CLI putting its own spin on Kenilee Lanes

Zoe Greszler • Sep 25, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Kenilee Lanes has been a part of the Norwalk community for more than 55 years. CLI wants to keep it going and become a part of that history.

CLI, also known as Firelands Local, has started working with bowling alley owner Dwight Tkach to make his 14 E. Seminary St. business an even bigger part of the community. That means a makeover project for Kenilee Lanes, including replacing electrical equipment, light fixtures, taking out the ceiling to expose the beams and re-painting. More extensive renovations are planned for the future, including making the business wheel-chair accessible, adding a ramp and a downstairs restroom and possibly replacing the front of the business to be an open, glass front.

“It’s a pretty light remodel right now, but it should make a big visual impact,” CLI CEO John Schwartz said. “With the white, open ceiling that should make it seem a lot bigger in there. ... With 55 new lights going in, it’s going to be a lot brighter in here too.”

That doesn’t mean the bowling alley everyone knows and loves has to change.

“We’re going to keep it as a bowling alley and we’re still working with Dwight,” Schwartz said.

“He still owns the alley; we just want to kind of put our little take on it and then provide jobs for people with disabilities actually working in the alley. We’re definitely open for leagues and open bowling, just like it’s always been for the community since 1962 — we just want to be part of that.”

The adults with disabilities served by CLI will help “whatever job you can imagine in a bowling alley,” aside from those which require special training, such as with the pin-placement machines. But why a bowling alley in the first place? 

“I’ve always liked bowling alleys,” Schwartz said.

“There was a paper published called ‘Bowling Alone’ and it talked about how in the 50s and 60s there were all these bowling alleys and places that were community centers where people would get together and do things. Well there are fewer and fewer of those now and instead we’re all just kind of binge-watching on our own. It’s kind of like we’re all bowling alone, right?”

Schwartz said the project not only connects the community, it connects those with disabilities with the community and helps fund the CLI programming as well.

“A lot of times we try to find things that don’t exist and then we try to come up with them and create them,” he said, referring to 16W, the downtown Norwalk event center. “Which is fine, but then it’s also kind of cool to get something everybody already knows what it is and that they like to do it and offer that. Then that’s one more thing for people to do.

“And our mission is to get people connected to the community and the state system has changed a lot and mandated that if we don’t figure out how to get out in the community, they’re not going to allow us to keep doing what we’ve always done. Then too, this will allow us to diversify our income a little bit with providing people with jobs.”

The $40,000 project is expected to finish this week, in time for the bowling alley to reopen Oct. 1. 

Schwartz said CLI, which is a non-profit organization, intends to run things as they are for the rest of the year, “then see how it looks next year” for the business and budget for the more extensive wish-list projects.  


Bob Evans property sold

As part of a $3 million deal, the Norwalk Bob Evans property now has a new owner.

According to the Huron County Auditor’s Office real-estate sales, the 1.377-acre piece of land on which Bob Evans restaurant is located, at 4800 U.S. 250, was purchased by ARG BE23Porp02 LLC from the previous investor BER Real Estate Investments, LLC. The purchase was amounted to a whopping $3,141,304.30

“Is that a big number? You bet,” auditor Roland Tkach said. “That’s a really big number. We (the county) collect $2 for every thousand, so that means we’re collecting about $6,282.80 on that.”

Neither the new or former owners returned inquiring calls. However, Tkach said he doesn’t believe the sale will have an impact on the business.


Toll joins Shores and Islands team

SANDUSKY — Sandusky native Mackenzie Toll has joined Lake Erie Shores & Islands as their partner relations manager.

In this newly-created position, Toll will be the main liaison to tourism partners such as hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions. She will be responsible for welcoming new tourism-related businesses and sharing promotional opportunities with them and making sure current Lake Erie Shores & Islands partners are participating in programs and taking full advantage of their partnership.

