The COVID 19 virus and resulting pandemic is still with us, but certainly diminished, as our population approaches nearly half being partially or fully vaccinated. It remains a time to be cautious and redouble the vaccination priority, to protect us all and guarantee a full return to the ‘new normal’. Stay focused – we don’t need a post summer relapse!
There are a number of July 4th activities planned and the Hartford Fair returns in August. And many community events, missing for a year, are planning a 2021 return. This Update also includes some positive economic development updates, details on events by the Licking County Historical Society, the County’s Master Gardeners, and a story about honey bees. Note there will be community ‘on the lawn’ concerts at the Children’s Home Memorial Park and Gazebo this summer starting June 17th – see the flyer in the Update. I hope you find some or all of the reading interesting.
Also, attached is folder you can open that contains the Licking Park Districts 2020 Annual Report. It is well done and I thought you might like to see it!
Summer is here and the economy is returning – enjoy!
Best - Commissioner Tim Bubb
June 2021 Update
By Licking County Commissioner
The Fading Pandemic and Our Community
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued the following statement directing the Ohio Department of Health to conform the remaining health orders to CDC guidance through June 2nd. “Ohio will be amending our remaining health orders to comply with the new CDC guidance, which says that those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, while those who have not been vaccinated should still wear a mask and socially distance.
The Governor adds, "The CDC still recommends everyone wear masks when they are in a healthcare setting, when they are travelling on public transportation, including airplanes, and when they are in a business or employer that chooses to require masks.
He adds, “The most powerful tool we have to protect against the COVID-19 virus is the vaccine. Because of the vaccine, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are decreasing dramatically. The vaccine allows us to live our lives more normally and without fear.
DeWine says, “As I said in my address to Ohioans, the more individuals who get vaccinated, the more the entire state is protected from the virus. The vaccine is our path out of the pandemic, and it is our best protection against the virus. We are on the offense, and the science is unequivocal: Vaccines are our best weapon to fight COVID-19 and save lives!”
Community Update looking to Mid-Summer
The gradual transition to the „new normal‟ will continue as we head for mid-summer 2021, with the hope of continued progress toward greater community immunity through the mass vaccination program. If you have not yet been vaccinated please give it serious thought. It will greatly reduce your chances of getting the COVID 19 virus, which can be life threatening!
The return to „more normal‟ seems to be pointing to mid-summer and the return of many of the traditional Independence Day celebrations.
Regarding Independence Celebration fireworks and community celebrations - it is a mixed bag. The annual July 3rd concert and fireworks at the Newark Campus of OSU-N and COTC is cancelled for 2021.
However, three major community fireworks shows will happen at dusk on Friday, July 2nd. Those include the „Buckeye Blasst‟ fireworks (being shot from the Fairfield County side of the Lake), Granville Fireworks at Wildwood Park, and the Heath celebration and fireworks at Geller Park.
In Granville their annual Independence Week celebration, sponsored by the Granville Kiwanis Club, will happen from Friday, July 2nd through Monday July 5th. Granville‟s mile long parade with the theme “The Land We Love” will take place the on Monday, July 5th.
Officials in Pataskala advise their annual fireworks show at the Community Park will be the evening of Saturday July 3rd (with July 4th as a rain date). And fireworks in Johnstown at the Chambers Football Stadium will also happen that Saturday night.
In Hanover, the annual Red White and KaBoom celebration returns on Saturday, June 26th in „The Valley‟. The parade kicks off at 1:00pm from the Hanover Presbyterian Church on Hickman Road and ends at Licking Valley High School. Fireworks are scheduled for that Saturday evening at dusk!
This month we celebrate Flag Day on Monday, June 14th and Father‟s Day on Sunday, June 20th.
Summer officially arrives Monday, June 21st.
A flyer is attached detailing Summer Concerts at The Gazebo in the Children‟s Home Memorial Park starting on Thursday, June 17th.
