Mayor, Jim Jasper.
Village of Alexandria
Please share this with any friends or neighbors that may not receive this alert. If you know of anyone that would like to receive alerts or be removed from them email me at email@example.com
Also, in this December Update (below) the first in a series of „senior scam‟ concerns. Below is a one-sheet summary. Please print or share with seniors you know...Please enjoy this wonderful yearend update from our Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb!
Commissioner Bubb opens with a note “that each of us are appreciated as an important part of Licking County Ohio!” I would like to share in that sentiment with each of you in the community of Alexandria- each of you are very much appreciated members of our community!
Let me begin by saying as we do this ‘yearend’ Update – each one of you is appreciated as an important part of Licking County Ohio!
This December Update is coming out a bit early so I can share with you some important dates and events in late November, as well.
Great news with the opening of improvements in Newark and at Black Hand Gorge, as well as plans to open a new major bridge in eastern Licking County.
As always there are many positive things happening in County Government and that is always my major intent – as local coverage is limited!
Let’s hope for a mild winter and hopefully a White Christmas.
Happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year and any other celebrations I might be forgetting.
Commissioner Tim and Marianne Bubb
Dates for several holiday traditions in December...
The Sights and Sounds of Christmas‟ is a guided musical walking tour of Newark's downtown churches with proceeds benefitting the Licking County Food Pantry. It will be Thursday evening December 1st from 6:00 till 8:30pm. Tickets are available at Explore Licking County, the Chamber of Commerce, The Double Tree Hotel, and at the participating churches ($5 donation for adults – children under 12-years free). Further details visit www.sightsandsoundsofchristmas.org. The musical stops include...Second Presbyterian, Trinity AME, Trinity Episcopal, Licking County Courthouse (on the steps), First Presbyterian, Saint Paul‟s Lutheran, First United Methodist and Saint Francis De Sales Catholic Church.
Licking County Commissioner Rick Black shares that the date for the „Community Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long will be Saturday
afternoon, December 3rd at 2:00pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 42 East Church Street in downtown Newark.
Performing songs of the season will be the Lakewood High School Acapella Choir (Martha Fickle Director) and the Licking Valley
High School Vocal Impact Choir (Jessica Noser Director). There will be organ and piano duets featuring pianist Ann Marie Robinson and Rick Black on the church‟s pipe organ.
This community Sing-A-Long is a fundraiser for 'Families Helping Families‟ through a 'free will' offering. A reception at the church will follow with representatives of the Licking County Department of Job and Family Services. This holiday concert will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person and out of town at this site www.spcnewark.org
The Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Russel Mikkelson, will present their “A Very Merry Holiday Pops” concert the evening of Sunday, December 4th at the Midland in downtown Newark. It will feature the Denison University Choir.
The Heisey Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Mikkelson, will feature their “Christmas at the Reese Center” concerts on Saturday, December 10th at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 11th at 3:00pm, at this Newark Campus venue. Featured will be vocalists Laura Portune and Andrew Blosser.
Brownsville Road Bridge to Open Mid December - While temperatures have dipped in late November, work has continued on the State Route 668 Brownsville Road (Claylick) Bridge. County Engineer Jared Knerr and officials with the Shelley Company say the concrete deck will be poured in late November and requires at least a three week curing period.
If all goes well, and the weather cooperates, the new span will be essentially done and ready for use before Christmas and through the winter. The contractor will return late winter/early spring to put the finishing touches on the project. The exact date for the re-opening will depend on the concrete curing period, which is critical from a safety standpoint. An opening ceremony is planned.
The demolition of the old Brownsville Road (Claylick) Bridge and its triple piers began in June. The construction of a new three hundred foot span over the Licking River will cost $3,954,994.
WCLT Organizes “Mega Giving” to Meet Mega Need - WCLT‟s Program Director “Wild Walley” Schneider is doing what he can to make sure nobody goes hungry this holiday season. He will be on the radio anchoring a 12-hour food drive and broadcast at Coughlin Chevrolet-Kia of Newark.
