City reduces water rate increase, discusses proposed tax abatement

customLogo2By: Melanie Williamson

Vermilion City Council met on Monday, April 3, for a regular meeting.

Jerusalem Road: In a correspondence to city council, a resident of Jerusalem Road described what they referred to as unsafe conditions of Jerusalem Road between Sunnyside Road and Claus Road, and requested information regarding the plan to repave the road.  During his report, service director Tony Valerius stated that they met with the Brownhelm Township Board of Trustees to discuss applying for an OPWC grant to repave Sunnyside Road but determined the project will be too costly. Instead, they will apply for money to repave Jerusalem Road from Sunnyside Road to Claus Road. The grant applied for this year, if received would be available for next year. Councilman Brian Holmes asked if they were going to continue with patch filling until the street could be repaired, and Valerius stated that they would as soon as weather allows.

Tax Abatement for Coley’s: Jerry Good, the economic development coordinator for Lorain County addressed council regarding the requested tax abatement by Coley’s on new construction they are planning. In Oct of 2007, council approved a tax incentive to Coley’s for a business expansion. Since then, Coley’s has continued to grow; they added jobs and exceeded expectations.

Good shared that Coley’s owner Kevin McDanial owns another business, but that he lives in this area and has decided to expand his business here. Good went on to explain that McDaniel has already purchased ten acres west of his current property and is collecting quotes, but the expansion is currently being estimated between $1 million and $1.8 million. This expansion will create at least six additional jobs.

As is required with tax abatements, both school districts impacted have been notified of the proposed projects, and an ordinance is being prepared according to Good. Councilwoman Barb Brady asked if the tax abatement would be for the new construction only. Good responded that by Ohio law, it can only be on the new construction. He went on to say that the abatements are for 10 years, so the previous incentive offered will expire soon, and they will start paying 100% of the last expansion.

Brady asked what kinds of jobs would be created. Good responded that they would be machinist jobs. He went on to explain that Coley’s makes a lot of parts for the aerospace industry and has recently expanded to the automotive industry.

Grant updates: Mayor Eileen Bulan shared that the city was recently awarded a $162,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to go towards the purchase of a house at Main Street Beach. The council voted and a motion carried allowing the city to file an application with the state of Ohio for financial assistance under the Natureworks Grant Program.

Representatives from the Lorain County Lakefront Connectivity Plan will be at the Gardeners Fair on Saturday, April 29, to provide information and answer questions about their plan. The Lorain County Lakefront Connectivity Plan was developed in a joint effort by the Lorain County Board of Commissioners, Lorain County Metro Parks, Avon Lake, Sheffield Lake, Lorain, and Vermilion with the goal of capitalizing on the 23 miles of Lake Erie shoreline that extends through Lorain County to strengthen regional cohesion, preserve existing infrastructure, build a sustainable multimodal transportation system, support economic advancement, and enhance local quality of life.

The council also approved a motion allowing the mayor to enter a joint cooperating agreement with Erie County, Sandusky, and Huron to apply for Community Development Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program funds for the 2017 funding cycle.

Tree commission update: Mayor Bulan shared that Vermilion has once again been awarded the Tree City USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation and Growth Award, which highlights innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. The tree commission has also been awarded a $5700 grant from the Erie County Community Foundation for additional trees.

Water rate increase reduced: Valerius shared that after much discussion and consideration, the administration decided to reduce the water increase to $1 per ccf plus the $2 monthly EPA fee, and put off the rest of the increase until next year. Councilman Fred Ostrander stated that in previous discussions it was stated that there were $500,000 in repairs needed to waterlines; he then asked if the reduced increase would cover the cost of the needed repairs. Valerius stated there would be some gradual repairs. Ostrander asked if they would start to see those repairs this year. Valerius responded that possibly some could be started this year, but then for sure next year when the rest of the increase goes into effect.

Street update: In reference to the areas were ditches had been dug out on Aldridge and Rowland, Councilwoman Brady stated that some of the driveway drains are collapsed and asked Valerius what is being done to fix those. He responded that it was something they would have to look into.

Ohio Online Checkbook: Finance director Brian Keller shared that the Ohio Online Checkbook website was created to promote transparency. Vermilion’s site is built but not live yet. Keller explained that there is more information to be added and reviews to be made and then a go live date can be set. He also shared that overall, he is very impressed with the system being used. Councilman Fred Ostrander asked if it was an independent system from the software the city uses. Keller responded that it was completely independent.

