Licking County Update for April 2017 from Commissioner Tim Bubb

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March 30, 2017
2017 Edition
LICKING COUNTY UPDATE from Commissioner Tim Bubb

Greetings and welcome to this April 2017 edition of Update. On the verge of springtime in Ohio and looking forward to some traditional holidays this month. Easter is a bit later with the culmination of the Christian Holy Week on Sunday, April 16th, while the season of Passover begins on Monday, April 10th.
Earth Day is celebrated this year on Saturday, April 22nd; a day to focus on the natural world that sustains us. Arbor Day in Ohio is celebrated on Friday, April 28th, time to plant the next generation of trees. And Saturday is April Fool‟s Day – so beware!
I can assure you – as always – we at the Commissioner‟s Office are working full time to make development happen and moving our County forward in 2017!



Licking County and Central Ohio Growing in Population
Licking County continues to see moderate population growth with the latest estimate from the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) showing a 2016 estimate of 172,198. This is a one percent increase over 2015 and a jump of 3.3-percent since 2010. Compare
that to a census total of 136,880 in 1995, and more interesting a projected growth to 212,370 by 2040.
This growth is reflected by Franklin County (now the State‟s largest County in population) and almost all of the Central Ohio Metro Counties, supporting the observation that Central Ohio is now the economic engine driving the Buckeye State. It also points to the challenge to school districts and local governments to plan to serve this growth, and for their partner the State Government to live up to its responsibilities to assist in funding the improvements and services.
Licking County's population growth since 2010 is eighth in the state, with six of the top 10 in central Ohio. The others are: Delaware (12.8 percent), Franklin (8.7 percent), Union (6.1 percent), Fairfield (4.4 percent) and Pickaway (6 percent).


County Commissioners Seeking Levy for 9-1-1 Services
The Licking County Commissioners are asking voters to approve a 1-mil levy in support of advanced 9-1-1 emergency dispatching services for Licking County this spring. This levy for five years would insure continued around the clock 9-1-1 law enforcement, and fire and EMS dispatching services to „keep safe‟ all of our citizens. This issue deserves your support on the May ballot to continue the high level of protection our citizens deserve.
The cost based on a $100-thousand home is $35 per year, which divides out to 9.7-cents per day. For the safety you expect – this is a bargain!
Licking County operates a countywide 9-1-1 Center in east Newark. This critical emergency call taking and dispatching requires a highly trained staff and continued investment in the latest technology. Seven of each ten emergency calls for services are received from cell phones and wireless devices, and special technology is often needed to determine the location of such calls. Continued full staffing and needed technical upgrades in the next year dictate the need for this levy to „keep you safe‟.
In addition to supporting this Issue for 9-1-1 Services, I would also urge you to support the Renewal of the Licking Park District Levy. This is a very successful program supporting some two dozen local parks and some 50-miles of recreation trails. This is not an increase, but a straight forward renewal that is NEEDED!
THANKS for your YES votes for 9-1-1 Levy and the County Parks Levy Renewal on May 2nd!

Severe Weather Season – Sign Up For RAVE 
The Licking County Emergency Management Agency encourages you to sign up for Rave Mobile Safety. This is a FREE service of your County Government.
All weather and emergency warnings sent out to the residents of Licking County are now handled by Rave Mobile Safety. This system will require residents to sign up for it to receive cell, text or email alerts at www.lcounty.com and click on the Rave logo on the left
side of the page. Landlines within the County are preloaded into the system.
The system provides the ability to send out “Weather Warning” messages from the National Weather Service and gives residents the ability to self-identify if they have special needs or mobility issues. Having this type of information provides the first responders with more accurate information when responding to a medical emergency or when coordinating an evacuation of an area.
Residents can call the Emergency Management office at 740-670-5861 for additional RAVE information or assistance signing-up.


Growth in Licking County – Pictures Tell the Evolving Story

Sewer Separation project now underway on North Second and North Park Place in downtown Newark, and in the final stages of completion. The fourth „circular corner‟ and this busy intersection will reopen late this summer. In the meantime please support the downtown businesses in this area that are impacted by parking issues during the construction.




The historic 1876 Licking County Courthouse‟s exterior and interior renovations continue, and set to be complete in 2017. The tower scaffolding comes down this summer, while construction on the tower electrical and a new interior elevator is underway.



Route 16 Expressway overpass bridge construction is underway; as are sewer, roadway, sidewalk and curb modifications to Hudson Avenue and Mount Vernon Road. The entrance to downtown will be vastly improved with a new wider bridge over Route 16 that will feature the words „Downtown Newark‟. In March, over four days, the old bridge was demolished and removed. Both Mount Vernon Road and Hudson Avenue will be returned to two-way (north and south) traffic (just like the good old days).








Construction (westbound exit ramp shown) has resumed in western Licking County at Mink Street and State Route 161 on a new „diamond style‟ interchange. To be completed this year, at a cost of some $10-million, this ODOT project will provide additional access to the growing New Albany Business and International Beauty Park.



Licking County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) remodeling and renovation, and combined County Records Center construction, at 65 East Main Street, is just underway by Palmetto Construction Services. By combining the remodeling of this administrative building with the addition of the County Records Center to the rear, the Commissioners saved some $3-million by combining two major building projects into one and taking advantage of the downtown location for both. This project will be done by March of 2018.