Community Economic Development and Growth
Boeing recently signed a lease extension with the Port Authority that carries the lease into 2028, at the former Newark Air Force Base on Irving-Wick Drive in Heath. It includes extension options for Boeing to remain through 2043. The guaranteed lease extension is valued at $27 million. The 22-year combined lease is projected at a value of over $100 million in investment. Boeing is the largest employer on the Port Authority complex.
Port Authority CEO Rick Platt reports, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine re-tweeted the positive news with the statement, "This contract extension in Heath is great news! The investment demonstrates Boeing's validation of Ohio as a world-class manufacturing location with a highly-skilled workforce."
In cooperation with the Licking County Commissioners and the County Planning Commission – Transcendia, in Union Township, is expanding and adding jobs. A manufacturer of plastic films and other plastic products in the barrier film market, the company will add a 52-thousand square foot expansion to their plant in the Newark Ohio Industrial Park. The 36-new jobs represent a $2million increase in annual payroll.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority also approved a six-year tax credit for the project at 3700 Hebron Road. The new building is separate from the manufacturing plant the company purchased from DOW Chemical for $3.4-million some five years ago. Transcendia employs 110 currently and will be hiring machine operators, maintenance technicians, supervisors, and material handlers in the next year.
Just over one year into a three year project, Newark‟s latest storm and sanitary sewer separation and modernization project has reached the major downtown intersection of West Main and Fourth Streets.
The project began at National Drive and is progressing north with the installation of new sewer lines, and sidewalks, curbs and new street pavements. This summer features „road closures‟ in the Fourth Street corridor.
The project includes major new round-a-bouts at West Main and Fourth, and later at Granville and Fifth Streets. The project will conclude in 2022 when connections and infrastructure are completed at Granville Street near Sixth Street.
Teamwork Needed to Clean-Up a Newark Residential Site
In recent years a series of three residential lots on Newark‟s near west-side developed into one of the worst trash havens in the City. City officials tell me the lack of action by an absent (and now deceased) landlord and a hoarding situation made for an area the neighbors referred to as „the Mud Pit‟.
Long story short, a cooperative approach between the City and County Government agencies, the County Land Bank and the Newark Development Partners „Community Improvement Corporation‟ went to work.
It took the equivalent of 10-dump truck loads of trash, building materials and vehicles to clear the site just west of South Sixth Street and on the south side of the street near Raccoon Creek. The sign (photo above) marks the newly landscaped site.
Timing was perfect as plans are underway for redevelopment of the former Pharis Tire and later Westinghouse Industrial Site just west of there, and on the other side of Raccoon Creek. A ribbon cutting was held on May 28th for the Newark Station redevelopment project that is described as a multi-year several phase commercial and residential project. City Officials view the clean-up and redevelopment of this West Main Street corridor into Newark as critical to the continuing redevelopment of Newark.
Licking County Farm Tour 2021 – Saturday, June 19th
On Saturday, June 19th a special farm tour will visit the Watts Family Farm on Moots Run Road (Alexandria) and Timbuk Farms north of Granville.
According to Farm Bureau officials, registration and breakfast will be from 7:30 till 8:30 at the Watts Farm, where the tour begins. It is a self- driving tour from 8:30 till 12:30. Tickets are $12 each or $20 per couple.
To purchase tickets call 740-452-2356. (Farm Tour shirts are available for $5 each and you must preorder by June 4th).
Sponsors of the Tour include the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio State University Collage of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Outstanding News from Alexandria Mayor Jim Jasper
Alexandria „Fun Days‟ will return this year and are scheduled for July 15th, 16th and 17th!
The Mayor says, “The community parade will be held on Saturday, July 17th with the line-up beginning at 10:00am in front of Martin Trucking, on Route 37 just north of the Village, and will step-off at 11:00am.” He adds,” You can see more details by checking „Alexandria Fun Days‟ on FaceBook.”
The Mayor shares that the water distribution upgrade project is nearly completed. They have replaced all of the saddle taps, installed meter pits in front of each residence and are in the process of finishing up street repair and landscaping. Alexandria actually came in far enough under the nearly one million dollar bid to be able to run water to our community park. Jasper adds, “Hopefully someday soon we will be able to build a new concession stand there with all the amenities! “
Mayor Jasper concludes, “In addition, thanks to our resident‟s 1% income tax we were able to refurbish the inside of our water tower, so our entire water distribution system is completely up to date and in new condition. The Village‟s daily water usage went from 60,000 gallons a day to 28,000 gallons a day! Saving the village nearly $4,000 a month!
Licking County‟s Awesome and Symbolic Flag
The flag of Licking County symbolizes the true meaning and roots of the heritage of Licking County. Proud of our Earthworks, the Octagon Mounds, built by the Hopewell Indians, are the earliest reflection of settlements in Licking County and represented by the octagon symbol spanning the white and green fields.
The industrial cog in the center of the octagon represents Licking County‟s strong industrial base. The white outline of Licking County depicts the shape and size of the second largest county, by landmass, in the State of Ohio.
The color green is a symbolic color representing agriculture, as is the grain, which represents the many farm families who make their homes in Licking County.
The three flowing stripes across the bottom are symbols of early transportation including the rivers and canals, the railroads, and later major roadways opening the County to commerce and a bright future!
Ohio‟s Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted Jon Husted brought his spotlight to C-TEC, Licking County‟s Vocational School, on Wednesday, May 5th as part of a statewide campaign titled „In-Demand Jobs Week‟. (Photo left to right – C-TEC Superintendent Joyce Malainy and Lt. Gov. Husted)
Husted described the workforce need as "the kind of jobs that CTEC focuses on with C-TEC „EDGE‟, which certainly meets the definition of "in-demand jobs." County Commissioners Tim Bubb, Rick Black and Duane Flowers joined the Lieutenant Governor in touring and talking with faculty and students in the various technical education areas of the facility on Price Road in Newark.
(Photo left to right – Lt. Gov. Husted welcomed to C-TEC by Commissioner Tim Bubb)
The Commissioners and Husted joined in the spotlight effort witnessing a customized training program for Ariel Corporation under the TechCred program. Ariel, based in Mt. Vernon, has a major and expanded manufacturing facility on the Port Authority site in Heath. This was also „signing day‟ at C-TEC as dozens of high school 10th graders, their parents and family were on hand to „sign on‟ as students in vocational education programs at C-TEC during their junior and senior years.
(Photo above – Lt. Gov. Husted talks with C-TEC Medical Technology students)
Farmer‟s Markets Return in the May and June Time Frame
Here is information for the 2021 Newark‟s Canal Market planned again for Tuesdays and Fridays in 2021…
In addition, the Granville Farmer‟s Markets this year are at Raccoon Valley Park at 1225 River Road off State Route 16. Granville is held Saturday mornings from at 8:30 till Noon. Check out at…
In Pataskala, the weekly Farmers Market is held on the Village Green at Main and Front Streets on Fridays from 4:00 till 7:00pm (starting June 4th). Check out the Pataskala Farmers Market Facebook page.
Bee Keepers to the Rescue in Heath
Recently neighbors of mine in Heath, Pat and Blaine Laughman, called looking for help to remove and save a large swarm of honey bees that had taken up residence in a tree in their front yard just feet from their front door. I certainly give my friends credit for realizing the value of pollinators and wanting to find an appropriate home for the confused new neighbors in their front tree.
I contacted my friends Sandy and Tim Gartner (longtime Update readers). Sandy and her family have recently become involved with the East Central Ohio Bee Keepers Association.
Sandy and Tim visited the swarm that they estimated at some five thousand bees, based on the size of the hive. Earlier they had reached out to Cathy Dixon, and she in turn contacted Club member Megan Durst. Later that day a trap was placed and the cooperative collection of honey bees dutifully entered the box. The swarm and queen were safely relocated to a bee farm and will take up
residence in a safe hive where they can now go about their existence pollinating our world and making honey.
Frankly, this adventure is what I really love about Licking County – caring and thoughtful people who see a problem, take action and make the world a better place! As they say, “It takes a Village”.
