Some small businesses see big growth

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                             Progress2012                                                     Friday, FEBRUA RY 17

Some small businesses see big growth
While others shrank, they expanded
        By RYAN DUNN                  99, near Interstate 75. The new
            STAFF WRITER              quarters have drawn more walk-in
    For some small businesses, the    customers, said owner Jim Vorst.
past year or so has been a period         The business started in 1998,
of exceptional growth.                and made a move last year from
    In downtown Findlay, owner        Blanchard Township 84, more
Mike Mallett has helped turn an       than doubling in size to 12,000
old building into Alexandria’s, a     square feet, Vorst said.
restaurant, bar and micro-brew-           Increased exposure and a much
ery.                                  bigger showroom have been ben-
    Since opening in November         eficial in showing the company’s
after a few months of construction,   services, such as kitchen and bath
Alexandria’s, 132 E. Crawford St.,    work, Vorst said.
now offers about 45 beers on tap          “It just comes from giving cus-
and authentic Mexican tacos made      tomers what they want,” Vorst
from scratch.                         said, crediting word of mouth from
    With a unique approach and its    satisfied patrons.
adjacent bowling alley, the recep-        Vorst said he notices more area
tion has been very strong so far,     residents staying in their homes
Mallett said.                         longer and opting to remodel their
    “It’s been absolutely packed,”    properties.
he said.                                  The company’s new building
    Because the flood of 2007         boasts machinery that works effi-
served as the “icing on the cake”     ciently to help contain costs, and
to hurt downtown business, Alex-      Vorst added five jobs last year, he
andria’s is working with several      said.
others to revive the area, he said.       In the downtown, Trends! On
    “Everybody’s working together     Main similarly benefited from a
to get downtown back,” Mallett        move in late 2010, said co-owner
said.                                 Pamela Hamlin.
    This family-owned small busi-         The store, which sells items
ness also buys locally and hosts      such as special occasion dresses
events, said Jacob Rowland, Alex-     and accessories, relocated from
andria’s general manager.             624 S. Main St. to 501 S. Main
    “I view Findlay and downtown      St., Hamlin said.                                                                                                                                             Photos by RANDY ROBERTS / The Courier
as what it could be, not what it is       With a jump from 1,200 square      JACOB ROWLAND and Mike Mallett, above, at Alexandria’s, an old building in downtown Findlay that has been transformed into a
right now,” Rowland said. The         feet to 2,500 square feet, the store   restaurant, bar and micro-brewery. “We’re constantly growing,” Rowland said. Jim Vorst, below, looks over materials in a model kitchen at
downtown area is about halfway        tripled its inventory and doubled      Vorst Custom Cabinets, which more than doubled its building size last year and added five employees. For some small businesses, the past
to its potential, he said.            sales, she said.                       year or so has been a period of exceptional growth.
    Alexandria’s goal is to create        Located near several restau-
a space that attracts everyone        rants on Main Street, the store
while avoiding a pretentious atmo-    saw an increase in foot traffic,
sphere, Rowland said.                 Hamlin said.
    Thanks to word of mouth and a         By relocating during the Christ-
strong push to support local busi-    mas shopping season, Trends! On
nesses, Rowland said Alexandria’s     Main also benefited from the holi-
has been successful so far.           day rush, Hamlin said.
    Alexandria’s has discussed            “We came in at a really good
plans to build a patio, open space    time,” she said.
for a larger reception venue, and
                                          Hamlin co-owns the store
add a second-story balcony, Row-
                                      with her husband, Timothy. Her
land said.
                                      two children work there as well,
    “We’re a new business. We’re a
                                      she said.
young staff. And we’re constantly
growing,” Rowland said.                   The store’s success can be
    Dramatic growth also has been     attributed to an emphasis on
seen at The Artisan College of        customer service, she said. Nine
Cosmetology at 1645 Tiffin Ave.,      employees work for the store, she
which recently marked its fifth       said.
year in business, said co-owner           On Findlay’s east side, The
Sue Langstaff.                        Feasel Group, co-owned by Greg
    The college now enrolls about     and Joyce Feasel, continued
40 students and last year added       expanding its services last year
2,500 square feet, primarily serv-    at 2330 Bright Road.
ing as classroom and lab space,           The company now offers ser-
Langstaff said.                       vices in property management,
    By offering a quality education   landscape and design, grounds
to talented students and working      maintenance and a garden center,
with area salons, the college has     said Greg Feasel.
a 100 percent job placement rate,         Feasel’s won the Family Owned
she said.                             Small Business Champion of the
    “Before they even graduate,       Year award at the chamber of
they have their jobs” as licensed     commerce’s 2011 Small Business
stylists, Langstaff said.             Awards, a feat Feasel said he is
    With the efforts of Director of   proud of.
Education Tammy Flores and co-            The business has expanded
owner Jack Langstaff, the college     to 45 employees and underwent
continues to see success, she said.   63 percent growth in the last two
    Another small business that       years, he said.
made a big expansion was Vorst            “We have a really good group
Custom Cabinets, which moved          of people who want us to grow and
last year to 12495 Hancock County     move forward,” Feasel said.

