Friday’s announcement that Intel will build two computer chip manufacturing plants in Licking County will likely turn the Columbus-Newark area into America’s next Silicon Valley. And I have no doubt that the economic benefits that come with Intel will also extend into Tuscarawas County and New Philadelphia because of our locations along Interstate 77. Suppliers to Intel no longer must be in China or India. They can be in our county and our City, less than two hours away from the two chip plants. The challenge now is for us to reach out to those suppliers, to let them know of the benefits of our location and our quality of life. My administration and City Council have been preparing New Philadelphia for such an opportunity: by improving our infrastructure, building bike and pedestrian paths and boat ramps along the Tuscarawas River, revitalizing our downtown, and supporting Kent State-Tuscarawas and our school systems, which will educate and train the next generation of skilled workers. I have always believed that the assets we have in our community make it competitive and the best City in the county to live, raise a family and do business.
This week members of the New Philadelphia Business and Community Association’s Board of Directors and myself will have a Zoom meeting with Francis Jo Hamilton, the director of revitalization for Heritage Ohio. We will discuss having Heritage Ohio do an assessment of downtown New Philadelphia. The NPBCA is looking for advice on how to redirect the organization so it can reverse a lack of participation by businesses and community members. An assessment would give an honest opinion of our downtown’s strengths and weaknesses, and what it will take to put together a solid plan for growth and sustainability. If the group decides to go forward, from the mayor’s Economic Development budget the City would contribute $2,500.00 of the assessment’s $5,000.00 cost. The balance would be paid by the NPBCA. For more information about a downtown assessment, visit www.heritage ohio.org.
The City has received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to pay 100% of the cost of erecting a new airport beacon on Tech Park Drive NE. The beacon will be located on City property near the water reservoir at the top of the hill. The cost is $77,970.00. The work will be done by Perram Electric of Wadsworth, the low bidder on the project. The new beacon will utilize the latest illumination technology to make nighttime navigation to Harry Clever Field safer for aviators. The City Airport Commission is also working to have the taxiways and field lighting upgraded over the next two years.
On Friday, the City administration’s bargaining team will resume its negotiations on a new three-year contract with the FOP police units. Negotiations with the IAFF firefighter’s union will resume next Monday, January 31st. Talks with the service and clerical units of the City’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal workers union will continue in February. Negotiations on new three-year agreements were put on hold until the City received updated health insurance information. All units are working under extensions of the contracts that expired on December 31st.
New Philadelphia is blessed to have people who care about the welfare of others. Tonight (Monday) I want to honor two such people for their actions with letters of commendation.
Cheryl Graham is being commended for her many years of dedication and service to our schools and community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. Cheryl Graham has baked and delivered cookies and brownies to the New Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020.
City firefighter Brock Burris is being commended for his life-saving action on the evening of December 18th, 2021.
The letters read as follows:
On behalf of the residents of the City of New Philadelphia, Mayor Joel B. Day is pleased to commend
CHERYL GRAHAM for her many years of dedication and service to our schools and community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. Cheryl Graham has baked and delivered cookies and brownies to the New Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. She faithfully shows up at the front doors of the Police and Fire Stations every Monday morning to deliver her homemade goodies, with a bright smile and encouraging note. We are grateful for Mrs. Graham’s concern for the welfare of the City’s first responders.
On behalf of the residents of the City of New Philadelphia, Mayor Joel B. Day is pleased to commend
BROCK BURRIS for his heroic actions on December 18, 2021. Late that evening, Firefighter/Paramedic Burris and his wife were returning home from dinner, driving on South Broadway. As they drove past the ball fields on Mill Avenue, Brock saw what appeared to be a person lying in the tall grass alongside the bank near the Tuscarawas River. He turned his car around and went back to the area, where he found an adult male lying unresponsive, face down in the mud. Brock’s wife called 911 as Brock initiated patient care by opening the man’s airway so he could breathe. Paramedics from the Fire Department soon arrived. They secured the patient’s airway and transported him to the Emergency Room at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital. Because of Brock’s concern and training, the patient made a full recovery and had the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with his family.
The local effects of the coronavirus pandemic were evident by the marked increase in calls answered by the City’s Fire Department in 2021. The Fire Department responded to 3,502 calls last year, 452 more than in 2020. People sick with COVID symptoms accounted for some of the calls. Fire Chief Jim Parrish noted that 32 percent of the calls were related to drug abuse and mental illness. This is concerning for our community.
The New Philadelphia Police Department recorded 11,409 calls in 2021, about a thousand less than the previous year. I haven’t received the exact number yet, but I do know that many of the calls in 2021 were related to drug abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness. Help is available for people suffering from addiction and mental illness, starting with the local Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board. Call them at 330-364-6488.
So far, here is a list of improvement projects that are already underway or will begin this year in the City. Much of the costs are being funded by state and federal grants, or grants from private foundations:
These projects are in addition to the annual paving, water and sewer line and other maintenance projects the City will do this year.
Most chapters of the City’s codified Planning and Zoning Code have not been updated since 1987. A lot has changed in 35 years in terms of property uses, so members of the City’s Planning Commission will be busy this year reviewing the code and bringing revision recommendations to City Council.
I want to welcome Ward 2 representative Mitch Pace and Ward 4 representative Jimmy Seldenright to New Philadelphia’s city government. Your public service will give you an opportunity to make decisions that improve the quality of life in New Philadelphia and keep our City as the best place in the county to do business and raise a family.
