Mayor's Report

Related Pages

Contact Information

330-364-4491

330-343-2489

John Knisely Municipal Centre

150 East High Avenue

New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Joel Day

Mayor

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

John Knisely Municipal Centre

150 East High Avenue

New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Jami Bailey

Executive Assistant

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Ron McAbier

Service Director

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Greg Popham

Safety Director

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Julie Courtright

Clerk of Council

330-364-4491, ext. 1243

Information Desk

330-364-4491, ext. 1210

Mayor’s Report for Monday November 28, 2022

More Data Gathering for the County’s Appalachian Technical Assistance Grant

Earlier today (Monday) in City Council’s chamber, the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA) continued to gather information on the county projects that could be submitted for technical assistance grant funding from the Ohio Department of Development’s Appalachian Development Program. As the lead applicant for the $250,000.00 grant, OMEGA has taken on the task of melding all the projects into a single county-wide project to submit as required by the program’s guidelines. If approved, the money would be used to create a plan to implement the county-wide project. The plan would then be submitted for development funding. Each of Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties could be eligible to receive at least $17 million dollars for construction. New Philadelphia has joined the City of Dover, the Village of Zoar, the Tuscarawas County Parks Department and the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition to create a project to finish construction of the Canal Towpath Trail from Zoarville to the trail’s southern terminus in New Philadelphia.

Other projects in the county include upgrading the rail line between Dennison and Newcomerstown to run additional train rides from the Historic Dennison Depot, creating mobile units to increase access to public health services in rural areas, revitalizing downtowns and workforce development. The deadline for OMEGA to submit its application is December 9th.

Strategic Plans in the Works

I want to make you aware of a couple of strategic plans that are being developed and will help the City of New Philadelphia.

Funds remaining from closing the New Philadelphia Business and Community Association non-profit organization are being used to pay the Aegis 360 consulting firm to create a strategic plan to guide downtown improvements. If you haven’t already, you can share your thoughts on the improvements by taking an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XWJCYL9. A Steering Committee made up of business and community leaders will review the results of the survey and use the data to develop the plan.

The other strategic plan is being created to help the Tuscarawas County Economic Development and Finance Alliance (port authority) improve its economic development efforts. Assisting in that plan’s development is consultant Mark Babash of the Ohio Economic Development Institute. He has divided the plan into three categories: Business Retention and Expansion, Business Attraction and Entrepreneurship. I have participated in two days of the development sessions. I’ve found them to be very productive. The plan that results from them should give the EDFA a clear direction for focusing its future economic development efforts for our county.

Santa’s Coming to New Philadelphia for Our Annual Christmas Parade

The official start of our Yuletide season celebration is this Friday, December 2nd, when the City’s annual Christmas parade steps off at 6:30pm on North Broadway at Tuscora Avenue NW. Santa will follow the parade units as they travel to the downtown square, then turn onto West High Avenue. Following the parade, he will stop by the Tuscarawas County Library on Fair Avenue NW, where free cookies and hot chocolate will be served.

Children can visit Santa at his house on the downtown Gavin’s quadrant from 5 – 7pm on the following days: December 3rd, 10th and 17th. They can also write letters to Santa until December 18th. His North Pole mailbox is located next to Santa’s house. Don’t forget to include a return address on the envelope to receive a reply from the Jolly Old Elf.      

SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES. SHOP LOCALLY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday November 14, 2022

Completing the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail to New Philadelphia

The City of New Philadelphia is partnering with the City of Dover, the Village of Zoar, the Tuscarawas County Parks Department and the Ohio and Erie Canal Coalition to apply for funding from the State’s Appalachian Community Grant Program to complete the construction of the Towpath Trail in the county. Once completed, the trail would extend from Cleveland to its southern terminus in New Philadelphia and would have significant economic, and health and wellness impacts on our City and Tuscarawas County. It’s possible that our project will be folded into a three to four county regional application to create what the Governor’s Office of Appalachia terms a “transformational project.” Our technical assistance application will be submitted to the Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA), as will applications from other groups in the county, to make a single “lead application” as required by the grant program’s guidelines. Resolution 35-2022 would designate OMEGA as the lead applicant for funding. The process has been chaotic. The guidelines were released about a month ago, which gave all applicants little time to gather the information necessary to meet a December 9th deadline.

The City’s AMLER Grant Application is Rejected

In a related matter, the City received word this past Friday that it’s application did not score high enough to receive funding to build a four-mile bicycle and walking path to Roswell. The funding would come from the Federal Abandoned Mine Land Revitalization (AMLER) grant program, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Mineral Resources Management (DMRM). There were 17 applicants and $17 million dollars available. The estimated cost of our Roswell project was $3.2 million, so we knew there was a chance our application would be denied in the first round of funding. The City is likely to submit another application next year.

A Fact-Finders Report Settles the Contract with the City’s Firefighters Union

Recommendations by a factfinder have settled 10 months of contract negotiations with the City’s Firefighters Union. Both City Council and Local 1501 of the International Association of Firefighters have accepted the fact-finders report, which recommended the union’s wages be increased by 10 percent over the next three years, retroactive to the first of this year. The City offered a 9 percent increase over three years, which the City’s other bargaining units had accepted. Local 1501 members will see their health benefit contribution increase from five percent to 6.5 percent per pay. The factfinder also recommended a one-time payment of $600 in Hazard Pay for each member for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other proposals by the union were rejected by the factfinder.

A New Merchant Joins the Growing Downtown Business Community

There is a new business at 261 West High Avenue in downtown New Philadelphia. Solace Relaxation Massage and Float Spa will have its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 2nd at 3 p.m. Owners Michael and Michelle Gossett told me that the float spa will be the first of its kind in this area. Visit the Solace website at www.solacerelax.com for more information. Please join me in welcoming the Gossett’s and Solace Relaxation Massage and Float Spa to our growing downtown business community!

