Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
By Margie Wuebker
New Bremen hears new vision for park
  NEW BREMEN - An artistic vision is planned for Lions Club Park.
Christy Shell, a member of the New Bremen village park committee, spoke to council members Tuesday night about the need to turn the area south of Monroe Street near the lockkeeper's house into a village green that is inviting to residents and visitors throughout the year.
The plan involves a blend of nature, art, culture, history and recreation reflecting and enriching the aesthetics of the town and nearby businesses, she said.
"We envision high quality artistic interactive elements including a sculpture park, kinetic sculpture and water features," she said. "It would be multi-generational."
The committee does not have a cost estimate. Shell, Cathi Hall and Linda Tinsle, received authorization to apply for an Arts and Community Economic Development Program grant for the project. The grant - part of the State of Ohio Capital Bill - has not been awarded since 2008 but it is expected to be given this year. The application deadline is Dec. 13.
The $100 million grant likely will be distributed in eight designated art areas throughout the state, officials said. If the local plan is chosen, funding would arrive in 2015.
The women plan to meet with the Sidney-based engineering firm of Freytag & Associates for the project. Council suggested they use the remaining $3,000 left in a fund from previous park planning work to pay related fees.
According to Shell, the proposal would not only benefit the community but also commemorate Lions Club Park.
The village received the land seven to eight years ago when the club disbanded with the provision it be retained for park purposes. Council recently endorsed a 99-year lease allowing Crown Equipment Corp. to use a portion of the land for parking.
Council members also,
• gave second readings to legislation dealing with water rate increases, a three-year contract with American Municipal Power's Efficiency Smart program, a step raise for economic development director Angela Hamberg ($16.61 to $16.94 per hour) and temporary appropriations totaling $110,000 through Jan. 14.
Village administrator Wayne York said the 5.7 percent water rate increase for village residents is needed to provide $90,000 to $100,000 for a three-month cushion in the water fund. In 2012, revenue totaled $334,798 and expenses were $334,007.
Council members are considering an increase in rates for 25 property owners residing outside the corporation limits who use village water and sewer. The amount of the proposed increase has not been set. Council plans to amend the ordinance on third and final reading Dec. 10.
• accepted bids from North American Salt Co. for $91.03 per ton for water treatment salt, and from Miami Products for $1.24 per gallon for sodium hyperchloride. Water treatment salt costs are down slightly from 2012; the Miami Products bid is the same as last year, York said.
• approved change orders for Walnut Street and Circle Drive projects. Saintignon Excavating, Celina, requested an additional $1,376.81 to cover asphalt costs on Circle Drive. Buehler Asphalt Paving of St. Marys decreased the cost of the recently completed Walnut Street project by $17,050.40. York explained paving of the Cherry Street-state Route 274 intersection was not completed.
• awarded contracts to solicitor Steven L. Smith at the rate of $70 per hour and mayor's court magistrate Robert W. Kehoe at a $500 base salary plus $175 per hour after five hours.
• reminded residents the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony is 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Lock One Park. Refreshments will be served at the event sponsored by the New Bremen-New Knoxville Rotary Club.
• met in executive session to discuss annual cost of living adjustments for village employees. No action was taken.
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