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Local Medina County News

Progress undeniable, Wadsworth leaders say in state of the city address

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Ashley Fox y The Gazette

Statistics highlighted reports from Wadsworth leaders Wednesday during a State of the City presentation to the Wadsworth Area Chamber of Commerce.

The numbers, covering recreation, safety and infrastructure, included:

n More than $1 million was saved by refinancing bonds used to build the Wadsworth YMCA .

n The YMCA has about 10,000 members, making it “the busiest YMCA in the Akron area,” Mayor Robin Laubaugh said.

n In January, approximately 30,000 “swipes” were made to access the YMCA facility.

n The Soprema Senior Center, conjoined to the YMCA, had 20,000 participants in its activities last year.

n Work continues on the $12.5 million High Street/state Route 94 widening project .

n A $1 million runway improvement projects was completed at Wadsworth Municipal Airport, with the city’s share of the expense totaling $50,000.

n K-9 officer Zoro was added to the Police Department.

The speakers at the luncheon at the Galaxy Banquet Center were: Laubaugh; Robert Patrick, public service director; Matt Hiscock, safety service director, and Harry Stark, economic development director and assistant public service director.

“I think it’s undeniable the progress the city has made” in 2016, Patrick said.

Referring to widening of High Street, Patrick said about 60 percent of the project is done. The project will continue into 2018 with a center median helping traffic flow.

Stark told the audience that a new city website will launch later this year, accommodating the 2,000 pages of content the website holds now at wadsworthcity.com.

Ideas that have developed from a revitalization plan for downtown will continue to be implemented this year, Stark said.

The city has replaced wooden benches in the downtown area with black iron benches and new lighting will be installed in alleys.

In his report, Hiscock noted there were

67 drug overdoses reported last year and said the antidote naloxone was administered

49 times. He said it resulted in 46 lives saved.

The city had five deaths attributed to overdoses compared with six in 2015.

“Law enforcement won’t arrest its way out of this (opiate) epidemic,” he said, adding that Zoro is an asset in helping to fight the drug abuse problem.

The Fire Department is averaging about six calls a day, Hiscock said. There were 225 fire incidents and EMS responded to more than 2,000 calls.

Hiscock also reviewed the city’s 2.5-mill levy request on the May 2 primary ballot for ambulance/EMS service. The city is asking voters to renew 2.3 mills and approve a new 0.2 mil.

“Quite honestly without that particular funding, I’m not sure that we can provide the same level of service to our community,” he said.

Contact reporter Ashley Fox at (330) 721-4048

or afox@medina-gazette.com.



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