Area auto dealers reporting surge in sales
                                                                                                                     Many existing vehicles are old, and interest rates are low
                                                                                                                             By RYAN DUNN                  rolet Sonic, Silverado, Equinox,          The dealership hopes for a
                                                                                                                                 STAFF WRITER              Traverse and Cruze, he said.           solid 2012, but needs inventory
                                                                                                                                                               For Tom Reineke, president of      to come through, he said.
                                                                                                                        Several area car dealerships       Reineke Family Dealerships, 2011          One of the dealership’s most
                                                                                                                     reported a strong year of vehicle     was also a good year.                  consistently popular vehicles is
                                                                                                                     sales in 2011, fueling high hopes         “Ford continues to be well         the Honda CR-V, Stevens said.
                                                                                                                     for 2012.                             received in the marketplace,”             Warner Nissan is constructing
                                                                                                                        The car industry seems to be       Reineke said.                          a new 12,000-square-foot build-
                                                                                                                     among the first to rebound from           More than 4,000 new and used       ing, said Steve Warner, Nissan
                                                                                                                     a recession, said John LaRiche,       vehicles were sold in the entire       new car manager.
                                                                                                                     of LaRiche Chevrolet Cadillac in      Reineke organization last year, he        In the next 12 months, the com-
                                                                                                                     Findlay.                              said. This year is also expected to    pany hopes to hire an additional
                                                                                                                        “I think the economy is really     be strong, he said.                    15 people, Warner said.
                                                                                                                     turning around,” LaRiche said.            The dealership has locations in       Sales were up 18 percent from
                                                                                                                        His sales increased about 20       Findlay, Fostoria, Tiffin, Lima and    2010 to 2011 for Warner Nissan,
                                                                                                                     percent from 2010 to 2011, LaR-       Upper Sandusky.                        with hopes at the dealership for
                                                                                                                     iche said, and this year is looking       Gene Stevens Honda reported        an additional 10 to 15 percent
                                                                                                                     positive as well.                     its best October sales ever last       increase in 2012, he said.
                                                                                                                        LaRiche cites three reasons for    year, said Scott Stevens, general         The dealership’s most popular
                                                                                                                     the growth.                           manager.                               vehicles are the Altima, Rogue
                                                                                                                        The average age of a vehicle           “I think consumer confidence       and Armada from Nissan, LeSa-
                                                                                                                     on the road is 10½ years; vehicles    is building and building and build-    bre from Buick and Terrain from
                                                                                                                     today have improved their safety      ing,” Stevens said.                    GMC, he said.
                                                                                                                     and fuel economy dramatically;            After last year’s earthquake          Nationally, about 12.7 million
                                                                                                                     and interest rates are at historic    and tsunami in Japan and flood-        cars were sold in 2011, and sales
                                                                                                                     lows, he said.                        ing in Thailand, production was        of 13.5 million are expected this
                                                                                                                        About three years ago, many        halted for some important vehicle      year, Warner said.
                                                                                                                     interested customers could not        parts, Stevens said.                      “We’re very bullish for 2012
                                                                                       RANDY ROBERTS / The Courier   secure the credit needed to pur-          Still, the dealership sold about   and beyond,” Warner said.
STEVE WARNER, Nissan new car manager, stands near a 12,000-square-foot building that’s under                         chase a car, LaRiche said. That       10 percent more new cars in 2011
construction at Warner Nissan. Sales were up 18 percent last year at the dealership, and in the next 12              has changed.                          than 2010, Stevens said.               Dunn: 419-427-8417
months, the company hopes to hire an additional 15 people, Warner said. Other area auto dealers are                     Some of the most popular vehi-         “We were very happy with it,”
also reporting a surge in vehicle sales.                                                                             cles LaRiche sells are the Chev-      he said.                               Twitter:@CourierRyan
E2                                                                                     R ETA ILERS                                                                                                       THE COURIER
                                                                                                                                                                                              FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012

