penalties with Kyte's attorney and
county prosecutor Ron O'Brien. All agreed that Kyte should spend time in
prison, but Cain said he showed some leniency because Kyte was a
first-time, nonviolent offender and the crime involved property theft.
A native of New York, she is a 1984 graduate of Capital University.
In June the Ohio Elections Commission voted 5-1 against taking action
against Kyte for election-law violations.
Subpoenas were issued in June by the Franklin County Grand Jury after a
complaint was filed by Blackwell with the elections commission, county
prosecutor and Supreme Court disciplinary counsel.

New Acura will be  produced at Marysville Auto Plant
From J-T staff reports:
An all-new Acura SUV will be built at the Marysville Auto Plant in 2006
states a press release today from Honda of American Mfg. corporate affairs.
The new Acura SUV will be the first light truck model at the Marysville
plant, joining a lineup that includes the Honda Accord and the Acura TL.
Placed in the Acura lineup beneath the MDX in both price and size, it
will be the fourth performance and luxury Acura model produced in North America.
The RD-X concept of this all-new Acura SUV made its North American debut
Sunday during press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The announcement included information that the Honda CR-V sport utility
vehicle will be produced at the East Liberty Auto Plant. The CR-V will
be the second light truck built at the East Liberty plant, which
currently produces the Element, Accord and Civic. The move will help
meet demand for the CR-V which reached a U.S. sales record of 149,281 units last year.
"This announcement exhibits both the flexibility of our auto
manufacturing plants in the state of Ohio and the dedication of our
associates," said Honda of America President and CEO Koki Hirashima.
"Our strong team of associates is committed to supplying our customers
with the high-quality products they have come to expect from Honda."
Honda announced in December its plans to build the CR-V in Ohio, citing
its popularity in the United States as a main reason production will be
shifting from the United Kingdom to the East Liberty plant. Honda's
plant in the U.K. will focus on diesel-powered and other products
popular in that region of the world.
"Adding production of these two light-truck models to Ohio is another
example of our commitment to build products close to our customers,"
said Hirashima. "Along with the model mix produced at Honda's other
plants in North America, this will position us for the future -
providing added flexibility to meet the needs of our customers for both
cars and light trucks."
Honda has invested more than $8 billion in 12 plants and other
operations in North America and nearly eight of 10 vehicles Honda sells
here are made in those plants.
With 16,000 associates in Ohio, Honda has two auto plants, a motorcycle
plant and engine and transmission plants in the state, along with
product engineering, warehousing and logistics operations.

Marysville schools name Good Apples
From J-T staff reports:
Every year the Marysville schools name their Good Apples, people who
have helped the schools. This year, the eight school buildings named 15 recipients.
East Elementary School has named Sue Dill, who donates her time by
buying and donating gloves, coats and hats to the school. She adopts a
class every year and brings in individual items for each child to take
home throughout the year and has also been known to help out individual
families in time of need.
Ellen Pond is Edgewood Elementary's designee. She has been involved with
OhioReads since its inception in 1999 and is always enthusiastic with
the students she mentors. Pond is also involved with Kiwanis Club
children's programs and is generous with her time and knowledge.
Mill Valley Elementary has named three Good Apples this year. Scott
Johnson assists the school in many capacities, working in the classroom,
helping with the school carnival, serving as a PTO officer and
installing new playground equipment. He is employed at the Ohio State
University which gives him 1/2 day per week to volunteer at Mill Valley.
His newest venture is serving as the school's representative to the
Superintendent's Advisory Committee.
John and Donna Magers have volunteered numerous hours at Mill Valley,
participating in PTO events and supporting the annual carnival, candy
sale and Scholastic Book Fairs held twice a year. They each donate 1 1/2
hours per week helping six children in the OhioReads program and they
volunteer in Mrs. Levy's class.
Navin Elementary School has named Cindy Jones and Diane Jacobs,
co-presidents of the PTO, as their Good Apples. Both women work as
classroom volunteers in their daughters' third grade classroom, organize
the monthly Birthday Cupcake celebration and work tirelessly to make the
fall fundraiser a success. They participate in Scarecrow Night, Spirit
Wear and the Book Fair, recruit volunteers and have organized the annual
school supply sale. Jones and Jacobs are at Navin so often that they are
mistaken for staff members.