Beginning Saturday morning, December 10th at 6:00 am area residents will be invited to drive by and drop off any non-perishable food items, or make a cash donation to the Food Pantry Network of Licking County. “Taking care of families at the holidays pretty much clears the Pantry shelves,” said Schneider. He added, “this effort will help
them restock so they can keep on helping those in need.”
Schneider and WCLT are no strangers to this kind of community service. They regularly participate in the Elves in Action effort on
Newark‟s Courthouse Square. Fiveyears ago, Schneider broadcast for 36 straight hours generating donations to“Fill the Big Rig” again on behalf of the Food Pantry. During the broadcast, Schneider will welcome a variety of special guests, local officials, and musicians. “We have a good time, while supporting an important cause,” said Schneider. WCLT (T-100) is a locally-owned 50,000 watt radio station providing community service to Licking and surrounding counties.
COUNTY DEPARTMENT PARTNERSHIP FOR THE HOLIDAYS
The Licking County Dog Wardens Office is proud to announce a partnership with Families Helping Families program through Licking County Job & Family Services. Through Thursday, December 8th - Donate a Walmart or Kroger gift card up to $50 & receive that amount off of your dog adoption!
You will also receive a special Grab Bag full of goodies for your new family member. (While supplies last). All gift cards collected will be given to a family in need. If you would like to donate without an adoption that's fine too! Thank you all for your support.
Round-A-Bouts and Fourth Street Now Open - The three year sewer separation project on Fourth Street in Newark (State Route 13) is two thirds complete. When complete there will be three major intersection „round-a-bouts‟, continuing the shift in how traffic moves in downtown.
Fourth Street section now open - the project stretches from National Drive north to the intersection of Fourth and Locust Streets. The route then proceeds northwest on Locust and to its conclusion on Granville and near Sixth Streets. It has been a challenging year for motorists in downtown due to closings at West Main and Church Streets, and the current partial closing of the busy Locust-Fourth-Mt. Vernon Road intersection.
The new „round-a-bouts‟ at Fourth and West Main Streets, and Fourth at Church Streets, and the connecting north-south section of Fourth are now open. Further to the north the intersection of Fourth and Locust Streets will be more accessible this winter as the
Fourth Street connection is added. The contractor has turned the corner and head northwest with the sewer project on Locust, now working in the intersection of North 5th, Locust and Granville Streets. A new Round-A-Bout, more like the shape of a big bean, will tie together the five streets at Locust-Granville and Fifth; and is currently under construction.
The final leg in 2023 will continue up to Granville Street at the Expressway, in the area of Saint Francis DeSales Church.
The Westinghouse Walls Are Tumbling Down - The long summer/fall, with West Main Street in Newark closed east of 11th Street at the old White Westinghouse Plant, is about over! Demolition of the large empty and burned out old industrial building fronting West Main Street began the week of November 21st by the Watson Excavating Company. The tear down was delayed for several months due to delays caused by the Ohio EPA over how to remediate asbestos in the old section after the April arson-set fire that damaged the structure. After delays the clean-up took place clearing the way to demolish the building, salvage the steel beams
and begin hauling away the rubble. When complete in the next few months the site from Raccoon Creek west will be cleared and ready for redevelopment.
The Licking County Land Bank (Land Reutilization Corporation) secured a State Brownfield Remediation Grant of a half million dollars to jumpstart the demolition, with other State and local dollars in the mix. The section of the old building along West Main Street is coming down and within a couple of weeks Newark City officials plan to reopen what is normally a busy east-west artery. Residents have been frustrated by the extended safety related closure.
The site once housed Pharis Tire and Rubber Company, and later White-Westinghouse; and was used in recent years by Mid-Ohio as
warehouse space. Redevelopment is underway with plans for a „river front park‟, restoration and reuse of the other large industrial
building on the site, and to the west both recreation and multi-family housing. The location has been rebranded „Newark Station – The Landing‟, and has the potential to turn this old abandoned industrial site into an attractive new „front door‟ for downtown Newark from the west.
Garrett Martin of Explore Licking County Honored - Explore Licking County (ELC) is our community‟s „Convention and Visitor‟s Bureau‟. While a small organization of four professionals, they provide outstanding marketing and promotional value for our County, and its many attraction and places of lodging. Basically ELC brings thousands of visitors and their dollars to Licking County. It is on-going and effective economic development. In October a member of the ELC staff was honored by his peers statewide through the Ohio Travel Association. Photographer, layout artist and marketing guru Garrett Martin received this „Best in the State
Emerging Leader‟ award for continued outstanding work in a very competitive and creative industry. The plate from the award
says it all!