A graduate of Perkins High School, Toll earned a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Dayton. Prior to joining the Shores & Islands team, she previously worked in sales at Cedar Point and Kings Island amusement parks. Toll is looking forward to engaging with our business community and discovering unique experiences to promote to Lake Erie Shores & Islands visitors. Partnership opportunities are available year-round; however the deadline to participate in the official travel guide for the region is Oct. 5.

Toll will be based out of the Sandusky location of Lake Erie Shores & Islands and can be reached at [email protected]


Dollar General opens in Huron

HURON — Dollar General’s newest store at 7525 Ohio 61 in Huron is now open. In its new location, Dollar General will offer area residents a convenient new place to shop for everyday essentials at low prices.

Dollar General will celebrate the store’s official grand opening at 8 a.m. Saturday with free prizes and special deals. Additionally, the first 50 adult shoppers at the store will receive a $10 Dollar General gift card and the first 200 shoppers will receive a Dollar General tote bag with complimentary product samples, among other giveaways.


Small business seminars

Two seminars scheduled for this week in the Cleveland area are designed to help small business owners.

One seminar involves information about how to start your own business.

Attendees will learn what it takes to succeed in starting your own business and what it takes to sustain a successful, long-term business. The necessity of business planning, sales, marketing and financial analysis will be discussed.

The seminar is at 10 a.m. Thursday at the U.S. Bank Building, 1350 Euclid Ave., Lower Level, Cleveland. The registration link is https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ef7tuvouf88c7de6&oseq=&c=&ch=.

If you are contemplating starting a small business or already own a small business and want to better understand financial statements, then a financial statements seminar may be for you.

The seminar is from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at 6161 Oak Tree Blvd., Suite 300, Independence. Attendees will learn what financial statements are, why they are important and how they are used in the process of running a business.

To register, go to: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=z8gaircab&oeidk=a07efooasgha59caace.

If you have registration problems, email [email protected] or call 216-522-4194.


New Lake Erie ferry honors matriarch

PUT-IN-BAY — Miller Ferries to Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island have contracted with Fraser Shipyards of Superior, Wisc. to build a new drive-on, drive-off passenger/vehicle ferry for delivery in fall 2019.

The new ferry will be delivered from Lake Superior to Lake Erie and the new home port of Put-in-Bay. The vessel will be christened Mary Ann Market in honor of the family matriarch and the company's late owner (1935-2010).

The new 140-foot long, 38.5-foot wide ferry will accommodate 26 standard sized vehicles or 600 passengers and will join Miller’s present fleet of four passenger/vehicle ferries. Miller Ferries operate between the peninsula of Catawba to Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) and also to Middle Bass Island, Ohio; two of Ohio's popular Lake Erie resort islands. The motor vessel Mary Ann Market will feature enhanced propulsion and maneuverability, a main deck ADA accessible passenger cabin and restroom and a 20 percent increase in cargo capacity over Miller’s largest vessel.

The vessel will be built in modules and assembled at Fraser Shipyards beginning fall 2018 and throughout 2019.

"We chose Fraser due to their enduring high quality, integrity, value and with consideration of recommendations from industry professionals including marine surveyors, lake Captains and engineers,” Miller Boat Line President Billy Market said.


Electric company providing relief

WELLINGTON — Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative is sending five linemen to help with power restoral efforts in North Carolina from hurricane Florence.

The crew left Friday morning with a bucket truck, derrick-digger, pole trailer and a pickup truck. They were headed to Wytheville, Va. on Friday to get further instructions and are scheduled to begin assisting South River Electric Membership Corporation (SREMC) in Dunn, N.C.

South River is an electric cooperative with 43,000 members. It is located about 40 miles south of Raleigh, NC.

Nearly 200 additional line personnel from Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois are bringing 154 vehicles to assist SREMC. Additionally, 68 tree experts from Louisiana will be supporting the Cooperative. South River has an in-field workforce of 66, including contractors.

Ohio’s mutual aid response is organized through the Ohio Electric Cooperatives Safety and Loss Control. A total of 54 line workers from 11 Ohio electric cooperatives left Friday morning to assist SREMC and Lumbee River Electric Membership Cooperative in eastern North Carolina.


