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Van Wert County: Development and News

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Open House to be held at Vantage Carpentry House Project

Van Wert Voice, 5/2/06

 

On Saturday, May 13, you will have the opportunity to see “The House That Vantage Built”.  From 10 a.m. until 12 noon, Vantage will host an Open House at the construction site.

 

This year’s house, an 1,800 square foot ranch home, is located at 1089 Bruns Drive, in the Washington Place subdivision in Van Wert.  Highlights of the home include a full basement, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, great room with a cathedral ceiling, brick front with vinyl siding and an attached 3-car garage, with interior steps to the basement.

 

This house has been purchased, but another house will be built next year!

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Mum's the word for new restaurant at Mid-Town Cafe location

Van Wert Voice, 5/31/06

 

The work has begun to restore the old Mid Town Café into a new restaurant.  Work is the primary word here.  Larry Jackson and his son Larry D. Jackson have begun the task of starting their own restaurant.  But first the building requires a great deal of attention beginning with the roof and continuing down.

 

Main Street Van Wert, Inc was able to provide some assistance with the cost of the new roof.  This building was not part of the Tier Two grant application but some money was made available through other projects not requiring the funds.

 

Twyla Hayes of Brand IT Design from Rockford worked with the Jackson’s on the façade plans for the restaurant.  As you can see in the before and after photos it is simply going to clean up and polish up what is already there.  Open up the doorway to its original structure, put on a new awning, new glass in the windows, planters on the front, clean and paint.  The kitchen is already taking shape and beginning to sparkle.

 

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Highway patrol to show off new Van Wert post

Toledo Blade, 6/14/06

 

The public is invited to check out the Ohio Highway Patrol’s new, $1.7 million Van Wert post, which troopers moved into in February.

 

An open house is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow at the post, located at U.S. 224 and Van Wert-Decatur Road on Van Wert’s southwest side.  The post is responsible for Van Wert and Paulding counties.

 

Troopers previously operated out of leased space at the Marsh Foundation on East Lincoln Highway.  Lt. Gene Smith, post commander, said the officers and staff now have up-to-date facilities and equipment.

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New school nearly ready, district looks ahead

Van Wert Voice, 6/29/06

 

The Van Wert School Board heard Wednesday night that the new high school is on track to be completed in 90 days, meeting the scheduled turnover date of September 28. 

 

The school portion of the construction project is 87 percent complete and the performing arts center portion is 79 percent complete, the district architect reported.  Work to widen State Route 118 in front of the new building is set to begin July 10.

 

The board approved the final contract for the building, for the auditorium sound system, at Wednesday’s meeting.  To end the architect’s report, Kent Buehrer of the Buehrer Group, had some good news for the board.

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Improvement project no problem in Van Wert

Lima News, 7/28/06

 

A $3.8 million improvement project involving North Washington Street from the downtown railroad to U.S. 30 will continue unhampered and uninterrupted, Van Wert Mayor Don Farmer said during a Thursday afternoon media conference that included a walking tour of the project.   

 

Mayor Farmer was responding to questions and complaints raised in the past week, including at Monday’s council meeting.   

 

City Safety Director Jay Fleming said the project is scheduled to begin in February and be completed in October 2007.  The project cost is $3.8 million, with the city paying slightly more than 20 percent of the cost.

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VAN WERT

North Washington Street projects creeps towards murky resolution

Lima News, 9/12/06

 

The much debated North Washington Street reconstruction project took a step forward at Van Wert City Council Monday night, but where it’s headed isn’t clear.  An ordinance to approve additional funding to redesign the project under strict limitation set by North Washington Street residents was approved by a 4-3 vote, but fell short of the ¾ majority needed to pass as emergency legislation in one reading.

 

It also appears short of the five votes needed to pass on third and final reading in four weeks. Because of the financial appropriation involved, the ordinance needs 2/3 approval to become final.

 

In a committee meeting last week, four engineers, including Kirk Slusher from the Ohio Department of Transportation, spoke in favor of the city administration’s plan for a 40-foot roadway re-aligned with the city’s right of way. That plan would cut as much as six feet from some yards, according to some estimates.

 

In discussing that meeting, councilman Chris Wilson said the engineers’ goal is to move traffic through town at a steady 35 miles per hour, with no consideration of the impact on residents or quality of life.

 

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From the 9/26/06 Van Wert Voice:

 

North Washington Street showdown looming

09.26.2006

jdbruewer@limanews.com

J.D. Bruewer

 

VAN WERT – An effort by some Van Wert City Council members to impose limits on the width of North Washington Street may succeed in council and still not be successful.  Council is split 4-3 over the ordinance.

