Licking County Update for March 2017 from Commissioner Tim Bubb

  • Share:
March 01, 2017
March 2017 - Update
From Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb

Our winter of 2017 has been a roller coaster of mild weather with occasional lapses of winter. As we enter March we are spectators to the annual battle as the remnants of winter battle it out with the arrival of spring and typically, by the end of March, spring prevails! Don‟t forget on Sunday, March 12th to „spring ahead‟ and set your clocks and watches ahead one hour to account for the arrival of Daylight Saving Time! And of course March 17th is the day to wear „the green‟ and celebrate all that is Irish!

Cyber Attack Handcuffs County Computer Network

The month of February took a negative twist on Tuesday night, January 31st when a criminal inspired „ransom ware‟ virus infected the County‟s computer system. The immediate response to the incident was to shut down all of the computers and phone system in an effort to limit damage. While that was successful, to a point, it also began what was an expensive and month long restoration of the system. This photo shows members of our IT team in the „server room‟ restoring operations.
I will not go into extensive detail on the recovery effort that involved the County‟s insurance company, a third party vendor that specializes in such recovery and our dedicated County Information Technology (IT) staff; however it was an around
the clock effort that cost the County thousands of dollars to make sure our data was preserved and the system safely rebuilt and protected. As we total the cost of this incident, to the taxpayers of Licking County, I will share it with you in the weeks ahead.
* Related to this story I would like to offer some thoughts about this blatant criminal attack on this expensive County Government resource and the people of Licking County. Frankly it is becoming common place across the nation, and many in Licking County have been victimized as well. The perpetrators of these crimes often are overseas and beyond the reach of law enforce, allowing them to act with impunity. It is not uncommon for businesses to have ransom demands of from $10-thousand to $75-thousand, and home computers are not exempt with lesser amounts demanded to ‘buy your way out’ or to unlock ‘your’ encrypted (held hostage) files.
It presents a moral dilemma – you pay and you are helping the bad guys – or don’t pay and put your data and business at risk. The best advice is always the basics … use complex passwords and change them on a regular basis, buy and maintain a recognized security software, especially for businesses maintain and update your ‘firewall’, back-up both on and off site your data on a daily (or very regular) basis, consider buying cyber insurance, and train your and those around you to NOT click on unknown or suspicious e-mails or websites. Just sharing!

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‟.
We need your YES vote on May 2nd!

Work Will Resume on the Buckeye Lake Dam Project

It has been about a year since the seepage barrier and new dam road were completed along the 4.1-mile north bank dam that stretches from Buckeye Lake Village to Millersport. Two years ago the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) lowered lake levels as a safety measure and began the five year dam replacement project. The estimated $110-million dam project is scheduled for completion in 2019, and replaces the deteriorating nearly 180-year old earthen dam that forms the lake and protects Licking County.
Also, beginning this March 1st ODNR is set to observe the traditional date to close the spillway gates and allow the lake to begin refilling for the summer recreation season. Two years of shallow lake levels prevented most recreation uses of Buckeye Lake, however the initial work on the new dam will allow a safe „summer pool‟ averaging six feet, and allowing boating to resume. This is great news for the some 4-thousand residents of the three county region, and the businesses around the lake that cater to boaters and tourists.

New Downtown Newark Medical Building Dedicated

In late January the community and officials of Licking Memorial Hospital gathered to view the impressive new Downtown Medical Center at the busy intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Locust Street, at the entrance to the County Seat!
It was a special day also as the Hospital dedicated the building in honor of Gerald „Jerry‟ McClain, a local developer and businessman who envisioned the improved entrance to Newark and pushed for the Hospital to expand to downtown.
McClain donated the land for the project. The building is operating an „urgent care‟ center at the site, and will add a medical practice. Plans for the second floor of the facility, which is unfinished, will be determined by needs as they are identified.

