The following is the latest installment of Mayor Jim Boroff's monthly updates on city issues.
Spivey Manley house. Early last year, the city purchased the Spivey Manley house and an adjacent property at the corner of Front and Madison streets. These purchases were made with our intention of using block grant money from the state for the purpose of improving the neighborhood by razing the building and developing a park-like area at that location alongside the river.
Subsequent to that purchase, we were contacted by the Seneca County Courthouse & Downtown Redevelopment Group, which desires to restore the structure. The group entered into a purchase agreement with us, promising to stabilize and renovate the house to meet historical standards no later than Nov. 30. Consequently, we sold the properties to the group for the combined sum of $31,500 (which we had paid the previous owners) with the understanding it would meet the November deadline by fulfilling their obligations on the restoration project. If the deadline is not met, the group has agreed the building will be removed at its expense.
We hope the group is successful, as this could be an attractive complement to the downtown area.
Street paving. There technically will be three street paving efforts this year throughout the city. The first project will be the restoration of the streets where we completed the sewer separation late last fall. This is the area of town generally in the neighborhood of Heidelberg University. We should be resurfacing the streets and restoring the boulevards within the next few weeks.
It should be noted the intersection of Greenfield, East Market and East Perry streets will not be repaved; only repaired as needed at this time. This is the area that we will be using federal highway dollars to improve within the next year.
The second paving project is that of North Sandusky Street. Commencing from Hall Street, the rebuilding of that street will continue north to the city limits. This is another federal highway grant and will include the complete rebuilding of the street and curbs. The bids will be opened in early May and the work should begin as soon as the contract is awarded.
This work will take a few months and may require some rerouting of traffic, as the project is fairly intricate. However, we will do everything to maintain traffic through the area.
The last of these projects is our annual street paving effort. We are finalizing the list and have a large number of streets that need resurfacing and other work. Once the list is complete, we will be bidding out the work. Typically, our annual paving is executed later in the summer.
Tiffin Tomorrow. The Tiffin Tomorrow group presented its long-range downtown development study and plans at a town meeting April 20. This document outlines a comprehensive strategy for economic development in the central business district and the corridors that connect it to the two universities. By laying out the possibilities and coordinating them into a unified plan, the group hopes to attract local and outside interests to invest in our future.
The next step is to formulate a limited liability corporation to spearhead projects in this geographic area. The total cost of the development study and plans executed by KKG Developers was $150,000. The city contributed $50,000 from the North Star marketing fund for the first phase of the process and has loaned $27,000 interest free to help finance the second phase.
Although this administration is firmly behind economic development, I made it clear at the onset that this effort must be citizen driven. The city will do everything it can to facilitate economic growth, but the private sector must take the lead if we are to be successful.
Parking Lot No. 7 wall. A few weeks ago, a wind storm damaged a significant section of a city-owned wall at 70 S. Washington St. Since that time, a section of the adjacent parking lot has been cordoned off. We are in the process of obtaining bids to make repairs to the stucco surface as soon as possible. Luckily, we had insurance that will cover part of the damage.