Amherst Ohio Mayor Dave Taylor’s Annual State of the City Address as given at the regularly scheduled Amherst Ohio City Council meeting on Monday, February 13, 2012:
“This being my 9th State of the City Address, I am pleased to report that we are still fiscally sound as a city. We must and will remain responsible and prudent in all our financial endeavors just as we have done for the previous (8) years. While facing the possibility of additional state cuts we still have a fluid situation in the general fund, but remain stable and solvent in both the general fund and revenue accounts.
We have submitted the 2012 budget to be discussed on February 20th for passage on February 27th. This will allow the Auditor to submit the budget to the County in a timely manner.
Based on the current workload in the Building Department and with the added changes to the property maintenance ordinance that was passed late last year, along with the upcoming construction of the Lorain County Metro Parks Wellness Center, we have decided to make the Building Inspector’s position full time again. This will be done as soon as the 2012 permanent budget is adopted.
Due to the additional work completed because of a soft, poor drainage subgrade at the west end of the Fire Station’s parking lot, we will be requesting approval from Council for additional funding. This added construction work included the undercut of soft material, backfilled with stone, and an additional catch basin and under drain system. We are in the process of finalizing the extra costs on this project, which will include engineering costs.
The 1 mill – 5 year fire levy will expire at the end of this year. We will be asking for a renewal of this levy on the November ballot. This levy funds the maintaining of fire equipment apparatus and capital expenditures only. The levy money does not fund salaries, wages or daily operations of the Fire Department. The previous levy funds have purchased the most up-to-date fire equipment to include new fire engines, state of the art breathing systems, and communication systems. The renewal of this levy is essential in keeping the level of protection for our residents. This is a renewal which means no additional taxes.
Chief Northeim will also be submitting a request in the near future for a new vehicle to replace the department’s 1999 Jeep.
Chief Kucirek is working on final specifications for the upgrade of police communication equipment which was approved by Council last year. These upgrades are scheduled to be completed this year.
Street Improvement Program
We will be submitting to Council the recommended list of street resurfacing and infrastructure improvements for 2012.
We will continue our program of replacing old 4” water lines throughout the city. We will also proceed with our on-going project of replacing older water meters with new radio read meters.
We took possession of a new camera truck in late January which will allow the collection department to continue to camera our sanitary and storm sewer lines, as well as the laterals. This also includes cleaning all lines as needed. We are working to make improvements regarding the flooding issues, as well as examine
the financial options of major improvements pertaining to the sanitary and storm water issues.
As an update on the Sanitary/Storm Sewer Backflow Valve Rebate Program eleven residents have taken out applications pertaining to the program. To date,
five of those applications have been returned and will be approved for reimbursement.
We are evaluating the possibility of electrical system upgrades throughout the City. We will be bidding out our tree trimming project in April. This annual project has helped keep our outages at a minimum. In conjunction with Main Street Amherst we have applied for another CDBG grant to carry on the revitalization of our historic downtown area.
Our approved application for the Safe Routes to School program for South Lake Street has been pushed back to 2014. Safe Routes to School is a program funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation. This program supports projects that encourage safe walking and bicycling to and from school.
Twenty-one (21) new businesses opened their doors in the City in 2011. We will continue to encourage new businesses to our community as we have done for the past (8) years.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our city employees for their continued efforts in maintaining our utility services, safety, and administrative work. I also want to welcome Mark Costilow as our Safety Service Director and thank Council President John Dietrich, Auditor David Kukucka, Treasurer Mark Hullman, Law Director Tony Pecora and members of council for their cooperation and support.
I am honored to serve you as Mayor. We will continue to be committed in making Amherst a city of which we can all be proud.”
David A. Taylor
Mayor of the City of Amherst Ohio