WALBRIDGE - The centennial celebration set for the July 4 weekend should be a jubilant and busy time for the village - and business owners don't want to be left out.
Some are concerned about rumored plans to close the main Walbridge drag, essentially cutting off vehicle traffic.
Closing Main Street for July 4, 5 and 6 would be devastating to her business, said Gail Adler, owner of 7-Eleven, at Wednesday's council meeting. She said there are several scheduled deliveries on July 5.
James Dolan, commander of VFW Post 9963, said the street closing would also hinder his delivery trucks on the "busiest weekend we've got."
He added that he's heard about the centennial committee's plans to hold an official council meeting on April 7, with refreshments afterward at the next-door VFW Hall. But no one's contacted him about it - and he's on the verge of renting it for that Sunday.
Two council members who are on the centennial committee, Sue Hart-Douglas and Nathan Eikost, said they thought the hall use had been finalized with another committee member. Hart-Douglas also apologized.
Mayor Ed Kolanko said council has not approved any street closures.
"Nothing has been set in stone as to how this festival will take place," he said, adding that council needs to have some "come to Jesus" talks with the committee.
On Wednesday, council did approve the April 7 special council meeting marking the 100th anniversary of the first village meeting.
In other business, council voted to spend $30,000 to repair the parking lot and install catch basins at the Professional Transportation Inc. building on Drouillard Road. A PTI representative said at a December council meeting that the company was questioning renewing its lease in April with the village if improvements weren't made.
Kolanko asked if the village could get a firm commitment from PTI to renew its lease before the $30,000 was spent. Councilman Ron Liwo, chairman of the budget and finance committee, said that was doubtful, and village administrator Kenneth Frost agreed. "Basically, we've got to get the wheels in motion now," Frost said. "I do foresee them staying where they're at."
The village purchased a building for the business in 2009 for $70,000 to keep PTI in the village, plus spent another $40,000 in improvements. The business is responsible for about $20,000 annually in income tax to the village.
Also at the meeting, council:
• Approved a contract with Rock-Solid Pools for $10,986 to repair the Aqua Terrace walls so a new liner can be installed. Hart-Douglas, chairwoman of the parks, recreation and community events committee, said Feller, Finch and Assoc., Maumee, had completed a bid package for all of the pool repairs that totaled about $100,000. Hart-Douglas, though, said that funding all of those is not feasible.
• Approved raising speed limits to 35 mph from the CSX railroad tacks on South Main Street, south of the village limits, and from the North Main and Elm streets intersection, north to the village limits. The speed limit will remain 25 mph in all other areas. The ordinance was approved as an emergency after getting a first reading earlier this month. Last year, there was a movement to try to increase some speed limits but it backfired when an Ohio Department of Transportation study revealed the village had speed limits too high. This new ordinance cites changes in the village municipal code.
• Heard Councilman Ken Gilsdorf is meeting today with a St. Jerome Catholic Church representative about the church's tentative plans to build senior condominiums at the former school site.
• Approved giving a $100 gift card to John Bitter, who volunteers with food distribution in the village.
• Discussed entering into a contract with CSX for the village to mow property on the west side of Main Street that is owned by the company. The village already maintains this property at no charge, but Gilsdorf, a former CSX employee, said the company will pay the village.