G. Rapids council updated on RR crossing repairs, Blue Bell Island, ash tree removal


GRAND RAPIDS – Local and area residents may have to put up with a brief detour on Wapakoneta Road while
repairs are made to the railroad crossing.
During council’s meeting Monday, Mayor Judy Keifer read Administrator Chad Hoffman’s report in his
absence. In the report Hoffman noted track foreman Rick Westpahl, with the Toledo, Lake Erie and Western
Railway, had informed him he wanted to close Wapakoneta Road between Second and Third streets over an
extended weekend.
The plan is to remove two surface wooden ties on a Saturday and Sunday, with an asphalt company coming in
on Monday and Tuesday to pave up to the rails.
No date was set for the repair. Council is holding a meeting-of-the-whole on June 24 at 7 p.m. in the
administration building to work out several issues regarding the railway organization which owns the
Bill Linebaugh, with the railroad group, attended Monday’s meeting to give some updates to council
members on its work.
Les Tanner asked several questions about a new fire hall. Keifer explained council passed a resolution to
make available to the township trustees a corner of the former middle school property for a fire station
"if they so choose."
Tanner wanted to know where the money would come from for a new fire hall and who would pay for it.
"It’s not the Grand Rapids fire hall. It’s the Grand Rapids Township Fire Department," answered
the mayor. She said if anything is built, it will be the decision of the township trustees.
Keifer said Block Watch had contacted her about lowering the midnight curfew, and she wanted the safety
and welfare committee to discuss it. Also, with more children attending the elementary school next year,
the mayor wants the committee to look at ways the village can help with the chaotic transportation
problems before and after school.
Boy Scout Brandon Corpus presented a drawing to council for his proposed Eagle Scout project to make
renovations to the welcome log cabin and landscape it. There is a large gap under the cabin which would
be repaired with treated wood, and his brother, Lucas Braatz, a landscaper, is overseeing the project.

Council agreed Brandon’s plans were great, but they want to know when everything has been OK’d by the
historical society, which is financially backing the project, and which plants were going to be used in
the project.
Keifer read from Hoffman’s report that 10 ash trees by the small ball diamond and 10 trees along the
property line of Labino Park are infested with the emerald ash borer and need to be professionally
Hoffman’s report also indicated recent rains slowed down the completion of the Blue Bell Island project,
but the two trees and blue bell flowers were all saved.
"The wall is very impressive," stated Councilman Curt Williams. He later asked if the name of
the site would change since it was no longer an island. Keifer said the issue will be discussed at the
next parks committee meeting.
Councilwoman Carolyn Erdody updated members on maintenance to the town hall by the board of control and
listed organizations which have booked entertainment in the site.
Lt. Rod Konrad with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office announced he will be taking over reports for the
village in lieu of Lt. John Hillard’s taking a new position within the department. He reported there
were 58 calls in the village in May, with 20 being traffic issues.
Council approved as emergency ordinances the authorizing of Hoffman to take bids for the recoating of the
400,000 gallon elevated water storage tank and to request the auditor to assess lots and lands in the
village for street lights. Hutchison voted "no" against making the latter ordinance an
emergency one.

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