                                                                                                             F I N D L AY

                                                                                                            Downtown, mall add attractions
                                                                                                                     By JOY BROWN                St., underwent an extensive reno-      and provided music for pedestri-
                                                                                                                        STAFF WRITER             vation that patrons are compli-        ans through a speaker system.
                                                                                                               Findlay is experiencing a com-    menting.                                  LaRiche said those efforts will
                                                                                                            mercial rejuvenation, with several       This winter, The Gathering         continue this year and may be
                                                                                                            new and renovated businesses and     restaurant at 114 E. Main Cross        enhanced with more done along
                                                                                                            other ventures drawing diners and    St. began work on a third-floor        side streets within the district.
                                                                                                            shoppers.                            lounge with balcony, and improve-         The speaker system, which
                                                                                                                                                 ments to its second-floor food         plays Top 40, local and holiday-
                                                                                                               Government and private sector
                                                                                                                                                 preparation space.                     themed music, may be used to
                                                                                                            leaders, working together, are
                                                                                                                                                     Crawford Street has trans-         announce special events, too, said
                                                                                                            hoping to maintain momentum                                                 LaRiche.
                                                                                                                                                 formed into downtown Findlay’s
                                                                                                            this year with downtown improve-     art district, with new galleries and      In December, the district
                                                                                                            ment planning and more economic      an art walk each summer weekend        installed signs as part of a “way-
                                                                                                            development initiatives.             set up on the south sidewalk.          finding” project meant to help
                                                                                                               Alexandria’s, at 132 E. Craw-         T he Dow ntow n Find lay           people navigate the downtown.
                                                                                                            ford St., is a new downtown hot      Improvement District has made          The eye-catching signs indicate
                                                                                                            spot. Under Ali’s Alley, the chan-   obvious changes that have contrib-     the location of parking lots, busi-
                                                                                                            deliered microbrew and restau-       uted to beautification and safety.     nesses, cultural amenities and
                                                                                                            rant, featuring Spanish-inspired         John LaRiche, district presi-      organizations.
                                                                                                            cuisine, has already hosted events   dent, said the district has budgeted      Two 10-foot lighted kiosks also
                                                                                                            such as a benefit for the Hancock    about $60,000 from assessments         include maps and QR codes for
                                                                                                            County Historical Museum, and        to provide snow removal, holiday       smartphones to pull up websites
                                                                              RANDY ROBERTS / The Courier   this year’s Findlay Winter Blues     lighting, weed control, flowers and    for more information. They have
THE DOWNTOWN FINDLAY Improvement District has installed signs meant to help people navigate                 Festival.                            more.                                  the ability to offer more informa-
the downtown. The eye-catching signs indicate the location of parking lots, businesses, cultural               A downtown restaurant vet-            Also in 2011, the district hung
amenities and organizations.                                                                                eran, Japan West, at 406 S. Main     banners and flags on Main Street,           See ATTRACT, Page E3

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012                                                                           R ETA ILERS                                                                                                                                   E3