The rest of the story – Sandy tells me her grandson Keegan Andrews-Gartner, age 9-years, recently received a scholarship from the Bee Keepers Association and they set him up with a collection of bees and a queen, and all the equipment to start and maintain his own hive. It is now his 4-H project. (Photo Keegan – suited up for bee keeping)
*What a great idea to encourage the next generation of bee keepers.
Now Sandy and Tim have joined with a hive of their own, and their daughter-in-law saved another swarm and added it to their Fairview Road farm collection. Sandy tells me that Phil Nestor of Alexandria is the President of the East Central Ohio (multi-county) Group. (Check out their website). It is a growing group and they meet monthly for educational programs on bee keeping. They maintain „bee yards‟ at the Taft Reserve, one of the many Licking Park District sites. Cathy Dixon is in charge of the Bee Yard at Taft. So – if you have interest in this hobby just reply with an e-mail with your name and phone number, and I will be glad to have them „buzz‟ you!
Fun Event Scheduled for June 5th at Buckingham House by the Licking County Historical Society…
Central Ohio Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities
The American Red Cross has a high-priority need for Blood Donor Ambassadors to support blood collection efforts in your local community.
These volunteers welcome visitors to Red Cross blood drives and take their temperature before they enter. This position has a variety of duties including: providing donors with important blood donation information, monitoring the status of donors, assist with intake and a variety of other support duties. (All necessary training and equipment will be provided by the American Red Cross staff and on-line resources)
Consider „At Home‟ Virtual Volunteering - Even while staying home, there is opportunity to support the Red Cross mission virtually. We have a wide range of volunteer opportunities in which volunteers can engage remotely. Locally, the American Red Cross is currently looking for individuals that could be interested in learning new skills while serving their local community as "Virtual" Red Cross volunteers.
It may surprise you to know that local volunteers are needed to assist local disaster families; and they can perform this service (and several others) while working from home! (All necessary training will be provided by the American Red Cross staff and on-line resources). The only requirement is to have access to a computer with internet, a smart phone, availability for a few hours a week.
If interested in volunteer opportunities contact Michael Vance –
e-mail … Michael.email@example.com
Licking Park District Simplifies Facility Reservation Process
In order to better accommodate reservation requests for facilities at Infirmary Mound Park and for the gazebo at the Licking County Children's Home Memorial Park on East Main Street in Newark, Licking Park District has a new online reservation request system designed by the talented staff of MyRec. This new site gives the public the ability to view the reservation calendar in real time for rental availability and a listing of facility amenities and photos.
The Licking Park District encourages you to browse this new site by visiting our website www.lickingparkdistrict.com and click on the Rentals tab. There you will find a link that says CLICK HERE for the Licking Park District On-Line Reservation System. Clicking that link and will take you to the on-line reservation site where you can see the availability of rental facilities and submit your reservation requests.
Licking Park District is working with MyRec to eventually add program information and event registration to the site. This will allow residents to gain easier access to program and event registration for themselves and family members, review registration and financial history, sign activity waivers, keep our staff up-to-date with household changes such as addresses and phone numbers, and so much more.
Your Licking Park District believes you will enjoy this enhanced reservation and registration experience!
Licking County Transit a Safe Vaccine Travel Option
Billboards have popped up around Licking County in the last couple of months promoting Licking County Transit as a „safe‟ public transportation option.
The billboard (photo above right) includes the phone number for Transit – 740-670-5185.
Feel free to forward this email in any direction you would like, and let me know the e-mail address of anyone who would like to be included on my Update Newsletter list.
* I would also invite you to check Facebook and visit Licking County Commissioners, Elect Commissioner Tim Bubb and Commissioner Tim Bubb.
I can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, and my desk phone number at the Commissioner‟s Office is 740-670-5118.
Best Regards! Commissioner Tim Bubb
Author - Tim Bubb
I can be e-mailed at email@example.com, and my desk phone number at the Commissioner‟s Office is 740-670- 5118. .