OTTAWA - The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting yesterday at Henry's Restaurant. A full house received an overview of current issues at the top of the Village of Ottawa's agenda as presented by Ottawa Mayor Dean Meyer and Council President Tim Macke.

Meyer provided an update on the status of Blanchard River flood control. He noted that all four possible plans now under consideration by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, all include changing the approach to the I-9 bridge.

"That's something that's a real issue that will help eliminate the ten-year nuisance floods," explained Meyer. "The Army Corps is taking [plans for the I-9 bridge] out of the grand study and put it in their own 205 plan, which means the funding for that particular portion of that project will come directly from the Army Corps, and they already have it. They can take funding from the Corps and move up to a million dollars to the I-9 bridge project. The state of Ohio has allocated funds to this project as well."

Meyer said he spoke earlier in the day with Mike Pniewski, U.S Army Corps of Engineer Project Manager, Western Lake Erie Basin. During their conversation, Pniewski indicated that, with the current government shutdown, the Blanchard River project is one that the engineer can continue to work on as funding was in place before the furlough.

"Anybody live on a torn-up street in Ottawa?" quipped Macke. "Well, we've been busy for the last three years."

Macke reviewed corrections and repairs in the village's infrastructure, including the repaving of U.S 224, upgrades to curbs, storm sewers, gutters and pump stations. He spoke of a three-million-dollar, ten-year bond which the village issued and has been applying for three years toward these projects.

"The bottom line is, if you want to attract business, if you want to have people coming to your village, it had better look good."

The bond also allowed for the purchase of maintenance equipment, such as a dump truck, a camera to monitor sewer systems and a tar kettle. The latter, according to Macke, will extend the life of Ottawa's streets seven to ten years beyond the normal expectancy as the village will now be able to seal along the edges and on the center line where the two pavements come together.