Continue to pray for the healing of our community members who are ill with COVID and pray to comfort the families who have lost loved ones to the virus. This battle has taken a toll on all of us. Our support of each other is just as important now than it was at the start of the pandemic two years ago.
The coronavirus pandemic continued to challenge the operations and resolve of every City department in 2021. But none more than the New Philadelphia City Health Department. If you remember, back in March the department received notice that a move was afoot in the Ohio Legislature to close health departments in cities with a population of less than 50,000. With the help of City Council, the New Philadelphia community and State Senator Jay Hottinger, Health Commissioner Vickie Ionno and her staff took on the fight to keep our health department open, in the midst of contact tracing, giving COVID-19 vaccinations, giving guidance to our school systems, compiling accreditation data and performing their other public health duties. As you know, the effort was successful. But the pandemic gave no time to rest. Our health department, and its staff of eight employees, then launched its weekly vaccination clinics at Tuscora Park and in August, completed the upload of the documents necessary to become an accredited department.
Because of another surge of cases in the City, the Health Department remains on the front line of the fight to end the pandemic. I urge you to continue to show your support of the staff and their efforts. In my mind, this year the New Philadelphia Health Department earned the title of “The Hardest Working Health Department in Ohio.”
I want to express my sincere gratitude to City Council for the many City improvements the members supported this year, among them:
As Council members, you should be proud of all that you have accomplished this year on behalf of the citizens and businesses in New Philadelphia. Speaking for them all, I say “thank you.”
Tonight, marks the final Council meeting for Councilmen Rob Maurer and John Zucal. Throughout their years of service, they were never bashful about expressing their love for this community and their principle of doing what they believed was the right thing for New Philadelphia. Over Mr. Maurer’s twenty-year tenure, and Mr. Zucal’s twelve-year tenure, they have played key roles in the City’s growth and were wise stewards of taxpayers’ dollars. Thank you for your service to New Philadelphia. Well done. As a token of the City’s appreciation of your time on Council, I would like to present you with these “Key to the City” plaques.
HAPPY NEW YEAR NEW PHILADELPHIA! Remain patient and positive. 2022 will bring us new challenges, but also new opportunities to grow and improve our City!
I want to thank Simpson Heating and Cooling, Gradall Industries and countless other local businesses and individuals who stepped up to replace the toys lost last week in the fire at the Toys for Tots warehouse in Sherrodsville. As reported in the Times Reporter, Simpson’s drive-thru collection Sunday at Tuscora Park had vehicles lined up from Story Book Lane, along Tuscora Avenue to North Broadway. Gradall Industries president Mike Popovich informed me that the company matched dollar-for-dollar the contributions made by its employees.
You can always count on New Philadelphians, and Tuscarawas Countians, to answer the calls in times of need. Because of your generosity, the children served by the Toys for Tots campaign will have a Christmas: one we will all remember.
On a side note related to Sunday’s event, I want to thank Park Policewoman Wendy Jones, who took it upon herself to personally reset all the Storybook Lane displays that were blown over by last Saturday’s wind gusts.
Battle Motors has announced that it has acquired $120 million in growth capital to fund the expansion of its Crane Carrier plant in New Philadelphia. In a press release, Battle Motors CEO Michael Patterson said “when we acquired Crane Carrier Corporation earlier this year, it was not our intent to simply take part in the electrification of the refuse truck market. Our intent was, and is, to offer a superior product and dominate the market.” The proceeds from the raise will be used to more than double the size of the existing plant to 350,000 square feet, provide working capital and add workforce and the necessary machines to increase production. The press release said the EV refuse trucks made by CCC include “Smart Cabs”, with enhanced Advanced Drive-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and tablets to provide additional services and safety features.
By driving down US 250, you can see the progress being made on the Crane Carrier plant expansion, as well as the progress of the expansion project underway at Freeport Press on Reiser Avenue SE. Several major employers in our City continue to make investments in their facilities, products and people. For that, we are very grateful.
The City Parks and Recreation Board has approved a request by the New Philadelphia High School Class of 1973 to erect a large metal swing near the carousel at Tuscora Park. The swing will be made of powder-coated fabricated steel and manufactured by Custom Cutters of Mount Vernon, Ohio, a company co-owned by Chip Street, a member of the class of ’73. Spokesman Jeff “Ski” Kinsey said he has sent donation requests to his classmates to help cover the cost of the project.
And I want to thank the New Philadelphia youth baseball and softball organizations for their efforts to raise money to pay for the improvements made to the baseball/softball field on the park hill (field #2). New infield dirt has been installed, the scoreboard has a new covering, and there are plans to install a field water sprinkler system and construct new dugouts. The project has been spearheaded by Youth Baseball president Mitch Pace.
Today I signed the application to the Arbor Day Foundation to have the City again designated as a Tree City USA community. If approved, next year will mark the 35th consecutive year that New Philadelphia has earned that recognition because of our commitment to maintain the tree canopy that lines our streets.
Three New Philadelphia establishments recently celebrated historic milestones. The Geib Funeral Home is celebrating its 175th anniversary. The business was founded in 1846 and has been operated by five generations of the Geib family.
Last year’s COVID outbreak cancelled the 10-year anniversary celebration of the opening of the Kent State Performing Arts Center on the KSU-Tusc campus. So the occasion was celebrated this month, on December 2nd, during the appearance of legendary comedian and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno.