Also, if you haven’t heard the news, Modern Men’s Wear has opened in the former Crete Clothing location at 130 West High Avenue.

City Planning Commission Approves the Preliminary Plat in the Oak Shadows Subdivision

At its monthly meeting last Tuesday, the City Planning Commission gave unanimous approval to the preliminary plat of the Oak Shadows subdivision. During his presentation to the Commission, developer Bob Martinelli showed that the plat will have 11 lots for single-family homes. The Commission’s recommendation will go to City Council for approval once the final plat is received by the Service Director’s Office.

Christmas Lighting Ceremony and Christmas Parade

The City’s annual downtown Christmas Lighting Ceremony is coming up this Friday, November 18th at 6 p.m. on the gazebo square and the Christmas Parade will be held Friday, December 2nd at 6:30 p.m. Please bring your family and friends to join us.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday October 24, 2022

Special Recognition of Two City Employees

As you’ve heard me say before, one of the great joys of being mayor is to recognize City employees for their achievements and for going the extra mile to help our citizens. I want to honor two of our employees tonight: Police Officer Jenn Horner and Assistant General Services Superintendent Mike Pyle.

You may know Officer Horner as the City’s School Resource Officer. But recently she revealed that she is also an amazing athlete. The proclamation I am giving her tonight (Monday) tells the story:

              Horner Proclamation

______________________________________________________________________________

I think that if you would ask him what he enjoys most about working for the City, Assistant Superintendent Pyle would say “helping people.” The certificate of commendation I am presenting to him tonight (Monday) clearly illustrates that.

Mike Pyle Commendation

Honoring the Traffic Box Wrap Artists

Tonight (Monday), we are honored to have with us the high school artists who created the designs for the traffic box wraps in downtown New Philadelphia. The City would like to present each student with a Certificate of Recognition for their contributions to our growing downtown public art gallery.

The certificate identifies each student “for reimagining the everyday use of the Downtown New Philadelphia traffic boxes into creative visual art displays of original work. Your work helps the City of New Philadelphia look brighter and a place we are proud to be a part of.”

Students, when I call your name, please come forward to receive your certificate:

Rae Ann Haring of New Philadelphia High School, Marlee Shepard and Nicholas Carpurso of Indian Valley High School, Nora Bryon of Dover High School, Olivia Swigert of Claymont High School and Buckeye Career Center, and Vanessa Hernandez of Strasburg High School.

Revisions to the City’s Zoning and Signage Codes to Get Underway

Upon the recommendation of the City Planning Commission, Compass Point Planning of Blue Ash, Ohio has been contracted to update the City’s zoning and signage regulations. Compass Point was one of two companies that answered a Request for Proposal issued this past July. The work will get underway on Tuesday, November 1st in a meeting with the Planning Commission and members of the Mayor’s Property Review Committee. Compass Point has done similar work for the cities of Wooster, Vandalia, Xenia, Tipp City and North Olmstead. Future work sessions will be conducted with City Council and New Philadelphia residents and businesses. The process will take about a year to complete at a cost of $48,000.00. Half of that amount will be paid this year from the Mayor’s Economic Development budget line. Many sections of the City’s zoning and signage codes have not been updated since 1987.

Ohio EPA Sends the Bill for Operating the City Water Plant

Have you ever wondered how much the Ohio EPA charges the City to operate its water plant, or the number of service connections that are in the City? This morning (Monday), the Ohio EPA sent an email notification that revealed both numbers. According to the OEPA’s fee structure, the City of New Philadelphia will be paying $10,986.66 to receive its 2023 License to Operate (LTO). That’s based on the number of service connections in the City, which the OEPA says is 8,199. The email asked that the Water Department confirm that number before the invoice is sent in November.

Halloween Trick or Treat Night Is This Saturday

The annual Halloween Trick or Treat Night will be held this Saturday, October 29th from 6pm to 8pm. Please be aware of kids crossing the streets at crosswalks. City police will be on patrol. If you’re suspicious of any candy your child receives, take it to the police station at 122 2nd Street SE.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday October 10, 2022

New Pedestrian Crossing Signals Installed on South Broadway

Pedestrians using the mid-block crosswalk on South Broadway at Allen Lane will be able to activate crossing signals before they walk. New pedestrian crossing signs and flashing warning lights were installed there last week. The warning lights will be activated this week.

Crosswalk 1         

Crosswalk 2     Crosswalk 3           

I want to thank City Safety Director Popham, Police Chief Goodwin, and Service Director McAbier for spearheading this project. They’ve informed me that the manufacturer of the crossing system sent an extra set of signs and warning lights. So, they will be deciding which other mid-block crosswalk downtown will have the safety equipment installed.

A Reminder About Parking in Downtown New Philadelphia

The Mayor’s office has received complaints from downtown merchants about persons violating the downtown parking two-hour limit. On the downtown parking map, the yellow areas are the two-hour parking areas, and the green hatched areas show where free public parking is available.

I have asked the Police Traffic Control Officer to step up efforts to identify violators and issue parking tickets. Vehicles left in parking spaces beyond the two-hour limit help create the perception that there is limited downtown parking available. If you work downtown and need an off-street parking space, there are spaces available in the City parking lots. Come to the Mayor’s office to purchase a parking pass.

Downtown Truck Route Study Put on Hold

At our recent meeting with ODOT District 11 officials, it was decided to wait until the US Route 250 rehabilitation project at Tappan Lake is completed before considering a truck traffic study. The project is slated to be completed on October 31st. The detours set up for the Route 250 project have routed some of the truck traffic through New Philadelphia. ODOT officials want to see if the traffic changes once the detours are removed.

Asbestos Abatement is Necessary at the Former Puritan Laundry Property

Before the buildings can be demolished on the former Puritan Laundry property, which the City owns, an asbestos abatement has to take place. Last week, testing showed the existence of asbestos in window glazing and maybe some roof and flooring material. Once all the results are in, the City will know how the hazardous substance needs to be removed. Then the buildings will come down.