Tonya Shick and Lucy Carpenter were named Raymond Elementary School's
Good Apple recipients. They co-chaired the PTO hospitality committee
last year and, together, have spoiled the Raymond staff by providing
staff breakfasts, cooked and served lunches on teacher workdays and
providing A Day at the Spa for teachers. They also remodeled the
teachers lounge and at Christmas, provided classroom gifts such as Leap
Pad games, books and supplies. They collected gifts from area businesses
during staff appreciation week. Shick and Carpenter have been room
mothers, classroom tutors and have worked with the PTO.
John Rockenbaugh is Creekview Intermediate School's Good Apple for 2004.
He spends countless hours on natural resources education at Creekview,
beginning four years ago when the sixth grade wetlands ecosystem study
was started, and has provided field and water training, guidance,
equipment, office staff and literature. He has been instrumental in
developing the CIS Land Lab, working with the bluebird box, plant and
animal identification and teaching the "leave no trace" philosophy.
Rockenbaugh is a vital member of the JASON Disappearing Wetlands
training team, sharing his expertise in wildlife and resource management
with educators from all over the state.
Marysville Middle School's Good Apple Award goes to Dave and Kim Brooks,
parents of three school-age children. They have been an integral part of
organizing parent involvement, including organizing the Nigh Game
Tailgate Party for football and band parents and MMS staff. They have
been involved with organizing meals for events, working bingo, obtaining
supplies for athletic teams and serving on a variety of parent committees.
The Rev. Renee Ahern, Dr. Bob Ahern and Scott are Marysville High
School's Good Apples for 2004. Renee Ahern works with Marysville High
School students going through anticipatory grief and has volunteered to
assist in grief crisis situations. She put together the memorial service
for teacher Dennis McKee who died suddenly last year, then taught his
classes for several weeks, as his students struggled with their grief.
She is a valued professional counselor.
Bob Ahern is site manager of Consolidated Care Inc., a mental health
counseling agency, and he opened the doors of cooperation between mental
health counseling and the schools. He and his agency are available for
counseling at times of crisis. He is also an active committee member of
the district Central Stakeholders Safe Schools Committee and the Suicide
Prevention Initiative and has started many programs that support struggling students.
Underwood is everywhere, helping with homecoming floats and his
children's classes and facilitating grief support groups. When Mike
Padovano died, Underwood filled his seat the first day to help students
with their grieving and he has been a guest speaker in many classes. He
emceed the first foreign students exchange program dinner in 2002,
supports Jobs for Ohio's Graduates during their
multicultural/diversity/respecting differences and donated American
flags for foreign exchange students to take home. He chaired the valet
parking committee at the prom last year, providing a canopy tent and
umbrellas for shelter in the rain.

Flood insurance information offered
The Ohio Insurance Institute (Oii) has released information on dealing
with damages due to flooding and winter storms.
Flood insurance
According to Oii, flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy
and there is a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes
effective. Coverage of a building's contents must be purchased
separately from coverage for the buildings. Applicants do not need to
live in a flood plain to purchase flood insurance but must be located in
a community that has qualified for the National Flood Insurance Program.
Ohio's listing can be found at www.fema.gov/cis/oh.pdf.
Water backup
Coverage for water backup in basements from drains and sewers is
excluded from flood insurance but can be obtained by purchasing an
endorsement. Some insurers include full coverage for sump pump failure
while other specify items that are covered.
Tree and limb damage
Coverage of the cost of removing fallen trees and limbs is covered up to
a certain specified amount. Debris removal coverage varies by company.
Some policies specify that the tree or branch must have damaged a covered structure.
If branches are weighted down with ice or snow and show signs of
cracking, remove them before they cause damage. Some communities provide
curbside limb pickup following storms.
Power failure
Damage from burst water pipes is covered in most homeowners policies.
Bursting can be avoided by turning off the water supply and draining
water pipes, water tanks and toilets. Sump pump failure can be avoided
by installing a battery backup system. Homeowner policies differ on food
spoilage. It is normally excluded if the cause is an off-premises power outage.
More information may be obtained by visiting the Ohio Committee for
Severe Weather Awareness Web site at www.ema.ohio.gove/PDFs/Severe
Weather/Winter2004.pdf.

