The following is the latest installment of Mayor Jim Boroff's monthly updates on Tiffin city issues.
Emerald ash borer grant. Earlier this month, the city received word we are the recipient of a $40,000 matching grant from the USDA Forest Service through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division. This grant money can only be used to remove ash trees from our public rights of way and plant other tree species as replacements.
We will be matching the grant with funds used to pay our foresters and with the budgeted money we traditionally budget for tree plantings. A portion of the grant will be used to hire outside contractors to remove those trees that are too large for our own equipment.
We do not yet have an estimate as to how many ash trees we will be able to remove this spring and summer, but this grant will be a big help in our efforts.
Alarm fees. Last spring, City Council initiated a $25 alarm permit fee for anyone who installs such a device within the city of Tiffin. This fee is used to offset some of the administrative costs for maintaining emergency contact information vital for quick response by the police and fire departments.
This permit is valid for one year and expires on the anniversary date of its issuance. They are issued by the city's fire department.
For more information, call (419) 448-5448.
Rock Creek brush cleanup. Last fall, we had already begun discussions about cleaning the brush and scrub trees that are growing along the banks of Rock Creek - especially the walled sections from Circular Street to the creek's mouth.
Even though this growth contributed very little to the flooding earlier this year, we want to remove it from the masonry.
Although this is not a high-priority project, we are hoping to make significant progress by early fall.
Boulevard damage. No matter how careful our snowplow drivers are, invariably one or two areas of boulevard will be scraped by the blade, skinning the grass away, as they remove the snow.
If this has happened to you, call Public Works at (419) 448-5430. They will send a crew out to restore the damaged area.
River wall renovation. As I have stated in earlier columns, the administration is drafting plans for a comprehensive river wall restoration project. The completed first phase - the section between Market and Perry streets on the east side - served us very well during the recent flood.
Preliminary samplings of the various sections of the remaining wall show some are in much better state of repair than others. The most northern sections on either side of the river nearest the railroad bridge are in the poorest condition, but pose no threat to anyone.
Other sections are mildly or moderately damaged.
We have opted to select those sections that are considered to have a much longer useful life if we attend to them in the next decade or so. Therefore, with the advice of our engineering firm, Peterman and Associates, we are looking to find the necessary funds to undertake borings and core samples of two sections of the wall on the west side of the Sandusky River.
One section runs south of Market Street toward Kiwanis Manor and the other section is immediately across the river from the newly restored wall, situated between Market and Perry streets.
When these reports are complete, we should be able to calculate final figures on their restoration.
If our first undertaking is any measure of cost, we might be pleasantly surprised by the funding needed for these next two walls, as the recently completed section came in at a price much lower than originally estimated.
Basement water. One of the most frustrating situations I encounter as mayor is hearing from a second or third party that a resident is experiencing water in his basement - possibly caused by sewer problems. The person complaining will tell their friends but does not call us to come out and investigate.
If you (or someone you know) believe water is backing up through the drains into your basements, give the city administrator a call. She will follow up by having a technician check on your problem.
In many cases, they will be able to help you find a solution.
Remember, there is nothing the city can do about these kinds of problems unless you call to tell us about them.