Art on the Alley has Over 200 Participating Vendors and Downtown Businesses

The annual fall Art on the Alley downtown festival is coming up on Sunday, October 16th from Noon until 5pm. And it will be the largest ever according to Wilma Mullet of the Tuscarawas Arts Partnership. She says that three entertainment stages will be set up along the festival route, which will extend to Around the Corner Frames and Gallery on South Broadway. Thanks to the County Commissioners, the county parking lot behind the Courthouse and the county parking lot at Fair Avenue and 2nd Street NE will be used for festival parking.

Executive Session to Discuss the Arbitrators Report on IAFF Negotiations

I request that we have an executive session tonight so that the City’s labor attorney Brian Mertes can explain the fact-finders report and recommendations to settle contract negotiations with the City’s firefighter’s union.

Mark These Events on your Calendar:

  • Saturday, October 15th: Annual Rotary Sportsmanship Breakfast at Buckeye Career Center to kick off Philly-Dover Week. Doors open at 7:30am.
  • Sunday, October 16th: Dedication of the new pickleball courts at Tuscora Park at 1pm. The event will be preceded by the Tuscora Park Foundation’s Chicken BBQ fundraiser from 11am to 1pm by the courts. Tickets are available at the Mayor’s office.
  • Sunday, October 16th: Art on the Alley from Noon to 5pm downtown.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday September 26, 2022

Asking City Council to Approve Special Signage to Designate Battle Motors Road

I’m requesting that Council suspend its rules and vote to approve Ordinance 19-2022 tonight (Monday), so that a special “Battle Motors Road” sign can be placed under the Reiser Avenue SE street sign on the road that leads to the Battle Motors plant. I presented the sign to Company CEO Mike Patterson at last week’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the plant.

The ceremony marked the completion of the company’s $40 million dollar expansion, which increased the size of the plant to 325,000 square feet and tripled its production capacity. Mr. Patterson said Battle Motors’ goal is to produce 16 trucks per day by the end of 2023. Currently the plant employs nearly 300 workers and intends to significantly increase that number by the first of the year. We are very fortunate to have this level of industrial investment and commitment to New Philadelphia and Tuscarawas County.

City is Given the Green Light to Proceed with Building Demolitions

With the help of State Representative Brett Hillyer, New Philadelphia is receiving $48,873.00 to demolish five dilapidated houses targeted by the Fire Inspector and Building and Zoning Code Administrator. The release of the grant money was delayed by the State Department of Development for unknown reasons. Representative Hillyer contacted DoD officials, who then released the funding to the County’s Community and Economic Development office for distribution to New Philadelphia and the other county communities who applied for the grant money. The list of properties to be demolished in New Philadelphia include:

-         252 St. Clair Avenue SW

-         451 Ray Avenue NW

-         607 Ray Avenue NW

-         1142 Tuscarawas Avenue NW

Also, the City is using Service Department funds to take down the buildings and car wash at the old Puritan Laundry property on the west side of Mill Avenue SW.

Recognizing the Volunteers at Schoenbrunn Village

Prior to tonight’s (Monday’s) Council meeting, I attended the annual Schoenbrunn Village Volunteer Dinner to thank the volunteers for their efforts to make this year’s 250th Anniversary celebration one to remember. The events they planned reminded all of us of the historic significance of Schoenbrunn and why the village and its story must be preserved for future generations to learn.

Honoring the Philanthropy of John and Peggy Stratton

Last week at the Quaker Foundation’s building dedication ceremony, I presented John and Peggy Stratton with a proclamation honoring their philanthropy, which established the Quaker Foundation in 1993. To date, the organization has provided New Philadelphia High School graduates and teachers with over $2.4 million dollars in scholarships and grants. The Strattons purchased the former Diamond Shop Jewelers building on North Broadway in 2007 to be the Foundation’s headquarters, and last year donated the building to the Foundation.

Meeting with ODOT to Discuss Creation of a Truck Route

Tomorrow (Tuesday), members of the City administration are meeting with ODOT District 11 officials to discuss the creation of a truck route to guide semis and other large vehicles away from the downtown area. City police have noted an increase in heavy truck traffic through the square over the past two years. Downtown merchants and restaurants have also complained about the noise level created by the traffic, particularly during the summer months.

In a related matter, the equipment ordered has finally arrived and soon, pedestrian crossing flashing lights will be installed at the mid-block cross walk at Allen Lane and South Broadway. The flashers will be similar to the pedestrian lights installed on Wabash Avenue by Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium.

## 

Mayor’s Report for Monday September 12, 2022

City Planning Commission Pursues Revisions of the City’s Zoning Code

During its regular monthly meeting tomorrow (Tuesday), the City Planning Commission will interview a second company that specializes in making municipal zoning code revisions. Many of the regulations in the City’s existing zoning code have not been updated since 1987. Since then, there have been changes in the types of signage and property uses. The Commission members and I agree that revisions are necessary to fit the City’s Master/Vision Plan and to try to remove gray areas of zoning code enforcement. The first interview of a company took place last week. Only two firms answered the request for proposal that I issued in July.

Two More Murals are Completed in the Downtown Area

Have you seen the newest public art in downtown New Philadelphia? This past week, local mural artists Sarah Dugger and Jon Stucky completed their latest works. Ms. Dugger’s “Greetings from New Philadelphia” mural was painted on the west side of the J.I.M.S. Place building on West High Avenue. Mr. Stucky painted a new mural on the east side of the building on 1st Drive SW behind the Mini-Shop Drive Thru.

Sarah Dugger's Mural 

Jon Stucky's Mural

I want to thank the property owners and financial contributors for their support of public art in our downtown area. The murals give visual artists the opportunity to display their creativity and talent, while drawing more residents and visitors to our downtown to support local businesses.