Talk focuses on sewer plant - Millcreek Township residents want answers about Marysville's plans
By CINDY BRAKE
Beecher Gamble Road property in Millcreek Township is reportedly the
site selected for a future Marysville wastewater treatment plant.
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse said today that the city is negotiating with
some people on the properties.
Several Millcreek Township residents voiced concerns about the city's
plan and what it could mean to their future during an informational
meeting Thursday at the township building.
The special board of trustees meeting was originally scheduled to
discuss land use planning and a proposed land use map, however, the
discussion quickly turned to talk about what Marysville is planning. The
trustees confirmed that they know very little but were planning meetings
with council members.
"We got blindsided," said trustee Bill Lynch.
A special meeting is scheduled for Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the township
community building to meet with county officials to gather information
on the proposed city of Marysville wastewater/sewage treatment plant.
Some present questioned if Kruse had been invited. The trustees said he
is aware of the meeting.
Planner Dianne Harris of Burns, Bertsch & Harris (BBH) of Columbus said
a wastewater plant could have a "profound impact on your future," adding
that she thought it was a good thing to discover now because it could be
worked into the land use plan. She also suggested that the township
begin working with the city and county.
"We don't as much plan our future as we negotiate it," Harris said,
quoting an associate.
The question of annexation was voiced by several at the meeting,
including trustee Keith Conroy who asked Harris if the township should
stop the plan and wait.
Resident Connie Nicol questioned what the township's $29,000 to BBH had
purchased if the city annexes township land.
Paul Detwiler, a former township trustee, speculated that the township's
planning had created a "sense of false security of self determination."
He predicted that if the sewer plant came, the whole township would be gone.
"We don't want to be in the city," said property owner Rick Conley, who
admitted that the location makes sense for development. "I don't see it being stopped."
Several comments were made about an unfriendly annexation of township
property to Fladt Road several years ago when Kruse was mayor and the
matter ended up in court.
The Marysville City Council agenda for Thursday does not include any
readings concerning the Beecher Gamble Road property. Kruse said the
item will not be added to the agenda this week.

Search begins for new jail director
By RYAN HORNS
The Tri-County Jail Corrections Commission has begun the process of
sifting through applicants and starting interviews to fill the spot of
former jail director Dan Bratka, who announced his resignation last month.
The commission held an executive session at its Thursday afternoon
monthly meeting to discuss finding a replacement. Nothing was decided
during the closed door meeting.
In the meantime, Tri-County Jail captain James Davis was granted full
authority in Bratka's place. The designation, voted by the commission,
essentially gives Davis the power to hire and fire employees. Financial
paperwork will be signed by both Davis and executive assistant Sandra Marsh.
During the meeting, commissioners discovered that the Tri-County jail's
financial status at the end of 2004 is better than expected.
"We didn't run out of money at the end of the year, did we?" Madison
County Commissioner David Dhume asked.
"No. In fact, we have lots of money left over," Marsh said.
She reported to commissioners that more than $500,000 was left in the jail budget.
Champaign County Commissioner Bob Corbett said that he gives credit to
this overage on how things were run throughout the year by jail
administration. He said it was good news, considering the jail put in a
whole new phone system for $35,000.
Davis said he also gives credit to the hiring of a new physician, which
saved the jail on medical expenses.
"Medical costs went down dramatically from 2003 to 2004," he said.
Corbett requested that funds be split evenly and distributed back into
Champaign, Union and Madison counties. It could mean an additional
amount of around $180,000 to $190,000 for each county.
Marsh said the only other option for using the funds would be to put it
toward lowering county payments to the jail.
Union County commissioner Gary Lee said that may not be a good idea, as
doing this often distorts future payments. Counties get used to payments
being a certain amount and at the end of the year they may be unprepared
for a significant hike.
Commissioners decided to talk more about the distribution of the funds
and will vote on their decision at the next meeting in February.

U.C. Health Department offers flood cleanup tips
Editor's note: This information has been provided by the Union County
Health Department.
As the rain subsides, many Union County residents will have to deal with
the damage high waters left behind.
Paul Pryor, director on environmental health at the Union County Health
Department offers these tips:
 . Flood waters can damage wells and sewage systems. If you think your
well may be contaminated, have it tested. If you know your well has been
contaminated, chlorinate it and test it.
 . Before stepping into water inside your home, make sure the
electricity is turned off. Live outlets can lead to electrocution. Unplug all appliances.