Major Reopening of Black Hand Gorge Recreation Trail - With little fanfare one of the most scenic and historic local bike and recreation trails has reopened. Thanks to the work of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources „Division of Natural
Areas and Preserves‟ has completed an extensive repair and restoration of the 4.5-mile paved path from Toboso to State Route 668 (Brownsville Road or Claylick), along the scenic Licking River.
According to Update‟s Eastern Licking County Correspondent Bill Weaver, ODNR expedited the repairs by filling and stabilizing the areas of riverbank slippage that threated the trail (an old railroad bed). Crews added tons of stone rip-rap, excavated the trail and repaved the asphalt on the popular path that is used by thousands of visitors.
Construction crews added a new information Kiosk at the Toboso entrance (photo), and built a handicapped accessible overlook structure along the trail, allowing visitors to view the historic „Council Rock‟ on the other side of the Licking River where once native Americans by the hundreds spent weeks and months in working encampments knapping flint (mined at Flint Ridge) into tools and weapons.
Weathervane – Final 2022 Show and the 2023 Line-up
The end of the year is approaching, and Weathervane Playhouse
will present the long-awaited holiday show „Plaid Tidings – Forever
Performances are December 20th – 23rd and December 26th – 29th at 2:00pm and7:30pm. Plaid Tidings is a show that offers the
best of Forever Plaid, tied up in a nifty package with a big Christmas bow on top!
Tickets are $37.00 and can be purchased on their website, in person during box office hours, or over the phone.
Have you purchased your 2023 Season Subscriptions yet? If not, I suggest doing so before the new-year. Weathervane‟s summer season includes fantastic musicalslike Million Dollar Quartet, Once Upon a Mattress, and Kinky Boots. Additional plays presented for the 2023 summer is the romantic play Barefoot in the Park and the mysterious play Deathtrap.
Season Subscription Tickets guarantee you the same seats to all five shows on the same show nights. Weathervane also offers flex
tickets where you‟re provided with five tickets that can be used however you see fit. You could bring two people with you to Million
Dollar Quartet and then bring a friend to see Kinky Boots. If you‟re looking into purchasing tickets for the whole family but can‟t justify spending so much all at once, try their new payment plan option. Split the cost of a season ticket into three manageable monthly payments. To set up a payment plan call (740) 366-4616, visit them during box office hours, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For Flex Tickets or regular Season Subscriptions purchase them through their website, call (740) 366-4616, or visit the box office.
Check out on FaceBook ... WeatherVanPlayhouseNewarkOh.
Update from the Safe Senior Projecy - The Safe Senior Project: it is an ongoing partnership between the Licking County Aging Program (LCAP), the Red Cross, the State Fire Marshal‟s Fire Safety Educators, and your local fire departments. With education, resources, and community support, this collaboration has raised awareness about what safety hazards exist in a home and what we can do to prevent an emergency before it occurs. We were the pilot program for Ohio, which has spread to other counties with a significant impact. At the center of this project is a „survey for seniors‟ needing smoke detector installation, a home safety visit, or fire escape route planning. There are no qualifications and no cost; they simply have to complete and submit a survey. LCAP offers this survey to all our new clients, and the State Fire Marshals regularly speak at our Social Lunches to provide education on home safety. We need your help to ensure this year-round collaboration is no secret. There are two ways for you to spread the word. There is a convenient digital survey link below or the attached PDF survey with an explanation of the program on the back if you need to hand out copies. It has been shared on our social media pages periodically and will also be available on our website Outreach page soon. Together our three agencies categorize, prioritize, and schedule visits to their home based on what is reported and the availability of supplies. Everything reported will be confidential, as our goal is to be a part of the solution to keep our community well and safe. A community is stronger when it works together. Only trusted representatives from the Red Cross, LCAP, the Fire Marshals, or your local fire department come into their homes and assist with this home safety project!
