OTTAWA —Speaking before members of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa Mayor Dean Meyer on Tuesday offered his take on 2021.

“I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I surely didn’t think I would continue to hear about the pandemic for the entire year,” Meyer said, straight out of the gate. “I don’t know about you, but this is clearly causing confusion and anxiety among our population. I think we should take time to get out, take a walk, and take in the fresh air outdoors. Maybe think, ‘Golf.’”

With that little bon mot out of the way, Meyer zeroed in on the positives of living in Ottawa, the opportunities presented to the village and its residents over the past year. High on the list were recreational improvements — underway and already in place — destined to improve the quality of life for residents, and serve as a draw for visitors and future citizens.

Meyer offered a litany of improvements, including wetland creation along the diversion channel, renovations at both Water Works and Memorial Parks, festivities at Rex Center Park, and an upcoming addition at the village’s Memorial Pool.

“We will be installing a splash pad out by the swimming pool,” Meyer said. “This is possible because of a $50,000

donation from the Kiwanis, $1,250 from First National Bank of Pandora, and a $150,000 grant from the State of Ohio. We are building this to accommodate growth. We will be able to add to it to enlarge it as funds become available.”

In addressing these matters, Meyer acknowledged the efforts of all the organizations and volunteers who have helped move the various projects forward. From the village’s Cultural Committee and its work at Rex Center Park, to the financial donations from a variety of area businesses, and particularly to area service organizations, Meyer offered his praise and thanks to them all.

“I would like to thank all of the service groups for all that they do for the village,” he said. “It is so amazing that we can accomplish what we do because of your commitment. Thank you OG Rotary, OG Jaycees, Ottawa Kiwanis, Lions Club, Optimist Club, and all. Thank you.”

Meyer also discussed a variety of infrastructure improvements completed and underway in the village. Topping the list was the completion of the diversion channel, a multi-million dollar project from which Meyer said he has already “seen very positive benefits.”

From there, Meyer moved on to other water concerns.

“The water treatment plant is undergoing a major makeover. The total project investment will be right around $8.3 million,” he said, then added, “There is some great news this with project. We’ve been notified of principal forgiveness of almost $3.8 million from the zero-interest loan for this project. Congrats to our administration for making this happen.”

Giving a nod to business and industry, Meyer welcomed new additions to the village’s business community, including Endera, Bruster’s Car Wash, and Tyler’s Jewelry box. He further expressed his appreciation for the Whirlpool Corporation, which, in November, announced a $65 million expansion at its Ottawa plant.

“This looks to be an exciting time in Ottawa,” Meyer said.

Winding down, Meyer extended his thanks to council, and to now former Councilor Troy Yant, whose term of office ended on Dec. 31, then offered those present a final note of optimism.

"I look forward to 2022 with anticipation of great things ahead,” Meyer said.