 . If you have natural gas, check your pilot light and gas lines for
damage. Call the gas company or fire department is you are concerned
about your gas system. Fuel tanks and propane gas tanks should also be checked.
 . All surfaces and objects submerged in flood waters should be scrubbed
with soap and water, rinsed and sanitized to kill harmful bacteria.
 . Add 1/4 tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water to make a
sanitizing solution. Use regular unscented bleach and wear rubber gloves while cleaning.
 . If food materials come into contact with flood water, throw out all
opened containers, fresh produce and foods that are in boxes or bags.
Food in unopened jars and cans can be washed, sanitized and used.
 . Wet carpets should be cleaned and pulled up and the floor underneath
should be cleaned and sanitized. Carpet padding may need to be discarded.
 . After cleaning, open windows and turn on fans to ventilate the area.
More information of flood cleanup may be obtained by calling 642-2053.

Wal-Mart Supercenter design approved - Architects comply with wishes of design review commission
By RYAN HORNS
After much debate and plan changes, the final design draft for the
Marysville Wal-Mart Supercenter has been approved.
The Marysville Design Review Commission unanimously voted at a Dec. 20
meeting to give the green light for a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Members felt
changes architects made to the design plans upon the request of
commission members were adequate for the overall expectations of the
Coleman's Crossing business district.
Wal-Mart architects reported that they plan to break ground by February
with an opening sometime in 2005.
Initially, commissioners were not happy with what was referred to as
"lower-end" plans. The designs were deemed too plain and did not have
designs as architecturally pleasing as Wal-Mart Supercenter buildings in other cities.
Wal-Mart architects countered the commission's complaints by adding more
brick and details to the structure.
Commission member John Cunningham said the reason for the scrutiny on
the project was because the business will receive a lot of exposure as
drivers approach Marysville on U.S. 33. Coleman's Crossing is expected
to be Marysville's "gateway."
Cunningham said it is important to create an attractive building because
Wal-Mart Supercenter's future location is right next to Honda of
America's new dealership, considered to be the company's national flagship store.
"As anyone can see coming into town now, that area is going to be a
beacon," Cunningham joked, referring to the new bright lights that
recently went up for the Honda dealership.
Commissioner Ken Kraus said at the Dec. 20 meeting that the commission
acknowledges the efforts architects gave as a compromise.
"This project has come a long way since the first proposal," Kraus said.
Other requests were made for the designs, such as adding black
ornamental fencing around a proposed pond and the garden center and
perhaps a white line above four signs to make them schematic with the
rest of building.
Architect David Oaks said the fences will be installed and there will
also be a sidewalk from Coleman's Crossing Boulevard to the building for
pedestrian safety.
Other details did not get changed yet on the plans but architects
reported they will be submitted to city staff. Other changes include the
shed roof being changed, adding brick at the bottom as requested and
changing the food center vestibule to a bagel color and altering the
central sign elements to stucco.
Design Review commissioner Alan Seymour suggested using a stripe above
the blue area over "meat," "produce," "one-hour photo" and "optical"
areas to create balance.
Architects said they will try but they are not sure it will look right
or can even be done with the materials involved.
Commission member Rick Griffin said he appreciated how the design had
four different focal points. "It looks very good," he said.

N.L. council passes rate increase
By CORINNE BIX
North Lewisburg village council authorized a 3-percent increase for
water and sewer utilities to become effective in March.
The $1.75 increase is part of a long-term plan to increase funds for the
improvement of the village's wastewater treatment facility.
Council passed a similar 3-percent increase in February of last year.
Council is meeting in a special work session Jan. 10 to discuss various
issues including a proposed change to rate structures for water meters.
Currently, village residents pay a flat rate for both water and sewer.
Administrator Barry First explained, "Hopefully, a meter system will put
into practice conservation by some of our users."
Mayor Dick Willis gave the state of the village address.
Willis welcomed again new council member Chris Woodard who replaced
Dwight Thompson, who resigned in August 2004 after 18 years of service
to the village.
Willis thanked council for their support last year in passing a
resolution requiring the public to give 48 hours notice prior to a
meeting in order to be included on that meeting's agenda.
Plans for the new fire station are moving forward. A floor plan has been
designed and the decision on the final site should be made in April.