Tax seminar Oct. 18

SANDUSKY — Payne Nickles & Company CPAs will hold a free tax seminar from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Kalahari Resorts, Indigo Bay Room.

This informative seminar will cover the most significant tax changes to the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. The revisions cover both individual and corporate changes. Light refreshments will be served. For additional information or reservations, call 419-668-2552.


Ohio businesses eligible for funds

The Ohio Development Services Agency’s Export Assistance Office is ready to help Ohio small and medium-sized businesses sell their goods and services overseas.

Recently, the state of Ohio was awarded $700,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) to offset the costs associated with international marketing initiatives through the Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program.

“Ohio businesses exported more than $50 billion of goods and services in 2017,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “By offsetting the high costs with doing business internationally, we can help more Ohio businesses reach new customers and increase sales.”

In the first five years of the program, 312 businesses have received funding to promote their products and services in international markets, resulting in more than $87 million in export sales.

“STEP, as well as SBA’s other export resources, are important tools for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs to expand into international markets,” SBA Region V Administrator Rob Scott said. “More than three-quarters of the world’s purchasing powers is outside of the United States. By tapping into global markets, small businesses are able to grow faster and are more likely to stay in business.”

The IMAGE program is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses increase exports and create jobs in Ohio’s economy. IMAGE is a 50-percent reimbursement program capped at $12,500 per eligible approved applicant. The 2019 IMAGE program will run through Sept. 29, 2019.

For more information or to apply, visit www.IMAGE.development.ohio.gov.


Clinic puts $17.8 billion in economy

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Clinic boosted the Ohio economy by $17.8 billion in 2016, according to the hospital system’s most recent economic impact report, “A Vital Force in Ohio’s Economy.”

The activities of Cleveland Clinic — the second largest employer in Ohio — supported 119,720 Ohio jobs in 2016, representing more than $7.5 billion in total earnings. Those earnings supported 87,540 households statewide, for a total of $5 billion in household spending.

“Cleveland Clinic is the economic engine of Northeast Ohio,” said Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic. “We are the largest employer, a major purchaser of goods and services, and a generator of tax revenues for government at every level. Our economic activity supports families, neighborhoods and community life. It brings opportunity and prosperity to the areas we serve.”

The 119,720 total jobs cited in the report reflect both direct jobs (58,610) and indirect jobs (61,110). Direct jobs include Cleveland Clinic physicians and employees, joint venture employees, on-campus hotel jobs, on-campus parking jobs and jobs existing at spin-off companies. Indirect jobs include those supported by industries purchasing from the hospital.

While most Cleveland Clinic operations are tax-exempt, billions of dollars in state, local and federal taxes can be attributed to the presence of the hospital – $2.25 billion in federal income taxes paid by employees and vendors and $987 million in state and local income, property and business taxes.

In addition, Cleveland Clinic purchased almost $1.8 billion of goods and services from Ohio businesses, while visitors contributed over $158 million to the state’s economy.

Cleveland Clinic produces economic impact reports every three years. This year’s report is based on 2016 data. Since the prior report in 2013, Cleveland Clinic’s statewide impact increased 41 percent, from $12.6 billion to $17.8 billion. The number of jobs increased 28 percent, from 93,560 to 119,720, while labor income increased 27 percent, from $5.9 billion to $7.5 billion.

Cleveland Clinic construction projects made a sizable contribution to the state and local economies. Between 2014 and 2016, The hospital invested nearly $808 million in real property improvements, including renovating existing structures, building new facilities and improving properties throughout the state. That investment supported nearly 3,200 construction jobs per year and exceeded $164 million in direct and indirect labor income, on average, over the three years. The average fiscal impact of Cleveland Clinic’s construction activity during the three-year period was nearly $24 million in state and local taxes and almost $35 million in federal taxes per year.


If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email it to [email protected]

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