These new murals join the county high school art students’ traffic box wraps as the newest additions to the downtown public art gallery.

City Fire Inspector Initiates Public Nuisance Action Against Days Inn

The City’s Fire Inspector has served a Notice of Initiation of Nuisance Declaration Process letter to the owners of the Days Inn, formerly the OYO Motel, at 181 Bluebell Drive SW. The notice said that criminal and drug activity has occurred at the motel, stating: “Over the past 12 months, the New Philadelphia Police Department and/or Fire Department have responded to complaints at the above-address at least 51 times.” Under the nuisance ordinance adopted by City Council earlier this year, the letter is the first step toward declaring the motel as a nuisance property if it does not comply with the corrective actions listed by the Fire Inspector. The notice states that if additional nuisance activities or any additional felony occurs over the next year on the property, or within a thousand feet of the property, the motel will be declared a “Nuisance Property”, and the owners would be responsible for the cost of the response of all Safety Force Personnel. Under the ordinance, the owners can appeal the notice to the City’s Housing Board of Appeals.

Miller’s Creamery will Move to a New Location on East High Avenue

Over the weekend on social media, the owners of Miller’s Creamery announced that they had purchased the former Arby’s restaurant building at 2337 East High Avenue. The owners said that the new location will allow Miller’s Creamery to be open year-round with a drive-thru, dine in seating and a large patio out front. So, this will be the last year for their seasonal location by the airport. Thank you, Miller’s Creamery, for growing your business in New Philadelphia!

Runway Lighting Construction is Delayed at Harry Clever Field

The City’s Airport Commission received word last week that the installation of new runway lighting at Harry Clever Field is being delayed because the construction contractor is awaiting parts from a supplier. The contractor is hoping the boards for the lights and lighting package arrive by mid-October. When the project does get underway, Harry Clever Field will be periodically closed because of the construction schedule. Once that’s known, notices will be sent out to the aviation community.

Pickleball Courts Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony is Scheduled

The City Park Board and the Tuscora Park Foundation have set the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony to officially open the new pickleball courts at Tuscora Park for Sunday, October 16th at 1pm. The Foundation will have a Chicken BBQ fundraiser on Al Maloney Drive prior to the event from 11am to 1pm. Tickets are available from any Tuscora Park Foundation board trustee or at McInturf Realty’s office on Tuscarawas Avenue NW. The construction of the four new courts is progressing on schedule. The project should be completed by the end of this month.

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Night in New Philadelphia is on Saturday, October 29th from 6pm to 8pm.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday August 22, 2022

City Receives Approval to Apply for Roswell Trail Funding

The City has cleared the first hurdle in the effort to build a bike and walking trail to Roswell. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Mineral Resources Management has approved the City’s request to apply for a federal Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grant to construct the trail. It would be built on the City-owned railroad right-of-way that extends from Beaver Avenue NE, east along State Route 39 to the Roswell village limit. The route traverses an area where deep, slope and strip mines were once located. Preliminary estimates put the cost of the project at around $3.2 million dollars. Project assistance is being provided by Rural Action’s New Philadelphia office. The next step is to complete the application for funding and submit it to ODNR by the September 16th deadline. The AMLER grant program is very competitive. ODNR said 24 other communities received approval to apply for funding. The Roswell trail is included in the City’s overall bicycle and pedestrian connectivity plan.

Active Shooter Training at NP Schools

The active shooter training sessions held this past weekend at New Philadelphia High School were successful, according to Police Chief Mike Goodwin. All patrol officers participated in the training, as well as members of the police auxiliary unit. School teachers and staff members were trained on how to respond to active shooter threats. I thank Captain Ty Norris for organizing and supervising the training, and all the participants for making the commitment to this effort. Captain Norris is also advising local churches that want to develop or update their security plans.

Honoring the Bonamico’s and “Trumpet in the Land”

Before the rain arrived last Saturday evening, I presented a mayoral proclamation to Margaret Bonamico to honor her 50 years of service to Trumpet in the Land and to recognize “Trumpet’s” 53 years as being Ohio’s official state play and the longest outdoor theatre production. The text of the proclamation is attached to the end of my report. Saturday’s was the final performance of “Trumpet” for this season, but not the final production on the amphitheater stage. Many of the “Trumpet” actors will return on September 30th, October 1st and October 7th and 8th for their annual Halloween performance of “Dracula.”

Report from NP Schools Superintendent Amy Wentworth

President Kemp, I would like to give the remainder of my time to New Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Amy Wentworth, so she can give us an update on school activities and what to expect in the new school year.

##

Proclamation

City of New Philadelphia

Office of the Mayor

 

WHEREAS, The “Trumpet in the Land” actors walked onto the stage of the Schoenbrunn Amphitheater to perform Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Paul Green’s outdoor drama for the first time on July 3, 1970; and

WHEREAS,   Now celebrating their 53rd season, they continue to bring the story of the founding of Ohio’s first settlement to life, set in the very hills that David Zeisberger and his group of Moravian missionaries once walked with their Christian Delaware brethren two hundred fifty years ago; and

WHEREAS, “Trumpet in the Land” has become an integral part of our community, as well as Ohio’s official state play and longest running outdoor theatre production, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Bonamico siblings (Margaret, Joe, and Roseann) and the many actors, technicians, and volunteers that have graced the amphitheater stage over the years; and

WHEREAS, General Manager Margaret Bonamico also celebrated her 50th anniversary with “Trumpet in the Land” on June 29th of this year, tirelessly giving of her time and talent through long hours, endless details, and the occasional rain storm to make the production possible each summer; and  

WHEREAS,   It is only fitting that we recognize “Trumpet in the Land” for sharing the rich history of our area through the performing arts as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Schoenbrunn settlement this year; and

WHEREAS, We wish Margaret many more years of success at “Trumpet in the Land” and thank her and the “Trumpet” cast and crew members for their work to continue to bring the play’s message of peace and brotherhood to New Philadelphia’s citizens and visitors

NOW THEREFORE,  I, Joel Beahm Day, Mayor of the City of New Philadelphia, do hereby designate and proclaim Saturday, the 20th day of August 2022 as

“TRUMPET IN THE LAND APPRECIATION DAY”

in the City of New Philadelphia, and I urge all City of New Philadelphia residents to join with us in extending a warm congratulations and heartfelt appreciation to “Trumpet in the Land” for 53 wonderful seasons and to Margaret Bonamico for 50 years of service to “Trumpet in the Land” and her community.