Willis explained that there would be two hearings for the public to
respond to the proposed fire station plans.
Improvements to the village municipal building will continue this year.
An HVAC system was installed last year and new flooring and ceiling
tiles are expected to be installed in the community room by this spring.
Willis said other goals for this year include continuing work on the
city's bike/walking trail with the park project to be completed by 2007.
The next park project includes the securing of funding for playground
equipment and the lighting of the third baseball diamond.
The wastewater treatment plant expansion project is also progressing
with the village engineer preparing to submit the final designs to the Ohio EPA.
Willis said he hoped that council would be able to review and recommend
wage increases for village employees. Finally, he mentioned the painting
of the two village water towers and the resurfacing of various roadways.
"These are a few of the projects we will be working on this year,"
Willis said, "and with the help of the village council, I am sure the
work will be done, as we all work together for the betterment of the village."
Officer Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's office report for
the village. In December 2004, there were 11 traffic citations issued,
seven warnings issued for traffic violations, six incident reports, 28
cases of assistance given to citizens, one arrest made, five civil and
criminal papers served, 24 follow-up investigations completed, one open
door, seven instances of juvenile contacts, one civic activity completed
and one auto accident report taken.
In other business, council:
 . Elected Steve Wilson as council president
 . Passed ordinance No. 233 L.P.A./O.D.O.T. agreement (rule suspend) for multi-use pathway
 . Passed resolution No. 1-4-05 (A) supporting Big Darby Headwater project
 . Passed resolution No. 1-4-05 (B) authorizing application to (O.D.N.R.) Natureworks
 . Passed ordinances No. 68 I for increasing sanitary service rates 3 percent (suspend rule) and
No. 47 H increasing water utility rates 3 percent (suspend rule.

Residents may be eligible for disaster assistance
Some households in Union County may be eligible for disaster assistance
from the recent winter storm. Gov. Bob Taft announced that funds are
available from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to 20
counties, including Union.
To be eligible, a person must be impacted by the sever weather and show
evidence of economic need. In Union County, individuals or families must
be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. For
example, a one-person household must have gross monthly income at or
below $1,552 and the gross income for a family of four cannot exceed
$3,142 per month.
Families with minor children may qualify for up to $1,500 in disaster
assistance. Adults over the age of 55 without children or individuals
with disabilities may qualify for up to $750.
The application deadline is Jan. 28 and assistance is contingent upon
the availability of funding. Applications are available at the Union
County Department of Job and Family Services, 940 London Ave., Suite
1800, or by calling 644-1010 or (800) 248-2347.

Trustees clash over appointments
By CINDY BRAKE
"Have you ever smelled a skunk?" "Every time I sit next to you."
And so began another year of business for the Jerome Township Board of Trustees.
Trustee Ron Rhodes asked the question during Monday's organizational
meeting. He was referring to two zoning appointments.
The response was from trustee Sharon Sue Wolfe who presented the
appointments. She was referring to Rhodes.
Wolfe and trustee Freeman May voted to place two alternate members as
permanent members to the board of zoning appeals and zoning board.
Robert Merkle's term had expired on the zoning board and Mike Raley's
term on the board of zoning appeals had expired.
Without prior notice, Wolfe presented two letters that read almost word
for word alike from Kent Anders and Lou Bedford. The letters stated that
both Anders, an alternate on the zoning board, and Bedford, an alternate
on the board of zoning appeals, sought fulltime appointment, but if they
did not receive the appointment then they rescinded their application.
Anders and Bedford had received their alternate appointments from May
and Wolfe when they created the alternate positions in 2003.
Rhodes called it a "set up" and said May had a conflict of interest with
the Anders appointment. Anders is May's sons-in-law.
Rhodes also asked how many more relatives May had to appoint. May said
he had a couple of other son-in-laws.
May and Wolfe argued that the law allowed the Anders appointment and
that it was no different from what Rhodes had done years ago when his
children and wife were employed by the township. Saying that the law has
changed since then, Rhodes said today that he was not a trustee when his
wife served as an EMT for a short time and during that time she returned
all compensation to the township. She also paid for her own training and
uniform. Rhodes said his children were paid minimum wage to mow weeds
and used their personal equipment.
