Our sesquicentennial year encompassed this theme the entire year through.
Remembering the past:
The anniversary committee paid tribute to our past by having a wreath-laying ceremony in remembrance of our local Veterans in May, followed by historical reenactments. The sentiment continued the following week during the Memorial Day activities. In August, Monroeville residents proudly organized a “Remembering the Fallen” tribute to veterans. Finally, in December, I had the privilege of observing this honor again as wreaths were laid at all of our war memorials in conjunction with the national wreath laying ceremonies. Monroeville continues to take great pride in our nation and her sons and daughters of the armed forces, past and present.
As solemn as those events were, many Monroevillians had a lot of fun remembering our past, as well. In March, the Monroeville Community Players put on an entire weekend of sold-out performances acknowledging some of the “characters” who played a part in how Monroeville came to be, back in it’s earliest days. Men and women of all ages represented our village quite well as the Monroeville Brewers and the Monroeville Belles each, quite handedly, out scored their opponents in vintage games of base ball. 2018 was a year to remember!
Celebrating the present:
New “Celebrate Monroeville” banners were purchased and displayed. Council also approved the purchase of new welcome signs for the entrances to Monroeville, which we will see this spring. Adding beauty to our wonderful village was the additional Christmas displays added to Commons Park this year. They were well-received by the community and were quite the calling-card beckoning onlookers to the festive display.
Aesthetic improvements weren’t the only improvements made this year. We witnessed the first full year of solar power usage courtesy of the Monroeville Solar Park. Having this addition to our energy portfolio gives more stability to us as a village. (Energy data can be found on our village website.) Speaking of village stability, an emergency water interconnection project was also completed with Northern Ohio Rural Water, ensuring a safe water supply in case of an unforeseen emergency.
As always, the safety of our community and employees continue to be forefront in our minds and decision-making. In an effort to make our main intersections safer for emergency vehicles and our citizens, a pre-emptive system to alert and stop traffic when emergency vehicles are approaching was activated. With safety in mind, we added new red light and speed cameras. The installation of guard rail on North Street, along with extending the sidewalks on both North Street and Ridge Street, will also improve the safety of our community. A weather apparatus, positioned on the roof of the administrative building, is closely monitored for serious weather. The public, too, can observe the data by following the link on the village website.
Other major improvements our village saw this year include the new windows at the water treatment plant and the replacement of all street, stop, warning and caution signs. These signs were received through a grant from the state of Ohio and will make the village compliant with new ODOT regulations set for 2019. Keeping our village compliant with all of the expanding EPA rules and regulations, lab instruments for the water treatment plant and waste water treatment plant were upgraded.
In addition to physical improvements, all of our village employees have been participating in continuing education and/or attending seminars in their individual fields of expertise. Also of importance, monthly and progressive safety meetings continue to be held, along with quarterly meetings, involving cross training with other municipalities. We are blessed, as a village, to have such dedicated, knowledgeable and caring employees. As a small token of our appreciation to them for everything that they do, village council and the mayor celebrated them by hosting a luncheon to express our gratitude.
As a community, we weren’t deterred by weather that tried to stifle our Sesquicentennial Celebration Weekend. Instead, we rallied, we worked harder and enjoyed each other … together. The year of 2018 celebrated US … the impressive little village with the gigantic heart. We are proud of our village, and rightfully so. We count the people who live and work here as our most important asset. 2018 was a year to remember.
Bringing hope and preparedness to the future:
The new year often affords us a time to look ahead to the future. 2018 saw us making those plans, as well. As an example, a portion of the new downtown LED light conversion was completed as part of our long-term strategy for continued improvement of energy efficiency. We also completed an inventory of all the components of the water distribution system. This asset management project is the first phase for a new village-wide water and sewer mapping system. Finally, and most excitedly, council started making progressive steps toward a new municipal complex for the future. 2018 was a year to remember.
Yes, 2018 was truly a year to celebrate. Remembering the past, celebrating the present and bringing hope and preparedness into the future, in order to guide us to an even better 2019 and beyond.
Happy 150th, Monroeville. Here’s to a prosperous future.
This is one in a series of columns by local public officials and business leaders. We asked them to share their thoughts, along with the goals and challenges for 2019.