In Witness, Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of New Philadelphia to be affixed, this, the 20th day of August 2022.

Signed,

Joel B. Day, Mayor

City of New Philadelphia                                

 

Mayor’s Report for Monday August 8, 2022

Construction of New Pickleball Courts is Underway

At noon today (Monday), a ground-breaking ceremony was held at Tuscora Park to mark the beginning of pickleball court construction. Four courts will be built on Al Maloney Way, just north of the tennis courts. The $220,000.00 project will take a month to six weeks to complete. It’s being funded by private donations and $30,000.00 from the City Parks Department budget.

Meeting with Church Representatives to Discuss Security Plans

Tomorrow (Tuesday) members of the City’s safety forces will meet with local church representatives to discuss security and become familiar with any plans that churches may have to respond to active shooter and related emergencies. This meeting continues our initiative to create a community-wide response plan.

Using Opioid Settlement Money to Fund Another School Resource Officer

The City will be using the $6,600.00 monthly payments from Ohio’s opioid settlement to help fund a second school resource officer for New Philadelphia City Schools. The leaders of New Philadelphia’s safety forces, Health Commissioner Ionno and Law Director Fete all agreed that would be the best use of the money. And NP Schools Superintendent Amy Wentworth also agreed at a meeting we had with her last Friday. Together we will now seek additional funding for the position and begin the process of selecting and training a member of our current police force to assume school resource officer duties.

Designs for Downtown Traffic Box Wraps are Approved

At its monthly meeting last Thursday, the City’s Downtown Design Standards Board of Review approved traffic box wrap designs submitted by high school art students in Tuscarawas County.

Traffic Box 1                 

   House of Stones Quadrant                                  Front Avenue & South Broadway   

                                

    Fair Ave. & North Broadway                                  Ray Ave. & North Broadway

                                      

   2nd Street & East High                                              2nd Street & West High

Board members came up with the idea of using the traffic boxes as canvases where the art students could express their talents. The wraps will be installed over the next month.

Proclaiming This Wednesday “Congressman Bob Gibbs Appreciation Day”

I will issue a proclamation on Wednesday declaring August 10th as “Congressman Bob Gibbs Appreciation Day” in New Philadelphia. On that day, the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce will host a luncheon honoring the retiring Congressman, who has served our City and our County well. Congressman Gibbs will be ending a career in public service that began in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2003.

Contract Negotiations with Firefighters Going to Fact-Finding

The City Administration and Firefighters Local 1501 have reached an impasse over financial issues in our negotiations on a new three-year contract. So, following Ohio’s collective bargaining process, both sides will present their arguments to a factfinder on Tuesday, August 16th. With the information, the factfinder will attempt the resolve the impasse.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday July 25, 2022

How to Get Your Hands on Your New Fire Engine

New Fire Engine

Firemen have a tradition that whenever a new fire engine is purchased, it is pushed into the fire station instead of driven. With the approval of City Council, you, the taxpayers of New Philadelphia, have purchased a new Pierce fire engine. It will be delivered to the City on July 30th. The Fire Department is inviting you to help push the new engine into the station at 4pm on Saturday, July 30th. There will be concessions and free popcorn. Plus, you’ll be able to view the other fire equipment and apparatus that your tax dollars have purchased. This new fire truck is expected to be in service for 20 years, just like the engine it replaced. The new Pierce’s cost was $692,000.00, just under the $700,000.00 budgeted for it.

Downtown New Philadelphia Now has Wireless Internet Service

The City is now providing free limited access wireless Internet service to the downtown business district. The name you will see on your smartphone Wi-Fi settings is “Downtown Wireless”. Users will be limited to 5 Mbps bandwidth to check email and browse the Internet. Social Media and video streaming are unavailable to conserve overall bandwidth and to provide a more positive user experience. There will be a time limit on usage. Websites and resources with adult material and those that pose a security threat are blocked. Pioneer 360 has provided this map of the coverage area in the Central Business District.

Wifi Map

When you make the wireless connection, a splash page will appear, asking you to accept terms and conditions. The service is being provided through the City’s fiber optic network, which was installed two years ago by Horizon. Its cost is included in the City’s monthly payment to Horizon for Internet service.

Splash Page

The City would appreciate any feedback on your use of the wireless connection. Email the City’s Information Specialist, Larry Lowdermilk, at llowdermilk@newphilaoh.com with comments and questions.

Final Agreement is Signed with the FAA to Proceed with Airport Taxiway Improvements

Last week I signed the final agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to receive an FAA grant of $135,000.00 to relocate the taxiway at Harry Clever Field. The taxiway is used by airplanes to access the airport runway. ODOT-Aviation and the City are each contributing $7,500.00 toward the project, which includes LED edge lighting and directional signs. Construction is expected to get underway this fall.

Churches are being Contacted in the Next Step in Creating a Community Security Plan

The Mayor’s office has been contacting local church leaders to establish a meeting date in August when City safety forces can discuss security measures. This is the next step in the development of a community plan to prevent or respond to active shooter and other such incidents. New Philadelphia’s fire and police departments have met with local school officials and are developing a drill that will educate staff members and teachers. The final step in this process will be a meeting with local businesses.

