Review Category : Local News

Alliance To Announce 2016 Outlook

2/17/2016 – 10:00 pm

Thursday night, the Hancock Alliance will announce its plans and programs for 2016. Economic Development Director Tony Iriti says that a big component of economic development in Findlay and Hancock County moving forward is workforce development.

Audio: Toni Iriti

When looking at NW Ohio and really the entire State of Ohio, Iriti says that Findlay is in a good position to build upon the success of prior economic development.

Audio: Toni Iriti

The Economic Outlook Forum will be held from 5pm-7pm Thursday at the Findlay Country Club.

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Hancock-Wood Requests Clarification Of Findlay Franchise Agreement

2/17/2016 – 8:35 pm

Hancock-Wood Electric CO-OP has requested that the City of Findlay review its franchise agreements with Hancock-Wood and American Electric Power. Currently, Hancock-Wood has service territory that was annexed into the City of Findlay in the 1980s. AEP can operate in the Findlay City limits but so can Hancock-Wood, within the annexed service area. Hancock-Wood requested that the city make a formal declaration of the intent of current service agreements with AEP and Hancock-Wood due to AEP encroaching on the Hancock-Wood service territory.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Findlay Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer said the fact that franchise agreements between the city and both AEP and Hancock-Wood overlap which is creating a discrepancy as to who has the right to provide service in the area. The area in question is around Rowmark on the east side of Findlay.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Schmelzer said that Hancock-Wood requested the city to revisit the franchise agreement for clarification. Ultimately any dispute between the two utilities would be handled between both of them and the state public utilities commission but Hancock-Wood wanted the city to clarify it’s position. The council will review proposed language at a future meeting.

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City Officials Hold Discussion On Budget Surplus

2/17/2016 – 8:11 pm

What should the City of Findlay do with its multi-million dollar budget surplus? Should funds be spent to hire staff, or saved in case of an economic recession? That was a question put to the members of the Findlay City Council committee of the whole meeting Wednesday. Councilman Jeff Wobser said that it’s in the cities best interest to be prudent in how funds are used. Given the effects of a new recession, the city needs to build funds in order to provide services in hard economic times.

Audio: Jeff Wobser

Service Safety Director Paul Schmelzer noted that having budget surpluses are not bad things for a city, and that the City of Findlay was attempting to build up both the rainy day funds and the capital improvement funds, as well as slowly hire staff. He said that what the city didn’t want to get into was a situation where staff would need to be reduced and a new tax levy would need to be requested in the event of an economic recession.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Schmelzer said that moving some funds to capital improvement helps the city leverage other projects that are put out to bid, such as roads, utility systems, and inferstructure. And while the city could use that money to hire staff, not doing so with the revenues coming in could put the city in a bind financially. Auditor Jim Staschiak said that it was a good first step in a long process to ultimatly craft a plan that will keep the city financially secure during the next economic downturn.

Audio: Jim Staschiak

Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik noted that when the economic downturn hit, the city was in a position where staff had to be let go because reserve funds were depleted. From her point of view it’s not good sense to outstretch resources to the point where expenses outpace revenues because such situations will have a negative impact on city services.

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer noted that at the moment the cities expenses are at the levels that they were at in 2008 prior to the recession.

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Former Lima Police Officer Accused Of Raping Teen

2/17/16 – 7:14 A.M.

A former Lima Police officer is currently standing trial, accused of raping a 16-year-old girl. The Lima News reports the accuser in the case, who is now 17, testified against 28-year-old Justin Bentz Tuesday. During an hour of testimony, the girl said Bentz got her drunk and took advantage of her last June.

The teen was living with her sister at the time, and Bentz was a roommate in the home.

The defense has argued Bentz did have sex with the girl, but that it was consensual.

The trial resumes today.

MORE: Lima News

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North Baltimore Officials Look Toward Downtown Revitalization Project

2/17/16 – 6:49 A.M.

North Baltimore officials want to upgrade infrastructure in the downtown area. The Courier reports plans are underway for a four-phase, $3 million project. Village council voted Tuesday to pursue grants to pay for more than $2 million of the work.

Phase one would replace waterlines along Main Street between State to Broadway streets. The second phase would and new lighting and sidewalks downtown. Phase three would repave Main Street between the railroad to Broadway, while the final step would include paving Main from Broadway to the edge of town.

MORE: The Courier

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Carey Will Maintain Road In Industrial Park

2/17/16 – 6:40 A.M.

The village of Carey will take over maintenance of a road in an industrial park in the village. The Courier reports Carey Village Council members voted to accept a dedicated plat of land in the Arrowhead Commerce Park during their Tuesday meeting. That means maintenance of the road leading into the park becomes the responsibility of the village.

There is one building in the 27-acre park. Hanon Systems is expected to start operations there by the middle of next year. A second building is expected to be built this year.

MORE: The Courier

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Fostoria School Building Project Takes Step Forward

2/17/16 – 5:24 A.M.

The Fostoria school building project took a step forward Tuesday night. The Courier reports the school board approved a resolution that allows the district to take part in the Ohio School Facilities Commission Classroom Facilities Assistance Program. Superintendent Andrew Sprang said, “It’s just a formality that basically finalizes what everybody voted on.”

Sprang says the move shows the state that the district has the local share of the money for the project. This clears the way for the state to submit their portion of the funding.

The new school will cost around $50 million. The local share of the cost is a little more than $5.5 million.

MORE: The Courier

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Findlay Woman Injured In Tuesday Crash

2/17/16 – 5:15 A.M.

A Findlay woman suffered minor injuries in a two-car crash Tuesday afternoon. The State Highway Patrol reports 30-year-old Lynsi Clinger was driving north on County Road 140 when she was hit by a pickup truck driven by 30-year-old Brandon Bowser. The collision happened just after 1 p.m. at the intersection with U.S. 224

Clinger was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment.

The accident report says Bowser ran a red light, but he told officers his brakes failed. He was cited for running a red light.

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Fostoria Council Votes To Continue Funding FEDC

2/17/16 – 5:06 A.M.

Fostoria officials are giving financial backing to the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation. The Courier reports city council voted to continue funding for the organization, which recently helped bring a South Korean tile maker to Fostoria. The city will pay the FEDC $30,000 in 2016.

The money comes from the city’s STAR Ohio account, which funds revolving loans. 75 percent of the interest earned on the account will also be paid to the FEDC. In 2015, the interest earned on the loans was just over $20,000. That means a little more than $15,000 will go to the development corporation.

MORE: The Courier

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Findlay Teen Killed In Tuesday Crash

2/17/16 – 4:54 A.M.

A Findlay teenager was killed in a two-car crash east of Findlay Tuesday afternoon. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports 19-year-old Dyllin Ortman was killed when his westbound car went left of center on U.S. 224 and hit an SUV driven by 23-year-old Jesse Baker of McComb. The collision happened near County Road 248 around 3:45 p.m.

Ortman was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Baker was rescued from his SUV and taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of unknown injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

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