The following is the latest installment of Mayor Jim Boroff's monthly updates on city issues.
School crossing guards. Thanks to the National Machinery Foundation, we are able to continue our present school crossing guard program. As many of you may remember, last year the city faced the possibility of having to curtail the entire program of providing street crossing assistance for our young students at critical intersections. The finances were just not there.
At the last moment, the foundation stepped forward with a pledge of $20,000 per year for three years. This is the second year for its generous bequest. This donation ensures we will be able to safeguard our youngsters within the various school zones.
Parks and recreation. While I am on the subject of donations, I once again thank all of you who made our park and rec programs, the Fourth of July fireworks display and the operation of the municipal pool possible this summer. This was a record year for the use of the swimming pool, with 2,000-plus more swimmers this season than ever before.
I would be remiss if I did not thank Steve Dryfuse and the Park and Recreation Department for all of their hard work. Considering the city could not provide seasonal employees for mowing and grounds keeping, they did a superb job. Likewise, the pool manager, Molly Lofton, and the 18 lifeguards made our swimming program a success - which was greatly appreciated by the public during the hotter-than-normal season.
We will be making repairs and renovations at the pool later this fall and early next spring in anticipation of the 2011 swimming year.
If you have any questions about any issues facing the city, please write to me in care of 51 E. Market St., Tiffin, or at email@example.com. I am happy to speak with anyone who has concerns, suggestions or questions about the city. Call my office at (419) 448-5401 or stop by without an appointment. To ensure I am available, call ahead.
Storm water management plan. The Ohio EPA requires the city to have a storm water management plan and to follow the guidelines as prescribed by that document. There are a lot of considerations in this plan about rain and run-off water that enters our storm sewers.
We must report approximately how much salt enters our storm sewers each winter when we de-ice the streets. We must also account for foreign material that enter these sewers, including leaves, grass and other debris - and we must have plans to prevent as much of this infiltration as possible.
In order to remain in compliance, we must demonstrate that run-off water from city property has a chance to infiltrate the ground before reaching a stream or the river. One such noticeable application of this measure is evident on North Water Street directly across from Schekelhoff Park. There, the Water Pollution Control Center has created a parking lot with a mulch/grindings base. As directed by the plan, the grass on the hill has been allowed to grow taller so as to impede the water as it flows to the lower areas. What is not absorbed in this area infiltrates the parking lot, which minimizes run-off by absorbing much of the remaining water which would carry oils and contaminates from the adjacent thoroughfare into the river across the road.
By the city's implementation of relatively inexpensive measures such as these, we are complying with EPA directives and, at the same time, helping to make our natural waterways cleaner and more pollution free.
Tree Campus USA. The city has received the "Tree City USA" designation for 29 years. This is awarded annually based upon our city's arbor program, including budgeted amounts for maintaining our city's trees, scheduled tree maintenance on public rights of way and the number of plantings we undertake each year.
We learned last April that a similar program has been designed for colleges and universities denoted "Tree Campus USA." I have spoken with the presidents of Tiffin and Heidelberg universities, and we all readily agree this is a goal each campus should strive to achieve.
To that end, the city is organizing the effort to be the first in the country to have two universities receive this designation. Not only is it beneficial to nurture the growth and health of our urban forest, but it would be a wonderful boost to the community to achieve this unique status.