Fire protection: Making reference to Ordinance 2017-14 on the agenda, Keller explained that the fire protection contract with Brownhelm Township is for $27,387.68 being paid to the City of Vermilion. He went on to say this is down from $37,000 last year. Council president Steve Herron asked what this money was for. Keller responded that it is what they are paying us for fire protection. Councilwoman Brady asked why it was so much less than last year. To which, Keller explained that the amount each year is determined by the number of responses the previous year, so it varies from year to year.

Councilman Ostrander asserted that Vermilion still has to spend money on training, equipment, and vehicle loans, which is a big expense. He asked if the city shouldn’t have a minimum service fee that is charged regardless of the number of responses. Keller responded that it is something they could investigate. Ostrander reiterated his position by stated that the city still has to pay for the manpower and training to be prepared even if there are zero responses. Mayor Bulan spoke up and stated that the city has a contract agreement with Brownhelm regarding how the fee is determined and that cannot be changed without renegotiating that contract.

City engineer’s report: City engineer Lynn Miggins reported that the High Bridge Street bridge project was passed through ODOT and District 3. It would be ready for bid in a couple weeks, and she asked that council give the administration authority to put it out to bid.

Councilman Jim Forthofer asked if she had gotten costs on the Mapleview ditch project, but she responded that she did not have that information yet. Councilman Frank Louka stated that there is no sidewalk in front of the Erie Electronics property and asked if they were going to be putting one in with their new project. Miggins responded that they would be adding a sidewalk there.

Concern over signs: Councilwoman-at-large Monica Stark referred to an accident on Liberty Road at the East end of town that took out service organization signs that were posted there, and stated that some have shared their frustrations with her recently that those signs have not been replaced yet. Stark went on to say that she felt reposting those signs quickly was very important because of everything those organizations do for the community and those signs mean a lot to them.

Mayor Bulan responded that it is an insurance issue and the signs cannot be replaced until the city receives the money from the insurance claim. She also shared that there are a lot of people that feel differently about the signs and are opposed to them being there. Councilman Forthofer shared that at a recent parks board meeting he heard some great ideas to redesign the signs to make them more appealing and inviting. Council president Herron added that the signs you see traveling north on Rt. 60 into town look really nice.

After some discussion over the appearance and design of the signs, Stark reiterated her initial point by stating that that the members of those organizations put their heart into everything they do and give to the city, and the least the city can do is replace the signs quickly. Mayor Bulan reiterated that they have to wait for the insurance.

Port Authority shares list of upcoming projects and potential projects

By: Melanie Williamson

During the Thursday, March 9, Port Authority meeting, Port Operations Manager Bill Yancar provided the board with a list of upcoming projects and potential projects to improve Water Works, McGarvey’s Landing, South Street Ramp, Exchange Street, Clarion Drive, and some general projects.

The list included installing a ceiling and outdoor fans in the pavilion at Water Works along with anti-skid reads on the pavilion staircase and a venting system in the pump out station. In regards to the pavilion, the list also includes installing roof vents, resealing the area, and reseeding the grassy area north of the pavilion. For McGarvey’s Landing, the list included WiFi and new umbrellas, as well as repairs and upgrades in the bathrooms including adding bathroom chairs and fixing the tile in the men’s shower. There are also plans in the works to clean all the spot lights, rake, till, and apply leaf mulch to all the planters before May 11. At this time, it is undecided if the kiosk should be repaired or replaced.

They are currently gathering information on adding security cameras to Water Works, McGarvey’s Landing, and the South Street Ramp. They are also looking into a possible grant that could cover the cost of the security cameras. Additionally, they are applying for grants to possibly add a handicap launch ramp and a handicap kayak/canoe launch.

They would like to add WiFi at the South Street Ramp and purchase the Ken King property in order to expand the dockage. The list included replacing broken posts around the upper and lower parking lots at the South Street Ramp and upgrading the workboat to meet Coast Guard regulations. There are also repairs needed to the upper and lower parking lot and the ramp office.

Water Works, McGarvey’s Landing, and the South Street Ramp need new credit card machines because the bank no longer supported the existing machines. At Exchange Street they are looking at their options to either repair or replace the long dock, and at Clarion Drive they are looking at releveling the deck at the north end of bulkhead and painting the bulkhead.