 

There was little discussion Monday night before the second reading of the ordinance that would limit the width to 40 feet.  Council approved, by the 4-3 vote, an amendment to delete the emergency declaration in the ordinance, and then passed the ordinance on second reading by the same vote.  The emergency declaration would have required at least five votes to pass.

 

More at http://www.vwtimes.com/story.php?IDnum=30280&section=News

 

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Tiny town closes book on plans for library

Toledo Blade, 10/10/06

 

Mayor Doug Ruen didn't realize how much support this tiny Van Wert County village had gotten for a proposed library branch until he started returning the money. "We've written checks to California, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky," Mr. Ruen said. "It's amazing to me."

 

Amazing, but apparently not enough.  Last month trustees for the Brumback Library in Van Wert notified officials in Venedocia, 95 miles southwest of Toledo, the library would not be able to staff and stock a new branch in their village of 160 as they'd promised in 2002.  At that time, Brumback agreed to support the project if Venedocia could provide the building for the branch.

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From the 10/25/06 Lima News:

 

Mayor vetoes Washington Street ordinance

BY J.D. BRUEWER - Oct. 25, 2006

 

VAN WERT — With Monday’s mayoral veto, the long and contentious battle over the redesign of North Washington Street (U.S. Route 127) in Van Wert may be resolved Nov. 13, the next scheduled City Council meeting.  Disputes over the project arose earlier this year when the city presented plans to widen the road from Main Street to U.S. Route 30 from 36.5 feet to 48 feet, with a center turn lane and parking on one side. Residents worried the plan would ruin the residential nature of the street.

 

A compromise appeared to be reached at a March 6 committee meeting with a width of 40 feet and the option of a turn lane or parking. Since then there has been disagreement about whether realignment to move the street as much as six feet in some places was part of that compromise.  An ordinance was passed by a 4-3 vote at the last council meeting to limit the project to 36 feet in width with strict limits on turn radii.  The 4-3 vote was not enough to withstand a veto by the mayor.

 

More at http://www.limanews.com/story.php?IDnum=31342

 

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Van Wert school board discusses options for old high school

Lima News, 11/3/06

 

When high school and middle school students move to the new school building later this month, what will happen to the old building?  That was the focus of a discussion held Wednesday night by the Van Wert school board.  District architects, the Buehrer Group, presented the board with three options.

 

Option 1 is to demolish part of the original high school and keep the 1962 addition and parts of the original building for classroom and office space with a maximum estimated cost of $896,000.

 

Option 2 is to demolish all of the old school and keep just the 1962 addition for an estimated maximum cost of $883,000.

 

Option 3 is to demolish all but the cafeteria and turn it into a locker room and maintenance area for the adjacent football field. The estimated maximum cost of that is $1.047 million.

 

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From the 11/13/06 Van Wert Vocie:

 

Mayor’s veto survives, council approves 40-foot realigned North Washington project

11.13.2006

 

VAN WERT – After squabbling for nearly a year on the details, Van Wert City Council on Monday approved an ordinance to allow the city to advertiser for bids and award contracts for the reconstruction of North Washington Street.  The plan approved is for a 40-foot wide road realigned to the city right of way, meaning a straighter road overall but also deeper cuts into some yards.  A competing ordinance to limit the width to 38 feet and not realign the road was vetoed by the mayor at the last council meeting and an effort to overturn the veto failed Monday night.

 

In discussion before final voting on the approved ordinance, councilman Chris Wilson said the ordinance “bears very little resemblance to the compromise agreement” reached in the spring. There has been disagreement as to whether that agreement meant a maximum width of 40 feet, or a maximum cut into yards of two feet.  Councilman and former mayor Steve Gehres said the project had to move forward. “It is absolutely necessary for North Washington to be done this coming year,” he said, adding that any further debate or delay would push the project back another year.

 

More at http://www.vwtimes.com/story.php?IDnum=32165&section=News

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Lincolnview set to break ground on new facility

Van Wert Times Bulletin, 2/19/07

 

Just about a year and a half from getting the levy approved, Lincolnview Local Schools will soon break ground on a new junior/senior high school building and renovation of the elementary building.  "I think at this point, everyone is excited to start the construction," said Superintendent Doug Fries.  The groundbreaking celebration will begin at 1 p.m. on April 5 in the high school gym. April 5 is the last day before Lincolnview's spring break.

 

Between now and the groundbreaking ceremony, several preliminary tasks are scheduled to take place.  A power service line and geothermal wells for the project will be completed sometime within the next month.  In addition to the service line, higher power lines will be installed along Middle Point Rd.

 

The new junior/senior high addition will replace the structure that was built in 1919. That building currently houses 17 of the 24 junior high/high school classrooms.  Also being replaced is much of the 1996 high school building, including everything except the vocational and agriculture areas.  Those areas will be renovated along with the present elementary building.

