The official logo for Grove's Sesquicentennial designed by Faith Huff. Grove celebrates 150 years next year.
The official logo for Grove's Sesquicentennial designed by Faith Huff. Grove celebrates 150 years next year.

By Alex Woodring
Staff Writer
awoodring@putnamsentinel.com

COLUMBUS GROVE - The Columbus Grove Village Council threw their support behind the village's Sesquicentennial fund raising efforts at their regular meeting June 24.

Police Chief Nick Gilgenbach proposed to council that they match the highest donation, up to a certain amount, in order help stimulate the fund raising process for the celebration of 150 years.

Mayor Ken Wright expressed support for the idea by citing the council's past decisions to support other festivals.

"If we are going to do this and have something be proud of it's going to cost money," said Mayor Wright. "Things like this only happen every 50 years and council should be behind it."

After deliberation on the highest amount the Council would match, Jim Karcher moved the village match the highest donation from one entity, up to $8,000.

Council also debated a paving project that would see paving and curving on roads that need it, west of the railroad.

Village Administrator Jeff Vance recommended the roads be fully paved and curved for $343,119 rather than focus mainly on trenching for $156,632.

The amicable debate saw two schools of thought. Council member Jim Karcher was adamant the streets see full paving as soon as possible.

"The people want their streets back," said Karcher. "If we trench repair we will save money, but we will have to fix it later down the line anyway."

Karcher also cited conversations with multiple residents who vehemently want to see the streets paved.

"If you don't do it now you will still have to do it down the line," said Karcher. "Prices are only going to go up and it will be more expensive later."

Vance backed him up, saying, "They were not going be able to do it any cheaper than if they do it right now."

Others were more concerned, however, that the cost would be too much for the village to be spending.

The Mayor as well as other council members were concerned spending a large amount now may leave the village vulnerable down the line.

"I'd love to see all new streets, but if something unforeseen happens I'd like to be prepared," said Mayor Wright."If we don't fix them all now, that doesn't mean we don't address them as we move forward."

Council member Mark Kohls felt it important to have the discussion and warned a bankrupt village can't pave any roads.

"I'm not saying I'm not for it, I'm just saying we need to discuss it fully and make sure we know what we are doing," said Kohls.

A compromise was temporally on the table to skip some of the curbing of Main Street to cut back on cost. The motion was later withdrawn after discussion led to the conclusion it would not save a substantial amount of money.

After much discussion a motion to approve Vance's full proposal costing $343,119 came to a vote. Baxter, Langhals and Zeisloft voted no to the motion. Karcher, Mayberry and Kohls voted yes. Due to a tie the final vote went to Mayor Wright who voted yes which will move the paving project forward.

Vance said work could begin in a matter of weeks.