Some of the items on the wish list of general repairs and upgrades were replacement of the ducks used in the Duck Dash, upgrades to computer systems, and assure all water systems are functional by Thursday, May 11. These were just a sampling of the projects list provided to the board.

Charting the Course

By: Mayor Eileen Bulan

I just recently attended the Annual Meeting for the Erie County Health Department.  The Health Department’s jurisdiction is the ENTIRE City of Vermilion, in Lorain and Erie County. They work very hard to provide services for our community and for the entire area.  I would like to make you more aware of many of their services your tax dollars bring to the citizens of Vermilion.

Two Fridays a month, the Health Department holds a clinic at the Vermilion YMCA.  They provide infant immunizations, adult immunizations as well as traveler’s immunizations.  They provide blood pressure monitoring and address many other health needs of children and adults.  This is a service that is used by many members of the community but many people are not aware of the benefit that is offered right here in Vermilion.  If you want to make an appointment for your visit, you can call 419-626-5623 or toll-free 1-888-399-6065, Extension 174, Central Scheduling.

The WIC program (Woman, Infants and Children) provides services to mothers and their children until five years of age.  This program gives advice and support to new mothers.  It also provides a special supplemental nutrition program for mothers, infants and children.  This program is located at the Vermilion YMCA on Wednesday.  You can contact the Health Department to make an appointment at the toll-free number 1-888-399-6065.

The Erie County Health Department provides school nursing services throughout the region including the Vermilion public schools and St. Mary’s School.  Many students come to school with health issues that need to be addressed and the school nurse is there to help them during the school day.  They are also present to help administer medications and record and report childhood progress.

The Erie County Community Health Center provides dental and oral health care services.  They also reach out to multiple community outreach events such as the Give Kids a Smile Program.  The goal is to increase oral health education and prevention programs targeted toward increasing optimal oral health care services in our community.

The Health Department employs sanitarians that provide inspections of public pools.  This sector of the department focuses on items that pose the greatest risk of disease transmission or injury.  They collect, test and monitor our beaches checking for E-coli bacteria during the summer months.  The data is on-line at www.eriecohealthohio.org/environmentalhealth and in local newspapers.  In recent years, they also posted signs at the beaches.  Should a beach have to be closed, the Health Department regulates that closure.

The Health Department provides septic tank inspections in our rural area as well as health related inspections of homes.  The sanitarians provide inspections of our restaurants and schools to make sure that the kitchens are clean and the food is safe for consumption.  They work closely with our City Building Department on all types of inspections relating to health issues.

As you are aware, the addiction epidemic continues to grow and the health department has worked together with all our communities to find solutions to end this epidemic.  The Health Department solution is called the “Circle of Care”, that provides all of the essential pieces to enable an addicted individual to begin and remain in recovery.  Please contact the Health Department for more information.

The Health Department has also just opened a Regional Response Water Laboratory, which is a key component for water testing of many kinds, including the Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.  This regional Response Lab is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to assist in decisions requiring water analysis.

There are so many more services offered by the Erie County health Department.  I urge you to look at their website, www.eriecohealthohio.org or visit them at the Vermilion Family YMCA for more information.  Check the website for exact dates and times that they are in Vermilion because their schedule could change.

The City of Vermilion certainly appreciates all that they do for our community and looks forward to continuing working with them in the future.  Pleae avail yourself of these services if you need them and remember that they service the ENTIRE CITY, Lorain and Erie County and Vermilion Township.

Brownhelm Trustees discuss possible road projects, ongoing complaints

From the unapproved minutes of the Brownhelm Township Board of Trustees regular meeting held on Monday, April 3.

Zoning updates: Zoning Inspector John Schmalz had no permits to submit.  He submitted an annual summary submitted by Thomas Horseman, Commercial Inspector.  Schmalz reported he sent a request to Lorain County MetroParks about getting permits for the construction at the soccer fields west of Mill Hollow. HE sent notices to the prosecutor’s office to take action against the Tassone’s on Greystone Drive and the Diaz’s on Middle Ridge Road for unpermitted structures and also to take action against Lorain County Auto LLC for unpermitted signage.

Basketball hoops: Trustee Nieding complained about residents in Greystone having portable basketball hoops in the cul-de-sacs.  Trustee Northeim told him that two months ago when he brought this up that he was to check with the prosecutor.

