BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — St. Patrick’s Day was one of the first 70-degree days in Northwest Ohio. At 6:45 p.m., the Waterville neighborhood of Mill Creek was like many that warm day – bustling with people outside watching kids play, walking dogs or working in the garage.
So it surprised one resident when a stranger entered her open garage, shut the door and began entering the door to her home.
“Our dogs were going nuts,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified.
Seeing the man, she shouted at him to leave. He exited the garage to his car, but by then her daughter had called 911. Waterville police officers Bobbie-Jo Newman and Franklin Cigoy arrived quickly and apprehended the man before he even had a chance to exit the subdivision, the resident told Waterville City Council during its March 28 meeting.
“I want to thank them for their professionalism in helping us,” said the homeowner. “It was scary.”
Chief Joe Valvano and Lt. Todd Shelton presented the two officers with letters of recognition and council members thanked Cigoy and Newman for their quick response. The suspect, Newman said, is a Mansfield resident who has been in the area and is wanted on charges in Dundee and Sylvania. He was charged with an F4 felony, Valvano added.
“This may be common in other communities but not in Waterville,” Tim Pedro said, thanking the officers for their work.
During the meeting, council also:
• Learned that the fire department’s new truck is now detailed and ready for service. The Pierce pumper truck replaces a 1998 pumper that is becoming cost-ineffective to operate, and will be the first out for calls to fires and motor vehicle accidents, said Deputy Chief Zach Bingham. The vehicle was a planned expense this year. Last year, Waterville purchased a Pierce Velocity 100-foot ladder truck to replace a failing vehicle.
• Heard that a speed study is underway to consider reducing the speed limit on Waterville-Monclova Road between Farmview and Dutch Road from 45 mph to 35 mph. The Lucas County Engineer’s Office and Lucas County Board of Commissioners will need to sign off on any change, said administrator Jon Gochenour.
• Learned that unlimited refuse pickups are scheduled for Saturdays, June 11 and October 29 for Area A and June 18 and November 5 for Area B.
• Heard that Gochenour and Public Works Director Ken Blair met with a consultant to begin designing the Parker Square entrance wall that will include lighting, flags, a sidewalk and memorabilia from the old Waterville School, including bricks and architectural features. This will be added in a later phase. Construction on Phase 1 of Parker Square is to begin the week of Monday, April 18, weather permitting. A groundbreaking ceremony may be planned, Gochenour said.
• Learned that the SR 64/US 24 signal installation will need to await a week of 70-degree weather in order to apply the thermoplastic on the pavement and do painting of the intersection.
• Heard that the large chess board installed by Eagle Scout Jake Metzger in Conrad Park now has Adirondack chairs, landscaping and boxes to hold the chess pieces – all built by fellow Troop 101 Eagle Scout Corbin Fitzpatrick. The key to open the boxes with chess pieces will be available in the Waterville Branch Library.
• Heard that No Parking signs are being installed on North River Road near the Liberty House but that other parking areas on Farns-worth and Second Street will be marked.
• Heard council member Todd Borowski urge the police department to consider using social media to promote its officers’ successes as well as community programs.
• Heard Valvano say that officer Rob Canup retired after 30 years of service.
• Learned that Safety City is July 18-22.
• Heard that a Drug Take-Back is scheduled for Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Waterville Fire Depart-ment.
• Learned that Proudfoot Associates engineer Tom Yurysta is putting together a proposal and cost estimate for draining the area near the ball field at Waterworks Park. The city will look at adding dirt to the infield so it is ready for use.
• Discussed turn restrictions at the intersection of Mechanic Street and the Anthony Wayne Trail, which is slated for improvements this year.
• Listened to Pedro encourage residents to attend the Memorial Day ceremony at Wakeman Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 30. A presentation including the Anthony Wayne Marching Generals and Whitehouse American Legion will honor the fallen.
• Heard that the Fallen Timbers Union Cemetery District will be paving Whitehouse Cemetery in time for the Memorial Day ceremony in Whitehouse, which begins at 10:00 a.m.
• Held a first reading on an ordinance that would allow golf carts on city streets where the speed limit is 35 mph, excluding Michigan Avenue, SR 64, Mechanic Street and portions of Waterville-Monclova Road. Golf carts must have working lights, wipers, seatbelts and horns in order to get approval from the Waterville Police Department. Seven carts are currently registered in Waterville.
• Approved a $282,707 contract with Bowers Asphalt and Paving for pavement improvements to Continental Drive, Heritage Lane, Colonial Court and the alley between Farnsworth and South Street. Pavement rejuvenation is planned for streets that were paved last year
• Approved a $66,614 contract with Allied Paving to improve the Prairie Trail Park path and create an extension to Pray Boulevard. A new pedestrian crosswalk signal will be installed at Pray Boulevard and Waterville-Monclova.
• Approved participation in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s road salt program.