Holiday City Council Approves Picnic Area

The Holiday City council heard from guest Dan Hughes, a candidate for the Williams County Sheriff’s office, and discussed plans for a new picnic shelter during their September 20, 2012, meeting.

Council first heard from Mr. Hughes, who discussed his qualifications for the office. He spoke of his 12 years of experience in the law enforcement field. Hughes is presently mayor of Stryker and serves as a part-time police officer in West Unity.

Ordinance 2012-7, the revised well ordinance which was tabled in last month’s meeting, was brought back to the table. Since the council is still awaiting further input and figures from their legal counsel on this matter, they were unable to proceed. At this time, council approved a motion to postpone the ordinance until the next regularly scheduled meeting. This action prevents the resolution from dying.

Clerk/treasurer Laurie TenEyck-Rupp read the financial report. As of August 31, the village had receipts of $446,309.41, expenditures of $497,616.51, and a balance on hand of $2,096,139.28.

Acting Mayor Shawn Clark reported on the Lucas County Commissioners meeting that he attended on August 7, 2012. The meeting concerned the issue of the possible leasing of the Ohio Turnpike. Speakers included Jerry Ray of ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation), Rick Hodges, Executive Director of the Turnpike Commission, Marcy Kaptur, U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District and other speakers. Clark said that he had stood up during the meeting and commented that if the turnpike were to be leased, it would increase trade traffic, and he was concerned about the effect on the roads in Holiday City. He does not believe that leasing the turnpike would be a good idea. He stated that Kaptur and Toledo Mayor Mike Bell also opposed the sale or lease of the turnpike, and that the general consensus of attendees and the public was that people oppose such a move.

Council members approved payment of $200 for Clark’s membership in the Williams County Mayor’s Association. The county mayors meet monthly to discuss issues and projects going on in their respective villages and cities.

Council member Dennis Hutchison said that Holiday City hotels want to use a more aggressive approach to attract business to the area, and are surveying people by asking people why they are staying on Holiday City. Results should give them a better idea on what they can do to attract even more people to the hotels. Hutchison also said that he was working on getting a Santa Claus to the village for Christmas time, and also hoped to bring an Easter Bunny to the town this spring.

Village Administrator Gary Baker said that he had discussed a power purchase during a meeting with AMP-Ohio, the town’s main electric power supplier. He asked for a motion so that the council could “go out to 2015 – 2016 to purchase a one mega-watt contract.” This contract would be part of the village’s portfolio, and would cost about $35 per each year. This action had been approved by consultants. The motion was made, seconded, and approved by council.

Baker then presented his research for the picnic shelter project that had been discussed at August’s meeting. It would be adjacent to the Visitor Center. Per his findings, a picnic shelter that is 16’ x 24’ that would house three picnic tables could be built for under $10,000. The shelter would be above grade, have a vinyl ceiling, a concrete floor, and would have a sidewalk leading to it from the parking lot. Lee Short of Archbold drafted a blueprint for the project. Baker received a quote from local contractor Ed Sutton for an estimate of $9750. The shelter house would not have electric service. In addition to the shelter, Baker estimated that three tables and a trash bin could be purchased for around $3000. He said that the shelter and tables were designed to last 30 years or more.

Council member Ron Keil asked if the shelter would be used often enough to justify the cost being spent toward the project. Baker believed that it would, plus it would attract other people in the area from local hotels, neighboring factory workers, and residents. He said that travelers have stopped by the visitor center on a number of occasions and asked for the nearest picnic facilities, and when they were told that one was available a few miles away, they chose to stay in Holiday City and eat in their vehicles. Motion to approve the project was approved, with only council member Ron Keil in opposition.

Baker then talked about other projects he hoped to see in the future. He said that the ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) has a grant available to Williams County to fund projects such as park development. If funding should be approved, Holiday City would have to contribute 25% of the total cost for a project. Baker would like the village to start with a walking path around the property. This could be used by travelers and residents. They would need to construct a path with a hard surface so that it would be handicap accessible. Grants proposals are due February 1, 2013, and if approved, money would be available in July. Cost estimates would be needed. The size of the path would be adjusted according to any funding granted. Baker said that this was part of a 5 – 10 year plan that he envisions to create and expand a park area and that each year, they could add on to the project as they received funding.

He said that they might also be able to apply for and utilize money from the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant). He said that they could re-visit this idea in upcoming meetings, but that “it would be nice to have a designated area (for walking) that is not a county road.”

Following a brief discussion of old business and approval of a motion to pay bills, the meeting was adjourned.

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