Following a busy 2019, progress will continue in the Village of Swanton this year as several projects are scheduled to get underway.
Although some of the work was not visible to residents, village officials were busy planning for the future.
“There were many successes but also areas where our team continues to make progress,” said Rosanna Hoelzle, village administrator. “With all the successes and some challenges, I would give the Village of Swanton (local government) a B-plus.”
She said the single most important project completed in 2019 was the adaptation of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
“I commend Fiscal Officer Jennifer Harkey on the attention to detail and hours spent on the CIP, and thank Village Council for their approval,” said Hoelzle. “The CIP will allow our team to plan for the village’s future, whether related to fleet maintenance, roadway improvements, infrastructure upgrades and a tremendous amount more.”
Also completed in 2019 was the Memorial Park Pavilion renovation, which included a new concrete floor, new doors, new roll up shutters, new ceiling facade, the addition of a fireplace, and new paint. “This project is the catalyst to the Memorial Park Master Plan, and our team is looking forward to continued progress at that park,” said the administrator.
Hoelzle also cited as successes the sign inventory project undertaken by Ishmael Mensah, an intern from Bowling Green State University, and a collaboration with Project Allura to augment the village’s social media presence.
A success that also came with some challenges was the transition to a new utility billing system.
“This transition was overdue largely in part to outdated technology,” she said. “There are still kinks being worked out, as is the case sometimes with technology upgrades, but this was a much-needed upgrade.”
Projects that may have a bigger immediate impact on residents will kick into gear as 2020 moves forward.
“Our team and all the projects will not be slowing down in 2020,” Hoelzle said. “We welcomed a new mayor (Neil Toeppe) and council member (David Pilliod) to our team and look forward to working toward common goals together.”
One of the major projects for the year is the Project 10 sewer separation project. The project will center on the area of Brookside between Crestwood Drive and Hallett Avenue, as well as parts of Parkside and Woodside drives. It is scheduled to begin in March.
Improvements are also planned for two alleys in the downtown area. That work is scheduled for late spring or early summer.
The process of upgrading residential water meters will also begin, with an estimated start time of late spring.
“On top of these larger capital projects, some other goals for 2020 include crosswalk and roadway striping inventory, new signage at Pilliod Park, more collaboration with Metroparks Toledo, and increase community engagement,” Hoelzle said.
The Cannaley Treehouse Village is slated to open this spring in the Beach Ridge Area of Oak Openings Preserve, just south of Airport Highway in Swanton. It will feature a six-person treehouse, a four-person treehouse, a pair of two-person treehouses, three tent/hammock platforms, a common treehouse with seating for up to 49 people, a crow’s nest, and a canopy walk.
The four common treehouses and tent platforms will be available to rent for overnight stays.
Among other openings slated for this year are CK Sweets Coffee and Bake Shop, a new restaurant in the former Barron’s location, and Swan Creek Crossing, a senior housing community.
“Looking back, I think the grade of B-plus is fair; there were many successes and our team continues to identify ways to improve,” Hoelzle said. “I’d like to thank the entire team: the elected officials, administrative assistants, code enforcement officer, Fire & Rescue Division, fiscal officer, Public Service Division, Police Division, Water Division, and Water Resource Recovery Division.”
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010