And this past Thursday, Solid Rock Photos celebrated its move from Dover to downtown New Philadelphia with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. On behalf of the City and all New Philadelphia residents and businesses, I congratulate these establishments and express our gratitude for the contributions they have made, and will make, to support and improve our community.
Merry Christmas New Philadelphia. Have a safe and blessed holiday with your family and friends. This is the season of giving, which began long ago on a Holy Night in Bethlehem. Share that spirit whenever you can.
The business community in our City continues to grow. A press release has been issued officially announcing the purchase by Provia of the former Times Reporter property on Wabash Avenue NW. Provia purchased the property at auction for $1.4 million. It became available when Gatehouse Media acquired Gannett News and began consolidating its locations. Provia has yet to announce its plans for the facility, but the press release states that the New Philadelphia property was purchased to support the Sugarcreek company’s continued growth of its existing building products business.
Meanwhile a new Biggby Coffee store will be opening soon at 1139 West High Avenue in New Philadelphia. The franchise has its own coffee brand and has a menu that features a wide variety of coffee and specialty drinks, as well as breakfast sandwiches and bakery items. You can learn more by visiting the Biggby Coffee website at www.biggby.com.
Please join me in welcoming ProVia and Biggby Coffee to New Philadelphia!
It was very gratifying to see Emmanuel Lutheran Church filled yesterday (Sunday) with community members attending the service of remembrance for Private Emmet Schwartz. The inclement weather moved the memorial gathering from the Courthouse square to the church sanctuary. His remains will be laid to rest on the grave of his only son James Schwartz, whose lifelong goal was to bring his father home.
The new general manager of New Towne Mall plans to re-position the mall as a center for community activities and events, as well as continuing its retail shopping opportunities. Service Director McAbier and I met with Tori Noah last Friday and came away very encouraged by her vision for New Towne Mall’s future. The mall’s owner, Washington Prime Group, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last year determined to find new ways for its malls to serve their communities. Ms. Noah is an Indian Valley High School graduate and lives with her family in New Philadelphia. She understands the value of New Towne Mall to our City and Tuscarawas County.
Officials at the County’s Economic Development and Finance Alliance (port authority) have informed me that the demolition of the former Howden Buffalo buildings on Mill Avenue SW won’t be completed until January or February of next year. A lack of trucks to haul away scrap has really slowed the process.
Please join me in giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day for the men and women in our community who have been guiding us through the coronavirus pandemic. They never asked for this challenge and are doing the best they can. Mistakes have been made, but that’s to be expected when you’ve never faced a pandemic and such a public health crisis. They need our prayers and support. And our thanks.
Events have been planned this week to honor New Philadelphia’s and Tuscarawas County’s military veterans. Beginning on Wednesday, the Vietnam War Memorial Traveling Wall will be on display at the VFW Post 1445 on Park Avenue NW. According to Post Chaplain Jerry Chenevey, the Traveling Wall will be open for public viewing through 3pm on Sunday, November 14th.
A dedication of the Traveling Wall will be included in the City’s Veterans Day events on Thursday, November 11th. The day will begin with the annual Veterans Day ceremony at 11am on the Courthouse quadrant downtown. The Traveling Wall dedication will be held at 1:30 pm at the VFW post. I encourage all New Philadelphia residents to join me in honoring our military veterans this week. Thank them for their service to America.
Also on the courthouse courtyard, on Sunday, November 21st at 1pm, a public service honoring the life of Private Emmet Schwartz will be held. The casket containing the remains of the 24-year-old New Philadelphia resident will be placed in the Courthouse rotunda from 2-4pm for public viewing following the service. The surviving members of his family will also be in attendance.
Private Schwartz was a 1939 graduate of New Philadelphia High School. He was killed in December of 1944 in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest. His remains were buried in a cemetery in France and identified by DNA analysis earlier this year. Private Schwartz’ casket will be escorted to New Philadelphia on Friday, November 19th by the U.S. Army Funeral Honors Team. The actual time and funeral cortege route will be announced as soon as it’s known. The City’s safety forces and General Services Department are involved in the escort and cortège route planning. Please stand along the route if you can to welcome Emmet home. His casket will be buried at Evergreen cemetery on Monday, November 22nd.
One of the duties of the City’s Downtown Design Standards Board of Review is to review the design of signs placed on downtown storefronts. It’s a new process that was put into place last year when the board was created. Any applications for sign permits received by the City Service Director are taken before the DDSBR to determine whether they fit the design standards being developed by the board. If necessary, design changes are then recommended.
Meanwhile, the board is putting a call out to local artists and high school art clubs to come up with designs for wraps that will be placed on traffic signal boxes in the downtown area next year. The traffic box wraps present another opportunity to showcase the artistic talent in our City.
There are elementary and middle school aged children living in New Philadelphia who don’t have a warm jacket, a hat, or gloves to wear in the wintertime. The Mayor’s office is asking for your help to address this problem. The Administration’s Executive Assistant Jami Bailey has placed a box in the Mayor’s office lobby at City Hall, where you can place new or gently used clothing items to donate to these needy children. The lobby is open daily from 8am to 4:30pm. Contact Jami at email@example.com or call 330-364-4491 extension 1242 for more information. All donations will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution to the needy kids.