MHA‟s 69th Annual Dinner - Awards Celebration Wrap Up Mental Health America of Licking County (MHA) celebrated its 69th Annual Meeting, Dinner and Awards Celebration in November with MHA‟s Board of Trustees, staff, program participants and friends of MHA.
MHA President Mareion Royster conducted the Nathan Arnold, Bradley Copley, Dave Hardy, Kelly Herreman, Maura Horgan and Cher Jackson were reelected for three-year terms. Installed as officers for 2022-23 were Brian Haught as President,
Dave Hardy as 1st Vice President, Will McCoy as 2nd Vice President, Carter Hall as Treasurer and Mareion Royster as Immediate Past
President. Mareion acknowledged Joe Ebel for 11 years of service on the board which included serving as 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice
President, President and Past President during the past four years. Mareion was thanked by incoming President Brian Haught and MHA Executive Director Penny Sitler for his year of service as President.
The Henry Mardis Compeer Member of the Year award was presented to Lola Zachariah. Linda Conoy was the recipient of the
Mental Health Consumer of the Year award. The MHA Volunteer of the Year award was given to Sophia Mustric.
The Outstanding YES Student of the Year award was awarded to Ivy Edwards. Dr. Janae Davis received the Physician of the Year
award. The Mental Health Professional of the Year award was given to Affirming Pathways. The Children and Families First Council
Wraparound Team received the Marion S. Wells Mental Health Award.
The Paddy Kutz Community Mental Health Award (“The Paddy”) is presented in up to three categories (Business, Community and
Education) to those who best represent the qualities and passionate commitment to good mental health that Paddy personified in her 32 years of service to Licking County. Dr. Craig Cairns presented the Community Paddy award to Rob Montagnese, Licking Memorial Health Systems President and CEO, for his lifelong dedication to helping improve the physical and mental wellbeing of those living in Licking County by providing numerous programs and services, serving on various boards and educating the public.
Maura Horgan presented the recipient of the Education Paddy award to Ronni Bowyer, Newark City Schools Wellness Coordinator,
for being a champion for the mental health and wellbeing of the students and staff at Newark City Schools and the greater community. Ronni acts as a liaison between homes, schools and community agencies to ensure that students receive the support needed to thrive socially, emotionally and academically. Royster announced that MHA will begin an endowment campaign
under the direction of Penny Sitler as her parting gift to the agency before her retirement to ensure the sustainability of the important mental health programming that is provided to the Licking County community.
Wishing each and all a meaningful Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Feel free to forward this e-mail in any direction you desire, and let me know the e-mail address of anyone who would like to be included on my Update Newsletter list. My County e-mail address is email@example.com.
Licking County Commissioner Tim and Marianne Bubb
Greetings … Welcome to the unofficial start of the autumn season. There are still several weeks of hot summer weather ahead, but as the days become shorter and the leaves start to turn it is that fall time of the year. In this Update we are sharing some September events and a long list of County Government achievements and programs. We continue to make progress in the areas of economic development. Other updates from C-TEC, the Master Gardeners, County Park District, the downtown construction project in the Fourth Street corridor and work on the new Brownsville Road bridge are among the highlights. The Commissioners have a OneOhio Advisory Committee and they are hosting four listening session in September and early October, and will be looking for your ideas and suggestions. And the ‘Fall Haunt’ season returns with events in September and October at the Jail of Terror in the County’s Historic Jail in downtown Newark. Autumn is a fun season with comfortable weather and many outdoor events – so enjoy!
Greetings and Best Wishes in 2022 – our ‘brave’ New Year!
I would suggest we make a collective New Year’s Wish to make 2002 a ‘More Healthy’ and outstanding year! Included, to start the year, is the latest from the CDC and the County Health Department. A great way to make Licking County and Ohio more healthy in 2022 and make the Pandemic fade is to get the three shot vaccine sequence, the two plus the booster. I sincerely believe that as we achieve close to ‘herd immunity’ with a majority vaccinated – things will be much improved! My opinion and I’m sticking to it!
Also, enclosed is my 2021 Year in review and a look ahead to 2022!And a photo feature on Blackhand Gorge, a true local ‘gem’ of an attraction. A visit there should be on your list for 2022!
