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01-11-04: New Mendon mayor plans to finish streetwork


MENDON — The village has a new mayor who promises to continue with improvements launched during the prior administration.
William Buffenbarger, 34, 202 Wayne St., won the office in November in an uncontested race. Former Mayor Ron Griesdorn decided not to seek re-election.
“When I heard Ron wasn’t going to run, I decided to throw my name in the hat. As it turned out, it was the only name in the hat,” said Buffenbarger, who works as a nursing assistant at the Laurels of Shane Hill nursing home near Rockford.
A native of Wren, Buffenbarger, his wife and two kids moved to Mendon a couple of years ago. Buffenbarger said they like the town, which is comparable to the small town setting of his hometown.
The political newcomer admits much about municipal government is “Greek” to him, but he vowed to continue with some major projects facing the town.
The top priority is bringing the Main Street reconstruction project to fruition, he said. The town already has qualified for a $300,000 grant aimed at economically distressed communities and has other matching money to put with the grant award. The town is separately pursuing Ohio Public Works Commission money to further expand the project.
“We’ve got to keep the ball rolling on that. That is something that is desperately needed,” Buffenbarger said.
Even though he did not participate in the negotiations, Buffenbarger said he is pleased with the town’s new law enforcement contract with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office. The new structure of the deal gives local officials flexibility to decide when they want coverage. The old contract provided a set number of patrol hours each week.
“I think this new contract gives us better protection than we had because we’re better able to manage those hours,” Buffenbarger said.
As for new projects, Buffenbarger said he looks forward to working with Mendon Village Council members on plotting the town’s future direction.
One project Buffenbarger said he would like to see town officials consider is a sidewalk program. Many of the village’s secondary streets are unimproved, without curbs, gutters or sidewalks.
“My family and I like to walk and there are a lot of places in town where there are no sidewalks,” Buffenbarger said.
Not only are sidewalks convenient, they also give a neighborhood a more attractive look, he said.
“I know there is a lot of work to be done and I’m looking forward to getting started,” Buffenbarger said.


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