Rhodes did nominate Merkle for reappointment, noting that Merkle had
provided the township with many years of experience and was an asset and
a good leader. Wolfe said she believes in term limits and believes the
alternate positions were training for full appointment.
Rhodes called her statements into question, pointing out that in the
past she had reappointed one of her supporters, Jeanette Harrington, to
the board of zoning appeals. Wolfe responded by saying she didn't say
how long when referring to term limits. Rhodes said Raley had served
only one term. Wolfe did not respond.
Questioning her statement about alternates being in positions of
training, Rhodes asked Bedford how many times he had sat on the board of
zoning appeals. Bedford seemed uncertain.
After the fact, property owner Malcolm McKitrick, who had served as a
trustee in another township, said appointing family members "breeds
trouble" and it is just a good policy to avoid such practices.
Tracey Guerin, a zoning board alternate appointed by May and Wolfe in
2003, said Merkle had been very fair and helpful.
Rhodes argued that the township's rules required the posting of all
township positions. Wolfe recessed the meeting to allow Rhodes time to
find the resolution. When the meeting eventually returned to open
session, Guerin said the alternate positions were advertised. Rhodes
asked Wolfe to rescind the appointments if he finds the legislation.
Amid name calling and personal attacks by trustee Wolfe, none of the
trustees addressed the fact that this year's budget shows a deficit and
includes funds to pay for public safety officers through March. In fact,
May and Wolfe voted to increase wages for four employees as the township
faces its second year of deficit spending.
After a 45-minute executive session to discuss employee compensation and
without explanation, Wolfe and May voted to give four employees four
different wage increases.
The clerk's administrative assistant received a cost of living increase
of 2.4 percent; the zoning inspector received a 1.5 percent raise and
her hours were increased to make her eligible for benefits that will
cost approximately $14,000; a road worker received a 3.8 percent wage
increase; and another road worker received a 6.25 percent increase.
Rhodes voted in favor of the cost of living increase and proposed that
all other positions receive the same adjustments. Without explanation
May and Wolfe let Rhodes amendments die for lack of a second.
A decision on the zoning clerk's wages was tabled without explanation.
In other business:
. Building rental fees were adjusted and will now be collected by the
clerk's administrative assistant rather than a trustee.
. Action on cemetery fees was tabled at the clerk's request.
. The cost to copy documents was decreased from 25 cents a page to 15
cents. May voted against the change.
. Wolfe was appointed board president. No vice president was elected.
After May and Rhodes declined the nomination, Wolfe asked the audience
if they would like to be vice chair.
. After a year of meetings every Wednesday morning, the board voted to
return to their past schedule of conducting regular business only on the
first and third Mondays of every month. If that date falls on a national
holiday, the meeting moves to Tuesday.
. Notices of special meetings will be posted at the township building at
least 24 hours in advance.
. A citizen asked if one township employee who received a raise had
taken a drug test. Officials were uncertain.
. A decision was tabled about repairing gutters on the township building.
. May criticized printed reports of a past meeting, although after the
meeting the clerk said it was accurate.
. Trustees approved minutes for two Wednesday meetings in December, but
tabled a vote on the Dec. 20 minutes. The Nov. 1 minutes received a
split vote with Rhodes voting yea, May voting no and Wolfe abstaining.

County feels Stern effect
Sirius satellite radio sales boom following shock jock announcement

By RYAN HORNS
The age of satellite radio is exploding and Union County consumers have
responded to the market.
Chad Funderburgh, store manager at the Marysville Radio Shack located at
15749 U.S. 36, said his store began stocking Sirius radios last June.
Initially the sales were low compared to XM Satellite radio but that
changed in the past several months.
"We can't keep them on the shelves now," Funderburgh said.
He cites two specific reasons for the jump in prices: Radio personality
Howard Stern and the NFL.
After repeated problems with the Federal Communications Commission,
Stern announced in October he was leaving public radio's Infinity
Broadcasting to host a show in the censorship-free world of Sirius in
2006. It was reported that if just 1 percent of Stern's audience makes
the move to Sirius with him in 2006, the company will have already made
a profit on his five-year $500 million contract fee. Stern is reportedly
the number 1 radio host among males 18-49 and ranks first in many of the
46 major markets where his show is broadcast.
Stern can be heard locally during morning hours on 99.7 FM from Columbus.
"On the day Howard Stern announced he was moving, we had 30 people come
in wanting to price out the cost," Funderburgh said.