The City is partnering with the Ohio and Erie Canal Coalition to fund a study to determine the best route to take to connect New Philadelphia’s stretch of the Towpath Trail with the City of Dover’s. New Philadelphia has pledged $12,000.00 from next year’s budget to help fund a $19,000.00 connectivity study by the Envision Group of Cleveland, the same company that developed the blueprint for bike and pedestrian trails from the Kent State-Tusc campus to downtown.
The City’s towpath trail will extend from the boat ramp at Waterworks Park and follow the fence line around the Gradall plant. Then it will either go to Mill Avenue SW or possibly across a section of the County garage property to Front Avenue SW. The study will determine the most feasible route from that point to connect to the trail coming from Dover on Tuscarawas Avenue NW.
The City will collaborate with Dover officials on the project. They will now be included in the monthly teleconferences we have with Dan Rice, the President and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. All of us met last week with the Tuscarawas County Commissioners to update them on the progress being made to complete the entire towpath trail construction from Bolivar. Once the trail is completed, you will be able to travel the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath from Cleveland to New Philadelphia.
The City’s annual Halloween Trick or Treat Night is this Saturday, October 30th from 6 to 8 pm. If you plan to pass out candy to the kids, please leave your porch light on. Be cautious at street intersections. Look out for kids and parents crossing the streets. City police will be patrolling the neighborhoods, and when they can, will stop and pass out candy from their cruisers.
The City plans to use the $1.8 million dollars it will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to fund two major infrastructure projects over the next two years: The relocation of a water line onto Mill Avenue SW and new storm sewer lines at the intersection of 4th Street NW and West High Avenue. Some of the money will also be used to fund smaller projects in the City this year and next.
The Mill Avenue project will move the water line under the Joy Redevelopment (Howden Buffalo) area onto the roadside of Mill Avenue to accommodate future needs. Other projects funded by the first $911,858.00 tranche of the ARPA money will be:
Next year, the second tranche of the funding will be used for the 4th Street NW and West High Avenue storm sewer project. That project should solve the constant flooding of the intersection during heavy rainstorms. Any remaining ARPA dollars will be used to upgrade infrastructure in other areas of the City.
Jeff Erb and Rick Marcaletti will be retiring from the City’s workforce on October 31st. Mr. Erb has served 20 years as the Information and GIS Mapping Specialist in the Service Department. Mr. Marcaletti has been the City’s Assistant General Services Superintendent for the past seven years. Both have been exemplary employees and leaders. The City of New Philadelphia has benefitted greatly from their service and their expertise. Larry Lowdermilk, a former employee of the county GIS mapping department, has been hired to fill Mr. Erb’s position. Mike Pyle, the head mechanic at the General Service Department, has been promoted to fill Mr. Marcaletti’s position.
Mayor’s office Executive Assistant Jami Bailey is planning the City’s annual Christmas Lighting Ceremony and Christmas Parade. The lighting ceremony will be held on Friday, November 19th at 6pm on the downtown gazebo quadrant. The annual Christmas Parade will step off from Tuscora Park on Friday, December 3rd at 6:30pm. If your group or organization would like to participate in either holiday event, contact Jami at 330-364-4491 extension 1242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of the supply chain issues being experienced nationwide, there is no guarantee that your online orders will arrive before Christmas. It would be more convenient, and less stressful, to do all your holiday shopping with our local merchants. Plus, you would be supporting your friends and neighbors who own local businesses or are employed by them. New Philadelphia has been fortunate that, in the midst of the pandemic, a variety of new businesses opened downtown, at New Towne Mall, on both ends of High Avenue and at the I-77 interchange. Plus, gas prices are still on the rise. Why travel or pay more for delivery, when almost everything on Christmas lists can be found right here.
COVID-19 vaccine booster shots and seasonal flu shots are available at the City Health Department. Call 330-364-4491 extension 1208 to schedule an appointment.
A house at 481 Fair Avenue NE that was marked with a tear down order has been sold to a new property owner who intends to make necessary repairs to restore the structure to a livable condition. This is the preferred outcome for any property owner who is cited under local codes and the International Property Maintenance Code. Tear down orders are a last resort for negligent property owners. The City will continue its aggressive program and use tear down orders, when necessary, to rid neighborhoods of dilapidated or abandoned properties.
According to Fire Chief Jim Parrish, the department is on course to far exceed last year’s 3,080 Emergency Medical Response and fire calls. As of today, the department has answered 2,614 calls. That’s 260 more than last year at this time, with two and a half months left in this year. The Chief’s statistics also show that 32 percent of the EMS calls were related to mental illness and drug abuse. He also points out that, thanks to the federal SAFER grants used to hire nine additional firefighter/EMT’s over the past four years, his department had the manpower to handle the increase. 75 percent of the calls are for emergency medical services. In addition, the fire loss so far this year has totaled $154,000 compared to $910,020 in all of 2020. He attributes the downward trend to the work of the department’s Fire Prevention Bureau.
The safe area at Tuscora Park will be expanded for next year’s First Town Days Festival fireworks display. At a meeting this (Monday) morning with City department heads, City Fire Inspector Captain Jim Sholtz explained the changes that will be necessary because the 2022 Festival fireworks display will be bigger and better. Slightly more area will be off limits to parking and people around the Tuscora Park baseball field and stadium parking lot. Captain Sholtz will be meeting with Festival committee members soon to make them aware of the new safe area. None of the festival’s vendors should be affected by the change.