Driving Tours a Tourism Boost for Licking County
The Licking County Area Transportation Study (LCATS), along with its county partners, is proud to announce the official opening of the Pathfinder Route System. Pathfinder routes are designed to invite tourists into our county and explore. Here the LCATS crew places the first sign.
Much as the name implies, Pathfinder routes takes tourists into areas that they may not otherwise experience. Along the way they can learn the history of Licking County, stop at orchards, unique shops, and small downtowns. This effort comes on the heels of the release of the Federal Highways new transportation bill the
FAST Act; Fixing Americas Surface Transportation. A new area of emphasis of the FAST Act is tourism, and how local Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO‟s) can facilitate an increase in tourism.
The Foothills is a route that traverses Licking County‟s foothills from Utica to Hanover. Although this is the first signed route, two more routes have been laid out, and another is in development. Each route has its own unique theme and signage.
Currently under development is an online map that travelers will be able to use to follow the route as well as pick up on points of interest. The routes were entirely conceived, planned, and signed by the LCATS to make this completely a local initiative.









New Food Products Business Considering Heath Location
The Port Authority, Grow Licking County, Heath City and the State are working to bring the business, GB Food Incorporated to a 20-thousand square foot spec building on the Port Authority Campus in Heath. Last week the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a six-year tax credit to GB Food Incorporated for the possible creation of 29 new full-time employees and a payroll of $1.2
million. The company is a supplier of protein ingredients to cereal and protein bar manufacturers.
According to State officials the company, if the deal is finalized, would create 29 full-time equivalent employees by the end of 2020. The State incentive would require the company to keep its operations in Heath for at least nine years. The incentive has an estimated value of $70,000 based on the projected job creation.



New Busses Arrive To Update County Transit Fleet
Licking County Transit took delivery on nine new lift/wheelchair equipped busses in March. Transit general manager Cathleen Sheets explains the new rolling stock will boost the fleet to 46 vehicles, but the Licking County Transit Board can only afford to have 38 in service at a time. She says, "We used to run about 42, but vendor contracts increased and (38) is how many we can financially operate on the road. Most of our vehicles are at or near their useful life. We've already disposed of seven."
Each of the new busses cost about $50,000 each, for about $450,000 in federal funds. Sheets said the last time they received close to this many buses at once was in 2009, when they added seven. The new rolling stock will mean increased reliability and reduced maintenance costs.
Licking County Transit Services are funded, in part, by the Federal Transit Administration, the Ohio Department of Transportation, Licking County Commissioners and users. Additional funding is provided by contracts with agencies to provide transportation services for their clients.



HeartChase Event Coming to Downtown Saturday, May 6th
HeartChase is a national fundraising effort by the American Heart Association (AHA). The Saturday morning event is a team sport that is both educational competitive. The AHA is dedicated to creating healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Teams of from two to five people from dozens of local organizations are participating.
Representing Licking County Government is the team „Deputy Dawgz‟ from County‟s Dog Shelter and Adoption Center. The team includes Larry Williams, Tyler Moore, Kris White, Bryant Stough and Carmel Statzer. If you would like to make a donation to the AHA and support this team, or any of the teams in the local 2017 HeartChase, visit their website at www.HeartChase.org

Some other interesting items…
Congratulations to Laura Neese, a 20-year old Newark native, who finished her first Iditarod „Trail Sled Dog Race‟ in Alaska this past month. When she pulled into Nome after 10-days on the one-thousand mile trail she was in 42nd place. Very impressive as she was the youngest musher in the field of 72. And great considering she comes from an area that hasn‟t seen much snow lately!
During the month of March dozens of Licking County Offices conducted a wide variety of fundraisers in support of the annual Operation Feed. The goal is to restock the shelves of the Licking County Food Pantry warehouse, in anticipation of the need in 2017 at the many food pantries Countywide. Among the efforts Commissioners Rick Black, Tim Bubb and Duane Flowers dipped Velvet Ice Cream in the Administration lobby over the lunch hour. More than 150-ice cream lovers enjoyed the sundaes. The fundraiser brought in over nearly $600 for this good cause! A few remarks about the quality of the soda „jerks‟ were ignored!!






The Heisey Wind Ensemble (HWE) brings their spring concert to the stage of the Alford Performing Arts Hall in the Reese Center on the Newark Campus on Saturday, April 22nd. This annual „Pops‟ night of the HWE Season is one of the most talked about events featuring movie music, songs from the American Song Book, and swing tunes. Tickets at the door cost $15.00 for adults, Seniors (60 years and older) $10.00, and students $5.00. The Evening at the Pops begins at 7:30pm.


This might be the year you get involved with the Licking County Master Gardeners Program. * It is short notice, but coming up this Saturday, April 1st is their Spring Conference titled “Gardening, Birding, Bees and Much More”. The Conference is packed with great speakers and programs on a variety of areas of interest. It will be held at C-TEC‟s Newark Campus (the Vocation School) at 150 Price Road (Entrance #3). For details visit www.FourSeasonsofGardening.com or call the OSU Extension
Service at 740-503-5108. The cost of the all-day Conference is $50 per person.

The annual „food fundraiser‟ on behalf of the Natural Resources Area at the Hartford Fairgrounds will be held Friday evening, April 28th. The „Locally Grown and Gathered‟ dinner will be held at the Reese Center on the Newark Campus. Tickets are available through the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation Service (phone 740-670-5330).

The Licking County Commissioners and many others were honored to join the Licking County Farm Bureau for their annual Farmer‟s Share Breakfast on March 11th. Members brought non-perishable food items for Operation Feed and the Food Pantry Network. The culmination of the event was the induction of two new members in the Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame. Honored this year were Donald Williams of Bennington Township and the late Joseph Earl Stevenson of Utica.

Feel free to forward this e-mail Update 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 can also be e-mailed at tbubb@lcounty.com, and my desk phone number at the Commissioner’s Office is 740-670-5118.
Check out my Commissioner Tim Bubb page on Face Book.
Very Best … CommissionerTim Bubb
 
Contact:
Tim Bubb, Commissioner
740-670-5118