Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Laffin to head new lake CIC

By Shelley Grieshop
Photo by Shelley Grieshop/The Daily Standard

Mercer and Auglaize counties' commissioners and Mercer County Economic Development Director Jared Ebbing gather Tuesday in Celina to elect officers, establish policies and other measures for the new Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Community Improvement Corporation.

GRAND LAKE - Mercer County Commissioner Jerry Laffin will head up the newly-formed, two-county Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Community Improvement Corporation (CIC).
The CIC's voting members will be the six county commissioners from Mercer and Auglaize counties. At a Tuesday meeting, the commissioners also appointed an advisory council for the organization.
The advisory council will include Mercer County Economic Development Director Jared Ebbing, Auglaize County Commissioner Doug Spencer, Lake Restoration Commission (LRC) facilitator Tom Knapke, LRC member Tim Lovett and local grant writer Ron Puthoff of Chickasaw. Those members are the same people currently serving as the legislative subcommittee for the LRC.
Final approval of the CIC's formation must come from the offices of the Ohio Attorney General and Secretary of State after local officials complete the application process.
The initial cost of establishing the CIC is estimated at $10,000 to $20,000 - the majority stemming from attorney fees - and will be paid equally by the two counties.
The CIC's main purpose is "to better enable the region to work in concert with the state of Ohio" to restore Grand Lake and improve the economic vitality of the local region, as stated in a vision statement adopted by commissioners Tuesday.
State and federal agencies requested the development of such an organization as a single go-to entity, commissioners said.
"This body is here as a springboard to get what our state legislators have asked for," Spencer explained.
The CIC also will serve as the administrator for funding, oversee all projects designed to battle the blue-green algae problem and promote future water quality.
"This is just another tool in the toolbox," Ebbing added.
Auglaize County Commissioner John Bergman said the CIC is not meant to replace ongoing efforts by other groups such as the LRC or Lake Improvement Association.
"We're providing a viable legal entity, not to discredit anyone," he said.
The CIC is being established to handle the immediate needs of the region. However, its future is admittedly uncertain, members said Tuesday. The hope is it will become obsolete when a more permanent "hybrid" is put into place down the road, Ebbing said, adding he doesn't yet know what that might be at this time.
Other items approved on Tuesday were the election of Spencer as vice president, Mercer County Commissioner Bob Nuding as treasurer and Bergman as secretary.
CIC members also approved action to establish an account at First Financial Bank and apply for a tax identification number for the organization. They also approved various policies the board must follow.
The commissioners initially discussed filing an application for a nonprofit status at a cost of $4,000 to $6,000. However, they decided to table the issue temporarily until the need is warranted.
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DELPHOS - A 10-0 run at the start of the fourth quarter helped vault Celina to its sixth win of the season with a 69-52 triumph over Delphos St. John's in non-conference action at Arnzen Gymnasium on Tuesday night. [More]
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New job training software programs should be available to the public by the beginning of March, according to Tim McCourtie, director of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) office in Celina.
MINSTER - Local officials are working with Auglaize County Commissioners on applying for a community development block grant to help offset costs for the proposed $10.5 million wastewater treatment plant expansion.
NEW BREMEN - Eighteen local residents attended a public hearing Tuesday night regarding the proposed enclosure of Kuest Ditch between North Eastmoor and Circle drives. The area lies north of East Monroe Street (state Route 274).
A St. Marys man appeared Monday afternoon in Mercer County Common Pleas Court in response to allegations he violated community control sanctions.
Tyler Q. Drumm, 22, 68 Southmoor Shores, was sentenced Nov. 3 to up to three years CCS after pleading guilty to forgery, a fifth-degree felony.
Social media is serious business for a growing number of Grand Lake companies.
"Seventy-five percent of our business - at least 75 percent - is from Internet sites," Deb Schrolucke, co-owner and catering manager for Perfect Party Catering, said.
OTTOVILLE - The Marion Local Flyers shook off the rust from a 17-day layoff and evened their record with a 53-45 overtime victory over the Ottoville Big Green on Tuesday.
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
The Celina swim and dive team completed back-to-back swim meets in the Hoosier State on Tuesday with a trip to South Adams. On Monday, Celina faced Jay County and Fort Recovery at Portland.