The annual state of the village summary was recently addressed at Newcomerstown village council, and others in attendance at the village’s first council meeting for 2019.
Mayor Pat Cadle stated in the summary that the village of Newcomerstown continues to strive for improvements in the village’s over-all status, departmental operations, economical growth, and also plans to address residential development opportunities for Newcomerstown.
Some of the past year’s achievements for Newcomerstown included:
• Police department established an on-line training program for officers, and staff through Virtual Academy. Training was completed for dispatching, and use of taser. The department upgraded its policy through Lexipole, and added body camera use for the officers.
• Street department repaired 19 streets and alley ways, rebuilt/ repaired 20 grates, culverts, and storm drains, replaced multiple signs throughout the village. Removed multiple hazardous trees that were diseased/ dying. Employees were also trained with the license-required mosquito spraying.
• Cemetery department sold 11 grave sites and completed 12 foundations.
• Water department replaced two fire hydrants and three water lines. They repaired six main lines. There was 174,162,200 gallons of water pumped to distribution and water tanks. There were 199 water samples tested, and water well #1 was completely refurbished. The waste water department currently serves 1,654 residential customers, and 167 commercial customers, and 11 industrial customers. Three lift stations were replaced, and 352 lift stations were inspected. The east final clarifier was refurbished.
• The administration, fiscal department completed 2015-16 fiscal year audit with no sanctions or violations. Grants were received from PEP, and BWC for new equipment. Village monies transferred for improved interest earnings, and insurance plan was changed to offer village employees savings, and offered new dental plans for employees. A Safety Council Committee was initiated. The village’s communication was improved with install of a new phone system. The Ohio Basic Code Ordinance Manual was updated from the past 10 years. A new HVAC service agreement was implemented for payroll, and bill paying process.
• The village implemented, and held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new solar panel system that will be utilized at the water and waste water plants. The solar system is anticipated to quantify a substantial savings for the village, and residents at the end of the year. The village has also became a model community for other municipalities that are interested in pursuing a solar panel system.
• The village participated in the Newcomerstown Historical Society’s ceremony for former resident, later famed football coach for The Ohio State University Buckeyes, Woody Hayes, during which the village also hosted the annual Gateway Festival with two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin and Woody Hayes’ son, Steven Hayes, in attendance.
• The village was also able to acquire the former Simonds- Heller Tool property on Heller Drive. The village will soon be looking at development of the property, and plans to form a committee that will include local residents for input on the development plans.
• The village initiated a new call system, Towne All Call, which residents have the choice to register for to be informed of the latest information concerning the village events, and services.
• The village’s budget continues to be maintained above $5 million which is attributed to more efficiency with the village’s processes, savings plans, and new found revenue.
• Several new businesses have moved to town, or will soon be moving to the area. Those businesses include: HV Coil, Reagent Chemical, and Taco Bell. The Newcomerstown CIC, Tuscarawas County Economic Development Corporation, and Jobs Ohio are actively marketing Newcomerstown.
• The village will be addressing housing in Newcomerstown, and looking at tactics to retain long-time residents, as well as attract others to the area.
While there were many positive aspects of the past year, the village did suffer a set back with a major water main line break that resulted in substantial water loss, and a temporary loss of water service for the village until the repairs, and required EPA testing was completed. Village council member, and EMT, Heather Stein-Wells was recognized for her management assistance to the village during the catastrophe.
The village departments have also recently set goals for the next 5-10 years, as well as a few 20 year goals for improvement.
In closing, Mayor Cadle said that he anticipates an exciting new year with lots of potential added improvements and growth for the village of Newcomerstown.