Courthouse and Downtown Infrastructure Construction

It is the „price of progress‟ as users of the County Courthouse and the Downtown Newark Square put up with the inconvenience of construction.

The Licking County Courthouse Project is in the midst of a very busy period. Mild winter conditions have allowed the project to stay on target and the restored tower and upper reaches of the building will be complete by late spring, with work on the roof, tuck pointing, electrical upgrades and a new elevator adding to the complexity of the project. This work by the Robertson Construction Company and Mid State Restoration Contractors will be complete by late fall!

Meanwhile the downtown sewer separation project continues with North Second Street between East Main and Church Street is progressing toward spring completion. The project will then shift to North Park Place in front of the Midland Theater and a number of businesses. I am joined by my fellow County Commissioners in asking you to „go out of your way‟ this spring and summer in coming downtown (there is plenty of parking), walking to and patronizing these businesses. They DO NEED your support in surviving during this construction inconvenience!

In addition to the downtown sewer separation project, work is continuing full bore on the improvements by ODOT and the City to Hudson Avenue and Mount Vernon Road. By early 2018 the Route 16 Expressway Bridge at Mount Vernon Road will have been rebuilt and widened, and Mount Vernon Road and Hudson Avenue will both be two way north and south – just like the „good old days‟ before the freeway!

Dr. James Fullen Honored by County Planning Commission

On February 27th the Licking County Planning Commission honored longtime member James „Jim‟ Fullen for his some 23-years of service, and over 47-years of public service to our community! The County awarded Fullen Director Emeritus status, along with additional special honors from the County Commissioners and 12th District Congressman Pat Tiberi.
Fullen grew up in the County Children‟s Home and in his early years performed on the „Country and Western‟ stages around Central Ohio as „Jimmy John‟, writing and performing his own songs and writing for other artists as well. A crowd of family and friends were on hand to honor Fullen, and even some of his 50‟s C & W hits were shared. (Family photo with Jim front row center)
Fullen served his nation in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict in the early 50‟s. Pursuing his education, the ‟47 grad of Newark High School, eventually achieved a PhD in Education and English. His positive influence as a high school teacher and later college professor benefitted thousands of local residents. His decades of service as Mayor of Hanover Village, and on the County Planning Panel speak to his love and dedication to the community!

New Newark Firefighters Sworn to Duty

On February 27th the Newark City Division of Fire and EMS swore to duty a group of fire new firefighters/paramedics. The group (as seated in the photo left to right) included…36-year old Share Ward and daughter
Brooklyn, 32-year old Brian Neighbor, 26-year old John Guegold, 23-year old Austin Von Dach and 24-year old Mason Wilkins. In the gray suit standing is NFD Chaplain Jeff Smith.
Ward is a veteran firefighter who grew up in Colorado Springs Colorado. Neighbor is a Licking Valley grad and CPR instructor. Guegold is a grad of Thomas Worthington High School and Columbus State. Von Dach is Utica High School grad. And Wilkins graduated from Granville High School. Best wishes to these new members of the Newark Fire Department.

Licking Park District Programs for March 2017

Here is a quick listing of a wide variety of programs sponsored by the Licking Park District for this month. I will list them by title and date. For details call 740-587-2535, visit them on line at or find them on FaceBook.
 Please support the Park District Levy Renewal
on Tuesday, May 2nd.
Here briefly are the March programs. On Monday, March 6th the Do It Yourself program is for making Rain Barrels. Monday, March 13th a Full Moon Hike. Tuesday, March 14th a Curious Kids Corner program called Backbone Bonanza. Thursday, March 16th Home School Happenings – Water, Water Everywhere. Wednesday, March 22nd its Paint the Parks. Saturday, March 25th its Saturday Morning Hike with the Dogs. Saturday March 25th the Backyard Series – Native Bees. Tuesday, March 28th the Back Yard Series Landscape for Life. And on Friday, March 31st its Certified Interpretive Guide Training.

Here are some happenings for March 2017!