Attract                                  questions that can be answered via
                                         smartphone, available tablets that
                                         can be borrowed from the plan-
                                         ning commission or the Hancock
                                                                                     Changes are happening at the
                                                                                 Findlay Village Mall, too.
                                                                                     The mall saw two eateries
                                                                                                                              The mall now has more than 50
                                                                                                                          specialty retailers, and includes six
                                                                                                                          anchor stores. More are expected
                                                                                                                          to take up residence there in 2012,
                                                                                                                                                                  Profit climbs at Visa
       Continued from page E2
tion, from events promotions to
                                         County Convention and Visitors
                                         Bureau, or on paper.
                                                                                 locate at a prominent location
                                                                                 along Tiffin Avenue, including
                                                                                 Donato’s Pizza and Five Guys
                                                                                                                          Bowers said.
                                                                                                                              As it did last year, the mall
                                                                                                                                                                  as card use increases
restaurant menus.                           The survey will be used to           Burgers and Fries.                       this year plans to offer events
                                                                                                                          such as vehicle and bridal shows,          NEW YORK (AP) — Visa Inc.                         “It didn’t come totally out of
   Also in December, a “Stick            develop a comprehensive plan for            The mall “continues to show                                                  said its fiscal first-quarter profit             the blue,” said Edward Jones ana-
Around Downtown” campaign,               Findlay’s downtown. The plan will       strong same-store sales volume           home and health expos, and other
                                                                                                                          themed promotional events. It also      rose 16 percent as card use rose                 lyst Shannon Stemm. While it’s
conceived by Hancock Regional            offer development guidance and          despite the economic downturn
                                                                                                                          plans to partner in community-          both in the U.S. and overseas.                   still early to determine the impact
Planning Commission Direc-               assist with grant applications for      of the past few years,” said Vonn
                                         improvements.                                                                    based events such as Rally in the          The San Francisco-based pay-                  of the new regulations, she noted
tor Bill Homka, was launched.                                                    Bowers, mall manager.                                                            ments processor posted a notable                 that rival MasterCard Inc.’s results
Humorous metal sculptures by                                                                                              Alley, Balloon Fest and Car Tunes
                                            Marsha Steffan, downtown                 “While some store vacancies                                                  10 percent increase in U.S. credit               showed some apparent debit
artist Aaron Patterson are meant                                                                                          on Main, Bowers said.
                                         coordinator for the Findlay-            remain in the center due to cor-                                                 card use.                                        market share gains versus Visa,
to draw attention to a survey that       Hancock County Alliance, did            porate downsizing decisions, mall                                                   But debit card use rose just 6                which still holds the bulk of the
will ask for public opinion about        not respond to phone and email          owner J.J. Gumberg Co. is com-           Brown: 419-427-8496
                                                                                                                                                                  percent. That’s the slowest debit                U.S. debit market.
improving the downtown.                  requests for information for this       mitted to the longevity of the Find-                 card growth rate in more than a                      Nevertheless, Visa’s results for
   Twenty-two such sculptures ask        story.                                  lay Village Mall,” Bowers said.          Twitter: @CourierJoy                    year, and comes during the first                 the quarter showed strong growth
                                                                                                                                                                  three-month period that new rules                indicating consumers continue to
                                                                                                                                                                  were in place to limit the fees                  shift away from cash and toward
                                                                                                                                                                  retailers pay to accept the cards.               plastic and electronic payments.
Marco’s to sell pizza at some Family Video stores                                                                                                                    The rules also require that
                                                                                                                                                                  starting in April, merchants get a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Visa posted net income for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   three months ended Dec. 31 of
                                                                                                                                                                  choice on which network handles                  $1.03 billion, or $1.49 per share.
     Toledo-based Marco’s Pizza has announced          the next seven years.                               rents video games, has 735 retail locations,           their debit transactions. In the last            That compares with $884 million,
it is entering into a partnership with the Family         The joint venture would concentrate on           including 11 in northwest Ohio.                        few months, Visa has been offering               or $1.23 per share, in the year-ear-
Video movie rental chain to open Marco’s out-          stores in the Midwest. The first combined oper-        Marco’s has more than 280 locations in              incentives to encourage stores to                lier period. There were 4 percent
lets in as many as 350 locations.                      ation will be in Wheeling, Ill., and is scheduled   21 states. Marco’s says it plans to open 100           choose its network.                              fewer outstanding shares in the
     The companies say the partnership has the         to open next month.                                 additional stores in 2012, not counting Family            Debit growth has been slowing                 recent quarter due to buybacks,
potential to create more than 7,000 jobs over             Illinois-based Family Video, which also          Video conversions.                                     over the past few quarters.                      which increases per-share results.

