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Published: Wednesday, 2/22/2006

Maumee: Be vigilant about future, mayor tells community

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Maumee is doing well but must take care in the face of challenges, Mayor Tim Wagener said.

"Never has our outlook been as bright as at present, yet we must continue to be vigilant," he told the Chamber of Commerce in his State of the City address last week.

His brief speech covered not just the past year in the city but all 6 1/2 years of his tenure as mayor. Mr. Wagener is running for Lucas County Commissioner this fall, saying he feels he can do more good for the area as a commissioner than as mayor.

Mr. Wagener hailed the recently-renovated Maumee Indoor Theater as a catalyst for the renewal of uptown, calling it "an icon to who we are as a community and a symbol to all that Maumee was on the move."

The city recently received a $400,000 grant for uptown revitalization, its third in a row, which Mr. Wagener called a vote of confidence on the part of the state.

He spoke at Gianno's Italian Bistro on River Road, saying the building is an example of the preservation of historic buildings in the city.

He said other successes in the past few years include face lifts to city parks, the doubling in size of the Maumee Senior Center, reconstruction of streets, the Maumee-Perrysburg bridge, the library, and the new Fort Miami Elementary school, which opened last month.

Mr. Wagener also hailed the city's business successes.

"Maumee's Arrowhead business park is the paragon by which others are judged," Mr. Wagener said.

He said the city does not steal jobs from other communities but is sought out by businesses.

"We should never apologize for Arrowhead Park," he said.

With help from Monclova Township, Toledo, Lucas County, the governor's office, and the Regional Growth Partnership, the city became the site of Dana Corp.'s technical center. Mr. Wagener called it a blueprint for area cooperation in economic development.

Mr. Wagener said the city cannot rest on its laurels. Though it "dodged a major economic bullet" when Ford announced plant closings recently, it can't wait to see what happens in the future, he said.

He said none of the large and small businesses in the community are taken for granted.

The city brought in $15.2 million in income taxes in 2005, a record, Mr. Wagener said.

Other things the city went through in the past year include the discovery of a cemetery at the site of the former Miami Children's Home.

Mr. Wagener said the city avoided a costly legal entanglement over costs of excavating the remains, which will be re-interred in Riverside Cemetery at a ceremony in late April.

This year the city will begin construction of a fire station on Illinois Avenue and continue to redevelop the uptown area.

The city is also looking forward to the development of the Fallen Timbers overlay district, a redesign of the interchange of I-475 and Dussel Drive, and a future interchange of I-475 and Illinois Avenue.



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