Rich Ebert, CEP's new Executive Director shared his excitement recently saying, "Seeing lights on at Legacy Place in Urbana's Downtown warms my heart. The transformation of all three buildings has been amazing. The impact of this project on our community will be felt for many years to come. In all three building, the apartments are large and comfortable as well as cozy and clean. Residents coming to live in these apartments will be thrilled with the amenities and features along with the unique setting each is in. After touring the buildings, I've been most impressed with the attention to detail by the builders and designers. it will be an absolute asset to our greater community for years to come!"
Legacy Place Apartments will be hosting Open Houses at all 3 locations on Monday, February 14th from 1:00pm until 6:00pm. Locations include: Legacy Place North, formerly North Elementary School (located at 626 N Russell Street, Urbana); Legacy Place South, formerly South Elementary School (located at 725 S Main Street, Urbana); Legacy Place Monument Square, formerly Douglas Hotel (located at 27 Monument Square, Urbana). The community is invited to come tour the facilities, hear about the history, and share their own stories surrounding these historic buildings. Parking will be limited at each location, and it is encouraged to utilize the shuttles from the Champaign County Community Building (located at 1512 South US-68, Urbana) that will be running between the three properties from 12:30 pm until 4:00 pm. For information on tours or leasing, contact email@example.com.
The Village is seeking more financial assistance through OPWC program to implement Phase ll of water line replacement program. Phase l Water Line replacement was completed in 2018.
Phase ll of the water line replacement program would replace water mains, service connections, fire hydrants and water meters on Walnut, North Main, West Race, and Sandusky Streets. This will serve approximately 140 residences directly and the remainder of the Village providing better water flow through the system.
"We grateful to have received the grant and thank the State for their investment in our community." says the Village of Mechanicsburg.
New Look in the Square
"It was also nice to see our storefront repairs finish painted. Very proud of that arched sheet metal corner." says Blind Eye Restoration.
CEP was proud to be a part of this project and we are grateful for the partnerships that have been created!
Champaign County Internet Survey
*Survey is now closed*
The Champaign County Commissioners are exploring grant opportunities to improve internet/broadband service. The first step is to collect data to determine the need for improved internet service, and this will be done through a survey. We need your opinion! Please take a moment to complete the survey (at your home), it can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LUCInternet.
Please share this information with others in Champaign County. Thank you!
Grocery Opens Soon in St. Paris
Ice Cream Parlor Will Also Return
St. Paris Hires New Chief of Police
After several months without a police chief, the St. Paris Village Council voted to hire a full-time chief during Monday’s regular council meeting.
Eric Smith of Bridgeport will earn a salary of $47,500 a year as defined by the village handbook.
There will also be a “Canine Care Allowance” of $6,235.32 a year.
Smith begins his duties on May 1, according to information from St. Paris Mayor Brenda Cook. A probation period will last until Nov. 1, at which time the mayor with the village’s safety committee will evaluate performance and recommend to council permanent appointment or dismissal.
Urbana site earns EPA approval
In 2011, with the assistance of Hull & Associates, the city obtained a grant from the Ohio Department of Development through the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund for assessment work at the site.
In 2014, the city filed an expedited foreclosure application with the county Board of Revision. The following year, no one bid for the property at public auctions and the property was forfeited to the city.
In 2017, the city took title to the property and, later that year, TIS Properties LLC partnered with the city to clean up and redevelop the site. The city and TIS both committed funds toward that end, and the Champaign Economic Partnership assisted in obtaining grant funding.
In 2020, the city transferred ownership of the east side of the property to TIS Properties LLC.
The city still owns the west side of the property, west of Dugan Run and the Simon Kenton Trail. City officials say remediation has been completed on the west side and that a covenant not to sue will be requested from Ohio EPA. At that point, the city hopes to find an end user.
The city, TIS and the Champaign Economic Partnership continue work to redevelop the property.
Information provided by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the city of Urbana and the Champaign Economic Partnership.
By Anna Gaertner- Contributing writer Urbana Daily Citizen
MECHANICSBURG – Champaign Economic Development Director Marcia Bailey was present during the meeting to discuss a building improvement project with the village council.
“The Main Street building there on the corner which used to have a laundromat and a video store was owned by the village,” Bailey said.
She explained that after the village had been trying to sell the property for a long time, Mayor Ben Layne put in a bid for the property, hoping to renovate it.
“He had gotten started on some renovations, but then decided to sell the property and his brother was interested in it. His brother (Austin Layne) and his wife are now renovating the property,” Bailey explained. “There is an apartment upstairs, and one in the front of the building as well. And then, there will be storefronts on the bottom floor.
“My question for the council is, do you want me to get another signed development agreement with Austin?” Bailey said.
“Because of the nature of the way this transaction happened, I think it would be advantageous for Ben if Austin is willing to sign that,” Attorney Joe Jimenez replied.
Council members unanimously agreed to have Austin Layne sign a new development agreement.
“Having that eyesore cleaned up will be great!” Councilman Jason Adelsberger said after seeing photos of the renovation project.
Village Administrator April Huggins-Davis informed the council members about an estimate for repair from storm water issues on East Race Street and Clark Avenue for a total of $10,675 to likely come out of the street fund money.
The council members approved the funds.
“I don’t know if you have driven down West Sandusky, but we have some major issues. On West Main as well. Do we want to get bids to come in and fix these potholes?” added the mayor. Layne listed different methods that could be used to improve the streets.