Labor superintendent update: Scott Schmalz reported that the township has fulfilled our salt contract for this season and the salt shed is full.  The Dean Road project with Florence may go over the $6000 voted limit by less than $200; this will be dealt with once the project is completed. There are still issues with the 2016 International Dump Truck; it has been in the dealership several times; Schmalz stated he will keep the trustees updated on this issue.  First Energy has cleaned up their property on Cooper Foster Park Rd where illegal dumping has occurred; they are putting up a new fence and gate.  Schmalz reported that be  attended an ODOT grant session about signage; he will be working on this grant application which is due June 9.  Trustee Northeim asked about the old salt shed and Schmalz replied that they would have it down during the next dumpsters days, which are May 5 and May 6.

Lorain County Sherriff’s Department: Deputy Damian Rodriguez introduced himself as the new Community Impact Officer.  He briefly reported on the few township incidents and noted that they are very understaffed.  He cautioned residents to be aware of scams that are going around the area.

Resident concerns: Thomas Palmer, Cooper Foster Park Road, voiced his concerns with the on-going shooting at the Zero9Holsters facility on Cooper Foster Park Road, east of Baumhart Rd.  Trustee Northeim and Zoning Inspector Schmalz explained that the facility is located in the township’s only commercial/industrial area.  The company applied for and received a conditional use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals and they are operating within their permit.  The Trustees have no legal authority to intervene with the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Trustee Northeim has corresponded with the owner of the facility and this person has been very cooperative.

 Brownhelm Historical Association: Marilyn Brill shared that the City of Vermilion has approved the BHA putting up an additional sign at the front of the township property.  She showed a few sign designs.  The Trustees suggested that the bell be removed and the BHA add a sign below the exiting township sign.

           Joint road projects: Trustee Northeim and Fiscal Officer Marsha Funk met with the mayor and the service director for the City of Vermilion to discuss potential joint road projects.  The Township did get approval from the City to tar and chip Cooper Foster Park from Baumhart west to Claus.  The Lorain County Engineer estimated Sunnyside from Route 2 north to the tracks would be around $420,000, but cautioned that this project should only be done after there are drainage updates.

The Lorain County Engineer estimated a full depth reclamation of Jerusalem from Sunnyside east to Claus would be approximately $175,000.  There was a consensus at this meeting that the Township could submit this project for OPWC funding with the City contributing 15% and Township working with grant funding, loan, and contribution for the remaining 85%.  A motion to support submitting the Jerusalem Road project for OPWC funding was presented and carried.

            Discharging of firearms: Trustee Leimbach attended a community meeting in Columbia Township to address some shooting issues that Columbia is having.  Leimbach would like to have a similar meeting in the western part of the county so residents are aware of the laws for the discharging of firearms in the unincorporated areas.

Marijuana growing operation found in home

By: Melanie Williamson

After an investigated that lasted several weeks, the Erie County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Vermilion Police Department acted on a search warrant for a home on the 6700 block of Joppa Road in Vermilion Township on Tuesday, March 28.

In the basement of the home, they found 68 marijuana plants along with large lamps and electric amps used to power them. According to detective Justin Smith from the Sheriff’s Department, there were four adults living in the home and it is unclear if all four were involved in the growing operation.

Smith went on to explain that charges have not yet been filed because they need to dry out the plants and weigh them to determine what the charges will be. However, he suspects the charges will include cultivation, possession, and possibly trafficking. The process of drying and weighing the plants will take several weeks and is conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal investigation.

Sailorway student Molly Wade breaks record and wins archery championship

By: Melanie Williamson

Molly WadeWhat started as something fun to do on a Saturday has turned into a passion for one young girl. Two years ago, Molly Wade and her father went to Bad Boy Bait and Tackle on a Saturday to try archery as something different to do together. She shared that neither of them had ever done this before and it sounded fun. Wade quickly realized she was actually quite good at it, so they kept going. Soon, she had her own bow and was going several days a week.

Last year, at the age of 11, she competed in the 10- to 12-year-ol d age group at the Ohio Archery Association state competition and won all seven events. Wade stated that it wasn’t really competitive for her.