Very Best – Commissioner Tim Bubb
January 2022 Update By Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb (Note to view the images referenced in Commissioner Bubb's newsletter, please download the file at the bottom of this post.)
Happy New Year – time to „ring out the old and ring in the new‟. We wish each and every one a prosperous, safe and healthy New Year! As we enter 2022 there are new dimensions to the war on the Pandemic caused by the COVID 19 Virus and its variants. I have included the latest from the County Health Department. This first month of the New Year includes two holidays – New Year‟s Day January 1st and on January 17th the day of remembrance for the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior. The expected surge in the COVID virus is resulting in some public events in early 2022 being scaled back or held virtually. So, as always, check local media for updates.
A positive note – the days are getting longer by a few minutes each day and so far it has been a mild winter. On December 21st we had only 9-hours and 5-minutes of daylight – but on January 31st we will have advanced to 10-hours of light daily!
County Health Pandemic Update As we transition into 2022 the worldwide Pandemic is still with us, and challenges for the community remain as we try to balance the new normal with common sense precautions to stay virus free. Here is the current information from the CDC and the County Health Department… Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others. Additionally, CDC is updating the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J & J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if five-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19. Isolation relates to behavior after a confirmed infection. Isolation for 5 days followed by wearing a well-fitting mask will minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others. Quarantine refers to the time following exposure to the virus or close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. Both updates come as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the U.S. and reflects the current science on when and for how long a person is maximally infectious. A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose restores vaccine effectiveness against infection to 75%. COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. CDC strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 and older and boosters for everyone 16 and older. Vaccination is the best way to protect you and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. The following is attributable to CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC‟s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”
Year in Review 2021 – Licking County by Tim Bubb The year 2021 was an interesting mixture of positive economic development, achievement by County Government, and the ups and downs of dealing with the Pandemic caused by COVID 19. The Census reports showed population growth with the County at 178,000 plus, and most of our communities growing or holding steady. Growth was robust with openings and new building starts in the Etna region; initial development along the Jobs Ready Site corridor in Pataskala; development of Amazon, Google and Facebook data centers and the start of the Amgen Pharmaceutical facility in New Albany (photo); and major growth of manufacturing facilities at the NewarkHeath-Licking County Port Authority industrial park in Heath. Licking County is well positioned in Central Ohio for continued growth with the major challenge of adding trained and skilled members to the workforce. A major plus in 2021 was the opening of the $32-million Alford Center for Science and Technology on the Campus of the Ohio State University and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) in Newark, as STEM education remains a major priority. In addition, COTC completed a $4.2- million renovation of their Pataskala Campus facility. Also noted, a new nearly one million square foot Owens Corning Fiberglas logistics Center on Thornwood Drive in Heath, development of the new Seminary Ridge Industrial Park off Thornwood that straddles Heath and Hebron, an extension of Central Parkway in Heath, the extension until 2028 of the Boeing lease insuring sustained growth at the Port Authority, and a major expansion of Transcendia (former DOW Licking River Film Center), in the Newark Ohio Industrial Park, by some 52-thousand square foot and adding 36-jobs. In Newark the long term EPA mandated sewer separation project continues with a $28-million multiphase project on Route 13 (Fourth Street) from National Drive to Granville Road, and includes development of three new downtown „round-about‟ intersection redevelopment projects. Newark also added a new fire station and „round about‟ on Sharon Valley Road on the