 

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Van Wert downtown to seek improvement funds

Van Wert Voice, 3/2/07

 

Thanks to funding provided by the government's transportation enhancement program, Van Wert officials may realize their dream of stepping back in time in this city's downtown area.  Jane Jones, executive director for Van Wert's Main Street program, said early Friday morning that the city has been given the opportunity to apply for funds to allow for a major streetscape program downtown which will include brick pavement along the edge of sidewalks, historic lighting, and construction of wrought-iron arches like the ones that were in place at the turn of the 19th century.

 

According to Jones, the cost of the entire project is estimated to be $805,000, with the government's transportation funding picking up 80 percent of the cost, and the remaining 20 percent coming from other funding sources since as community development block grant funds.

 

"We are really excited about this. We have been planning and working toward this for a long time," Jones said. "One of the unique aspects of all of this is that we hope to make our historic downtown look different than that of our neighbors." Jones said that one of the most distinguishing differences from other communities that have undergone similar projects will be the style of lamp posts.

 

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From the 3/16/07 Toledo Blade:

 

PHOTO: The Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.  ( THE BLADE/HERRAL LONG )

 

Van Wert debuts $9.6M venue for performing arts

Band, choir concert opens Niswonger Center

By JENNIFER FEEHAN

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

VAN WERT, Ohio - Nationally known performers rarely play high school auditoriums, but then, this isn't your average high school auditorium.  Van Wert City Schools and the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation are opening the $9.6 million Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio tonight with a high school band and choir concert.  The 1,200-seat auditorium is grand and glorious and exactly what you would not expect to find in a small, out-of-the-way city of 10,700 people.  The center is connected to the district's new, $30 million high school and middle school complex on State Rt. 118 but was paid for entirely with private money. 

 

Van Wert alumnus and philanthropist Scott Niswonger donated $2 million to get the project started and later increased that by $1 million.  The Van Wert County Foundation kicked in $2 million, including $750,000 to be used for operating the center for 10 years.  Central Insurance Cos. donated $1 million, and two local banks gave a combined $900,000.  Paul Hoverman, president of the performing arts foundation, said the rest of the funds have come in gifts from more than 500 donors ranging from $10 to $25,000.

 

More at http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070316/NEWS17/703160372/-1/RSS08

 

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Residents offer input on Shannon Street project

Van Wert Times Bulletin, 3/20/07

 

There were plenty of opinions, and that was just what the city administration was looking for.  It was standing room only in council chambers Monday evening as Tony Schroeder of Choice One Engineering did more listening than talking about the project.  Shannon Street residents took turns voicing their fears, concerns and objections about the project.

 

Mayor Don Farmer told the crowd at the outset, "There are no alternatives or solutions to be presented. This is simply a fact-finding meeting to find out what the residents of S. Shannon St. view as being important in the improvement of the street."  Farmer and Schroeder both assured the group that there are no plans for the city to buy property to tear down buildings.  In fact, they asserted that most of the work can be done within the current right-of-way.

 

The residents commented on a wide range of issues.  One obvious problem in reconstructing the highway will be dealing with the s-curve just south of Main Street.  The intersections call for special consideration since many of the streets which intersect with Shannon do so at an odd angle. That is especially true of the intersection with Ervin Rd., which is one of the busiest in the city.

 

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Van Wert Council reviews early options for Shannon Street project

Lima News, 5/30/07

 

Tony Schroeder, of Choice One Engineering, presented preliminary basic plans for the reconstruction of Shannon Street to Van Wert City Council on Tuesday night.  The street, which also serves as state Route 118, will be rebuilt from Main Street south to Ervin Road, including a sharp curve just south of Main Street.  He presented three options for rebuilding the street and four options for redoing the curve.

 

The road ranges in average width from 30.5 feet to 32.5 feet.  The three options presented to the council were: 40 feet wide with a four-foot curb lawn (the space between the curb and the sidewalk); 39 feet wide with a four-foot curb lawn and 39 feet with a three-and-a-half-foot curb lawn. Schroeder said the 40-foot width would meet Ohio Department of Transportation criteria, but he preferred the 39-foot plan with the four-foot curb lawn.  He said a curb lawn any smaller creates problems with trees and fire hydrants placed there.

 

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Yes I believe that northern van wert county is slated for a wind farm. Hardin county is also slated for 2 I believe. In fact when I was driving through kenton on my way to maumee I noticed that there was an office in their downtown for hardin windfarm llc.Very interesting to start to see the windfarms pop up around ohio.

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Any idea if lincolnview owns that land? Upper Scioto Valley high school in hardin county leased land own by the school to a wind energy company and the company built a wind academy on school property. I've heard that this is now a curriculum offered by the school and that the company will pay for scholarships for kids who want who go through this academy and make wind energy their career.

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