The existing three-year contacts with the City’s bargaining units will expire on December 31st. That’s why plans are underway to begin negotiating new agreements with employees of the clerical, general services, fire, and police unions. The City administration’s bargaining teams will sit down with union representatives later this month to get the process started.
Three ribbon-cutting ceremonies will be held this week in New Philadelphia. The first will be on Tuesday (October 12th) at noon to dedicate the new mural to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Schoenbrunn Village. The mural was designed and painted by several local artists. It’s located on the side of The Eye Doctors building at 163 West High Avenue.
The second ribbon-cutting will be on Saturday, October 16th at 10am to officially open the Artagain Alley, that joins First Drive SW with West High Avenue behind the ManCan building downtown. The lighted walkway will feature a gallery of murals designed by local artists. The project was funded by community members and has been a collaboration between local merchants and the Tuscarawas Arts Partnership.
The third ribbon-cutting will be held on Sunday, October 17th at 2pm, when the Tuscora Park Foundation dedicates the newly constructed basketball courts at Tuscora Park. That ceremony will mark the official opening of the Tuscora Park courts, as well as the new basketball court on South Broadway at the old South School. The Foundation will hold a chicken BBQ fundraiser at the park, beginning at 11am, as a lead-in to the event.
I invite everyone to attend these ceremonies. They will celebrate improvements to our City, and the people and businesses that made them possible deserve our thanks.
Contractors for Joy Global, a previous owner, have started an environmental cleanup at the former plant site on Mill Ave SW. The Ohio EPA is working with the company to have contaminated soil removed from the site, as part of the effort by the Tuscarawas County Economic Development and Finance Alliance (port authority) to redevelop the property. Meanwhile, demolition of the buildings on the site continues. Completion of that project has been delayed due to the lack of trucks available to haul away the scrap. The EDFA’s study to determine the best reuse of the Joy Redevelopment Site is still a month or two away from its completion.
The number of cases of the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to rise in Tuscarawas County. That’s why the City Health Department is again, urging residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. All three vaccinations are available at the Health Department: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. Just call ahead at 330-364-4491 extension 1208 to reserve your shot. Pfizer booster shots are also available. And the Health Department now has a supply of seasonal flu shots. Consult your doctor if you have questions about any of the vaccines.
A ceremony will be held at Tuscora Park on Sunday, October 17th at 2pm to officially dedicate the City’s three new basketball courts. The event is being hosted by the Tuscora Park Foundation, which is having a chicken BBQ fundraiser at the park on Al Maloney Drive that same day from 11am to 2pm. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Mayor’s office, at McInturf Realty or from any Foundation board member. The Foundation led the fundraising effort to replace the two basketball courts at Tuscora Park and the one at the old South school on South Broadway. The organization’s next project is construction of pickleball courts at Tuscora Park. You can learn more about the organization by visiting its website at www.tuscoraparkfoundation.com.
The official ribbon-cutting opening of Artagain Alley in downtown New Philadelphia will be held at 10am on Saturday, October 16th. The alley is located just off the downtown square between the Mancan building and the former Hotel Lee on West High Avenue. The four-month project has been spearheaded by the owners of Alleycats Marketplace and the Tuscarawas Arts Partnership, and made possible from donations by local businesses, foundations, and individuals. The City paid for the alley’s paving. The opening coincides with the fall Art on the Alley Festival, which will be held the following day on Sunday, October 17th. There’s going to be a lot of good stuff happening in the City that day!
Local artist Sarah Dugger has been commissioned to design and paint a mural to commemorate next year’s 250th anniversary of the founding of Schoenbrunn Village. The mural will be located on the side of The Eye Doctors building on West High Avenue.
This pandemic has been tough on all of us. I urge you to continue to support your friends and neighbors, and local businesses and churches. New Philadelphia is a great community because of its people. Keep pulling together. We will get through this.
At the request of Mayor Mark Haney, the New Philadelphia Health Department will be spraying for mosquitoes this week in several areas in the City of Uhrichsville. Mayor Haney has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Health Commissioner Vickie Ionno that has Uhrichsville paying our Health Department to spray in neighborhoods in the north Uhrichsville area and along McCauley Drive on both sides of US 250. The MOU expires on September 30th. It also gives Mayor Haney and Uhrichsville City Council the ability to request spraying in other areas of the City during that period. Though Uhrichsville is not within the New Philadelphia Health Department’s jurisdiction, the Ohio Revised Code allows such requests to be granted. This is a one-time, end of the mosquito season event. I am proud that our City Health Department stepped up to help a neighbor in need.
Construction of the City’s newest hotel is underway. Developers estimate it will take 16 months to complete the 88 room Marriott TownPlace Suites hotel on West High Avenue. Like you, I have concerns about how traffic flow will be impacted by the development. That’s why I’ve contacted several of the property owners in the area, and ODOT District 11 officials, asking for their help in developing a new access road that would go behind the hotel and neighboring businesses to Bluebell Drive. The area also needs sidewalks. From the plans unveiled at last Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony, the TownPlace Suites will be a four-story structure that overlooks the Tuscarawas River.
Mark it on your calendars: This year the City’s annual Halloween Trick or Treat Night will be on Saturday, October 30th from 6pm to 8pm. If you would like trick or treaters to come to your door, please leave the porch light on. Be mindful of kids and adults at crosswalks and intersections. City police will be patrolling the neighborhoods and passing out candy from their vehicles when possible.