Funderburgh said the other reason Union County consumers are coming into
his store is Sirius radio's exclusive NFL broadcasting. He said XM
Satellite radio is more tied in with baseball broadcasting.
Funderburgh explained that many customers are interested in Sirius is
because Sirius signed an exclusive deal with Radio Shack to sell the
radios at a lower price. The store carries radios for $79.99 and $49.99
car kits, along with other deals such as a $30 rebate.
The kits are designed to be easy to install and he said he has installed
them for customers in as few as three minutes in the Radio Shack parking lot.
Because Sirius has also increased commercials and made consumer
awareness more of a priority, customers have been reacting.
Just to give an idea of the consequences of a deal between Sirius and
Radio Shack, Funderburgh said, there are more Radio Shacks in the United
States then there are McDonalds restaurants. He said that on average the
Marysville Radio Shack has been selling 20 Sirius radio kits a month. By
multiplying this average with the thousands of Radio Shack markets all
over the United States, it is obvious that this is a large and thriving market.
The Sirius stock has also seen a huge jump as well. Shares were selling
at $3.23 apiece at the end of March and had tripled their worth to $9.28
a share by December. Currently the stock is trading at about $7.50.
"I don't see it slowing down," Funderburgh said. "As soon as (Stern)
flips over, you're going to see a big jump in sales."
With all the attention Sirius radio has received because of Stern, the
entire market of satellite radio stands to benefit in sales. Funderburgh
said XM Satellite radio is going to be placing a portable system on the
market in the next month or so.

Frozen or flowing, water a problem
Plain City area hit by flooding; other areas of county deal with ice storm
By RYAN HORNS
Overnight Wednesday Mother nature gave Union County residents the old
one, two punch.
Floodwaters forced some residents to evacuate their homes and left roads
impassable. Other residents were greeted with an ice storm which knocked
power lines down, ultimately leaving many without electricity.
In Plain City, the Big Darby Creek flowed over roads in some areas and
water made its way up to homes. At the end of Jackson Boulevard at
Wesley Road a home sits entirely surrounded by water.
"Some of the people there left to go to different locations from the
flooding," Emergency Management director Randy Riffle said. "Plain City
was the worst of the bunch."
Farther up the street, Jackson Boulevard resident Pam May stood outside
her home on the back porch this morning, showing how the water from the
creek has come halfway up the sides of their barn in the backyard.
"Normally you can't even see the water," May said.
Her backyard is now more like a pond. As she spoke, workmen filled up a
dump truck with water-soaked trash in the front yard of her neighbor's home.
Emergency Management Agency deputy director Brad Gilbert said he went
door to door warning residents and placed calls to city administrators
and emergency responders with reports that flooding could hit hard
overnight. A shelter was opened at Tolles Technical School for residents
of Plain City and parts of Milford Center which is also expected to be
affected by rising waters.
Gilbert said there was a fear that the Big Darby Creek would flood worse
than it did in 1997.
"We were launching boats from the county parking lot," Riffle said.
The June 1997 flood damaged 302 homes in Union and Madison counties, 181
in the village of Plain City, when seven inches of rain fell over a
weekend and Plain City was almost cut off by high water.
May said that during the 1997 flood the creek completely engulfed the
road more than 50 yards away from her house, which now is still open to traffic.
Gilbert said this morning that flooding did not reach as high as
expected but cities were still taking precautions by closing roads. Near
the Der Dutchman Restaurant, flooded farmland water spilled across the
road, sending rooster tails up as cars went by. The road was later
closed by a Plain City police officer.
"It's just really stressful," May said. "I tried to lay down and go to
bed at around 1:30 a.m. but I just tossed and turned. I just kept
thinking 'I have to go see. I have to go see.' Not that we can do
anything about it."
The water was about a foot from spilling over her porch.
"If it comes up over the lip," she said. "It'll spill into the house."
Inside her home, May and her husband and friends sat on chairs with a
kerosene heater giving them warmth. They had enough time to fill a truck
with furniture they didn't want to get ruined.
"Everything else you see can get wet," she said.
The National Weather Service reported that regionally 4.2 inches of rain
fell in Pharisburg, 2.84 inches in Allen Center, one inch in Byhalia and
.88 inch in New California
In other areas of the county, Riffle reported, flooding was not part of
the news but ice buildup knocked down power lines and felled trees,
leaving many residents without electricity.
