Moment with the Mayor for February 10, 2018
Broad Street Waterline
The City will be replacing water lines on both the north and south sides of Broad Street, between North Lyman and Summit Street. A contractor has been selected and work will begin in February. Dominion Energy will also be in the same area replacing gas lines. Dominion work will extend past the water line work area in all directions and will take place through May of this year. Streets off of Broad may also be affected as their water line connections are being made. Side streets may be used for staging areas for equipment and trucks. Residents should expect travel delays and lane closures throughout the project, with full closures. The area will be closed to commercial trucks, and a detour will be provided. A public meeting will be held this month for businesses and residents to learn more about the project. For updates, visit www.wadsworthcity.com or follow social media @cityofwadsworth.
Several pieces of art made by Wadsworth school students taking part in an Art Relay Team were on display at City Hall for the last few weeks. Franklin School art teacher Sally Lucas came across a pilot program and found a grant resource through Crayola to help to form an arts relay team with the goal of spreading art appreciation throughout the schools and city. Inspiration for the students occurred while learning about the works of Picasso, Contrell and Jean Michael Basquiat, after which they were asked to draw people made only from shapes and lines. Franklin Elementary School students sent their finished drawings to their teammates at the middle school to inspire them to create a mixed media collage for the next step in the relay. Both sets of artwork were on display at City Hall for a couple of weeks before being sent on to the high school, where students will use them to create a coordinating sculpture. The Art Relay serves to stimulate students’ imaginations and spark creativity while learning about art. Be sure to visit the Wadsworth Public Library to view the entire collection of drawings, collages and sculptures that will be on display during the month of March.
I often meet with area businesses. One of their biggest challenges is finding new employees. Medina County Economic Development Corporation has taken this issue to heart by creating initiatives to help businesses with this task. They have organized educational tours of manufacturing plants since 2012, but in 2017, they began focusing specifically on tours for the currently unemployed and underemployed individuals who are seeking quality jobs that pay well and offer full benefits. In addition, MCEDC is also partnering with Employing Medina County, Medina County Probation, Jobs for Ohio Graduates, OhioMeansJobs Medina County and others to help educate job seekers on the types of jobs available and help the unemployed connect with employers. Workforce availability in Medina County is also impacted by commuting patterns: over 50% of county residents leave the county for work. To increase the pool of available workers by bringing attention to local job opportunities, MCEDC launched www.worklocal.net in August, 2016. With thousands of postings on the site for jobs in Medina County, officials hope that individuals leaving the county can, instead, find jobs closer to home. Lastly, MCEDC is ensuring a source for future workers by collaborating with the school system to help students understand what career options they have, with or without college, and that those opportunities are here in Medina County.
Until next week……
Mayor Robin Laubaugh
A Moment with the Mayor for December 23, 2017
Finance Department Recognition
The City’s finance department has received the prestigious Auditor of State Award with Distinction, “as a result of clean and accurate record-keeping as the foundation for good government”, according to Dave Yost, Auditor of State. Taxpayers can take pride in the department’s commitment to accountability and compliance with standards and laws. This award is given only to those entities that file an annual CAFR and timely financial reports, in addition to receiving a clean audit report with no questionable costs, deficiencies or findings for recovery. Also, the City was once again awarded the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. “It is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management,” stated the GFOA. Recognition is given to those whose reporting is determined to be submitted in the “spirit of full disclosure” and clearly communicates the financial story. I commend City Auditor Catherine Fix and all the finance department employees for their outstanding work.
Internet Purchase Exchange Location
For those of you who purchase secondhand items through local purchasing groups, the City has designated an area in the public parking lot alongside Maple Street, across from City Hall, as an exchange site. An Internet Purchase Exchange Location sign is posted near the northeast corner parking space for those who wish to exchange goods and payment there. A surveillance camera has also been installed to monitor the area. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and thank our Director of Public Safety and street department for implementing it.
I offer my good wishes to each of you as you celebrate Christmas or any opportunity you may have to spend time with family and friends over the next few weeks. My special thoughts are also with those serving in our military and their families, with the hope that one day, there will be peace. In January, once again, I will summarize the City’s accomplishments in 2017 and also the goals that both City Council and the administration have set for 2018. Setting goals each year helps us stay accountable to ourselves and to our citizens, and provides focus and direction, especially for larger projects. We continue to work to meet the challenge of providing the best services to our residents, while keeping a very close eye on expenses. I extend my thanks and warm wishes to our City employees, whose hard work and dedication make my job easier and make our city a better place for all of us.
Until next year….
Mayor Robin Laubaugh
Moment with the Mayor for January 13, 2018
Looking back over the activities of 2017, I am amazed at all that was accomplished! Our City departments were kept busy working on the goals that were set at the beginning of last year. Some of the highlights are listed here: the Assistant Service Director reported that Interurban Trail Project was completed and includes a new trail house that will be available for event rental in the future. A new sand volleyball court was installed near the outdoor pool; benches and trash cans were replaced downtown; and a kiosk and bike racks were installed close to Subway near the trail head. In Economic Development, the City’s website was completely redesigned making it much more user friendly and packed with valuable information, and the development of an updated City logo was initiated. I’m also happy to report that two industrial business expansions were completed with the City’s assistance, and the City welcomed over 14 new and expanded commercial/retail businesses! To stimulate even more business growth, the Assistant Service Director attended 8 site selector meetings with representatives from national firms and manufacturing companies looking for available land and buildings, and he also met with several developers who expressed interested in Wadsworth. Grant funds were received by the City to help downtown business owners with improvements to their buildings and facades. In the Finance Department, the rollout of Ohiocheckbook.com was completed to provide transparency in reporting, and the department was selected to receive the Auditor of State Award with Distinction and GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 2016. The Public Safety Director reported several goal accomplishments last year that included a successful EMS Levy campaign, continued site search for land for development of a new Fire Station #1 and delivery of a new rescue-pumper for the fire department. In conjunction with Wadsworth City Schools and the Wadsworth Drug Free Community Coalition, enhanced community access to drug treatment, awareness, education and counseling services was achieved. Continued expansion of lights & gates funding for railroad grade crossing improvements and plan completion for ODOT installation of a traffic signal at College Street ramp and SR-57 were addressed, and the Wadsworth Citizen Police Academy was restarted. Look for more 2017 accomplishments in next week’s article!
Christmas Tree Pick-Up
Christmas tree pick up, provided by the Street Department, will take place during the whole month of January! Simply place your tree by the curb or on your tree lawn and make sure that you have removed all lights and ornaments since the trees will be chipped for recycling. No artificial trees will be accepted. The last day for tree pick-up is January 31st.
Battling extremely cold weather conditions and snow can make life challenging, as we all know. The Ohio Emergency Management Agency reminds us to check on our neighbors. and family members – especially those who are older or have functional needs – to ensure that they are OK and have the resources to stay safe and warm. Offering to pick up food and supplies at the store for those in need could make a big difference to them, as well as helping to clear their driveways and sidewalks. It’s a good idea to exchange phone numbers with neighbors to make it easier to communicate in case of severe weather or emergencies. I’m proud to live in a caring community where people look out for one another.
Despite the frigid temperatures, Main Street Wadsworth’s First Friday Cocoa Crawl was a success! In case you missed that, plans are in the works for the next First Friday event on February 2, the Soup-er Bowl! Downtown businesses will be open and offering food, live music, art and fun from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Mark your calendars for this fun event!
Until next week,
Mayor Robin Laubaugh