Newcomerstown had three great highlights in 2018.
The brightest was the dedication of the Woody Hayes statue for the Newcomerstown Historical Society. Sponsored by the 11 Warriors organization out of Columbus, a Go Fund Me was created and raised $40,000 for the commission of a bronze statue of Woody.
On Aug. 18, Steven Hayes, Woody’s son, and Archie Griffin of The Ohio State University spoke at Lee Stadium to a crowd of about 1,200 people as part of the program for that ceremony. There were representatives from the federal, state, county, and local offices in attendance.
The next highlight was another dedication. This time it was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the solar panel array at the Newcomerstown Water Treatment Plant.
The event began at the Olde Main Street Museum with four members of the Valta Energy Company speaking about the project. Presentations were also made by State Senator Jay Hottinger, Ohio Representative Al Landis, and a representative from Congressman Bill Johnson’s office. It was also attended by local and county officials as well as mayors and representatives from eight other municipalities.
After the presentation, the group moved out to the Water Treatment Plant on Stark Patent Road for the ribbon cutting.
The third highlight of the year was the acquisition of the Simonds Industries property along Heller Drive and River Street. After two and a half years the Village received the property through a sheriff’s auction by Tuscarawas County. Plans are being prepared for the abatement of the asbestos material, demolition of the building, and creation of a nature park with a boat ramp on the lower 21 acres.
The building blocks of the future remain the same as they have for the past three years.
• Communication with the residents and public. We have used Facebook sites along with the newspaper and radio to reach our residents. A new program entitled ALL-CALL is registering residents who would like to receive announcements through a call, a text message or an email for community events like the leaf pick up schedule, community cleanups or when the drop off for grass clippings is available, or with events like summer when a major water break affected the entire town. We have a registration of about 1,000 residents and businesses currently and recently had our first test of the system. Registration is ongoing. It adds a different way to communicate with residents.
• Services - Our main function is to serve the residents who live in our village. We are fortunate to have good leaders in each department who work hard to provide those services in our water, police, and street departments as well as our administration. Newcomerstown has an excellent Council that works to keep those services up to date and progressive.
• Economic Development – This building block encompasses several connecting parts that all directly affect our progress. Marketing the Villages assets, particularly the Industrial Park is a priority for growth. Housing is a weakness we have to keep working on. It’s important to have available housing as an attraction for new businesses. Development of available jobs, available space for business, housing for new employees, good salary and wages all affect revenue and growth.
• Creating and implementing our budget is the fourth building block. We have an excellent Fiscal Officer who works with each department to create budget that allows for new projects and everyday expenses. The budget can be an ever evolving entity that changes as the circumstances warrant. Success comes with holding to it and having the personnel who understand that.
Every department at Newcomerstown sets goals for the upcoming year. For 2019, we have 90 goals total. The goals are on a public board at the Mayor’s Office for anyone to view. The goals are a reminder of our purpose each year and for the public to know what we feel is important to accomplish. It also helps us keep track of what we have accomplished that makes a difference.
There are specific events to watch for this year. We have 31 Inc. finishing their distribution warehouse in the Industrial Park. We have had some interest in the Caito Foods building that we are working with the county to sell. HV Coil is finishing moving into the General Electric Building. Taco Bell will be breaking ground by March and opening by June. All these new openings mean jobs for our residents and the areas surrounding us.
Good things are happening in Newcomerstown! We have a very nice town and we have to be proud to show everyone what we have!