Last week, I met with District 11 engineers to review the plan by the Ohio Department of Transportation to install bicycle lanes on the berms of East High Avenue from 13th Street NE to the KSU-Tusc campus gateway entrance, and possibly beyond to Baltzley Valley Road. The exact layout will be determined once measurements confirm the required width for bike lanes. ODOT is actively developing bike paths in counties across Ohio. The East High path is expected to be completed by the end of next month.
I have appointed Kathy Rentsch of New Philadelphia to fill a vacancy on the City’s Board of Zoning Appeals. She is a lifelong City resident, an owner of rental properties, and has been a very active supporter of our community and our schools. Also, as I told her, she is the daughter of the late NPHS coach and teacher Al Dunn, so I know she will be fair but firm in her decision making.
The Artagain Alley project has been fully funded and is proceeding on schedule in time for its official opening on October 17th during the Art on the Alley downtown festival. Last week, Wood Electric installed overhead lighting in the alley, which is located between the Mancan building and the former Hotel Lee on West High Avenue. The City recently paved the walkway, which extends from Allen Lane SW to West High. Murals are being created to mount on the brick walls along the alley.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has approved funding of a $447,245.00 grant to pay for replacement of runway lighting at Harry Clever Field, the City’s municipal airport. The Fiscal Year 2022 grant will cover 95% of the project’s cost, with the City funding the remaining five percent or $22,362.00. Michael Baker International, the City’s airport consultation, will now develop the plans and necessary documents to put the project out for bid. It’s construction will begin sometime in late spring or early summer of 2022.
The New Philadelphia Health Department is keeping a close eye on the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the City. Health Commissioner Vickie Ionno says there have been 49 confirmed cases this month, compared to 14 in July. Remember that the Health Department still has all three types of vaccines available: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. Third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available for people who are immuno-compromised. If you’d like a shot, call the Health Department at 330-364-4491 extension 1208 to schedule an appointment. And visit the Health Department’s Facebook page for updates.
It’s great to hear stories about how people and their dogs are enjoying the Southside Community Park. But it’s not great to hear stories of dog owners not picking up after their pets who do their business on the walking trails. Section 505.15 of the City’s Codified Ordinances states that “The owner or person in charge of every animal shall be responsible for the immediate removal of any excreta deposited by his animal or animals on property, public or private, not owned or possessed by such person.” Dog owners face a fine of up to $150.00 per incident. So please use a doggie bag and deposit it in the nearest trash can at the park.
Students of New Philadelphia City Schools and Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School are headed back to their classrooms this week, beginning on Wednesday. That means that police will be enforcing school zone speed limits. Please be mindful of the crossing guards at crosswalks. Speaking of that, the Police Department is still experiencing a shortage of crossing guards. It’s a paying position. Contact Chief Mike Goodwin at the Police Department if you can help. In the meantime, patrol officers will have to be taken off of road duty to be crossing guards.
Mark your calendars for Labor Day weekend. Schoenbrunn Village will be hosting its annual Jammin’ Food Truck Fest end of summer party on Saturday, September 4th from 11am until 7pm at the lower-level picnic area. The event will again feature a variety of food trucks, music, and vendors. The money raised goes to fund the operation and activities at Schoenbrunn Village. Hope to see you there!
When you are driving on Wabash Avenue NW in the area of Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium, please be prepared to stop for pedestrians who have entered the new crosswalk from Lakeview Avenue NW. After pedestrians push a button on the crossing sign pole, flashers are activated warning motorists to slow down and stop until the crosswalk is clear. The pedestrian crosswalk was the final piece of the Lakeview Avenue sidewalk and curb project.
I have scheduled a meeting on Wednesday with officials of RTY, Inc. to discuss what needs to be done to keep the Tuscora Park rides operational and in compliance with state laws. As the story in Sunday’s Times-Reporter indicated, the rides must pass new inspection requirements as the result of Tyler’s Law, which the Ohio Legislature adopted in 2019. This came to light when repairs to the 1926 Ferris wheel got underway about a month ago.
The rehabilitation of the vintage Ferris wheel has become a community project. Gradall Industries, Dover Tank and Plate and City of Dover mechanic Jim Hobart have contributed their time and parts to make the necessary repairs that will bring the ride into compliance. I am grateful for their willingness to volunteer to help RTY. The cost of the rehab project is estimated to be $90,000.00. RTY has pledged $45,000.00 and the New Philadelphia Rotary Club $5,000.00 to the project. Anyone who would like to help can send a donation, in care of RTY, Inc., to:
161 Tuscora Ave. NW
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663.
Donations are tax deductible.
Ohio Fire Marshal Inspector Roger Clark made a return visit on July 28th to the former OYO Motel at 181 Bluebell Drive NW. The motel is now operating as a Days Inn. Inspector Clark found 23 State Fire Code violations and gave the motel operator 28 days to correct them. Last year the Fire Marshal’s Office ordered the operator to correct 96 violations or face having the motel’s operating permit revoked. City Fire Chief Parrish and Police Chief Goodwin have told me that calls to the motel related to drug use and crime have declined in recent weeks.
If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to serve our community, here’s your chance. I’m looking for volunteers to serve on the City’s Housing Board of Appeals. The board hears appeals of citations given under the code.