Interested in researching your family history? On Sunday, March 5th at 2:00pm the Licking County Genealogical Society is planning to hold a session on how to do family searches. This free meeting is at the Main Office of the County Library District at 101 West Main Street in Newark. Call 740-349-5510 for details.

Sharing some big news from the West Licking Historical Society (WLHS) in the Pataskala area. They have received the donation of a „calliope‟ from County Prosecutor Bill and Carolyn Hayes. Bill used the circus music instrument in parades (see photo) and the Society plans to do the same! Roger Pickering and „helpers‟ are installing the calliope on a vehicle to use for parades, shows or wherever the WLHS or the Mead-Needham Museum might want to display it. They add it will include a number of the auditorium seats donated to the group by Richard McClead.

The opening of Newark‟s Canal Market District „Farmer‟s Market‟ is just two months away! The first 2017 Market Day will be May 5th. The market will again be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm Tuesdays from May through September, and from 4 to 7 pm on Fridays from May through October.
The Canal Market Pavilion features 46 back-in vendor spots adjacent to the County Parking Garage. The marketplace covered pavilion also features electric and water. Producers interested in participating are
invited to attend a vendor meeting from 4 till 6 pm Tuesday, March 14th in the basement conference room of Licking Memorial Hospital. For more information and a vendor application go to

This is a special invitation to join the County Commissioners in the lobby of the County Administration Building in downtown Newark on March 16th Thursday, from 11:30am to 1:30pm for our annual Ice Cream Social. Commissioners Duane Flowers, Rick Black and I will be in bow ties scooping sundaes for a great cause!

A donation of $3-dollars for the Operation Feed will get you two BIG scoops of Velvet Ice Cream and a plenty of toppings. It is our way of supporting Operation Feed 2017! Please plan to attend and bring friends!

On Saturday morning, March 11th, the annual „Farmer‟s Share Breakfast‟ will be held at Newton Elementary School (north of Newark) at 6645 Mount Vernon Road from 8:00 till 10:30 am. Local leaders will „meet and greet‟, and help cook and serve the full breakfast. A donation of one dollar or a non-perishable food item is requested in support the County Foods Pantry Network. At 10:30am this breakfast event will conclude with two inductions into the Licking County Agriculture Hall of Fame!
On Wednesday evening, March 15th a Licking County Government program will be presented on the monthly meeting of the Licking County Republican Women (LCRW). Highlights of the program include a Courthouse Renovation Update by Commissioner Tim Bubb and a County bridge program report by County Engineer Jared Knerr. Anyone interested
in attending or joining LCRW should contact group President Helen Hall by e-mailing

St. Patrick‟s Day with the Mental Health America is this month. This entertaining evening at The Midland features “We Banjo 3” on Friday, March 17th. A VIP Meet & Greet is at 6:00 pm, live Auction 7:00 pm and Concert 8:00 pm. VIP Tickets: $100 * features a meet & greet with the band and light refreshments. Concert & Auction Tickets: $30 – (some ticketing fees may apply). Buy Tickets Online at or call 740-345-5483.

It is time for the County Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual tree sale. They are accepting orders through Wednesday, March 29th. The orders will be ready for pick-up on Thursday, April 13th at the LCSWCD Office at 771 East Main Street in Newark. Also available are planting tools, wildflower seeds and rain barrels. Find order forms at or call 740-670-5330.

Finally, I wish you a „green and enjoyable „Saint Patrick‟s Day on Thursday, March 17th. Maybe a cold green beverage will make spring arrive a bit sooner!
Feel free to forward this e-mail 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 keep track on my posts at Tim Bubb on Facebook, and checkout my new „Commissioner Tim Bubb‟ page on Facebook.
I can be e-mailed at, and my desk phone number at the Commissioner‟s Office is 740-670-5118.
Best Regards!
Commissioner Timothy O‟Bubb
Tim Bubb, Commissioner