Sewer lines, overlay districts, and housing developments aren't exactly the stuff you curl up on the couch to read about, but government officials in eastern Lucas and northern Wood county communities are riveted to them.
Oregon, Rossford, Northwood, and Perrysburg Township are poised for development in a number of areas in 2002, all of which involve significant infrastructure improvements.
Here's a look at some of the planned developments or improvements in eastern Lucas and northern Wood County this year:
Mayor Marge Brown said the eastern Toledo suburb has 500 residential lots in the Sweetwater, Vineyards, Ranchview, and Foxgate subdivisions ready to be developed.
The city is extending its sewer and water lines to the east, planning to connect with Jerusalem Township in an effort that is designed to benefit both communities.
“Jerusalem is going west and we're going east and we're going to meet” at Wolf Creek, she said.
A railroad overpass on Seaman Road will alleviate traffic backing up because of trains, and more development is expected on Navarre Avenue, including a new Wal-Mart, Ms. Brown said.
“We're like the sleeping giant and we're now arising,” she said.
The city's status as a development hot spot was solidified several years ago by the beginning of the Crossroads of America project off U.S. 20.
More work is expected on it and related projects this year because commitments have already been made no matter how the economy fares, Mayor Mark Zuchowski said.
Ground breaking on a 200,000-square-foot Meijer is set for May or June and options have been exercised on a new 80-store outlet mall at the Crossroads.
“We plan on a good building year even with the economy being slow,” Mayor Zuchowski said.
He said the city would like to finally move the Rossford Amphitheatre project forward, but legal battles with Perrysburg Township Trustees make that difficult.
Work on Rossford's proposed outdoor amphitheater began in the summer of 1999, but stopped that November when the Rossford Arena Amphitheater Authority was unable to secure long-term financing to complete the project.
Perrysburg Township has filed two lawsuits against the arena authority and Rossford in an attempt to be reimbursed for the $5 million it contributed to the project in 1999.
“Nothing's going to happen until we have some kind of resolution,” Mr. Zuchowski said.
By the end of this year, the police department will officially be wireless.
A 140-foot radio tower is up, which will allow the officers on the road to use laptop computers to do a number of tasks such as send reports to headquarters, access court information, and search the Internet. It also will allow officers to fill out incident and accident reports from their cars.
“That's going to keep them in their district more instead of coming back to the office and entering all that information,” Police Chief Jerry Herman said.
The system cost less than $20,000, he said.
The city also plans a significant change at the intersection of Woodville and Lemoyne roads so there will be left turn lane onto Woodville from LeMoyne.
The configuration now causes traffic to back up during school hours. “Bus drivers are bending my ear and I can really understand their frustration,” Mayor Mark Stoner said.
The township is poised for orderly development thanks to the implementation of an overlay district on along U.S. 20/23 to try to avoid traffic problems along the busy highway.
The overlay sets up regulations for signage and landscaping. In addition, the new regulations form guidelines for access drives and roads to developments, such as shopping centers.
The overlay district will extend from I-75 to the railroad tracks at Lime City Road, affecting township property in that area.