2018 The Year In Review ~ Village Administrator, Bruce Metz

2018 has been another exciting and busy year in the Village with many projects either completed, underway, and some just getting started.  With all the projects going on, the days, weeks, and the year just flew by.  I am blessed to have a forward-thinking Council to work with that has the confidence in me to oversee the day to day operations of our Village.  As well I am blessed with outstanding employees who also take pride in keeping Jackson Center "Top Notch".  I am looking forward to an equally exciting and busy 2019.

The Village also saw changes in the personnel in several departments.  Officer Zac Smith was sworn in to serve as the next Village Police Officer on January 8th.  Ben Shuster was hired into the Electric Department as an Apprentice Lineman and David Schwartz was hired into the Street Department.

The Village was saddened by the loss of former lontime employee, Don Mann.  Don served as the Village Zoning Officer for over 40 years.  Don also mowed grass for the Village for 17 years and also served on the Volunteer Fire Department.

Last spring the Village Council purchased 50 acres just west of Lacal Equipment to expand the Industrial Park.  After the completion of the purchase, the property was annexed into the Village and rezoning was completed.  The land was then purchased by Airstream to build a new Trailer Manufacturing Facility.  As you see when you drive by, construction has been started.  With this project the Village will be extending utilities to the new site.  The electric lines are under construction and work on the storm line will begin soon.

Casey's General Store broke ground in June of 2017 and opened its doors January 2018.

Village Council purchased the 533 North Main Street from NK Telco for the site of our new Electric Sub-Station which is under construction and looking for a June completion.  Along with the sub-station, a new transmission line will be built from the existing sub-station to the new sub-station.  Village growth and transformer age at the existing sub-station are the factors in the decision to proceed with the $3.2M project.

The first phase of the new park is nearly completed.  Irrigation was installed on the soccer fields, trees were planted, and grass for the fields was sown in the spring.  The walking track was completed with the help of a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for using scrap tires in the asphalt.  The School was instrumental in taking the lead in this project, and I would like to thank them for all their hard work involved with this project.  In 2019 the Village is looking at putting up flag poles at the Park.

Hamer Street was also completed this fall with the completion of the sidewalks, curb and asphalt.  The Village does have to sow grass seed in the spring and install solar bollard lights along the sidewalk going from Hamer to Robb Streets to finish the project.  The sidewalk lights were obtained from a grant through Eco-Smart Choice.  Street markings will also be completed in the spring to wrap the project up.

Construction was completed on the Village Solar Field.  The 2.34 megawatt solar field was started in October by Next Era Energy.  The project is part of the AMP Solar Phase II Project.  AMP (American Municipal Partners) has teamed up with Next Era Energy to build up to 80 MW of solar electric generation facilities.  The Solar Field is located at the end of Jerry Drive, directly behind Airstream.  The 9-acre site wil be made up of 6,894 solar panels harvesting the power of the sun.  The Village will be receiving about 20% of the power produced from the field.  The extra power produced will be put back on the grid for other AMP communities in the project.  The solar field will produce enough energy to power approximately 280 homes.  The solar field started producing power on December 20, 2017 and was commissioned in February to produce commercially.

The Main Street Enhancement Project was started.  The project will involve new traffic signals at Main and Pike Streets along with new crosswalk lights.  These lights will match the new lights put up at Airstream Drive.  Also, new decorative poles and LED street lights will replace the existing high-pressure sodium lights along Main Street between North and Cole Streets.  The street lights are installed and the contractor is waiting on the control devices for them.  The contractor is also waiting on the decorative poles for the traffic signals.  These are not expected to be delivered until May / June 2019.  The $745,800 project will be funded by the Transportation Alternative Program.  ODOT will fund 95% of the project with the Village funding the remaining 5% or $37,290.

The Village constructed two new tee ball fields at the Waly Byam Memorial Park this spring.  They will be located at the site of the existing soccer fields.  The soccer fields were all moved to the new Park and this opened up this space for these fields.  Concrete work is to be completed this spring for the benches and the bleachers.  Games will be played on the fields this summer.

The Village is also looking at constructing a new Vehicle Storage Facility for the Village crews.  The Village owns a three acre lot on Washington Street where the approximately 13,000 square foot building will be constructed.  The $1.5M project is hoping for a late spring, early summer start.

The Village is also planning on finishing the LED street light upgrades.  The project started in 2014 with converting all our street lights to LED.  The five year project will be completed in 2019 and has been saving the Village residents money by saving approximately 65% of the usage of what the high-pressure sodium lights that we were using.

Work on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Project is continuing, the new building is now complete and work will begin on the inside of the new lab portion this year.  Work is continuing on the clarifiers and work will start soon on the Scada System.  New pavement will be the last part of the project, and we are looking forward to that part of the project.

The Water Plant Filter Media Replacement Project is planned for early 2019.  The EPA is reviewing submittals of the plans.  The Village is answering questions they have on the plans.

2019 will be another busy year for the Village and Village crews.  If anyone has any questions feel free to give me a call at (937) 596-6314 and don't forget to Smile!