The following is the latest installment of Mayor Jim Boroff's monthly updates on city issues.
North Sandusky Street. Weather permitting, the North Sandusky Street rebuilding will begin Tuesday morning. Using federal and state highway funding, the section of SR 53 from Hall Street to the city limits will be ground down, given a new base and then resurfaced. At the same time, new curbing will be installed, allowing for much better drainage of the street and its intersections.
The bulk of the project should be finished by early fall; however, full restoration of the boulevards might not be completed until early spring.
Community Development Block Grant. City Council has determined that the approximately $160,000 available for community development will be used to acquire and rehabilitate the Firestone and Rainbow Muffler properties on their respective corners opposite the north end of the Washington Street bridge. The intent of Council would be to raze both structures and mitigate any environmental hazards that might exist on the properties.
Once the properties are effectively cleaned to EPA standards, they will be converted to parking and green space. Of course, this all depends on our being able to get ownership of these properties. But, if everything works out well, these two areas will be a great enhancement to the Frost Parkway area - not only for parking during events such as the Jazzin' Tiffin festival, but as a possible staging area for other activities like concerts and farmers markets.
Garage sale signs. Everybody likes a garage sale, and summer is the season for them. It is a great way to convert your unwanted items into someone else's treasures. However, we ask that when you conduct your garage sale, you follow a few simple rules.
Garage sale signs (like virtually all other signs) are not permitted in the public rights-of-way. This is generally the area between the sidewalk and the street, or - if there are no sidewalks - the area between utility poles and the street. Likewise, no signs of any type are to be affixed to utility poles and trees. Signs advertising your event can be no larger than nine square feet.
The purpose of these regulations is two-fold. The first (and most important) is safety. If signs are placed in the boulevard, they can make it difficult for people to enter or exit parked vehicles and can also be a hazard to pedestrians traversing the area. The second reason for these regulations is to keep these signs from becoming a nuisance in the neighborhoods.
It goes without saying that under no circumstances should signs be nailed to trees. We have had some instances where people have done this and the nails and nail holes allowed insects and other pestilence to infest the trees, resulting in their eventual death.
We ask that you follow these few simple procedures because signs that are found to be in the rights-of-way generally are confiscated. And, if your sign is removed, it certainly lessens the chances of your garage sale being a success.
Emerald ash borer. In a previous article, I addressed the problems of the emerald ash borer. This is the insect whose larva bores into the bark of most varieties of ash trees. Once under the "skin" of the tree, it carves its way around under the bark, which eventually kills the tree.
The borer first appeared in our area a few years ago and spread from Michigan (where it was first discovered) throughout the Midwest. Those of you who have ash trees may have noticed they do not leaf out fully and/or appear to be in a state of decline. If you look closely at the bark and find D-shaped holes, this is a sure sign your tree has the infestation.
We have hundreds of ash trees located on our public property and have instituted a long-range plan for removing them as finances and manpower allow. Once removed, these infested trees are being replaced with other species that are insect resistant.
We suggest, if you have an infected ash tree, you consider removing it as soon as possible, because it is much more difficult to deal with the tree once it is dead.