Movie Night

Tonight, Friday, is movie night at the Paulding Water Park. Movie starts at 9:00. The movie is “Frozen” by Disney. Doors opoen at 8:30. Appears is will be a good night for the movie. You can bring flotation devices. There is a I believe a $3.00 dollar admission and concession stand will be open I believe.

Disastrous For The Environment

We need to move to renewable energy immediately and quit allowing people, like the governor, who are tied to the oil and coal companies to control our destiny. We as citizens must immediately demand this issue be reversed at the state level and as a nation demand a move to renewable energy. It is time for ACTION or we will not have a planet that will support our lives as we know it today. There is global warming, if you do not believe, then just look outside. This issue was buried in a 1200 page budget bill.
The issue of set backs was just an opportunity for him to move on his agenda, when the issue should have and could have been debated immediately. This issue of renewable energy should not be debated on the basis of $$ and jobs because if we do not move towards renewable energy sources we will eventually not a an economy that will support any of us. By the way, June 2014 was the hottest June on record.
Further, utilizing 22% of renewable energy by the year 2025. We should not be satisfied with that goal, but at at least be able to match Germany’s current 74%. Germany has a populatiion density of 598 people per square mile and the U.S. has 79 per square mile. Germany has learned to live with the technologies of renewable energy and realize the need for it – so let’s quit stalling the inevitable.

Ohio governor signs bill freezing renewable-energy standards

Ohio governor was heavily lobbied by state Chamber of Commerce, utilities and conservative activists. (Gary Landers/AP)
BY STEVEN MUFSON AND TOM HAMBURGER June 13
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) dashed the hopes of environmentalists, leading manufacturers and renewable-energy businesses Friday and signed a bill shelving requirements for utilities to ramp up the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Ohio has been a battleground over whether to roll back 2008 legislation requiring the state to acquire 12.5 percent of its energy portfolio from renewables and to reduce energy consumption by 22 percent by 2025.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the utility First Energy and the American Legislative Exchange Council pushed to roll back the standards. On the other side, 51 manufacturers, including Owens-Corning, Whirlpool, Honeywell and Honda, signed a letter urging Kasich to let the requirements stand.

Supporters of the standards hoped that Kasich — who has praised the Ohio jobs generated by the renewable-energy industry and backed tough regulations on fracking chemicals and gas leaks — would veto the state legislature’s bill freezing and reevaluating the standards. Instead, he signed it in private; as of early evening, he had issue Read the full post »

Rolling back renewables in Ohio

From the Ohio Democratic Party

Ohio may not be first in the nation for job growth, education funding, or supporting local communities – but thanks to Gov. Kasich and the Republicans, we are first for something.

With Kasich signing SB 310, Ohio became the first state in the country to freeze the renewable energy and efficiency standards that have been working for Ohio since 2008.

Not only does this move shirk our responsibility to leave Ohio a better place for future generations while ignoring middle class families’ need for affordable energy bills, it risks the 25,000 Ohio jobs that have been created since the standard passed six years ago.

In fact, American Electric Power has already announced that a project to create 4,000 family-sustaining jobs in the next four years has been put on hold.

Is this what we want Ohio to be known for?

It has never been more clear that Republicans are looking out for themselves – not everyday Ohioans. They don’t care that Ohio families need affordable utility bills; that our natural resources must be protected; and that Ohio may now lose 21st century “green collar” jobs to neighboring states.

– Meredith Tucker, Communications Director, Ohio Democratic Party

Will Paulding County see any more new wind farms?

Article published in the June 25 Paulding County Progress:
By JOE SHOUSE
Progress Staff Writer
PAULDING — Within the past few weeks, the future for wind energy in Paulding County and neighboring Van Wert County has most likely taken on a new look. Two recent changes from Columbus may reverse the future countryside scenery for several proposed #windfarms in Paulding County.

However, more important than the change of scenery will be the financial impact and potential loss of income. Wind farm revenue has been responsible for benefiting schools as well as several county and township entities.

On Friday, June 13, Senate Bill 310 was signed into law by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, putting a two-year hiatus on renewable-energy standards in the state. Then Monday, June 16, Kasich put his signature on House Bill 483 without using a line item which would have eliminated stiffer requirements for setbacks of wind turbines from property lines.

EDP Renewables, which operates the Timber Road II Wind Farm, will be forced to shelve their next two phases for clean renewable energy.

“We have two projects we want to build but will need to shelve for now,” said Erin Bowser, director of Project Management. “Our permits are approved by the siting board and we have everything we need to proceed. What we don’t have is a contract with a utility to buy the power. And with the two-year freeze we won’t have a contract due to the standard changes.”

