Following the completion of a couple major projects in 2015, Swanton Mayor Ann Roth is looking toward more projects in the coming year.
The biggest project in 2015 was the completion of major improvements at the Water Treatment Plant. The Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) project to reduce trihalomethanes (TTHMs) at the plant has provided even better results than predicted she said.
Trihalomethanes are a by-product of chlorination, and the EPA demanded the reduction by setting new lower required levels statewide. Since then, Swanton had been in violation of the new requirements and village water users received monthly letters alerting them to the fact.
“The method chosen by Swanton is a carbon filtering system, the most effective for our water supply,” said Roth.
Village water is now in compliance and “we are registering well below the new acceptable level of 80 parts per billion,” she added.
This improvement cost a total of $1.6 million dollars. The Village of Swanton received $628,000 in grant funding and $634,000 in low interest loans from the State of Ohio to help fund the improvement. The remaining costs have been financed from existing village funds.
“The new GAC system should also eliminate most taste and odor issues that some residents have experienced,” Roth said. “I have already been told by some residents that they notice the improved taste.”
Also from the water plant, the village was recently awarded a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
A project was also completed at the Swanton Wastewater Plant in 2015. An EPA mandated phosphorus removal upgrade took place.
“The result is less phosphates being released into our creeks that flow into Lake Erie which is what feeds the algal blooms,” said Roth.
The improvement cost approximately $865,000, and was also financed with low interest loans from OPWC funds.
Sanitary sewers were constructed within the Holiday Lane neighborhood this past summer. This upgrade was a mandate by the Fulton County Health Department and all went smoothly with this improvement, according to the mayor.
Sewer separations continue this spring with the southeastern quadrant of the village being completed next. “We refer to this project as the Clark Street Separation, and the village will be advertising for bids for this construction in February, with work to begin this spring,” said Roth.
Also in 2015, the Doughboy Statue at Memorial Park was totally refurbished, with missing parts replaced, and an entirely new foundation and site improvement included. Costs were mostly covered by the generous donations from three foundations of the Swanton American Legion, The Swanton VFW, The Swanton Lions Club, Swanton Corn Festival, Toledo Edison, and individuals.
Also at the park, nets were purchased by the village for the baseball diamonds to protect the spectators. Also, a camera system was installed throughout Memorial Park in 2014, and additional cameras will be mounted this summer.
“The Swanton Tree Commission continued their Master Tree Planting Plan and has added 18 trees to streets where hazardous trees have been removed over the last decade,” said Roth, who is also a member of the Tree Commission. “Tree plantings will continue in new subdivisions in late fall again.”
Village departments received new equipment in 2015 to help keep area residents safe.
“A new, much needed dump truck with snow blade has been purchased for the Public Works Department,” said Roth. “It has already been used for recent snow removal and is far more effective for clearing streets.”
The Swanton Police Department received two new Ford Explorers for cruisers last year. The Fire Department created a Fire Prevention and Education bureau and has begun commercial building fire inspection, according to the mayor. They will continue each year, and also help business owners with fire prevention and safety techniques.
The largest and most noticeable project slated for 2016 will be the planned construction on Airport Highway in Swanton. The highway will be resurfaced, widened, a center turn lane will be added, and intersections will be improved.
“More details will be made available when the village receives their final plans,” said Roth.
In addition, the mayor said sidewalk repairs and installations will be examined this year with searches for funding with grants.
Following the refurbishing of the Doughboy Statue, village parks will again be in the spotlight in 2016.
“The village has plans to remove and replace the walking path in Pilliod Park this summer,” said Roth. “A grant for $24,000 was received from the State of Ohio to be used toward the total projected cost of $33,000.”
There is also the possibility of a new feature at the park. The Swanton Rotary Club is scheduled to make a presentation at the next council meeting on adding a fountain.
Also, a long-planned new park may be gaining traction, according to the mayor. She said that the The Swanton Corn Festival Committee and the village are in conversations about the start of North Park, next to the Swanton Sports Center.
The mayor also reiterated that citizens are welcome at all council meetings and can check the village Facebook page for news.
“I look forward to many exciting improvements for the village in 2016,” Roth said. .
Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise