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Published: Wednesday, 12/5/2001

Waterville reviews accomplishments of 2001

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

It's been a good year in the village of Waterville, where several major goals have been successfully completed, according to a top official.

Village council and staff members addressed important issues during 2001. They included items related to land-use planning, capital projects, and upgrades in services, said Thomas Mattis, municipal administrator, who outlined the accomplishments during council's meeting last week.

Goals were drawn up by village officials, and then Waterville residents were asked to help set priorities, Mr. Mattis said. He reminded officials that it is time to begin that process for the 2002 goals.

The village next year would like to continue efforts to achieve a permanent, long-term plan to improve safety along U.S. 24, a mostly two-lane road that stretches from Toledo to Fort Wayne, Ind.

Last year, the village spent $24,000 in overtime to step up traffic enforcement on U.S. 24 in Waterville.

Waterville completed a road-improvement project that added turn lanes for vehicles entering and exiting the Farnsworth Industrial Park from U.S. 24., and the village worked with the Ohio Department of Transportation to extend a turn lane on U.S. 24 at Canal Road to improve safety.

Other capital improvements were accomplished too, Mr. Mattis said, including major infrastructure improvements such as street resurfacing and sidewalk installation.

No definitive plans were developed for the village-owned land known as the Grimm Farm, but talks continued about potential uses.

There are ongoing discussions about possibly using some of the land for a communitywide baseball complex, Mr. Mattis said.

Council's efforts to establish a historic district were put on hold. Formation of the district could be a goal for 2002.

A formal agreement with Maumee was finalized to maintain radio dispatching services through 2003, but the staff is keeping in touch with Maumee regarding the possibility of an indefinite extension of the agreement.

The village's web page and community channel were expanded and improved in 2001 too.

Preliminary discussions were held about long-term plans for expanding or improving the municipal building and police department to meet expanding public-service demands, but no specific plans were developed.

Officials continued efforts to expand the industrial park; continued support of area community groups and activities; formed a local committee to work on celebration plans for the state's bicentennial in 2003, and began working on plans to convert the old fire station into a village community center.

In other action during the meeting last week, councilman Tim Pedro said an emotional farewell after serving four years on council.

Mr. Pedro, who was elected last month to a seat on the Waterville Township board of trustees, commended village officials for working together as a team to accomplish many goals, and said it has been a pleasure to serve as a councilman in such a wonderful community.

Council members discussed the village's sign ordinance in response to questions from Dan Madigan, a Waterville resident, about the village's enforcement of sign regulations.

The matter was referred to a council committee for review after council voted against allowing the display of a homemade sign along Wilkshire to announce dates and time for council sessions.

Some council members contended homemade signs are unnecessary because the village keeps residents informed about meeting dates, but councilman Norm Witzler argued in favor of allowing the signs to be posted.

Mr. Madigan said his signs were removed last week, but the village allows garage-sale signs and other notices to be placed in road right-of-ways.

“If they are going to enforce the sign regulations, then they should enforce it for everybody,” he said.

Council agreed to support the formation of the Anthony Wayne Area Recreation District.

Mr. Pedro, who supports plans for the district and the possible construction of an athletic-field complex, said other entities, including the village of Whitehouse and Monclova and Waterville townships, have expressed in the recreation district.



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