KALIDA — At the most recent regular meeting of the Kalida Village Council held on Feb. 3, Mayor Al Gerdeman offered his annual ‘State of the Village’ address. A requirement of Ohio’s Revised Code, the address is intended to highlight village accomplishments from the past year and to lay out the current year’s challenges, as viewed from the perspective of the mayor.

Regarding 2020 goals, Mayor Gerdeman’s first has already been accomplished - resubmitting the grant request for Phase II of the walking path, which would connect 4 Seasons and Froggy Park. He also listed creating a bid package and likely schedule for the new townhall as a top priority. Mayor Gerdeman complimented the BPA for its plans to upgrade and expand the sewage treatment plant, saying it would not only benefit residents but make the village more attractive to potential employers.

He also mentioned meeting with village employees two years ago to listen to their ideas for improving village operations and maintenance. Mayor Gerdeman felt that meeting resulted in positive changes and feels it is time to meet again. As part of that meeting, he wants to explore ways of possibly lowering the village’s property insurance and health care costs.

Regarding the year just passed, Mayor Gerdeman’s address was primarily one of thanks for the many organizations and individuals who, in his view, are instrumental in maintaining the village while also moving it forward.

“2019 was, I thought, another really solid year for the village,” he said, “And, a lot of people were involved with making it happen.”

Mayor Gerdeman then started his thanks with members of the village council, making particular note of their committee work, as well as members of the Board of Public Affairs, for their management of water and sewer systems.

Mayor Gerdeman also thanked the village’s maintenance crew, “For their hard work and dedication. And, just as important, for their ability to work safely.”

The village’s Fiscal Officer, Rita Schroeder, also received thanks “For keeping us grounded.” Mayor Gerdeman went on to note Mrs. Schroeder working closely with the Auditor’s office and others when it comes to keeping the necessary paperwork in order for grants and other funding sources.

Police Chief Jim Gulker and Fire Chief Dale Schulte, and all members of the Police Dept., along with Fire and EMS volunteers were thanked for continuing to keep the town and outlying areas safe. The zoning board was also complimented on, “Looking at issues relative to construction in the town, and making sure projects mesh with the way we want to do things.”

The Park Board received particular notice, with Mayor Gerdeman saying, “Probably one of the most visible things we have going now is enhancements to our parks. A lot of volunteer effort, too, from folks outside of the Park Board, just coming in and lending their hands on the park. Providing free labor, equipment, support, and so on - it’s really good, and we’re seeing the results now.”

Greg Bockrath, whose engineering firm typically takes the lead on village projects, was thanked for his efforts as well. “He’s done a great job for us,” Mayor Gerdeman said.

The recent arrival of ornate benches to the downtown area, courtesy of the Kalida Chamber of Commerce, was also noted as Mayor Gerdeman thanked that group for the many ways in which it works to better the village.

“As you can see, there’s a lot of government entities and a lot of people involved,” said Mayor Gerdeman concluded. “The main thing that I see, that is very exciting to me, is that we’re all working together…I get asked all the time, ‘How do we make things happen in Kalida?’ with the way things are going, all of the improvements and enhancements, you name it. My short answer is, ‘We all work together as a team.’ ”

“There are no hidden agendas. Everybody has a goal, and I think it’s a common goal. We just want to try to make Kalida as best as we can, now and in the future. So that our progeny can enjoy the fruits of our labor.”