Old and improved: Milan Township Hall

Stacey Hartley • Jun 2, 2019 at 6:00 PM

MILAN — More than 70 people attended an open house Wednesday as officials showed off the newly renovated Milan Township Hall on the town square.

The event highlighted upgrades made to the multi-use building in the village where Thomas Edison was born. 

Local business owners, statesmen and a retired police sergeant from southern California attended the event.

Jack Didelot found himself back in his hometown after driving from California while visiting family members. But the recent retiree of the San Diego Police Department also is an Edison High School alum.

“I probably visit five times a year,” he said.

Didelot was a member of the Milan Police department, a firefighter and a trained Emergency Medical Services (EMS) technician in the 80s.

“I live in San Diego, but I grew up here.”

Even though the open house was not the sole purpose of his 3,000-mile plus journey, he admitted the timing of the event lined up well, giving him the chance to see old friends. One of those friends was Milan Township trustee Dan Frederick, who he attended high school with.

Frederick, together with fellow trustees Gerald Nickoli and Mike Shover, then shared the building’s several renovations, before introducing state reps. Randall Gardner and Steve Arndt.

In addition to being another Edison grad and former state senator, Gardner now serves as chancellor of the Department of Higher Education for Gov. Mike DeWine. 

Gardner came sporting his alma mater’s colors (a blue shirt with an orange neck-tie) and thanked community members for being a part of the home base from which he developed professionally. 

Described by Gardner as “one of the best legislators I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” his successor Steve Arndt thanked the village of Milan for its welcoming and support. Then, two signed photos of the hall’s statue of Thomas Edison were presented to the statesmen by Don Gfell.

The former school administrator and superintendent was credited with getting Edison’s statue from Washington D.C., and with his wife Bobbie, currently owns Sights & Sounds of Edison — an antique store in Milan that also produces custom horns for phonographs and other (music) instruments. 

Upgrades to the Township Hall building included:

• Handicap-accessible entry ramp

• Elevators

• Renovated trustee meeting room, ballroom

• Men’s and women’s restroom

• Updated heating, air conditioning, ventilation and electrical work  

• Thomas Edison statue

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