Take Five to Help Identify the Broadband Needs of Tuscarawas County

The Tuscarawas County Economic Development Corporation and Broadband Ohio are asking Tuscarawas County residents and business owners to take an online survey to gather more information about current broadband access and options in the county. The survey can be found at www.tuscedc.com/connectusc and takes about five minutes to complete. It is included in the TCEDC’s “ConnectTusc” campaign to document the need for more broadband investment in the county. The survey’s results will help the county secure grant funding for projects that will expand high speed Internet access to underserved rural and incorporated communities.

## 

Mayor’s Report for Monday July 11, 2022

The Location of New Philadelphia’s Love Tusc Sculpture Will Be Downtown

At its monthly meeting last Thursday, the Downtown Design Standards Board of Review selected the Gavin’s quadrant downtown as the location for the City’s Love Tusc sculpture. Local artist Tony Contini will design the imagery on the sculpture. It will be included in the county-wide “Love Tusc Sculpture Tour” project by the Tuscarawas Arts Partnership. The sculpture itself is in the shape of Tuscarawas County as the photo shows.

                                                       Love Tusc

   Love Tusc sculpture on display at Art on the Alley

According to TAP, the imagery painted on each sculpture will capture the spirit and cultural identity of its community. Donations are being accepted to cover the $6,950.00 cost of the New Philadelphia sculpture. You can make a donation online by going to www.tuscarawasartspartnership.org/lovetusc-sculpture-tour. The year-long project will conclude in May of 2023 with a special preview night at the KSU-Tusc Performing Arts Center.

Meanwhile, the DDSBR members continue to work on developing design standards for façade improvements to downtown storefronts. Right now, they are exploring how other communities have used façade easement tax incentives to encourage property owners to restore the original look of their storefronts.

The Second Tranche of ARPA Money Is on Its Way

The Ohio Office of Budget and Management has notified me that the City’s second tranche of American Rescue Plan Act funds should arrive by July 15th. It will be $911,858.00, the same amount the City received in its first tranche. The money will be used to help pay for construction of a new storm sewer system to eliminate the high water problem at the West High Avenue/4th Street intersection and also some street paving. The money from the first tranche was used to move the water line under the Joy/Howden property to the right of way along Mill Avenue SW, and a few other smaller water line projects in the City.

A New Beacon Light Has Been Installed for Harry Clever Field

Aviators making nighttime flights to Harry Clever Field now have guidance from a new airport beacon light. Installation of the new beacon was recently completed by Perram Electric of Wadsworth, Ohio, the project’s lowest bidder. Its new location is beside the City water reservoir at the top of Tech Park Drive NE. One hundred percent of the project’s cost was paid for with a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The old beacon light is being stored at Harry Clever Field. The City’s Airport Commission is considering repurposing it as a historic display at the airport.

Shout Out to the First Town Days Festival Committee Members

I want to give a big shout out to the members of the First Town Days Festival Committee for the hard work they put in to give the community another memorable celebration. The weather was great. The City Slickers pounded the County Terminators 24-3 in the annual festival softball game. The fireworks show still has people talking. And the quality of car show entries this year made it really hard to pick the winner of the Mayor’s trophy. I went with the red 1953 Mercury. It was a beauty and as old as I am 😊.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday June 27, 2022

Developing a Community Security Plan

New Philadelphia’s police and fire departments are working with local education officials to develop a coordinated plan to respond to school security events. The first steps in the process were taken last Thursday when representatives of New Philadelphia City Schools, Buckeye Career Center and Kent State-Tuscarawas met with the City’s safety forces to share security information. All agreed that there is a need for school safety drills to practice the plan.

Airport Courtesy Car

Airport Courtesy Car

A used City police cruiser has been repurposed into a new courtesy car for aviators visiting Harry Clever Field. The 2018 Ford Explorer is the second such vehicle at the airport that can be used by pilots who are having their aircraft serviced or who have flown in for a day of touring the area. There are more planes flying into Harry Clever Field because of ProAv’s avionics business and the popularity of Miller’s Creamery stand and Maggoo’s Restaurant.

Earlier this year another used cruiser was repurposed for use by the Fire Department’s Community Outreach Coordinator.

The Economy is Delaying Proposals from Potential Developers of the Joy/Howden Property

The inflationary cost of materials and labor shortages have caused several potential developers of the Joy/Howden property on South Broadway to delay returning Request for Proposals (RFPs) to the County Economic Development and Finance Alliance (port authority). That’s what Marla Akridge, the head of the EDFA, recently reported to me. The EDFA owns the property and is overseeing its redevelopment. Meanwhile, building demolition on the property is nearly complete. The oldest building on the site, built in the 1880s, will remain in hopes it can be used as a key feature in the redevelopment.

An Invitation from Governor DeWine to Attend His Signing of HB 377

Governor Mike DeWine has invited me, along with other mayors from the Appalachian region of Ohio, to join him tomorrow (Tuesday) for the ceremonial signing of House Bill 377 at the Governor’s residence in Columbus. HB 377 appropriates $500 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funds for the Ohio BUILDS Appalachia Plan, which was originally proposed by the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly earlier this year. According to Governor DeWine, the plan’s three priority areas are restoring historic downtowns, improving community health, and rebuilding the local workforce. New Philadelphia and Tuscarawas County have needs in all three of the priority areas. Following the signing, Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik and John Carey, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, will host a short session about the vision for the funding.

The Best Five Days of Summer Begin Later This Week

The 45th annual First Town Days Festival begins this Thursday, June 30th at Tuscora Park and will conclude on Monday, July 4th. You can go to the Festival Facebook page and website at www.firsttowndays.com to learn more about each day’s events. I want to thank the members of the festival committee for their hard work to keep the First Town Days Festival as the community’s annual celebration of summer and the best family-friendly festival in Ohio. The Grand Parade steps off at 6:30pm on Friday, July 1st, and the annual fireworks show will be on Saturday night, July 2nd.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday June 13, 2022

Developing a Community Security Plan

In light of the recent mass shootings across the nation, the City of New Philadelphia will be leading an effort to create a community-wide security plan that will encompass our school systems, our churches and our businesses. We will start the process by having our safety forces meet with officials from New Philadelphia City Schools, Tuscarawas Central Catholic Middle and High School, Buckeye Career Center, and Kent State University-Tuscarawas. The goal will be to review each institution's active shooter and other security measures so that our police and fire departments learn them and can offer recommendations to improve them. Once that is achieved, we will move on to our churches, then businesses.