Timber Road II is Ohio’s first industrial scale wind farm consisting of 55 wind turbines producing 99 mega watts of clean renewable energy. In 2013, Timber Road II provided approximately $1.3 million. With the passage of Senate Bill 310 and House Bill 483, the county could lose $2.6 in projected new income.

“With the freeze and changes taking place, it basically takes away from us the ability to market our product,” said Bowser.

State Representative Tony Burkley, supporter of the wind farms said, “The thought was that a review be made concerning the previous standards and how they are being met. I certainly would have preferred not to go with the two-year moratorium. This is certainly not going to benefit Paulding or Van Wert county,” he concluded.

While no official announcement has been made concerning the future of locally constructed wind farms by Iberdrola Renewables, Project Developer Dan Litchfield said on Tuesday, June 17, “We are disappointed with the two recent changes in Ohio’s energy policy, both their substance and the process by which the setback requirements were changed. The setback provision specifically had no opportunity for public comment or input.”
Iberdrola Renewables has 37 turbines in Paulding County with a total of 152 within the entire Blue Creek wind farm project.

“This is the fourth attempt in three years to make changes and get this particular bill passed. The setback change was done a little sneaky. The budget bill was a 1,200-page document and the setback provision was stuck on the last page. There was no opportunity for testimony or comment,” said Litchfield.

Ohio law says turbines had to be 1,250 feet away from the nearest inhabited residence. The new revision of House Bill 483 now states turbines must be 1,250 from the nearest property line.

The new setbacks will make any new wind farm difficult to design. Of the 150 turbines at Blue Creek Wind Farm, only 12 would adhere to the new law. But even with the new setback distances in force, Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite stated that property owners could still proceed if a waiver was signed.

“If somebody wants to waive that stipulation, they may. (You would only lose that many turbines) only if nobody waives their rights,” Hite pointed out.

Hite voted in favor of both measures.

Litchfield said, “We are currently assessing our options for future investment in Ohio, but there’s no question that more investment in Ohio just became a much riskier proposition. We’ve made no decisions on Ohio. We are discussing and evaluating our options. It’s frustrating but it appears that for Ohio everything looks almost impossible.”

A statement directly from the American Wind Energy Association was harsher in tone, quoting AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan as saying that Kasich and the legislature “are creating an unfriendly business environment in Ohio.”
Kiernan went on to say, “Legislators rammed through restrictive rules without due process, and millions of dollars already invested based on the previous set of rules may now be lost without any public debate. This will force clean energy developers and manufacturers to move to neighboring states with similar resources and friendlier business climates.”

Sen. Hite, a wind energy-backer, explained that with changes in the marketplace, perhaps having 25 percent of the state’s energy coming from renewable energy by 2025 needed to be reexamined.

“It was time to have another look at exactly what we were doing with our in-state standards and making sure that the average Ohioan is getting the best bang for their buck,” Hite shared.

“That was the purpose of this. Things have changed since we set up those standards. We didn’t know about natural gas and the supply that exists today. That has kind of changed the game a little bit as far as what does give the best bang for your buck. It’s a competitive game and a it’s market game and we have to look at it and try to find out what is the best we can do for Ohioans. So to have a pause for a couple of years is not a bad thing.”

Hite noted that Blue Creek will be grandfathered in to the new rules. Actually, any wind farm approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board currently qualifies to be built. Any changes to the specifics of the development cannot be changed without being brought under the new measurements for setbacks.

Hite concluded simply, “I’m not as optimistic for new projects as I was a year or two ago.”

“This is an Ohio job killer, pure and simple,” wrote Mark Goodwin, president of Apex Clean Energy. With the setback requirement, he wrote, Apex “will have no choice but to take its investment and its business elsewhere. Given the need to find new carbon-free sources of electricity in Ohio, we cannot imagine a worse time to send wind energy companies packing.”

Whether Iberdrola comes to the same conclusion remains to be seen. In a statement, the AWEA said, “The American wind industry has generated major economic benefits for Ohio, which ranks first in the nation for the number of wind energy manufacturing facilities with more than 60 in the state.

“Yet there was no opportunity for the regulators at the Ohio Power Siting Board, nor a single wind company operating or developing in Ohio, to comment or provide testimony on this matter during its short one-week consideration in the General Assembly…

“Gov. John Kasich and the Legislature abandoned $2.5 billion in current wind energy projects, which now face cancellation along with jobs, leases, payments to local governments, and orders for factories, over a needlessly restrictive setback requirement that Kasich signed into law.”

