WILMINGTON — City Service Director Brian Shidaker said Building Department data show that Wilmington is heading in the right direction as it seeks to bounce back from hard times, especially the recession years between 2008-11.
For 2010, the low point, there was less than $1 million of new residential and commercial construction in the city ($989K), with only $375,500 of that commercial.
For 2018, the commercial construction value did much better than the three prior years, largely due to Amazon taking out construction permits to make way for its air gateway at the Wilmington Air Park. The city’s commercial construction value recorded in 2018 totaled $23.8 million. By contrast, the three preceding years came in at $4.3 million, $4.5 million, and $3.6 million.
Residential construction value for 2018 amounted to $1.8 million within the city limits.
During the mayor’s report Thursday to city council, John Stanforth said he wanted to comment on what he said is misinformation presented at a forum by a Republican challenger for the office. Stanforth said the salt facility has never contained less than 400 tons since right after it was built.
At a Tuesday candidates forum, former city service director Larry Reinsmith during his opening statement said the city street department failed to order road salt, and had to borrow salt from the Ohio Department of Transportation one week and from the county the next week.
In legislative action Thursday, council approved spending $181,975 to update the city government’s software system.
Finance Committee Chairperson Kristi Fickert said the current software “isn’t even a web-based software,” and while the current software can be used after January 2020, it will not be supported.
All the city’s financial data are on the system, and so city officials need to make sure it’s supported, she said.
“I know these numbers look big, but this is a major upgrade and the last time it was upgraded was in the ’90s. It’s an investment that we need to make, and will give all of the departments just a better way to manage this information,” said Fickert.
At the close of the council meeting during the public comment period, council candidate Matt Swindler asked a couple questions about how long the installation will take and how many programmers the transition will involve.
City Deputy Auditor Mary Kay Vance said the installation process, though it will take a matter of weeks, will not shut anything down.
Stanforth in his city council report said the mayor’s office is continuing to collect bedding for the new local chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. He suggested if people have the money, to simply buy some sheets for the bunk beds the organization makes or purchase pillow cases and then drop them off at the mayor’s office in city hall.
The new director of Sugartree Ministries, a street ministry in Wilmington, officially introduced himself to city council during the Thursday session. Lee Sandlin said he was there in council chambers to re-affirm a partnership between Sugartree Ministries and the city.
Sandlin advised there will be a pancake breakfast and live music at the East Main Street facility from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 23 with all proceeds going to “the needy, lost and broken” of the community. The menu includes blueberry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, eggs, sausage, orange juice, milk, plus coffee from the coffee bar.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.