Union Rural Electric spokesman Rick Shortell said customers living north
of Route 347 and in the western part of the county experienced electric
outages due to the ice accumulation on electric lines and trees. He said
outage reports began to come in at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.
At one point in the early morning hours, he said, more than 1,000 URE
members were without power.
"As of 8 a.m. this morning there are about 400 members, mainly in the
northern part of Union County and eastern Logan County without power,"
Shortell reported. "URE crews have worked through the night and will
continue working today to restore power."
He said URE officials are optimistic that most members will have power
restored by this evening barring any further accumulation of ice.
Union County schools were closed for the day.

Meeting will focus on land use in Millcreek Township
By CINDY BRAKE
A special session to discuss land use/growth plan issues in Millcreek
Township is planned for today at 6 p.m.
Since June a steering committee of residents and township officials have
been seeking public input prior to developing a preliminary zoning map
and plan. The map identifies specific areas in the township for
agricultural, residential, industrial and community uses, as well as for
special uses and business centers.
Trustees Keith Conroy and Jim Schrader caution that the proposed map is
very preliminary and just a starting point to generate some
conversation. It is based on specific issues identified by township
residents who have participated in the study.
One high priority is preserving the quiet and natural rural quality of
life, yet respecting the rights of property owners to use their land in
an economically viable fashion, states a Comprehensive Land Use and
Growth Plan Policies posted on the website of Burns, Bertsch & Harris,
which has been hired by the township to help with the planning process.
"The community believes that the trend of population growth in this
region will continue and eventually will play a role in Millcreek
Township's future. A market oriented planning perspective will be
maintained that responds to the market for land and land uses, but
places the responsibility for absorbing costs for the impacts of
development upon the developer/land owner."
Dianne Harris who is working with Millcreek Township said the policies
on the site are drafts adapted from some similar work Burns, Burtsch &
Harris did in Genoa Township and meant to illustrate some ideas the
company had for Millcreek if the citizens like them. She adds that all
proposals are up for debate and are suggested as a result of feedback,
surveys and meetings to date.
Other issues listed on the website include requiring buffering through
transitional areas, open space, fencing and/or planting; pathways
linking community, natural and social resources; and all non-residential
developments shall be located with direct access to an improved
designated major thoroughfare.
The plan states that the township will provide assistance to and
encourage land owners that sell off parcels occasionally to adopt
traditional hamlet-style layouts, discouraging stripping out parcels
along the road right-of-way. The preferred method of development will be
the Planned Conservation Developments including a mix of land uses.
The proposed future land use categories and their definitions include:
Agriculture/rural - this classification includes agricultural activities
and single family residential development at a maximum density of .2
dwelling units per acre.
Low density residential - single family residential development with a
maximum density of .5 dwelling units per acre.
Medium density residential - single family residential development with
a maximum density of .8 dwelling units per acre. Density may be
increased if water and sewer become available.
Business center - a variety of uses are appropriate in the business
center including retail and highway commercial uses, office uses and
limited multi-family development if water and sewer service become
available. The density of the multi-family development will be limited
to no more than eight units per acre.
Light industrial - land within this category may be used for light
industrial operations, office uses, warehouses and limited commercial development.
Open space - Riparian buffers and large wooded areas are included in the
open space category as well as the township cemetery and two future park
areas, one located on Watkins Road and one on Watkins-California Road.
The open space may be publicly or privately owned.
Community use - the land on the north side of Watkins Road is owned by
Millcreek Township and is the location of the township house and
community park. The land on the south side of Watkins Road is owned by
the Fairbanks Local School District. Currently the old Watkins school
facility located there is abandoned. However, the school district has
long-term plans to locate a facility on the northeast side of U.S. 33.
This provides the opportunity to redevelop this area. If the school
district chooses not to reuse the site for a school facility, the site
could be redeveloped as a neighborhood community center.
Special use - this category comprises the majority of land owned by the
Shelly Materials Company. Currently a small portion of this land is
being quarried. However, the company has indicated a desire to expand
operations. This category is also comprised of land along U.S. 33 owned
by the Ohio Department of Transportation. These sites are being used as highway rest stops.
Incorporated - township land within the city of Marysville.