In light of her accomplishment, this year she competed in the 15- to 17-year-old group and has come in first in two out of three events and second in the third event. In doing so, she beat the state record scoring a 290 out of 300 possible points. She explained that during the event, all the competitors shoot at the same time. They go through 12 rounds and shoot five arrows in each round for a total of 60 arrows. Depending on how well they shoot, they can earn up to five points per arrow. She has four more state events coming up that she is eager to participate in.

In the meantime, she traveled to Cincinnati for a national competition that was held Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18. In the national competition, she came in fourth in second flight. She shared that there were archers there from all over the world.

When asked how she feels about being a state champion, she shared, “it’s always a surprise…it makes you feel really good knowing you’re first in the state.” Wade currently has two sponsors; Wickstick Stabalizers and Bad Boy Bait and Tackle, but she hopes to continue achieving and getting larger sponsors because this will allow her to travel and go to more competitions. She shared that while she isn’t really sure what she wants to do as an adult yet, being a professional archer is something she thinks about.

She went on to say that competing in archery has allowed her to make a lot of great friends from all over the state and beyond. She has also had the opportunity to meet many amazing people including Levy Morgan, who she described as being the best archer in the world.

She stated that the success and the expectations that come along with it can be a little overwhelming. However, she feels she has a lot of support. She said her family, her friends, and her teachers have all been very supportive.  She was happy to share that her younger sister, who is eight, has also started shooting.

Anders to compete in MathCON

March16Pic5Anders1.5colA sixth grade student at St. Mary School in Vermilion, Patrick Anders is one of 576 finalists chosen to compete in a national math competition called MathCON in Chicago this April. Anders beat almost 50,000 applicants across 43 states to qualify for the Chicago event.

Students nationwide from all types of schools, including home-schooled children, in the middle and upper grades compete across several mathematical disciplines: algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis, number systems and pre-calculus.   They take an online assessment to qualify and compete in the finals at the University of Illinois at Chicago going head to head. The students compete for prizes and national prestige through various math questions and activities.

MathCON was created in 2008 by Concept Schools as a Midwest competition with just 125 participants, and has since grown to a national event. MathCON’s goal is to engage students in STEM outside of the classroom, and encourage more students to enter the STEM fields, which are currently some of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.

“We’re incredibly proud when any of our students earn recognition for their accomplishments, and we’re so excited to have Patrick representing St. Mary’s advancing to the finals.”, Mrs. Barb Bialko said. “The STEM field is such an important part of the future, and we actively encourage our teachers and students to find fun ways to use STEM inside and outside of the classroom. This is a great honor not only for Patrick, but also for St. Mary School.” Molly Anders, Patrick’s mom, shared, “we are excited about this opportunity St. Mary School has provided for him.”

When asked how he felt about this accomplishment, Anders stated, “I’m looking forward to going to Chicago and competing against other 6th graders in the country. I hope I will have time to go to the Chicago White Sox game because the Cleveland Indians will be playing while I’m there.” In addition to the finals testing, students at this year’s competition will enjoy a math comedy show, a pizza party with other participants, while also having the chance to play an array of STEM-related games.

Visit Vermilion Tourist Guide wins state contest

Visit Vermilion Image

By Karen Cornelius

The Vermilion Photojournal’s entries for special editions won two of the three top places at the Ohio Newspaper Association (ONA) Hooper Weekly Newspaper Awards taking place in February in Columbus, Ohio during the annual ONA Convention. Winning first place in the special editions category in its circulation division was Visit Vermilion for 2016. Winning the third spot was also the Vermilion Photojournal for its special 50th anniversary section on the Festival of the Fish.

 
Here’s what the judges said about Visit Vermilion: “Great content, good mix of promotional articles about local events, calendars and essays about local history. Nice, clean layout.” The judges for Festival of the Fish 2016 stated: “Good mix of current and historical information, with a clean, easy-to-navigate layout and good balance of ads to news. Front to back, a solid tab to promote a fun, local event.”

 
The Photojournal staff and contributors working on both special editions/sections are Karen Cornelius, Melanie Williamson, Susan Borso, Tracy Miller, graphic designer, and photographers Katy McElroy, Ingemar Svala, and Scott Dommin. All are looking forward to this year’s Visit Vermilion Tourist Guide for 2017 coming out on Memorial Day weekend just in time for all the summer events attracting residents and tourists to enjoy the city and all it offers.

