By: Mayor Eileen Bulan
As our City tax dollars diminish every year, it is necessary for the City of Vermilion to find different ways to save money and to work together with other entities.
The City of Vermilion is quite unique because we are located in two counties, Erie and Lorain and two school districts, Vermilion and Firelands. We also have two joint vocational schools. If you attend Vermilion schools, you would go to Erie-Huron-Ottawa Joint Vocational School (EHOVE) and if you attend Firelands, you would attend Lorain County Joint Vocational School. Both these facilities provide excellent training to both young and not so young students.
We work very cooperatively with Sandusky Transit, Vermilion Community Services and Serving our Seniors of Erie County. Vermilion Community Services is our city’s non-profit group that helps us raise funding to provide public transportation for our citizens. They hold fundraisers and solicit donations every year to keep our bus on the road. Sandusky Transit provides transportation for our citizens in Erie and Lorain County. They provide transportation to Mercy Hospital and Cleveland Clinic in Lorain. They also provide transportation to the Mildred Early Senior Center and to grocery stores and other needed stops.
The Erie County Board of Health covers the entire City in both counties. They provide monthly services at the Vermilion YMCA on Aldrich Road for the entire community. These services include immunizations for children and adults. They offer flu shots beginning in September for all our residents. They also monitor Lake Erie in the summer season in both counties and send out daily notices about the condition of the lake water in the summer season.
I serve on the Erie County Economic Development Board (ECEDEC) and work with Lorain County Community Development. We recently worked with Lorain County for the expansion of Coley’s in Vermilion. Both these groups work closely together and with Team NEO (Northeast Ohio). We all realize that any jobs created in either county will help our community and our region.
I also serve as a representative for the Erie County Metropolitan Planning Organization. This is an organization that receives funding through the Ohio Department of Transportation and decides funding for the major arterial roads in Erie County as well as the Lorain County portion of roads in Vermilion. Our major arterial roads in Vermilion are Sunnyside Road, Jerusalem Road, West River Road, Vermilion Road, Liberty Avenue and State Route 60. The MPO is also funding our new traffic light system on Liberty Avenue beginning this year.
We work with Erie Regional Planning Commission on many grants. The state grants that we apply for must be submitted and administered by Erie County. They help us obtain Neighborhood Revitalization Grants, Downtown grants, and the (CHIP) Comprehensive Housing Improvement Program Grants in both counties.
We work with Lorain and Erie County Emergency Management Teams. Whenever there is a disaster, they are ready to step forward and help us in any way possible.
The Lorain County portion of the City of Vermilion also lies within Brownhelm Township. The City works cooperatively with Brownhelm Township on projects and partner with the Township for Ohio Public Works funding.
Several years ago, we entered into a partnership agreement with Vermilion schools to create ball diamonds on the school’s Sailorway lands. We also worked with the Parks and Recreation Board with the schools to install playground equipment at that site. This has always been the Parks Board’s goal and it was able to happen because of our collation efforts.
The City also partners with Western Reserve Land Conservancy. They were instrumental in the purchase of the Wakefield parcel of property at the mouth of the river being acquired by Erie County Metro Parks. They have worked closely with us on the acquisition of the museum property and are presently working with us on another parcel of property on the beach. Our mission has always been to preserve land for future generations on the lakefront.
This is just a small list of how many different ways we try to work collaboratively. My continued goal is always to collaborate with all entities as we try to save our tax dollars. I will continue to look at ways that we can work with the schools, townships and counties to save money. I am always looking for innovative ideas that will help our entire community.
If you have any ideas for collaboration, please do not hesitate to contact me at 440-204-2402 or e-mail to email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you with new ideas for our City and our region.