The idea of a community-wide response plan was discussed by City department heads at our most recent staff meeting. All agreed that it was time to create a proactive “See Something, Say Something” campaign that will discover security shortfalls, teach prevention, and allow us to respond as a community to any threats. All Council members are invited to attend the meetings and have a role in developing the plan.

Money for School Security Upgrades Included in the Legislation to Arm Teachers

Last week, I attended the two-day annual Mayors Association of Ohio conference in Dublin, where Governor Mike DeWine told us that he will sign the legislation that will allow local school boards to decide whether to allow school employees to carry guns.

The Governor said that he looked at putting police resource officers in each school, but decided it was too expensive. Also included in the legislation is $100 million from the state’s construction budget for school security upgrades and $5 million for upgrades at colleges. In his address, Governor DeWine also told the mayors that he is making a substantial amount of ARPA money available for student wellness and urged schools to use it for mental health purposes.

Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium Track Update

New Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Amy Wentworth has notified me that construction of the new track at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium will begin this week. The delayed start is because the project’s contractor got behind on other projects due to the wet spring weather. Superintendent Wentworth said completion of the project has now been pushed back to early August. The stadium will be closed during the construction.

Closing the Downtown Square During Memorial Day and Veterans Day Ceremonies

From now on, the downtown square will be closed to traffic during all Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies on the County Courthouse Plaza. The disrespect shown by a few motorists during the May 30th Memorial Day ceremony led me to make that decision.

Creating an Arts and Culture District in Downtown New Philadelphia

Late last year, I used funds from the Mayor’s Office Economic Development budget to pay the Tuscarawas Arts Partnership to conduct a study on the feasibility of creating an Arts and Culture District in downtown New Philadelphia. The study has been completed. And here tonight to discuss its findings is Wilma Mullet, the Executive Director of TAP. President Kemp, I yield the remainder of my time to Ms. Mullet for her presentation and ask that the Arts and Culture District proposal be assigned to the proper Council committee.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday May 23, 2022

Asking Council to Ratify the New Contract with the AFSCME-Clerical Unit

Tonight (Monday) I ask that Council add Resolution 20-2022 to its legislative agenda and pass it on its first reading. The resolution ratifies the three-year contract that the City administration has negotiated with the City’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Clerical unit. If approved by Council, the City will have new three-year contracts with its police union and both AFSCME units. All three accepted the wage increases and higher health insurance contributions offered by the Administration. Negotiations with the City’s remaining bargaining unit - International Association of Firefighters - are at an impasse and headed into the collective bargaining fact-finding process. Our presentation to the factfinder won’t be held until July.

The OML Urges More Citizen Involvement in the Actions of State Government

The Ohio Municipal League is asking for involvement by local elected officials and citizens to stop continued attempts by the Ohio Legislature to take away Home Rule. Article XVIII, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution grants municipalities the authority to adopt laws and regulations for its own self-government. Specifically, Section 3 states:

“Municipalities shall have authority to exercise all powers of local self- government and           to adopt and enforce within their limits such local police, sanitary and other similar         regulations, as are not in conflict with general laws.”

At the OML Summer Regional Conference I attended this past Friday in Athens, OML officials warned that legislation continues to be introduced in the Ohio House and Senate that threaten to remove New Philadelphia’s home rule and put decisions that should be made locally into the hands of State government. One such measure being considered is House Bill 563, which would prohibit local regulation of short-term rentals like Airbnbs.

OML Executive Director Kent Scarrett told us that the lack of participation by local elected officials and citizens is giving special interest groups and lobbyists more say in writing legislation. To get involved, you can start by learning about the bills being considered by the Ohio Legislature by visiting this website: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/. You can also find the contact information for State Representative Brett Hillyer and Ohio Senator Jay Hottinger on the website.

The City Could Still Use Some Summer Help

A few City departments are still in need of summer help. The Street Department, Parks Department, Cemetery Department, Water and Wastewater Departments all depend on seasonal workers to help with the summer workload. The jobs are perfect for newly graduated high school seniors, and college and tech school students home for the summer. The pay is $10 an hour. To apply, download an employment application from the City’s website at http://www.newphilaoh.com/Job-Opportunities.

Commendations for City General Services Department Workers

Everyone who works for the City of New Philadelphia knows that they are called to serve our citizens and businesses. Serving the public is what we do. And as Mayor, it brings me great joy when I can commend employees for going above their call of duty. Such is the case for General Services employees Triston Hunter, Donny Pettitt and Mike Brinkley.

On Tuesday, April 12th, at around 1:45 p.m., they were driving in a City vehicle on Park Avenue NW when they saw an elderly resident fall down the steps outside of her home. They stopped to check on her, called 911 and stayed with the resident until the paramedics arrived. Had they not responded so quickly, it’s uncertain how long the woman would have gone without help. I ask Triston, Donny, and Mike to come forward, so I can present each of them with Certificates of Commendation and thank them on behalf of the citizens of New Philadelphia.

Don’t Forget…

Tuscora Park officially opens for the summer on Saturday, May 28th. The renovation of the Ferris wheel probably won’t be finished in time for Saturday’s opening.

Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1077 is having its annual Memorial Day weekend pancake breakfast and fly-in on Sunday, May 29th from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the EAA hanger at Harry Clever Field.

The City and County’s Annual Memorial Day Ceremony is on Monday, May 30th at 11 a.m. on the County Courthouse plaza.