 
It’s hard to believe, but this special magazine focusing solely on the Greater Vermilion Area will be the Photojournal’s 20th annual one. It was started two decades ago to answer questions asked by all the visitors stopping in the newspaper office — what to see, where to go, where to eat and shop, what’s available to rent, where to stay overnight, where to dock, and even where’s the lake? It just seemed simpler to publish a guide and distribute it.

Today, there are over 40,000 copies being printed and distributed across the state including all the Ohio Turnpike rest areas, Lorain and Erie County tourist centers, motels, Mid-America Boating Magazine, surrounding suburbs through the westside of Cleveland, and of course, locally.

 
The staff hopes this special edition is also a big benefit to Vermilion’s advertisers who can place one ad that will be seen all summer long, May through September. Those businesses and services interested in supporting the 20th annual edition filled with news and events can call Susan Borso, advertising executive, at 440-967-5268.

Remembering the impressive Hotel Linwood

March23Pic19yesteryear3ColBy: Rich Tarrant

More than one person has looked at the photograph of the building accompanying this week’s column and said, “Wow! Where is that place?” By Vermilion standards it’s really a very impressive structure. And by the same standards (i.e. building codes) I’m not real certain that anyone would want to undertake building something like it today. But back in the latter years of the 19th century the people responsible for Linwood Park saw a need for a great hotel along the lakeshore and Hotel Linwood was built.

When this hotel was built Vermilion did have a comparable 3-story hotel on the southeast corner of Liberty and Division streets called the Lake House (VPJ 07/11/2013). But that was way across the swamp and river to the west, thus making access and egress to Linwood, especially during inclement weather, less than ideal. In short, Hotel Linwood was an ideal place in an ideal place – a big hotel beneath the cool shade of a zillion trees. And just outside each visitors door was a wide and wonderful beach and beyond which lay the refreshing waters of beautiful Lake Erie.

Now, that being said let us fast-forward to the year 1927. In a brochure printed by the presses of The Vermilion News for the forty-fifth season of Linwood Park it reads: “We are pleased to announce to our friends and patrons, many new improvements both in Hotel and Park. / Running water in each bedroom, many of the rooms redecorated and refurnished, therefore adding much to the comfort and pleasure of the guests. / The ideal place for the whole family, American Plan. Rates reasonable. / Good food well served has been and will continue to be our motto. Plenty fresh pasteurized milk and pure drinking water. / Open June 18th to September 10th. Make reservations early. In addition to Hotel Service, a Lunch Room will serve good wholesome food at popular prices.”

The brochure is really an historic eye-opener. And that’s not only with what is said, but what it is not. In 2017, and perhaps even in 1937 or 1947 travelers would have taken it for granted that when one rents a room in a hotel or motel that they will have “running water” as well as other personal facilities – not to mention pasteurized milk for children and pure drinking water. So it seems amazing – even to me after seven decades of life – that it was only 90 years ago that such things were considered to be the epitome of hotel accouterments for visitors not only at Linwood, but everywhere.

While I am reluctant to mention the following, it may help some readers understand what hotel life might have been like before running water. When I was an unruly youngster with unruly friends we paid an uninvited visit to the upper floors of what was then Vermilion’s long abandoned Maud-Elton Hotel when it still had 3-floors. All the rooms had brass numbers on the doors, old metal beds with straw mattresses, porcelain pitchers and bowls on dusty dressers and, last but not least, chamber pots. I don’t know about anyone else, but I know what hotel job I would not have taken for any amount of compensation.

But setting that entire matter aside, the Linwood Hotel was really and truly a popular and respected inn for park visitors. During its eighty plus years of service perhaps thousands of families enjoyed not only their stay at the hotel, but their time at the park and their time in little ol’ Vermilion, Ohio.

The hotel also served as a summertime employer of more than a few young Vermilion youngsters – especially in the kitchen and dining room. Many Vermilionites will remember Hannah Morey who managed the kitchen and dining room at the hotel. That was her summer job. During the winter months she ran Vermilion’s school cafeteria. And one would be hard pressed to find a person who attended school in town and ate lunch in her cafeteria who doesn’t remember her lunches. That’s how good they were. But more importantly, her dinners at the hotel are said to have been even better.

And then things – as they always do – end. By 1965 most had lost interest in the hotel. It was apparently in need of extensive repairs; no one came forward to take over its operation; so in November the beautiful Hotel Linwood was taken down.