“We can use flash fill, concrete, asphalt. I think this needs to be as soon as possible. We can use the state fund for this, but it is our responsibility. We also have four water main break patches too.”
The council members agreed to set up a Street Committee meeting to further discuss these issues.
“I’ve had a couple calls about the Community Cleanup,” Huggins-Davis said. “Last year, it was canceled because nobody knew what was going on, but I think we can do that safely. They usually haul the dumpsters in on Friday and we get four of them. We need volunteers down there to help unload people’s trucks.
We use the backhoe to smash everything down, so we need someone who can operate that.”
The village council decided on Saturday, April 24 for the Community Cleanup.
Layne concluded the meeting by thanking Councilman Chip Wibright.
“I want to thank Chip and the street guys and anybody who chipped in with the snowfall this year. It was a lot more than usual. They did a good job and kept up with it as much as possible,” Layne said.
Village council unanimously decided the most efficient way to sell a forklift the village wants to liquidate was to list it on GovDeals.
Overview from Feb. 15 meeting
The permanent budget for 2021 was presented to the Mechanicsburg Village Council in an email prior to the Feb. 15 meeting. After discussion, the council members passed the motion to approve the budget unanimously.
The mayor requested to sell equipment that was unnecessary for the village, in order to clean out the barn which will provide a storage space for the storage trailer to be kept. The equipment included a salt spreader, two push mowers, a leaf vacuum and a John Deere mower. The items will be listed on GovDeals. Council also approved the disposal of village-owned scrap metals collected throughout the years.
Reach Anna Gaertner at UDCeditor@aimmediamidwest.com.Reach
St. Paris Growing its Commerce
Mitchell credits each owner’s business acumen and commitment to the St. Paris community to “grow stronger” in 2021. “Shopping local, supporting local businesses and promoting goodwill in the community is what we in St. Paris believe in,” he said.
Mitchell is highlighting the accomplishments of business owners and businesses that recently opened, are planning to open, or are renovating in the village.
Family Country Cuts, located at 211 W. Main St. opened this month.
Janie Douglas’s salon offers a variety of services such as haircuts for men and women, coloring, make-up, facial waxing, manicure and pedicure and facials.
Douglas brought on two more workers, one full time and one part time, and is excited to see the growth of her business. Hinting at possibly including massage therapy, Douglas hopes to see the small operation become a full-fledged salon.
Walk-in hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment only weekdays after 5 p.m. and on Saturdays. Appointments can be made by calling 937- 869-8300.
Longbow Health Plans, located at 120 S. Springfield St. opened in June of 2020 and is an agency composed of insurance professionals who offer “high quality insurance products and retirement planning services to meet your goals and budget.”
Clay Ruffner, the founder of Longbow, graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and later Case Western Reserve University with an MBA. Clay is a licensed, independent agent “committed to not only finding clients fantastic coverage,” but also providing ongoing support. “We aren’t finding you coverage and then leaving you in the dust,” Ruffner said. “Put us as a contact on your phone, because we never want to be far away, and always want to be your trusted expert.”
Longbow Health Plans holds office hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and can be reached by calling 937-788-7713.
Retail store Pony Wagon Bargains, located at 146 S. Springfield St. opened in October of 2020.
Owners Jason and Jessica Anderson held the store’s grand opening on October 31. Claiming to have “something for everyone,” the Pony Wagon Bargains offers discount prices on many top name-brand items including electronics, household, health and beauty, children’s toys, baby items and more.
Pony Wagon Bargains is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
A new grocery is preparing to open this spring after the village lost its IGA to closure. Since the IGA closed, village residents have been relying on a chain store retailer and the local farmers market during the warm season.
Mitchell met with the owners of the new business and toured the progress of renovations in late December.
Mitchell said the new owners do not wish to speak publicly, but promised to relay any permissible information to the public as it becomes available. “He’s excited to join this community and the community is excited about having a grocery store once again. Details on branding, staffing and things of that sort have not been communicated to us yet,” Mitchell said of the unnamed owner.
Debbie McGuire Lyons is the building owner at 115 Main St.
Braden’s Cafe & Sweets was the last tenant and has since closed.
Lyons is in the midst of a full renovation of the entire building, but has not indicated what the long-term plans will be. Lyons declined public comment but did say “the structural repairs are underway” as she has “big plans for the building’s future.”
Reach Andrew Grimm at UDCeditor@aimmediamidwest.com.
The building has been vacant for over 10 years.
“We’re going to see new work, new life, new employees in this building,” said Champaign Economic Partnership Director Marcia Bailey.
Securing the building and cleaning up the site took the team effort of private and public partnerships like the City of Urbana, the Champaign Economic Partnership and True Inspection Services, LLC, a full-service commercial inspection, engineering and construction management company.
TIS is now the owner of 12.6 of the 20 acre site, including the building. TIS Executive Vice President Joe Timm said three tenants will move into the building after its restoration – TIS, Community Health and Wellness Partners out of Logan County and The Door Shop, which is a commercial door company.
Project partners hope that after the work is completed, other investors will be drawn to build on space behind the building and part of the site’s acreage on the other side of the bike path.
The JMC project piggybacks off of the ongoing development of the FC Legacy Place senior living project that will transform the former North and South elementary schools and the Douglas Inn into affordable senior housing.
“We’re kind of looking at this as the anchor client or anchor site for helping redevelop this whole neighborhood,” Timm said.
Construction bids for the project will go out soon, and the businesses are expected to move in by fall 2021.