HAVE A SAFE AND RESTFUL HOLIDAY WEEKEND!

##

 

Mayor’s Report for Monday May 9, 2022

County Commissioners Purchase Land to Relocate the Board of Elections

The Tuscarawas County Board of Elections is going to have a new home. The County Commissioners have purchased parcels at 933 East High Avenue and on 10th Street NE on which to build a new office for the County Board of Elections. According to the Commissioners, the office building will be located on the East High Avenue parcel. The parcels behind it on 10th Street will be used for parking and for development of green space. They also give the Board of Elections office room for future growth if needed.

Service Director McAbier and I recently met with the Commissioners to confirm the City utilities available to the site. They asked if we would be interested in using the parcel that fronts Ray Avenue NE for green space, since floodplain regulations prohibit building construction on it. We welcomed the idea and will work with the County to perhaps develop the parcel into a small park.

OMEGA Hosts a Broadband Stakeholder Meeting

The Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA) has invited citizens to participate in a Broadband Stakeholders Public Meeting. It will be held on Wednesday, May 18th from 9 to 11am at the William E. Winters Boardroom on the second floor of the County Office Building. The purpose of the meeting is to share the information gathered from the Broadband Feasibility Study that is being conducted for OMEGA by Reid Consulting Group. The meeting will give you an opportunity to help OMEGA’s effort to have Federal and State construction dollars directed into those areas of Tuscarawas County currently underserved by high-speed broadband Internet connections. You can learn more about the study by following this link: https://omegadistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/tuscarawas.pdf.

We are Blessed to be Living in New Philadelphia and Tuscarawas County

Last week, I attended several ceremonies that reminded me of how blessed we are to be living in such a special community.

On Tuesday, the kick-off event was held to begin the year-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Schoenbrunn Village. On May 3, 1772, Moravian missionary David Zeisberger and his Delaware Christian congregation arrived at the village location and forever changed the course of history for the Tuscarawas Valley and maybe America. History indicates that New Philadelphia’s founder John Knisely knew Missionary Zeisberger, and that friendship could have been a key reason why Knisely bought the land on which our City was built. Plan to attend as many 250th anniversary events as you can and take the family to see “Trumpet in the Land” at the Schoenbrunn Amphitheater to experience the drama that resulted from the settling of five Moravian missions along the Tuscarawas River.

On Thursday at the annual Tuscarawas County Heritage Home Association’s annual awards ceremony, I had the honor of presenting a Heroes of History award to Don and Susie Whittingham of New Philadelphia. They were the major contributors to the funding necessary to restore the Welcome to Our City sign atop the House of Stones building. Plus, the Whittinghams have funded construction of the parklet on South Broadway and the painting of several public murals in the downtown area and at Harry Clever Field. It was only proper that they received special recognition for their commitment to the arts in New Philadelphia and to downtown revitalization.

Then on Friday, the Quaker Foundation held its annual recognition banquet at the KSU Performing Arts Center. Awards were given to distinguished teachers and alumni of New Philadelphia High School. And this year the Foundation awarded $266,900.00 in scholarships to NPHS graduating seniors. Each of the distinguished alumni credited their success to the education and upbringing they received in New Philadelphia. One hallmark of New Philadelphians is how we continue to invest in the futures of our young people through organizations like the Quaker Foundation and the Buckeye Career Center Foundation. Which brings to mind the fact that a child born in New Philadelphia never has to leave the City limits to earn a skill certificate or college degree. Our school systems and the KSU-Tusc campus give us that advantage over other communities in Eastern Ohio.

The Grass Parking Lots are Now Open at the Southside Community Park

Now that the grass is firmly rooted, the Parks Department has opened the two grass parking lots at the Southside Community Park. The first lot is located on the right side of the entrance road near the pollinator garden and restroom. The second lot is located beside the dog park. The lots have a geo-grid and grass base as required by Clean Ohio grant criteria. Please utilize these parking areas during your visits to the park.

Some Reminders….

If you’re planning a spring cleanup around the house and your yard, please call the General Services garage at 330-339-2121 or 330-364-4491 extension 1433 to schedule a special pickup, instead of just putting your stuff on a curb strip.

Art on the Alley is coming up on Sunday, May 15th from noon until 5pm in the downtown alleyways. Don’t forget to check out the murals in Artagain Alley between West High Avenue and Allen Lane SW.

The NPHS Graduation Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 21st at 7:30pm at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium. Congratulations graduating seniors. We are proud of your accomplishments and wish you the best as your life’s journey continues.

Tuscora Park will officially open on Saturday, May 28th during Memorial Day weekend. RTY reports that all rides passed state inspection and the restored Ferris wheel should be ready for riders that weekend.

##

Mayor’s Report for Monday April 25, 2022

Schoenbrunn Village Celebrates the 250th Anniversary of its Founding

Tuesday, May 3rd will be a very special day in New Philadelphia. That’s when its founders – the Moravian Church and the Delaware nation – will return to Schoenbrunn to begin a two-day celebration of the day Moravian missionary David Zeisberger and his Delaware followers arrived at the village site in 1772. Representatives of the church and the Delaware nation will be the featured speakers at the opening ceremony at 10am on May 3rd. I encourage all New Philadelphians to join in the celebration. Attend the anniversary events planned for May 3rd and 4th, and the other events scheduled throughout the year. Schoenbrunn was the first of five Moravian missions settled in Tuscarawas County, the others be

Contact Information

330-364-4491

330-343-2489

John Knisely Municipal Centre

150 East High Avenue

New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Joel Day

Mayor

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

John Knisely Municipal Centre

150 East High Avenue

New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Jami Bailey

Executive Assistant

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Ron McAbier

Service Director

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Greg Popham

Safety Director

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Julie Courtright

Clerk of Council

330-364-4491, ext. 1243

Information Desk

330-364-4491, ext. 1210