north side (photo). Across Ohio the need for „green energy‟ and alternative forms of energy has spurred the development of potentially three dozen large passive solar fields in Ohio. In Licking County two projects are before the Ohio Siting Board of approval consideration; the Union Ridge 513-acre site project in Harrison Township and the massive two-thousand acre proposed Harvey Solar Project in the Hartford/Burlington Township region. The „roller coaster ride‟ pandemic saw the introduction of a mass vaccination program early in the year with just over half the eligible population taking the protection. By mid-year public events were again scheduled, including the Hartford Fair, however reluctance continues as the Delta and Omicron Variants continue to cause serious virus infections. Efforts continue to redevelop the Buckeye Lake Region. A new dredge has arrived and the Buckeye Lake Tomorrow group continues a three county emphasis on additional access to the Lake and eliminating surface water pollution. The Licking County Commissioners have taken the lead in a Federal BRIC (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities) grant application that could be transformative for the region. The county renovated a building on North Bank and leased it to the Buckeye Lake development group as a conference center and office. Also, the new “Queen of the Lake‟ (photo) cruised this summer and took dozens of tour groups across the Lake. The Licking Park District continues to achieve with continued improvement to its 12-major park sites covering over 1,600 acres of green space, as well as maintaining some 50-miles of recreation trails. In November county voters approved a replacement levy increasing funding for the District for the next five years. The Park District, as well as the City of Newark, continued their programs of adding major wildflowers plantings along roadways and in the parks system. In addition the OSU Extension Service, in conjunction with the County, resumed their „Master Gardeners‟ community gardening and educational programs. (photo – Master Gardener Jo Walters with garden cut flowers) The Works (Center for Science and Technology) celebrated its 25th anniversary (Quarter Century of Achievement). The emphasis on STEM Education remains as Janice LoRaso takes over as Director at The Works for Marcia Downes, who retired at yearend. A few other County Government highlights. The Commissioners entered into a five year Enterprise Fleet Program to maintain some 115-vehicles and using group purchasing to save some $600- thousand in vehicle costs. Chief Dog Warden Dave Shellhouse retired and was replaced by Larry Williams. The Countywide 9-1-1 Center added the technology to receive emergency requests by text message. Alexis Fitzsimmons was hired by our development agency Grow Licking County as executive director replacing Nate Strum. The Board of County MR-DD, after some delays, constructed a new group home on Tollgate Road using $1.3-million in donated funds. The County Engineer completed and reopened the bridge over Dutch Fork Creek on White Chapel Road at a cost of just over a half million dollars. Completion of the project was delayed by a year due to COVID and changes in the engineering and design. Finally, the Commissioners demolished the deteriorated downtown Kerns Hotel to allow for improvements at the adjacent Job and Family Services (JFS) county facility. Remodeled were the offices and courtroom of new Judge Deborah Lang‟s Juvenile/Probate Court in the 1876 Courthouse. Note, in 2022 a window replacement project at the historic downtown 1876 Courthouse will take place, with repairs to the stonework, steps and porches planned.
Orange Barrel Update – Route 37/161 Almost Complete According to ODOT – the State Route 37/661 Bridge over State Route 16 in Granville is functionally complete. This project reconstructs the bridge carrying SR 37/SR 661 over SR 16 in Granville. The project also includes turn lane additions along the SR 37/SR 661 entrance and exit ramps. The intersection of SR 661 and River Road/Weaver Drive will be improved to include turn lanes along SR 37/SR 661, and along westbound River Road. The intersection will be signalized. New impacts: Pavement markings have been placed, the traffic signals at the interchange and River Road/Weaver Drive are fully operational, and the interchange will open to traffic with no restrictions. Following the opening of the SR 37/661 interchange, the temporary signals at Columbus Road/SR 16/Cherry Street interchange will be removed and the stop signs at the top of the ramps will be uncovered. As before the project began, Columbus Road/SR16/Cherry Street traffic will be opened to through traffic and have the right-of-way. Weaver Dr. and ramp traffic will have to stop at the stop signs prior to traveling through the intersection.
Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve a Gem in Licking County The Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve is a 4-mile-long (6.4 km) sandstone formation through which the Licking River flows in Licking County, Ohio. Located twelve miles east of Newark, near the tiny town of Toboso, it‟s 957 acres along the gorge were designated an Ohio Nature Preserve in 1975. The gorge is a capsule of Ohio transportation history, having hosted canal boats, steam railroads, electric interurban cars, and automobiles through the years. It is named for the black-hand petroglyph that was found on the cliff face by the first settlers to the area. Black Hand Sandstone is a resistant rock that also forms the backbone of the Hocking Hills region. Take a hike and one can learn about the Teays River which formed the gorge thousands of years ago. The story from where the "black hand" sandstone name comes is connected to the nearby flint supplies, the canal-building that brought demise of the "black hand" petroglyph, the canal era, the first electric railway tunnel in the nation, and a WPA project to convert the railway to a road. Also, the Dillon flood control project that changed the road back to a railway and changed the landscape forever. Wildlife is and has always been abundant from bears, elk and big cats in years gone by to now abundant white tail deer and smaller wildlife such as beaver and fox. Today, you can bike or walk on the south side of the river/gorge. You can also walk on and through a canal lock, a tunnel, and a stone towpath on the north side. A feature is the tunnel that served an interurban line along the north side of the Licking River. The south side of the river was already occupied by the B&O Railroad. A sheer wall of Red Rock lay in the path of the planned route. The builders had no choice, but to dynamite a tunnel through this rock. It took 36 men, working around the clock, nearly 3½ months to complete the tunnel. Work began on June 15th, 1903 and was completed on September 23. The following January the Ohio Electric interurban line was opened for business between Newark and Zanesville. The Black Hand tunnel is 327 feet long and 19½ feet high. It measures 16½ wide at the base. Interurban tunnels are uncommon and it is believed to be the only one in Ohio. As the popularity of the automobile began to rise in the 1920s, interurban ridership greatly declined. The last interurban car rolled through the tunnel on February 15, 1929 – nearly a quarter of a century after it opened. Today the tunnel serves as a hiking trail through Black Hand Gorge State Nature Preserve. It should be noted that the State of Ohio is working on plans to rebuild and restore the popular bike and walking path on the south side of the Licking River. (Photo – Bill Weaver leads a winter tour through the Gorge)
Saluting Licking County Resident Jerry Wray In November Governor Mike DeWine renamed the Ohio Department of Transportation Headquarters Building in Columbus after Licking County resident and former Licking County Engineer Jerry Wray. The Governor recognized Wray as the longest tenured Director of ODOT, serving eight years under Governor Voinovich and eight year under Governor John Kasich. DeWine said, innovation and operational improvements under Wray made ODOT much better for years to come. Wray was the Licking County Engineer in the 1980‟s. (photo – second from the left Gov. DeWine, third from the left Jerry Wray and on the right current ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks)
Ohio's Counties Dedicate an Interactive Display A suggestion for a field trip with children and grandchildren is the Ohio Statehouse in the Capital City. The lower level of the beautifully restored 19-century Statehouse is the area of the Museum, Map Room and County Area where almost all visitors and tour groups begin their free visit. There is also a gift shop and the original Ohio Constitution is on loan and on display. In December, as President of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO), it was my honor to unveil and lead the dedication of a new and vibrant, interactive display about counties and the vital statecounty partnership to the Ohio Statehouse Map Room. Some 150 County Commissioners and Legislators joined as Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, House Speaker Robert Cupp and Senate President Pro Tempore Jay Hottinger made remarks on the significance of the state-county partnership and how they saw the display as an opportunity to educate Statehouse guests on Ohio‟s 88 counties. (l to r – Speaker Robert Cupp, Ohio Senator Jay Hottinger, CCAO President Tim Bubb and Lt. Governor John Husted) “The goal of the display is to promote the vital and unique partnership between state government and Ohio‟s counties,” CCAO President Tim Bubb said. “Counties are the arm of the state to deliver crucial services, and this is an interactive way to educate Statehouse guests who visit the map room and help them learn about the county they‟re from and how Ohio's 88 counties relate to each other.” Twenty-five years ago, Ohio's counties through CCAO raised $40,000 to help provide the popular county floor map in the Statehouse. This area of the statehouse, commonly referred to as the Map Room, is a central location for guests and school groups to organize and visit. Now, a quarter century later, CCAO and Ohio‟s counties gifted the interactive display that allow visitors to learn more about counties and the vital state-county partnership. Counties deliver critical services such as the justice system and law enforcement, infrastructure such as roads and bridges, social services, child and senior citizen protective services, election administration and more. By partnering with county commissioners, executives and council members, CCAO and its members work toward a shared goal of improving and advancing Ohio's 88 counties. Stronger counties build a stronger Ohio.
Enjoy this great new aerial view of downtown Newark –Licking County's seat of government Feel free to forward this e-mail Update. I can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Regards! Commissioner Tim Bubb
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. .