Vermilion resident Rich Tarrant has agreed to share many of the photos and stories he has acquired from the former Vermilion News and other local sources with the readers of the Photojournal. Rich is the youngest son and a grandson of the late proprietors of The Vermilion News (1897-1964). Readers may email him at: rnt@twc.com

Vermilion Municipal Court annual report

Vermilion Municipal Court Judge Zack Dolyk recently submitted his annual report for 2016. This report on case load statistics is required every year by the Ohio Supreme Court for every court in Ohio. The Vermilion Municipal Court has jurisdiction in the city of Vermilion, Vermilion Township, Brownhelm Township, and Florence Township.

 

According to judge Dolyk, the year 2016 was again a very busy year in the court. Once again the court collected over 1.3 million dollars in fines and costs. “Our goal is to continue to provide excellent service to our community within our budgetary constraints,” said the judge. “We strive to continue to provide justice to the citizens of Vermilion and the surrounding townships in the most efficient and professional manner possible.”
The year-end report stated there were 5,222 traffic and criminal cases filed in 2016 with 5,484 being completed in 2016. A total of 151 felonies were bound over to either the Erie or Lorain County Grand Juries. A total of 482 new civil cases were filed in 2016. Included in these numbers were 62 new evictions.

 
The court collected a total of $1,357,331.88 in receipts for the traffic, criminal, civil and trusteeship accounts. Of these monies received $727,229.95 in fines and costs were forwarded to the City of Vermilion. The State of Ohio received $213,415.14; Erie County received $84,214.61; Lorain County, $24,194.72; and other agencies $64,505.25. The court collected and disbursed $5,580.41 in restitution payments to victims. In the civil division $71,400.85 was forwarded to the City of Vermilion, and The State of Ohio received $9,781.20 in legal aid costs.

 
With the assistance of the court, the City of Vermilion continues to invoice and receive reimbursement for both Lorain and Erie counties portion of the costs to operate the Vermilion Municipal Court. The city is reimbursed for a portion of the judge and clerk’s wages and health care, a portion of the wages for the bailiff, visiting judges, and prosecutor by both counties. In addition, the State of Ohio is directly responsible for 50 percent of the judge’s salary.

 
Ohio law mandates how and to what agencies the fines and costs are disbursed. The standard court costs, in 2016, for Vermilion Municipal Court were $95. From this amount $22 is forwarded to the City of Vermilion. The State of Ohio funds receive $39 and the Special Court funds receive $34. The fines are disbursed to the county, state and city according to the arresting agency. The City of Vermilion receives 40 percent of the fine, 50 percent is forwarded to the State of Ohio, and 10 percent to the county where the violation occurred on all Ohio State Highway Patrol cases.

 
When a person is convicted of an OVI the court will collect additional mandatory costs for the State of Ohio, the county where the offense occurred, and the City of Vermilion. The cost for a civil action varies according to the type of filing.

 
This past year the Vermilion Municipal Court completed its data and electrical work needed for new cubicle units installed in the clerk’s office. These units provide for an ergonomic workspace that helps the employees work more efficiently and comfortably. “We continue to update our procedures in order to provide the most fair and efficient system possible. We are always actively working to maintain and upgrade our facility and equipment,” said judge Dolyk. The recent upgrades have been funded from the Special Project Funds the court collects from court costs.

 
Also new last year, the Vermilion Municipal court began receiving e-citations from the Ohio State Patrol on March 15, 2016. The e-citation program has greatly reduced the former time intensive process of physically entering a citation. The new process has also improved the accuracy of important data information which is transferred by our office to various agencies. “We are now able to upload the citations from the Ohio Department of Public Safety to our case management system. This allows citations to be uploaded with only a few key strokes vs manually typing in all of the information,” explained the judge.

 
“We also began the E-Stats program initiated by the Supreme Court of Ohio. This provides a detailed report of all cases filed and completed in the Vermilion Municipal Court,” stated the judge. This report is submitted electronically each month to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Court employees include Tami Horton, Michelle Fiegelist, Liz Henderson, Stephanie Lukovics, Cindy Holovacs, Beth Beatty, Dick Baker, Eric Longbrake and Steve Hammersmith.

 
The Vermilion Municipal Court is open Monday through Friday. Court is in session on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. You can reach the clerk’s office by calling 440-204-2430, facsimile 440-204-2431 or at http://www.vermilionmunicipalcourt.org.