OTTAWA — Frustration topped the agenda at the Feb. 24 Village of
Ottawa Council meeting, producing a stream of discussion about the
potential for downtown Ottawa becoming a ghost town due to flooding.
and Karen Schroeder, co-owners of the Schroeder Building located on the
northeast corner of W. Main Street and N. Walnut Street, as well as the
Odd Fellows Hall building on E. Main Street, took the floor to voice
their concerns over the glacial pace of flood mitigation efforts.
came here to try and get the downtown reinvented,” said Doug Schroeder.
“At least that was our intention after the flood of ‘07. We want
everyone to be aware when one business fails, it hurts us all.”
Schroeders will be losing a major tenant as Putnam Home Care and
Hospice intends to vacate their current offices at 139 Court St. for new
space in the former location of The Meadows of Glandorf.
member Gene Hovest stated that the Village has done everything they can
do to date to help with flood mitigation. Ottawa Clerk Treasurer Barb
Hermiller informed council that she received a communication from Ohio
Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-81) stating that he would like to
attend an upcoming meeting of the Blanchard River Flood Mitigation
Coalition in order to bring some new options to the table.
Director Jack Williams informed council that the Putnam County
Commissioners agreed to pass a formal resolution in support of the
Village’s flood mitigation efforts.
Ottawa Fire Chief Dan Rieman
approached council with an update regarding the fire department’s
proposal for funding through the federal Assistance to Firefighters
Grant program. During the Dec. 9, 2013, council meeting, Rieman appealed
to council for some means to expedite the bidding process should his
department locate a ladder truck to replace an older one which is not
certified. The research team found a suitable truck just prior to the
December meeting, but the vehicle was sold to another fire department
before Rieman could consult members of council. He said that more
suitable ladder trucks have come to their attention since that time.
response, council agreed to provide Rieman with a letter of support to
include with the AFG grant application. Law Director Joseph Schroeder
noted that council has the option to call a 12-hour emergency meeting to
discuss a ladder truck purchase should the fire department locate a
Improvements are moving forward in Ottawa’s
Memorial Park. Council member Jo Deskins spoke on behalf of the park’s
lighting committee, stating that the committee wishes to broaden the
scope of their efforts. The committee has produced an informative
brochure which outlines the Memorial Park Capital Campaign that will
raise funds not only for lighting but also for other renovations to the
recreational area between N. Locust St. and E. 11th St. The committee’s
gaol through the campaign is $220,000. Deskins renewed the committee’s
appeal to council for capital campaign support.
“We have to take
the lead and show we’re going to invest in our community,” said Yant.
Council President Tim Macke suggested reallocating $15,000 from the
Village’s 2014 budget and recommended that council vote to appropriate
$11,000 each year for the next nine years to be drafted for payment to
the Memorial Park Capital Campaign. Council approved.