A new year, a new Shelby County

By Alexandra Newman - [email protected]

SIDNEY — A very popular phrase we hear when a new year is upon us is, “New year, new me.” But what about all the stuff our local organizations and governmental entities are planning to do for us in 2016?

Sidney Mayor Michael Barhorst said the city council will continue to devote time to neighborhood revitalization including the downtown, increasing recreational opportunities and enhancing the entrances to the community.

“The city of Sidney will continue to make progress on the development of the well field, a $25 million project, as well as the improvements to the wastewater treatment plant ($12.5 million), continuation of the street paving program made possible by the 0.25 percent tax increase ($3.3 million), replacement of the Michigan Street Bridge over the CSX Railroad ($1.1 million), reconstruction of Fielding Road ($1 million), and a host of other projects that are less expensive but no less important,” he said.

Sidney-Shelby County YMCA CEO Ed Thomas said there is much to celebrate and look forward to at the Sidney-Shelby County Y in 2016.

“Central to our mission is our on-going commitment to strengthening families. Our Child Development Center is working on achieving its third star as part of the highest standards the state of Ohio “Step Up to Quality” program has to offer,” he said.

The Y is implementing new security measures, including electronic key pads, to better protect and safeguard the lives of children. The Youth Fun Center is also being outfitted with the latest in high tech virtual games designed to keep the kids active while having lots of fun.

“Two of our racquetball courts are being retrofitted as new unique fitness areas, one as a Mind, Body, Spirit Studio offering such classes as yoga and Pilates, and the other is designed to serve as a Functional Fitness area, where extreme workouts including heavy ropes, speed and heavy bags and Kettle Balls will all be available. Too many to list, but new programs are also being created in our aquatics, kinetics and youth sports departments,” Thomas said. “We wish everyone a happy, healthy and joyous New Year as we look forward to serving and meeting the spirit, mind and body needs of our community.”

Hardin-Houston Local Schools Superintendent Larry Claypool said the Hardin-Houston Local School District will continue to strive for academic excellence in 2016.

“It is also our goal to complete the proposed list of facility projects, including a newly constructed greenhouse, which will enable us to better equip our students for future success. In the upcoming year, we will endeavor to make our Wildcat community proud,” he said.

Jackson Center Local Schools is on schedule to break ground on a new school in April of 2016; and the village is beginning its plans to extend Hamer Street in anticipation of the construction access drive that will be added from Hamer, running parallel to the railroad tracks along the east side of the project.

Anna Local Schools is in the process of trying to renovate their buildings. They will place a levy on the March ballot to get funds for this project. It will also be partially funded by the state.

Subdivisions are being worked on in the communities of Anna, Botkins and Fort Loramie.

The Young Street project in Anna is about 75 percent done. It will be finished sometime in the spring of 2016.

The village of Fort Loramie is working on developing its park and its Main Street area.

Two acts have been booked for the 2016 Shelby County Fair, which will run from July 20-30, 2016. Absolute Journey Tribute band will be performing Thursday, July 28, at 8 p.m. in the free entertainment tent. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound are slated to perform Friday, July 29, at 8 p.m. Also at the fair, children will be able to do poultry projects again.

“Because the ban’s been lifted, (4-H members) can continue with their poultry projects; but OSU extension has suggested they do (an additional) project, because at any time, the ban could be reinstated,” Shelby County Ohio State University (OSU) Extension Director Laura Brown said. “In the spring is the bird migration. If there’s an outbreak in Ohio or a neighboring state, (poultry) projects won’t be honored at the fair this year.”

During the 2015 Shelby County Fair, children who had been raising poultry were permitted to present posters about their projects. That will not be the case if the ban is reinstated for 2016.

Organizers of Country Concert 2016, scheduled for July 7-9, have booked several old favorites and some new faces to perform at the popular festival. Eric Church will headline the Saturday talent line-up with a 10 p.m. performance on the main stage. Dierks Bentley will anchor the Friday line-up at the same time. Tickets for performances and for camping are available at www.countryconcert.com. For information, call 295-3000.


By Alexandra Newman

[email protected]

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN