Surrounded by his family, newly seated councilor Matt Black is sworn in by Solicitor Joe Schroeder - Putnam Sentinel
Surrounded by his family, newly seated councilor Matt Black is sworn in by Solicitor Joe Schroeder. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)

OTTAWA — During Ottawa Village Council’s first meeting of 2020, village officials elected in last November’s general election were welcomed with a swearing-in ceremony. Mayor Dean Meyer, returning councilors Jo Deskins and Jeff Ducey, and incoming councilor Matt Black all took their oaths of office, administered by Village Solicitor Joe Schroeder. Following the formal induction of members, council re-elected Dave Michel as council president.

Mayor Meyer then presented council with his annual address, highlighting improvements and growth within the village in 2019, and looking forward to future accomplishments and business the village intends to address in the coming year.

From the mayor’s perspective, highlights of 2019 included:

• the village awarding over $4.6 million in building permits, including remodels permitting the opening of Cancun Mexican Restaurant and Partners 1st; renovations to the Putnam County Courthouse; and the construction of a new Dollar Tree store on Meadow Glen Drive.

• the investment of $2.5 million in the village’s wastewater treatment plant.

• the receipt of roughly $580,000 in grants, the bulk of which funded the acquisition and demolition of flood mitigation properties.

• major improvements to Memorial Park and Pool, made possible by significant contributions from the Ottawa Rotary Club.

• the construction and opening of Rex Center Park and Stage

Looking forward to 2020, Meyer expressed optimism regarding the construction of a diversion channel to help alleviate flooding in the village; securing funding for concrete canoe access points behind the reservoir and near the bridge at U.S. 224; and continued improvements at the village’s water treatment plant.

Council then approved the mayor’s recommendations for varioius village committees, including (but not limited to):

• Park Board: Brad Leis, Kevin Bellman, Scott Hershberger, Carol Siebeneck, Jeff Ducey, and Jack Williams

• Planning Commission: Dean Meyer, Tim Maag, William Hanna, Denny Recker, and Randal Verhoff

• Shade Tree Commission: Bob Fawcett, Lynne Hirzel, Pat Kaple, Mary Love, Stan Beckman, Jo Deskins, Dean Meyer, Jack Williams

• Audit Committee: Dean Meyer, Jack Williams, Barbara Hermiller, Julie Niese, Alice Heitmeyer, Joe Schroder, Nick Schroeder

• Blanchard River Flood Mitigation Steering Committee: Tom Rosenbauer, Gene Hovest, Bob Fawcett, Clyde Schroeder, Nick Schroeder, and Deb Bauer

• Charter Review Committee: Dave Laudick, Jeff Ducey, Christopher Pfahler, Teresa Croy

• Communicaitons Committee: Dean Meyer, Jo Deskins, Dave Michel, Julie Niese, Becky Fruchey

• CRA Housing Council: Dean Meyer, Jack Williams, Bill Hanna, Tom Rosenbauer, Barb Hermiller, Dave Michel, Karl Hirzel, and Lucy Cramer

• Cultural Committee: Dean Meyer, Megan Seitz Clinton, Tom Rosenbauer, Phyllic Macke, Nathan Huber, Angie Huber, Corry Clinton, Jenna Schroeder, Bruce Stowe, Stan Beckman, Julie Niese

• Economic Development Committee: Dean Meyer, Jeff Ducey, Tim Maag, Jack Williams, Barb Hermiller, Rich Knowlton, Dan Rieman, and Don Horstman

• Open Space Committee: Jahn Agner, Dr. Ron Black, Don Croy, Teresa Croy, Barb Hermiller, Phyllis Macke, Becky Fruchey, Tim Macke, Dean Meyer, Sarah Rieman, Billian Stechschulte, Tom Rosenbauer, and Jack Williams

• Personnel Committee: Dean Meyer, Jack Williams, Barbara Hermiller, Rich Knowlton, Jo Deskins, and Dave Michel

The next regular meeting of the Ottawa Village Council is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the village offices.