The year 2021 was a year of progress in Swanton and that progress will continue in 2022, according to Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle.
One example of progress in 2021 was the completion of the Safe Routes to School Project, which was made possible through funds from the Ohio Department of Transportation.
“This project included sidewalks along Crestwood Drive and portions of Church Street, Harding Drive, and Elton Parkway,” said Hoelzle. “This will allow for safer means for those heading to school but also for the general public.”
Additionally, the village saw the completion of the Master Plan for the Water Resource Recovery Facility. This plant, which treats wastewater, is vital to the public, Hoelzle said.
“There are many upgrades needed, especially in areas original to the plant which is over 50 years old,” she added. “The Master Plan allows for coordinated efforts to tackle these projects over the next 25 years.”
A new position was also added in the village. The community development assistant will focus on both code enforcement, such as nuisances and also in areas to continue progress being made in the village.
“The village looks to 2022 with excitement. There are commercial development projects in the works such as a proposed AutoZone and event venue,” Hoelzle said.
The AutoZone is slated to be located next to Marco’s Pizza on Airport Highway, and the event venue is proposed for a site just east of the county line off of Airport Highway.
An interest in new home construction also continues in 2022, according to the administrator. She said it is especially prevalent in the Silverbuck subdivision, which is located off of Brindley Road.
Permits taken out for new homes in the village increased from 3 in 2020 to 10 in 2021.
“This interest will continue the upward swing with the population in the Village, as can be seen with the 2020 Census numbers,” said Hoelzle. Swanton’s population increased to 3,874 in 2020 from 3,690 in 2010.
Capital improvements within the village are also planned for 2022, including a membrane softening project at the water treatement plant.
“This project will transition the current treatment project to one involving reverse osmosis through membrane softening,” the administrator said. “This will also make processes safer for village employees and be more cost-effective in the long run.”
The current sewer separation in the W. Garfield Avenue area will also wrap up this year. It will also have road improvements, including the addition of sidewalks and curbs on W. Garfield Avenue, which Hoelzle said is another way the village is working to make the community more accessible.
When that project wraps up, the village will move to the next sewer separation, which focuses on the area around St. Richard’s Court and Maple, Hickory, Oak, Birch streets, and a portion of Brookside Drive.
Hoelzle also highlighted that the village is fiscally sound with decisions regarding investments and forecasting laying a foundation for continued progress.
“Previous council and finance director have worked on a plan for debt repayment as well as the Capital Improvement Plan which is a large undertaking,” said Hoelzle. “We all look forward to the new council learning more about these topics and continuing the sound fiscal decisions over the last few years.”
She added that revenue is steady and a focus on delinquent taxpayers may contribute to a slight increase in revenue.
“2022 has already shown there are many changes coming to the Village of Swanton,” Hoelzle said. “New council members, a new solicitor, and new finance director will bring innovative and fresh eyes. We look forward to the continued progress made over the past year and hope the community members do as well.”