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E4                                                                                                 HOUSING                                                                                                           THE COURIER
                                                                                                                                                                                                          FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012

Positive real estate market projected in 2012
                                                                                                                      Homebuilders Association Local        side of Findlay, Hermiller said.       bode well for residential building,
Housing sales declined in 2011, but value of sales increased                                                          3639, which includes builders,        Not only did workers re-shingle        said Hermiller.
                                                                                                                      contractors, suppliers, appraisers,   roofs, repair windows and perform          “Typically, commercial starts
        By JOY BROWN                   out of three categories.              seeing buyer confidence starting         landscapers and others involved in    other repairs, but some garnered       first and then residential usually
            STAFF WRITER                   Single-family units sold for      to grow more” after a three-year         home construction and improve-        additional jobs while they were at     follows,” he said.
   The number of housing sales         an average $114,778, compared         lull, she said.                          ment.                                 it.                                        The homebuilders had wanted
in the region declined in 2011,        to $107,083 in 2010; condomini-           It may take years for the market        In Findlay, 30 homes were built        “We saw an increase in jobs        to resume a Parade of Homes
but the total value of the sales       ums for $128,011, compared to         to get back to 2005 levels, if it ever   and in the county, 35.                because of the hail damage,” Her-      event in 2011, but didn’t reach that
increased, according to the Heart-     $136,100; and multi-family units      will, but Hathaway projects a posi-         Marion Township saw a slight       miller said. “While we were there,     goal, Hermiller said. Efforts are
land Board of Realtors.                sold for an average $45,755 in        tive real estate market this year.       increase in builds last year, said    some of the owners would say they      under way to make that happen
   A total of 1,148 houses sold last   2011 compared to $58,226 in               “We’re still feeling the impact      Jerry Hermiller, association vice     were thinking about adding this or     this year.
year, down from 1,257 in 2010.         2010.                                 of foreclosures, but I think over-       president.                            that on,” he said.                         “The attitude out here among
   But sales in 2011 totaled               The good news is, it’s been       all we’re still going to see in 2012        But the 2011 totals reflect a          “Home improvements defi-           the builders and vendors seems
$138.2 million, up from $134.9         both a buyer’s and seller’s market.   a steady increase in units sold,”        downturn in new building; 88          nitely increased this past year,”      very upbeat. There’s a definite
million in 2010.                       The Federal Reserve is holding        Hathaway said.                           homes were built in 2010.             Hermiller said, and are expected       spark there, maybe not a fire yet,
   Amie Hathaway, board presi-         interest rates constant until 2014,                                               Regional contractors stayed        to at least stay steady for a while.   but things are picking up,” he said.
dent, said the price total reflects    and rates continue to be “incred-     Homebuilders                             busier last year with improve-            “Thirty percent of hail damage
additional membership from             ibly low,” Hathaway said.                A total of 65 homes were built        ment work, particularly because       work isn’t completed,” he said.        Brown: 419-427-8496
Upper Sandusky that the board              “National real estate associa-    in Hancock County last year,             of a May hailstorm that caused            Visible signs of more commer-
picked up last year.                   tions and other economists are        according to Hancock County              extensive damage on the north         cial building and renovations also     Twitter: @CourierJoy
   Average sale prices fell for two

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                                              540 south main street, findlay, ohio
                                         ph 419.424.0391 monday-saturday 10am-7pm
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012                                                                               CA R EY                                                                                                             E5

Work under way on second
phase of Carey streetscape
Solar-powered electric generation
farm to be built on village property
        By JIM MAURER                  to install 8,000 pole-mounted
            STAFF WRITER               solar panels on 12 acres of the
    CAREY — Steel utility poles        village’s water well field behind
are being installed this month on      Waterworks Park on West Find-
Vance Street, part of the second       lay Street.
phase of Carey’s streetscape proj-         Work was expected to begin
ect.                                   last fall and be completed this
    Banners, decorative lights and     spring, but was delayed, Johnson
planters will be installed by early    said.
March.                                     The company will pay all costs,
    Completion of the $1.6 million     including installation of a fence
project was delayed until the light    around the property. The company
poles could be delivered.              also will pay a one-time $400,000
    B&J Concrete and Construc-
tion, Toledo, submitted the lowest
of two bids received for the work,
                                       license fee to the village.
                                           The company will receive tax
                                       credits and government grants for
                                                                                                                                                               Been to Jed’s lately?
which is overseen by the state         the development.
Department of Transportation.              The village will purchase the 2                                                                                        We have. And we were su-        definitely had the drive and
    Carey Council approved the         megawatts of electricity generated                                                                                     prised with what we found. We       creativity to get things back
work last May. The state is paying     when the sun shines.
                                           The village will purchase the                                                                                      met new owner Eric Forsyth,         on track.
about $1.3 million and the village
will pay the remainder.                electricity for 10 years of a 20-year                                                                                  a thirty something college             “Jed’s is a great restaurant
    The project, from Clay to North    agreement. Then, the village could                                                                                     grad who unexpectedly found         and we’ve kept many of the
streets, includes the replacement      buy the solar farm, or receive a dis-
                                       count on the electric rate.                                                                                            himself out of work after his       things that have made the
of sidewalks, and installation of
brick pavers, streetlights, benches        After 20 years, the village                                                                                        company decided to downsize.        franchise so successful over
and trash receptacles. The project     could purchase the system at fair                                                                                      “I was one of the newest mem-       the years but we’ve also added
will resemble Findlay Street in the    market value. The system has a
                                       40-year life. Or, the village could                                                                                    bers of the team, so my job was     a new spin on things by adding
downtown area, which was reno-
vated in 2009.                         continue to buy power annually at                                                                                      on the chopping block,” says        menu items and fresher quality
    Elsewhere in Carey, an indus-      a discount, or the company could                                                                                       Forsyth. Out of work and not        ingredients, “ says Forsyth.
trial park is planned on Wyandot       remove the equipment.
                                                                                                                                                              much promise on the job front,         His commitment to the
County 98, and a company plans
to construct a solar-powered elec-     Flooding fixes                                                                           RANDY ROBERTS / The Courier
                                                                                                                                                              he took matters into his own        community also plays a big
tric generation farm on village-           Improvements are being con-         HILLSHIRE CLARKE ELECTRIC workers upgrade the power lines                      hands. “I was a Jed’s custom-       role in his new found passion
owned property.                        sidered to reduce flooding in parts     on Vance Street in Carey, part of the second phase of the village’s            er. I knew it was struggling.       for the restaurant business. “I
                                       of the village.                         streetscape project. The project, from Clay to North streets,
                                                                               includes the replacement of sidewalks, and installation of brick               The owners were looking for a       wanted a place where every-
Industrial parks                           Council approved an increase
                                                                               pavers, streetlights, benches and trash receptacles.                           way to get out from under it.       one felt welcome. Jed’s is a
    Carey Council has approved         in the storm water surcharge,
annexation of about 40 acres on        increasing rates from $3 to $9                                                                                         So after much soul searching,       place where you can hang out
                                       monthly for residential customers;          • Purchase a new police vehi-     enue was more than $1.16 million         I decided to buy it. Never in       with your friends and family. A
Wyandot County 98, adjacent to                                                 cle to replace the Crown Victoria,    in 2011, up from more than $1.09
Vaughn Electric.                       from $5 to $15 monthly for busi-
