2022 State of the
Village OF FREDERICKTOWN
Mayor Jerry Day
Much like most small municipalities in this part of the Midwest in 2021, the Village of Fredericktown returned to a “business as usual” format while still operating under the ongoing threat of the pandemic. While we were forced to close our office at the Municipal Building in 2020, like most other businesses in this area, we figured out how best to work around COVID without closing the office throughout 2021. We deeply appreciate the patience our residents and merchants have demonstrated over the past two years as we have attempted to navigate our way through the virus, keeping our customers and employees as safe as possible in the process. Shops and restaurants remained open throughout the year and we even had several new businesses open downtown in 2021.
Most local residents and merchants would agree that a highlight of 2021 for the Village of Fredericktown was securing the additional grant funding required to complete the Fredericktown Streetscape Project in 2023. This is the second of two grants for downtown revitalization from the Ohio Department of Transportation and this grant funding will cover 95% of the construction costs of the $1.4 million dollar Streetscape Project. This project will extend from the south side of the Public Square to Mill Street. These improvements will primarily entail: widening streets and sidewalks; creating safer on-street parking; replacing traffic lights with more reliable and decorative LED lighting; replacing street lights with historically decorative gas-light styled LED lighting; replacing overgrown trees; replacing benches with a more aesthetically pleasing look; and replacing aged trash receptacles. In addition to the aforementioned downtown infrastructure improvements, Village Council is exploring the possibility of partnering with other area agencies in an effort to create a Downtown Revitalization District and assisting in locating funding sources that may help with offsetting the cost of façade improvements of privately owned structures in the downtown business corridor. Council’s goal with this endeavor is to make downtown more accessible and more inviting to all, whether it be local residents or those traveling from outside the community – we want Fredericktown to be a safe and desirable destination for all.
One of our most noticeable projects of 2021 was the remodeling of the Senior Citizens’ Center on the northeast corner of the Public Square. These improvements included replacing carpeting, ceiling tile, tables and chairs so the seniors may continue to enjoy their luncheons, euchre, and other senior events for decades to come. The facility will also serve as a venue for Council Meetings, with seating for an audience of up to forty, and a maximum occupancy of seventy-seven persons. This improved facility will encourage the public to participate at the local government level. Council sees this improvement as a win-win, both for the seniors and also for the rest of the community.
Each year, the Village carries out a paving project and in 2021, the Village partnered with the Knox County Engineer’s Office on its 2021 Street Improvements. These improvements consisted of milling and paving a shared portion of Mount Vernon Avenue, all of West College Street, all of Mill Street, and we partnered with the Knox County Engineer on the maintenance and repairs to the Mill Street Bridge. This project was made possible through a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission covering 71% of the construction costs of this $200,430 project. When government agencies can partner on such projects as this, the taxpayers benefit greatly in costs savings.
We are excited to announce that the Knox County Commissioners have graciously committed to sharing up to $855,000 in federal funding with the Village, and this funding was made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These ARPA funds are designated strictly toward the completion of two crucial Village projects and the Village will expend its own $264,000 of ARPA funding on these projects as well. The first of these projects to be funded will be the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency mandated Sewer Separation Project, which is designed to intercept rainwater before it enters our Waste Water Treatment Plant. This stormwater interception process will save the utility customers tens of thousands of dollars per year in operating expenses. Secondly, this generous contribution from the County Commissioners will enable the Village to complete the High Street Water Tower Rehab Project. This project will entail sandblasting, painting and making essential repairs and safety modifications to the nearly century-old High Street Water Tower. We plan on completing both of these projects in 2022 and we are excited to get this historical landmark restored, which will also add decades of useful life to the structure as well.
The Village made two significant staffing changes in 2021. Tracey Myers was appointed Chief of Police in December. Chief Myers recently retired from the Westerville Police Department and he brings more than thirty-five years of law enforcement experience and is looking forward to leading the Fredericktown Police Department staff into the future. Also, Matt Thompson was promoted to Service Department Foreman in 2021. Matt has been working in our Service Department for nearly fifteen years and he has both a wealth of knowledge and a good rapport with the Fredericktown community in relation to roadway and utility matters.
Village Council is embracing the challenges they will face in 2022, as we continue to make public improvements throughout the Village, partnering with public and private agencies whenever possible. The goal as we move into the future will be to continue to improve the quality of life for those living in, working in, and visiting the Village of Fredericktown.