– Additional reporting by Ed Gebert, DHI Media

State offering grants for park projects

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is now accepting applications for grant funding assistance for local park projects through the state NatureWorks Grant Program. Before the end of this year, ODNR will be awarding $3.9 million to local communities all across the state to assist in providing Ohioans with enhanced outdoor opportunities.

The Ohio General Assembly recently allocated nearly $8 million to the NatureWorks Program for the next two fiscal years, FY 14 and FY 15. ODNR is currently offering half of these funds for local park projects, awarded projects can be started as early as spring 2015.

NatureWorks funding is available for cities, villages, counties, townships, park districts and conservancy districts interested in securing funds to assist with local park projects. Applicants and project scopes must meet the eligibility requirements under the NatureWorks Program, and all applications for the NatureWorks grant program must be postmarked by Sept. 1, 2014.

The NatureWorks grant application can be found at: ohiodnr.gov/realestate.

The Ohio Parks and Natural Resources Fund (State Issue No. 1) was passed by voters on Nov. 3, 1993. Additional legislation authorized the creation of the NatureWorks program. This is the 21st round for NatureWorks grants.

MVPO Wants You To Get Involved – Transportation Survey

Maumee Valley Planning Organization is putting together a multi-modal Long Range Transportation Plan for the 5-county region made up of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding and Williams Counties. They are currently seeking input about transportation in the region through a short transportation opinion survey to help shape the plan.

Please follow this link to take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y2C9PCK or visit MVPO’s website: http://mvpo.org/transportation.html and click “Take the Survey”.

Long Range Transportation Plan 2015-2040
Maumee Valley Planning Organization is currently developing a rural long range regional transportation plan for Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, and Williams Counties with a horizon year of 2040. The plan is being funded in part by a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation to review existing transportation conditions and propose improvements. The plan will be multi-modal and encompass traffic volumes, accidents, road and bridge conditions, rail crossings and train characteristics, environmental issues, recreational trails, population areas including age and environmental justice areas, and other areas pertaining to transportation and planning for the region.

Get involved! MVPO wants to hear from YOU about transportation needs in the region to help shape our Long Range Plan.

Zoning Ordinance

OPEN STORAGE, ZONING ORDINANCE OF PAULDING
Zoning ordinance number 656, enacted under chapter 713 of the Ohio Revised Code. ordinance adopted by the Village of Paulding, Ohio, February 16, 1970.

Section 90.10′ H:

OPEN STORAGE PROHIBITED – Boats,tractors, airplanes, trucks,mobile homes, trailers, snow plows and other equipment and supplies may be permitted on residential lot PROVIDED THEY ARE STORED IN AN ENCLOSED STRUCTURE.

Comment on US24 Safety

The following comment was made by a blog reader:

Christine Stockman
I am very curious how long we are going to sit by and not do anything to prevent the accidents happening on St Rt 24 from our intersections in Paulding County? After my cousin, Ron Roth was killed at the intersection of St Rt 24 and CR 87, I thought, “well, it’s fairly new and he had driven that way for many, many years, so he simply wasn’t thinking.” Then, I believe the girl from Antwerp was the next victim. At that time, I asked my husband, former Paulding County Engineer, Mark Stockman, what he would do. Without hesitating, he told me he would put rumble strips at the intersections before St Rt 24. I mentioned this online to some people and the response I got, from I believe (but I’m not sure) the Paulding County Commissioners was that it was up to the State to do that. I told them they would wait many, many years if they were going to wait on the State. There is no reason why your Engineer and the Commissioners cannot put rumble strips on County Roads. They belong to the county and can be put on anytime by the Engineer if they feel it is necessary for safety’s sake. I’m sure I will hear answers like, “there is no money in the budget for this”. Well, let me tell you, that you can forfeit 1 or 2 miles of paving and put that off for another year in order to keep the people in Paulding County safe. C’mon… we can’t lose any more people because of laziness of the elected officials of Paulding County.

Community Improvements

Eagle River CIC

Definitions: Business Retention and Expansion

Business Retention and Expansion – Healthy communities have strong, healthy businesses. As competition among communities for increasingly footloose businesses heats up, business retention programs have become the most popular economic development efforts of communities nation-wide. While retention programs emerged in response to business defections and the negative impacts those defections have on the local economy, they have increased in importance as communities recognized that real job growth over time comes from local business expansion. Surveys of U.S. economic development organizations rank it as the number one economic development activity.

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