Amherst News-Times, 2002-10-16
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The Quarryman plans visit here — Page 3 Halloween festivities set — Pe Amherst News-Time O H- O O o uo x x r— 00 M M C <J1 O O ■* X 00 < X M cr m m Vi r— (/) s> 3 H M J> o ^ ■J) <s> > h rj < o ^ m 2> is WEDNESDAY, October 1ft, 2002 AMHERST, OHIO o X 00 ro I Business owners cry foul over early pay by JASON HAWK News-Time* reporter Members of downtown Amherst businesses have expressed anger at the way city auditor Diane Eswine chose to distribute downtown revita- lization funds. At a monthly meeting of the Amherst Downtown and Betterment Association, members said that Es- wine's early delegation of state funds to one business owner was not fair. Eswine made $10,249 in state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds available to Dave Coffman, owner of Sandy's Tax & Financial Services, TJ.'s Framing, and Mary's Bird World. She said she reimbursed him with state funds within 48 hours of completing work on his building because he said he had a financial need. The CDBG money matches (up to $10,000) expenditures by business owners to fix up downtown areas and give buildings repairs and aesthetic improvements. Usually funds must be cleared with the state and provided to the city before being dispersed — a four- to six-week period. In this case, the monies were reimbursed within 48 hours. Members of the ADBA said that this wasn't equal treatment. Eswine said she bypassed the normal policy to accommodate the business owners' need. "I think I have the legal right to do that,*' she said. "I feel that is my judgement call to make.*' She said that the city has a responsibility to help its residents, and that in this case, she had the opportunity. "Everybody always accuses auditors of being bean counters, and not being responsive to the needs that are here. I see myself as being more than just a bean counter," she said. Eswine addressed the concerns of downtown business owners in a statement at the Oct 3 ADBA meeting. "As a responsible steward of the city, if there is a serious financial problem that has arisen, the auditor can review the situation and address the issue of expediting payment. "The purpose of the CDBG program is to help the downtown bu sinesses to become more fiscally viable. It would be counterproductive for the city to be blind to a potentially damaging financial situation for a business person simply to get a few more dollars in interest from the city's money,*' she said in a short speech to assembled ADBA members. "It is within the authority to use his/her judgement to determine when an exception needs to be CONTINUED on page 5 Vandals cost Drapery Decor owner windows by JASON HAWK News-Times reporter Downtown business owner Mary Phillips is angry. Phillips, who owns and operates Drapery Decor & More on Park Ave., got a nasty surprise Monday, Oct 7, when an early morning employee phoned to inform her that two faces of her storefront windows had been broken out. "My first thought was that it happened because of a bar fight," said Phillips, who found a broken beer bottle on the sidewalk under the damaged windows. "I've heard people ■ay that there are two downtown Amhersu — the daytime one and the nighttime one," she said. "I know that there are fights in town at night from the bars." Initially reluctant to clean up the damage because she feared that removing the evidence would erase valuable clues for police, Phillips did some investigation of her own. Looking closely at the glass, she found what appeared to be small BB gun marks in the glass, and discarded the bar fight theory, she said. Police later told Phillips that BBs leave a perfectly round hole all the way through glass, and the marks did not match those indications. They told her the damage was most likely caused by concrete being thrown at the glass, although Phillips said no foreign objects were found inside the store or in the window showcases. With nobody to blame yet, the window repairs and replacements will cost her $600. Phillips also said she was afraid that the vandalism would cause her insurance to rise. Phillips has been specializing in custom window treatments at her Park Ave. location since 1993, and although this is the first time she has had problems with vandalism, she said several other local businesses have had similar occurrences. The owner of the nieghboring CONTINUED on page 7 Boys and ghouls just want to have fun Friends (from left to right, bottom to top) Madyson, Mark, Mariah, Blake, Tyler, and Vinny hang out with the decorations at 882 Cleveland Ave. on their day off school last Friday. Families up and down the street and all around town are busy decorating for the Halloween season with pumpkins, hay stalks, colorful festive ar rangements, and scary monster props. Amherst kids will get to enjoy the decorations during the annual Trick-or-Treating event on Sunday, Oct. 27. There will also be a Halloween parade that day at 4:30 p.m. Sewer system update to cost city by JASON HAWK I News-Times reporter Amid continuing questions about water and sewer cost increases, mayor John Higgins made a statement this week to clarify the issue. According to Higgins, rising costs are intended to compensate for the cost of constructing a new wastewater treatment plant ' The $11 million building project is the direct result of threats of prosecution from the Environmental Protection Agency, which has declared that Amherst is in violation of EPA regulations for proper disposal of sewage. "We want to avoid having the EPA lower the boom on us," said Higgins, who also stated that in accordance with state law, the EPA could fine Amherst $25,000 each day until the regulation breaches are corrected. "I believe that the state attorney general had. already started to move against us, but the fact that the city started to take steps to comply stayed,the fines," he said. City council voted unanimously on all recent ordinances related to the project, including measures to seek funding, to seek contracting work, and to have a $40,000 manual written for the future facility. But with a budget in decline, city officials are forced to find a way to fund the extensive wastewater treatment plant project Higgins said that in addition to seeking grants and loans, the city has gradually raised water and sanitary sewer charges over the past two years in a three- step program. "Our hope is that by starting out early, we'll build up a surplus of a few million dollars that will help offset the costs we'll see," said Higgins. "That way, we won't have to CONTINUED on page 7 Baker believes in using the best by JASON HAWK Newa-Times reporter Well, South Amherst resident Marilyn Miller sure gets my nomination for "Super Grandma" status. Miller bakes her award-winning pies, cookies, and breads every Wednesday and babysits six lucky grandchildren every Thursday. "My family doesn't ever seem to get tired of sweets," she laughed when I talked to her last Friday in her toasty little kitchen. And who can blame them? I wouldn't get tired of eating baked foods whipped up by the woman who won 22 ribbons this year at the Lorain County Fair. Miller won bint ribbons for her blueberry jelly, strawberry freezer jam, peach freezer jam, nut cake, carrot cake, angel food cake, tpvngr cake, pumpkin rolls, holiday bread, rolled cookies, and filled cookie*. She also won first place in the "any other" cakes category. And let's not even get into the second place and third place ribbons she grabbed. So what's so great about her Mking? "Everything's made from Miller told me. "I pick all CONTINUED on page 5 —*?*?*| r B% *"^ ^ ■"."'.' ^A l Y y-i«e*i*—" ^_ \_ ■PW \w ■' > ■ "lUSHr-fl -y rmm ;£_.., '3H Marilyn Miner has a shoebox filled to the brim with Lorain County Fair ribbons that one's won for her baking, sewing, palming, and photogra- phy entries over tha past 30 years. APD has free locks for guns The Amherst police department is presenting a special child safety program called "Operation Gunlock" next week. The program is intended to create awareness of the need for gun owners to protect young children from death and injury from the misuse of firearms. With proof of residency, Amherst residents may pick up a free gun lock and literature on gun safety any time between Wednesday, Oct 23 and Sunday, Oct 27 at the Amherst police deoartinent The gunlocks are limited and will be distributed on a first- come, first served basil. Only one gunlock per residence will be given out The police i that residents do not bring fire- anns to the station. The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Foundation, through a grant from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, sponsor the Operation Gunlock program statewide. National statistics show that every seven hours, a child i 19 yean of age dies from a gun-related incident At I four times that many sm daily in emergency facUites for ftrearm-related injuries. Through Operation Gunlock, the Amherst police < seeks loi developing sale handling and storage procedures for all gun* ini
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 2002-10-16|
|Date of Original||16-OCT-2002|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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