In her State of the City speech Tuesday night, Mayor Sue Lesch touted capital improvement planning as one of the city's major accomplishments.
"Now we have an idea of what we have to do," she said. She added that the plan was prompted by mandates of the Environmental Protection Agency and provides direction for the next 10 to 15 years for infrastructure needs. The plan received an award at the Ohio Planning Conference last summer for its quality.
Lesch told council 23 local companies had invested more than $32 million dollars and created 240 new jobs in 2007. She cited Fisher-Titus Medical Center, Summit Motorsports Park, Norweco, Norwalk Precast Molds and Durable Corporation as examples.
Norwalk also was featured in Site Selection magazine as one of the top 26 micropolitan areas in the nation.
Other accomplishments Lesch noted for 2007 were the construction of the Cline Street extension to Westwind Drive, a decrease in trash tonnage and increase in recycling and the first steps toward building a new fire station.
She said 2008 will bring new challenges union negotiations, choosing a site for the fire station and hiring a new public works director.
As expected, in their regular meeting council approved an appropriation of $16,030 for equipment for a skate park. The money was raised privately and does not include any funding from the city.
Tera Thornhill, who worked closely with the park supporters when she was a member of city council, thanked council for supporting the park. She said Darin Carlson, who heads the group raising funds for the park, was out of town for a family funeral, but will continue to raise funds to complete the group's vision.
"I just think it is impressive," council member Shane Penrose said. "That committee worked with council to do it the right way."
The equipment will be installed at the old tennis courts on St. Mary's Street.
In other business, council:
Accepted the written report from the tree board. The report cited 34 new trees were planted, 38 dead trees were removed, 31 trees were trimmed and 137 ash trees were removed in 2007. Plans for 2008 include continuing the removal of ash trees, increasing the ratio of tree planting to tree removal and adding trees to city parks.
set the following committees for council. Finance Skip Wilde, Bob Carleton, Scott Krichbaum and Tom Stoll. Public works Dwight Tkach, Chris Mushett, Krichbaum, Stoll. Safety Carleton, Tkach, Mushett, Shane Penrose. Planning and zoning Stoll, Penrose, Wilde, Krichbaum
Council will have a work session next Tuesday and expect to renew their debate on regulations for outdoor woodburning furnaces.
Chris wrote on Jan 9, 2008 12:54 PM:
" Cline Street Project - AN ACCOMPLISHMENT???
has she ever driven through that mess that they made? "