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Rehab work on Ford Club readies new company headquarters
By Beth Church
The historic Ford Club building in downtown Rossford will be the new home of Industrial Power Systems (IPS).
“The Ford Club is a beautiful, stately building,” Mayor Neil MacKinnon III announced at the July 11 meeting of Rossford City Council. “[It] is going to be returned to its grandeur.”
IPS officials contacted the city about moving their headquarters, across the street from 129 Dixie Highway.
“This has been one of the things at the top of my list as mayor,” he explained. “Everybody loves this building, and I’ve shown it to anybody who would look at it.”
The mayor said the building is structurally sound, but “the facade, the moldings, the fascia and the steps have deteriorated.”
Asbestos remediation currently is taking place.
“Most of the renovations are interior, so they should be able to move pretty quickly,” he said, adding that IPS is expected to relocate by summer 2017.
The old Libbey-Owens-Ford administrative building, adjacent to the Ford Club, is scheduled for demolition next Monday.
“That will be used for green space and a parking lot,” Mayor MacKinnon said.
Plans to place the building on the National Historic register are under way.
The building was constructed by Edward Ford as a place for employees to socialize, and includes a ballroom on the second floor.
“This is our crown jewel on main street,” he said. “Rossford has great momentum right now.”
The building is owned by Kevin Heban and Silvio Veluscek, who have a signed purchase contract with IPS, the mayor said.
IPS is seeking another company to locate on the second floor of the structure, which has about 10,000 square feet available.
The mayor said the project represents a $3 million investment.
With annual revenues more than $100 million, IPS is a market leader in the construction industry. The company offers expertise in general construction, construction management, mechanical, electrical, piping, rigging, millwright, fabrication, HVAC and HVAC service to the manufacturing, health care, institutional, power, food and refining industries.
The company has more than 400 employees. Founded in Toledo in 1985, IPS is privately owned and has another office in Lima.
Street Sweeper Purchased
Council approved the purchase of a re-conditioned street sweeper at a cost not to exceed $100,000.
Council member Caroline Zuchowski Eckel said the public works committee, which she chairs, discussed options for the 1993 sweeper that is out of service with a repair estimate of $62,000.
Lacal Equipment has a rebuilt 2009 street sweeper available for $95,000, which compares to $185,000 for a new model.
Tyler Kolb, public works superintendent, has inspected the 2009 sweeper and found it suitable for the city’s use.
Council had previously debated options for sharing equipment with another nearby city.
However, Finance Director Karen Freeman said Perrysburg Township uses a sweeping service and Oregon is not interested in sharing equipment.
Mayor MacKinnon said he would contact other local cities to verify if there is interest. If not, the purchase of the reconditioned sweeper would be made.
In a related matter, Council member Eckel also said that a backhoe and Bobcat are also not working.
The public works committee recommended that an equipment committee be formed for the city to keep track of all equipment condition and age and set a replacement schedule.
In other business, council:
•Heard a recommendation from Mr. Kolb that “B” dock at the marina be re-decked next year and the wall docks should be painted.
•Heard from Mrs. Freeman that the city has received a price of $39.77 per ton of road salt for the fall.
“That’s lower than we can remember in the past few years,” she added.
•Heard from that Clark, Schaffer, Hackett LLC has been retained to do a fraud assessment risk study on cash handling within city offices, beginning July 25.
“The study will identify any areas where there are opportunities to mishandle cash receipts and suggest ways to improve controls if needed,” said Councilman Moe Minarcin, who chairs the finance committee.
The cost of the study will not exceed $3,500.
•Learned that the recreation center will be closed August 18 and 19 due to a lack of water service while the fire suppression system is being repaired.
•Heard that Mike Logan has been hired in the public works department. A civil service test will be given August 20 to fill a second position. The deadline to apply to take the test is August 3.
•Set the hourly pay rate for the parks and recreation assistant director at $16.84.
•Received a letter from John Vargo of Eagle Point Road, thanking the public works employees for trimming a tree on Highland Drive and repairing a sidewalk in the neighborhood.
•Heard from Paul Nawrocki of Schreier Road that sidewalks should be installed on Elmtree Road.
He noted that the Hillside Drive project required sidewalks and encouraged council to assess Elmtree residents to fund the cost of the project.
Council member Eckel said that the sewer work taking place on Elmtree, necessitating road reconstruction, is a project of the Northwestern Water and Sewer District.
She said costs are being obtained for adding sidewalks.
•Heard a suggestion from Erin Crawford of Bruns Drive that other events should be held in conjunction with Chautauqua, such as a farmers market, flea market or “taste of Rossford.”
“I would like to see Rossford benefit more,” she added.
•Met Walbridge Mayor Ed Kolonko who is running for Wood County commissioner and Jason Hartigan who is running for Wood County treasurer.
Council’s next meeting is 7 p.m., Monday, July 25, at the municipal building, 133 Osborn Street, and is open to the public.
The historic Ford Club building will be the new company headquarters of IPS, which is moving across Dixie Highway.
The Journal office in Perrysburg now has the following new hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
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