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2019 state of the village address

By Melissa Fries-Seip • Jan 16, 2020 at 2:00 PM

2019 proved to be a very exciting time in our village with many things to celebrate. In early summer, the Village welcomed our first annual Village Flea, under the leadership of Jessica Wasserman, Stephanie Van Fleet, and Haley Schaffer. The event was a huge success as it brought many people to our village and was enjoyed by visitors and locals, alike. Following the wave of excitement from the summer event, business leaders, along with village administration, celebrated our first Village Vintage Christmas and have already begun plans to make next year's event bigger and better! Once again, there was much excitement and many compliments about our Christmas lights and displays that encompassed our village. Throughout 2019, we welcomed the opening of three businesses in our village. Eye Candy Custom Cycles, Old Soul Woodworking, and Eagle Strong Nutrition each opened their doors for the first time. We are happy they are part of our community! Perhaps the most widely anticipated celebration of the year was the official groundbreaking of our soon-to-be municipal complex. In September, local, county and state officials joined our community as we celebrated the commencement of this endeavor. This project has been over a decade in the making and will be sure to be an asset for our community. This modest building will serve our community well for many years to come. It is easy to see why 2019 was a year of celebrations for our Village!

As in every aspect of life, with the high points inevitably come some low points, as well. We mourned the loss of former Mayor Sharon Miller when she unexpectedly passed away in the fall. Unfortunately, within a couple weeks of each other, two of our police cruisers received damage when they were struck while parked. Although it was quite the blessing neither of our officers were injured, the same could not be said for our fleet of cars. The first accident, being a direct hit, totaled our newest cruiser, and shortly after cruiser 14 was repaired, its engine blew. We eagerly anticipated our replacement cruiser which was due to arrive in early January 2020.

Changes occurred in village leadership as we said goodbye to Councilwoman Debbie Smith when she moved to Norwalk and in turn welcomed Councilman Sam Wiley. After November's election, Mayor Melissa Fries-Seip, Councilwoman Sue Rogers and Councilman Craig Franklin each retained their respective seats as they ran unopposed. The administrative offices upgraded their finance and payroll computers to enhance their data and are looking forward to the next phase of upgrades to the income tax application in the future. In committee notes, Karen Wagner and Doug Long were appointed to the Shade Tree Commission.

Improvements to the health and well-being of our community continued to be paramount with the extension of the sidewalk and guard rail on North Street, thanks to a generous anonymous $10,000.00 donation. The installation of an emergency diesel powered generator at the Herbert Substation offers peace of mind ensuring that we'll have enough power to supply the Village with electricity during emergencies or times of crisis. Because of this endeavor, we also have the ability to further reduce our capacity and transmission costs in 2020. Speaking of which, because of our balanced energy portfolio, specifically our Solar Field, Monroeville is lessening our carbon footprint and in 2019 we experienced $194,517 in avoided cost in those capacity and transmission costs. The village was able to secure a new agreement with North Central EMS for emergency services for the upcoming year, and work has begun on creating a hub for an ambulance to be stationed in our village as an additional benefit. The parks noticed additional improvements to the ball fields at Marsh Field which were completed by the Monroeville Baseball Alumni Association.

The administrative team closed the year with a meeting with United States Representative Jim Jordan. During this meeting, Monroeville's accomplishments and future goals were discussed. It is because of those accomplishments, our vision for the future, our attention to fiscal responsibility and our ever-present focus on the health, safety and well-being of our community, that the village of Monroeville is strong and our future remains bright. As I've said before, WE ARE MONROEVILLE and together, we make Monroeville the impressive little village with the gigantic heart. Stay tuned for our promising future!

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