The seven-member board was established under Codified Ordinance Chapter 1335 Housing Code, which you can read online on the City’s website at www.newphilaoh.com. Board members serve one-, two- or three-year terms and must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the City. The ordinance states that membership shall include at least three of the following fields or groups: real estate, building construction, property management, finance, public health, law, homeowners, and tenants. If you’re interested, please send a resume to my Executive Assistant’s attention at email@example.com. Thank you!
The recent structure repairs to the University Drive SE bridge over Beaver Dam Creek took two days, not the week as originally estimated, thanks to the help of Tuscarawas County Engineer Joe Bachman, county road superintendent Steve McQueen, and the skill of the county’s bridge crew. We are grateful for their efforts to get the project done quickly before classes at Buckeye Career Center and KSU-Tusc got underway.
Also, I want to give a huge shoutout to Gradall Industries and its president Mike Popovich, for arranging for the donation of a new zero turn 60-inch Dixie Chopper mower to use at the new Southside Community Park. Dixie Chopper is known as “the world’s fastest lawn mower”. The machine is manufactured at a plant in Fillmore, Indiana owned by The Alamo Group, Gradall’s parent company.
COVID-19 vaccinations - Pfiser, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson - are available at the New Philadelphia City Health Department. Call the Health Department at 330-364-4491 extension 1208 to schedule a time to get your shot.
A two-year process will end this week when Governor DeWine signs off on the transfer of land ownership at Harry Clever Field. I received word this past Friday that the deed transfer and related documents were headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
The City has been negotiating with the Ohio History Connection and the Ohio Department of Transportation to take ownership of land located at the southeast or “33” end of the airport runway. The Federal Aviation Administration required the City’s ownership of the property to continue to receive federal funding for airport improvements. The land is currently owned by the State of Ohio and managed by the Ohio History Connection because of it being within the Schoenbrunn Village historical site. Deed restrictions will require OHC approval of any disturbance of the land.
New Philadelphia’s downtown business community continues to grow. Solid Rock Photos has announced that it’s moving from Dover to a new location at 128 North Broadway. Solid Rock founder Suzanne Trimmer told the Times Reporter that she is “so excited to be in the heart of what is a thriving downtown environment in New Philadelphia.”
Meanwhile, Books and Things owner David Croto has announced that his business is moving to a new downtown location at 173 North Broadway, in the building that also houses the Craft Bistro restaurant. Mr. Croto says that his business will be renamed “The Bookman’s Café” and feature pastries and beverages as well as the usual wide variety of reading materials. Soon, a local Caveman Meat franchise will be located in the same building beside The Bookman’s Café.
Also on the west end of town, the former Skate Place building on Front Avenue SW has been purchased by an investment company, with the intent to locate a Harbor Freight business there. And if you haven’t noticed, site preparation is underway at the West High Avenue location of a new Marriott hotel. Construction of the 88-unit building will take about a year to complete. It will be located beside the Hog Heaven restaurant to the west. Hog Heaven’s ownership is still considering options for using the property purchased to the east of the restaurant (the former adult video store).
While attending the Model T Ford Club International’s banquet last Thursday at Tuscora Park, I was told by numerous club members how much they enjoyed their stay in New Philadelphia and their tour of Tuscarawas County. One club member said it was the best tour he ever attended. I want to thank Tom and Patty Strickling of New Philadelphia for bringing the club’s annual tour to our City. Seeing the model T’s driving along our streets and roadways lifted our spirits and reminded us of how the genius of Henry Ford created America’s love of automobiles.
Repairs to the iconic “Welcome to our City” sign will be completed, thanks to a generous donation of $11,000.00 to the project by Don and Susie Whittingham, the owners of Aqua Blue, Incorporated. The sign has been lifted back onto the roof of the House of Stones building downtown, where final repairs will be made. Chief repairman George Lawrence of Museum Acrylics, says if all goes well, the sign will be raised and lighted by October.
The City’s newest cemetery, Schoenbrunn Meadows on Delaware Drive SE, is now officially open. I want to thank everyone who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony this past Saturday. To schedule an appointment to purchase grave lots or columbarium niches, call Cemetery Department Superintendent Kelly Herron at 330-339-3797.
The City has issued separate tear down orders on dilapidated or abandoned properties located at 117 6th Dr NW and 410 2nd St NE. The demolition of the 2nd Street property
occurred this morning (Monday). Photos of the demolition work in progress are attached.
Diversified Engineering of New Philadelphia was hired to do the work. City Fire Inspector Jim Sholtz, City Building and Zoning Code Administrator Mike Scolati and Law
Director Marvin Fete have targeted several such properties in the City. They will continue to be aggressive in removing them from our neighborhoods. The structures are
eyesores, and in some cases, dangerous to the inhabitants and shelters for drug users and the homeless.
Todd Poole, the owner of the Philadelphia, Pa. consulting firm 4Ward Planning, was in New Philadelphia last week to begin his study to determine what business development
would be the best fit for the former Joy/Howden Buffalo property on South Broadway. Members of the county’s Economic Development and Finance Alliance (port authority) and
myself gave him a tour of the property and the City, and provided him with some of the data necessary for the study. Poole said it will take him three to four months to
complete the study.
Meanwhile, the demolition of structures on the property continues. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of August, in time for the Ohio EPA to move in to start
removing contaminated soil on the site.