                                       ness and commercial; and from           which will not be manufactured.       million in 2010.                         my life did I dream I’d own a       nice relaxed atmosphere with
    An industrial park with utili-                                                                                      There were 40 building per-
ties installed and property ready      $10 to $30 monthly for industrial       Estimated price is $ 30,000 -                                                  restaurant. But I wasn’t about      great food and great service. A
                                       customers. The increases were           $35,000.                              mits issued in 2011 with a value         to sit on the sidelines and wait    place you’ll keep coming back
for development is planned, said                                                                                     of more than $1.04 million,
                                       effective with September bills.             • Purchase a mini-excavator
village Administrator Roy John-                                                                                      including two residential homes          for the perfect job. I had a fam-   to over and over again.”
                                           The increases will provide          for the cemetery and side/rear
son. Waterlines are installed, and                                                                                   for $544,000. The other permits
sewer lines have been designed
                                       more than $198,000 annually for         lot lines. Estimated price: $18,000                                            ily to provide for.”                   He wouldn’t reveal what his
                                       drainage improvements.                  used; $30,000 new.                    included remodeling, fence, car-
and are ready for installation,                                                                                      port and accessory buildings.
                                                                                                                                                                  With a new menu, new em-        big plans were for the restau-
                                           In June, council approved a bid         • Replace the pool filtration
Johnson said.                                                                                                           The village’s voluntary curb-         ployees and new attitude, Jed’s     rant in 2012, but did say with
                                       of $68,200 from Van Horn Hoover         system. Estimated price: $24,000
    The village also was interested                                                                                  side recycling program collected
                                       and Associates, Findlay, to study       parts, $13,500 labor. Village per-                                             seems to have the formula for       a grin, “Stay tuned. I’ve got a
in developing an industrial park                                                                                     395,888 pounds of plastic, glass,
                                       replacement of five stormwater          sonnel will do some work to save                                               success down pat. “The service      few things up my sleeve.”
across from Continental Struc-                                                                                       steel cans, tin, paper, newspapers,
                                       culverts in town, and to determine      about $6,500.
tural Plastics on Wyandot County                                                                                     chipboard, cardboard and alumi-          was just needed a         Jed’s Barbeque & Brew is
                                       if retention ponds can be installed.        • Possible construction of new
96. The company is the village’s                                                                                     num during 2011, or about 4.8            fresh perspective and I knew        lovated at 2020 Tiffin Avenue
                                       In September the company began          buildings for public works and
largest employer with more than                                                                                      percent more than 377,692 pounds
                                       collecting data and doing com-          electric departments.                                                          that I could turn it around.”       in Findlay. The phone number
500 workers.                           puter mapping.                                                                collected in 2010.
    The village sought a $3 million        During 2011, there were more                                                                                       With his keen marketing back-       is 419-421-5337.
Job Ready Sites Program grant          than 171.6 million gallons of           Village statistics                    Maurer: 419-427-8420                     ground and years in sales, he                            Paid Notice
through the Ohio Department of         drinking water produced by the             Carey’s gross income tax rev-
Development, but the application       village’s well field, and more than
was denied, Johnson said.              296.6 million gallons of waste-
    The grant would have been          water were treated at the sewage
used to purchase 75 to 120 acres,      plant.
annex the property and install util-       “Note the difference between
ity infrastructure.                    drinking water and sewer flow,”
    Separately, an upgrade of the      Mayor Steve Smalley said in
village electric substation that       his annual “state of the village”
serves Continental Structural          address. “This is why sewers
Plastics, an automobile plastics       flood. Both illegal taps in sani-
manufacturer, is still being con-      tary (sewer) lines, and (water)
sidered, he said.                      infiltration and inflow through
    The village has plans for an       aging infrastructure.”
estimated $1.5 million to $1.7             The village received more than
million project to serve the area,     61.6 inches of rain and more than
Johnson said.                          23.9 inches of snowfall last year.
    A 5 megavolt amperes trans-
former would be replaced with a
15 megavolt amperes transformer        2012 plans
with five circuits. The additional        This year, the village plans to:
capacity would allow the company
to expand, and provide sufficient
electricity for future development
and other companies which could
locate in the area.

