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Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Sculptures, mazes and swings, oh my

New Bremen park revamp estimated at $765,000

By Margie Wuebker
NEW BREMEN - Council members Tuesday night approved spending up to $76,500 for engineering and design costs for the proposed Lions Park improvement project.
The village recently received a $250,000 cultural arts grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to help pay for the project in the park between the Crown Pavilion and Crown-owned Opera House/office building complex.
John Freytag of Sidney-based Freytag & Associates Inc. estimated the project may cost up to $765,000, depending on the scope of the work. The estimate does not include construction of a restroom/storage facility, which could push costs to more than $1 million, he said.
Preliminary plans call for interactive sculptures, a lock stone terrace, rain garden with stepping stones, walking maze, labyrinth slide, swings, benches and decorative entry points marked with lion statues honoring the now-defunct Lions Club. The focal point is an interactive water feature that could double as a multi-use amphitheater.
"We need to develop a timeline and phasing," Freytag said. "The grant money becomes available in 2015 and must be used within two years."
The village received deed to the land when the club disbanded eight years ago. The agreement included a provision the property be retained for park purposes. Council earlier in the year approved a 99-year lease allowing Crown Equipment Corp. to use a portion of the land for parking.
In other business, Jim Kronenberger asked fellow councilman Bob Parker if the New Bremen Emergency Medical Service would be affected by the resignation of Minster Area Life Squad's medical director.
Parker, a local EMS member, said the decision by Dr. Ken Fox to relinquish those duties, effective Sept. 30, affects only Minster.
"If they don't have a new medical director by Sept. 30, the squad can't function," Parker said.
If the neighboring squad ceases operations, it's possible that New Bremen's squad may be asked to provide coverage per a monetary contract, he said. He contemplated aloud whether extra squad runs would impact local membership.
Council members also,
• passed as an emergency legislation rezoning a vacant lot at the corner of East Monroe Street (state Route 274) and Elk Drive from R-2 (residential) to C-1 (commercial). Local chiropractor Jeffrey Paul plans to relocate his practice to a building to be constructed at the site.
• heard second reading for a new parking arrangement on North Washington Street between Monroe and First streets. The plan calls for 10 angled spaces and four parallel parking places on the west side of the street, and no parking on the east side.
• heard second reading of legislation vacating a portion of Eastmoor Court that has never been used. The village will retain easement rights with four property owners sharing the land.
• renewed village liability insurance through the Public Entity Pool, effective July 1. Rates did not go up but the premium did as a result of new vehicles - two fire trucks, two police cars and a pickup truck - added to the policy. The current annual premium is $85,226, an increase from last year's $81,990 bill.
• received an update regarding removal of dying ash trees in the Pioneer Subdivision. Approximately 80 trees will be removed from the tree lawn. No new trees will be permitted in the area between the sidewalk and the street, but affected property owners can receive a free tree from the village for their lawn. Town crews plan to grind the stumps and fill in the area before seeding.
• voted down a proposed amendment to the employee handbook regarding hours of work. The legislation was suggested to handle a perceived problem with employees clocking in late but the matter has been addressed by supervisors.
• reviewed bids received for phase I of the Cherry Street water main project, lagoon dredging at the wastewater treatment plant and the purchase of a 275-kilowatt generator for the water treatment plant but took no action.
• learned mayor's court fines, fees and forfeitures for the month of May totaled $467.
• reminded residents of the summer concert series at the Crown Pavilion. The next performance featuring Walt Schmitmeyer and the Moonlighters is 7 p.m. Sunday.
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