This past Saturday I had the honor of participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony that marked the grand re-opening of the Chatterbox Nutrition shop at 127 West High
Avenue. The new owner, Becky Hart, is a New Philadelphia High School graduate and operates a similar nutrition business in Carrollton. Those of us who grew up in New
Philadelphia remember the Chatterbox Restaurant that was located just a few doors down from Becky’s shop. She has fond memories of the restaurant and wanted to return
going to “the Chatterbox” to our downtown.
I am using $7000.00 from the Mayor’s office Economic Development budget to fund a study to determine the feasibility and development of an Arts district in downtown New
Philadelphia. The study is being conducted by the Tuscarawas Arts Partnership. It will help the City’s Downtown Design Standards Board of Review establish guidelines for
public art, such as mural painting. It will also reveal ways to encourage creativity and growth in the downtown area’s artistic community.
The repair of the storm damaged “Welcome to our City” sign continues. But George Lawrence of Museum Acrylics, who is doing the work, says the project is falling short of
its funding goal of $15,000.00. When I recently spoke with him, he said so far around $6,000.00 has been donated to the project. If you would like to help out, contact Mr.
Lawrence at Museum Acrylics at 330-364-5757 or stop by his store at 160 1St Drive NW.
I want to give a big shout out to the First Town Days Festival committee for the job they did to bring the celebration roaring back after last summer’s shutdown. From all
reports the crowds were big and the vendors did well. And thanks again to City Fire Inspector Jim Sholtz and Parks Superintendent Rod Miller for making the Sunday night
fireworks display happen.
The State’s new biennial budget bill has been approved by the House and Senate and sent to Governor DeWine for his signature. If he signs it as is, the City of New Philadelphia could receive an estimated $1.7 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), instead of the $3.4 million that was included in the House version of the budget bill. The reduction is the result of Ohio’s townships successfully lobbying Ohio’s senators to receive a share of the ARPA funds. Last week I joined the mayors from two statewide organizations in contacting the governor, asking that he restore the original funding from the state’s share of ARPA funds.
Meanwhile, the amendments that keep the City Health Department open and allow the City to expand its broadband capabilities remain in the budget and are supported by Governor DeWine. The new biennial budget has to have his signature by Wednesday, June 30th.
I want to thank everyone who attended the recent ribbon-cutting to officially open the Southside Community Park phase one area. It’s already become a popular destination for our dogs and their owners, and for walkers who enjoy the cool shade of the walking path’s tree canopy. The City’s next ribbon-cutting event is on Saturday, July 24th when we officially open the Schoenbrunn Meadows Cemetery on Delaware Drive SE. The ribbon-cutting will start the event at 11am and the new cemetery and office building will be open for tours until 1pm.
The best four days of summer in New Philadelphia are back with the return of the First Town Days Festival. Festival events begin with the opening ceremony the evening of Thursday, July 1st and conclude with a fireworks display on Sunday, July 4th at 10pm. You can learn more about the festival by going to the festival’s website at www.firsttowndays.com. I’ll see you there!
A reminder for festival goers, Lakeview Avenue NW is closed to traffic until the sidewalk and curb construction project is completed. Several new storm water catch basins are also being installed as part of the project.
I am working with the county and Battle Motors/Crane Carrier officials to draw up an enterprise zone tax abatement agreement that will help the company on Reiser Avenue SE expand and add employees over the next ten years. Once it is completed, the agreement will be brought to City Council for its approval. In its enterprise zone application, the company stated that it intends to double the size of the plant and its workforce. Battle Motors builds internal combustion engine and battery powered EV vocational trucks for refuse, recycling and other industrial and municipal applications.
The Model T Ford Club International is bringing its 64th annual tour to New Philadelphia the week of July 18th through the 23rd. Local club members and hosts Tom and Patty Strickling have put together a tour with stops at tourist attractions in New Philadelphia, as well as in Tuscarawas County and Holmes County. Around 80 vehicles and their owners are expected to attend the week-long event. It will be exciting to see the Model T’s, nicknamed Tin Lizzy’s, traveling our streets to remind us of the vehicle’s importance in the world’s automotive history. Please join me in welcoming them to New Philadelphia.
I hope you’ve made plans to join us this Saturday, June 19th at 11am for the ribbon-cutting and Grand Opening of the new Southside Community Park. The park’s new entrance is on Oldtown Valley Road, just beyond the city limits on South Broadway. The three-million-dollar project would not have been possible without the Tuscora Park Foundation agreeing to be a third-party easement holder of the park land. That was required by the Ohio Public Works Clean Ohio grant program, which funded most of the construction. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony the Foundation will be holding a Chicken BBQ fundraiser until 2pm. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Mayor’s office and also at McInturf Realty’s office on Tuscarawas Ave NW. Bring your dog and your walking shoes. There will be limited parking within the new park. You can also park at the soccer fields parking lot and easily walk to the BBQ event.
I want to thank the members of City Council, the City Park Board, the Tuscora Park Foundation and my administration for following and supporting the vision of the park’s master plan. A city park dedicated to natural conservation, outdoor recreation and our four-legged friends is something we can all be proud of and preserve for future generations.
John Knisely Municipal Centre
150 East High Avenue
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
330-364-4491, ext. 1242
John Knisely Municipal Centre
150 East High Avenue
New Philadelphia, OH 44663
330-364-4491, ext. 1242
330-364-4491, ext. 1242
330-364-4491, ext. 1242
Clerk of Council
330-364-4491, ext. 1243
330-364-4491, ext. 1210