Solar panels
   By late spring or early summer,
SolarVision, a Westerville com-
pany, plans to construct a solar-
powered electric generation farm
on village-owned property.
   Council approved a resolution
last June allowing the company
E6                                                                                   SENECA COU NT Y                                                                                            THE COURIER
                                                                                                                                                                                     FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012

Seneca commissioners approve
                                                                                                                    Meals prepared based on your preferences. Non-stop activities.
economic development strategy                                                                                       And a staff always ready with a smile and a helping hand. That’s
                                                                                                                    the kind of care you’ve come to expect from The Heritage since
                                          • Enhance the county’s quality     toria bypass using mainly existing     1976. We provide Findlay with a whole host of services: assisted
Plan has 8 goals                      of life;                               roads, to an upgrade of Ohio 53        living, short-term rehab to home, long-term care, outpatient
                                          • Organize for effective eco-      north and south of Tiffin.
        By JIM MAURER                 nomic development success.                 A Tiffin bypass from north         therapy and a specialized memory care neighborhood. Come
            STAFF WRITER                  Among the priority projects        Ohio 53 to northwest of the city       see just how good life can be at The Heritage– stop by or call to
                                      listed for Fostoria are continued      would include an industrial area.
    TIFFIN — A comprehensive          development of a technology and        Design is proposed by 2016 and         schedule a personal tour.
economic development strategy,        energy incubator at a former indus-    implementation by 2031. Funding
approved by the Seneca County         trial site on Springville Avenue.      sources are being sought.
commissioners in December, will           Also, construction of the Iron         In preparation for potential
guide county efforts over the next    Triangle Park and Visitors Center      new industry, Seneca County has
two decades.                          near downtown Fostoria will            been designated a foreign trade
    The 71-page document was pre-     begin this year. The $1 million        subzone of Hancock County. The
pared by Ben Kenny of the Wood        project will redevelop a former        designation provides tax breaks
Sandusky Ottawa Seneca Commu-         junkyard and give train enthusi-       for companies which export prod-
nity Action Commission.               asts a viewing area.                   ucts.
    Kenny, along with Rich Focht,         A second Fostoria Industrial           Also, the county has been des-
president and chief executive         Park, estimated at nearly $1.3 mil-    ignated an alternative energy zone
officer of Seneca Industrial and      lion, is expected to begin devel-      by the county commissioners. The
Economic Development Corp.,           opment in 2013. Several sites are      designation provides tax credits
Jill Griffin, executive director of   being considered, north in Jackson     for wind, solar, hydroelectric and
Seneca Regional Planning Com-         Township, Seneca County, and           bifuel operations which may locate
mission, and Joan Reinhard,           west in Washington Township,           in the county.
executive director of Fostoria        Hancock County.                            Also, Seneca Industrial and                         419-424-1808 • 2820 Greenacre Drive
Economic Development Corp.,               The Jackson Township site,         Economic Development Corp.
presented it to the county com-                                                                                                     Findlay, OH 45840 •
                                      bounded by Ohio 12 and Sandusky        continues to work with Burgess
missioners. It was developed by       Street, provides 170 acres, is         and Niple, a Columbus-based
a 20-member committee of busi-        zoned industrial/commercial, has       engineering company, to develop
ness, government and education
    The document will be submit-
                                      city utilities and Norfolk Southern
                                      access nearby.
                                          In Fostoria, a 10-year commu-
                                                                             an inventory of brownfield sites,
                                                                             former industrial locations which
                                                                             may be contaminated and require
                                                                                                                        Ball Metal Beverage
ted to the Economic Development
Administration in the U.S. Depart-
ment of Commerce. The develop-
                                      nity-wide revitalization plan will
                                      be implemented in 2013. The plan
                                      will focus on future development
                                                                             cleanup before further use.
                                                                                 Seneca Industrial and Eco-
                                                                             nomic Development Corp. is one
                                                                                                                    Packaging Division, Americas
ment administration may assist        of Fostoria and includes funding       of six recipients of a grant from
with the cost of infrastructure       source options.                        state Department of Development
and improvements which create             A business education coalition     to study a brownfield area on Wall
or retain jobs, according to the      in Fostoria also is preparing a plan   Street in Tiffin.
report.                               to develop a one-stop job develop-         Karen Bowers, director of
    The plan includes an economic     ment center by 2016.                   development for the group, said
development strategy with eight           Separately, possible wind farm     the $50,000 grant will allow a
goals, including:                     developments in Seneca County          committee to study the area and
    • Retention and expansion of      and overlapping into neighboring       then develop possible uses within
existing businesses;                  counties are being considered. At      the area.
    • Attracting new businesses;      least one company is expected to           A plan is required to seek fed-
    • Facilitate workforce employ-    start construction this year, Focht    eral grants for cleanup.
ability and training;                 said. Three companies are looking          Once the Wall Street area is
    • Provide infrastructure to       at the area.                           done, the process may be repeated
support business location, reloca-        The state will approve the loca-   for other possible brownfield sites.
tion and expansion throughout the     tions of wind farms, Focht said,           The Wall Street area includes
county;                               which will locate near electric        the former American Standard
    • Market and brand Seneca         distribution lines for easier trans-   property and land south to the
County and its communities, both      mission.                               railroad tracks.
internally and externally;                Separately, plans are being pre-
    • Provide an environment for      pared for highway improvements         Maurer: 419-427-8420
entrepreneurs;                        throughout the county, from a Fos-

                                                                                                                                              In Findlay Since 1973
Home construction magnate to head Ohio State board
                                                                                                                    Manufacturers of High Quality Drawn Ironed Aluminum Beverage Containers,
   COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio               board for the next two years.          team’s memorabilia scandal.
State University trustees have           Robert Schottenstein takes on          The board voted to promote                        Steel Food Containers and Easy Opening Ends.
voted to select the head of one of    his new job after chairing a trustee   Schottenstein, who is board chair-
the country’s biggest home con-       committee that led the university’s    man, chief executive officer and            12340 Twp. Rd. 99 E • P.O. Box 1046 • Findlay, Ohio 45839 • (419) 423-3071
struction businesses to lead the      response to the Ohio State football    president of M/I Homes.

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