From the desk of the Mayor

Since it has been a bit, I last addressed the village during this unprecedented year, I thought I would get some information out there regarding some changes, future events, and our current COVID status. So, first and foremost I am sure everyone has noticed our favorite little grocery store, Denny’s has permanently closed its doors. Linda was struggling to keep stock during the pandemic and felt it was time to retire as it was getting too difficult to keep the operation going. Dollar General has made her an offer to purchase the building and lot. They will need an additional 8 feet off the back of the property in order to have their semi-truck maneuver in and out. The plot they require the 8 feet from belongs to the village, and the council has voted to approve the lot split. In conversations I have had with the builder, we granted the 8 feet in good faith with the hopes they will have a more appealing cosmetic look to the front of the building. I have sent them a picture of a location in Defiance, which has a brick façade and not the brown and yellow block, which is typical of a Dollar General store. The builder is willing to work with us and is seriously considering my suggestion. Also, there is talk of a Dollar General Plus location, which is a store with more grocery items, but I want to strongly caution this is still in negotiation phase and these suggestions and ideas are not guaranteed. If all goes according to plan, they should close next month and begin the demo of the old building and construction on the new structure. Linda is incredibly grateful to Liberty Center for the years she operated the store here and is also very grateful Dollar General has made an offer allowing her to retire.

There have been quite a few questions regarding Trick-or-Treating since the governor outlined the guidelines on Trick-or-Treating. We are moving forward and will have the event on Saturday, October 31st from 5:30 – 7:30pm. The Liberty-Township Fire Department has decided to cancel both the party and parade feeling it was not safe since they are held indoors. The Liberty Center Flames, which have replaced the Ladies Auxiliary will be hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest. More information on this will be coming soon from the Fire Department/Liberty Flames in the Liberty Press.

On Halloween night, we ask that you please follow these guidelines in order to comply and have a safe holiday for everyone: If you are sick or have symptoms of any kind please stay home and do not hand out any treats. Please stay with your own household group and keep the correct social distance from other groups or individual Trick-or-Treaters. If there is a group or person getting candy at a door, please wait until they have walked away before going up or sending your group up. If you are giving out candy, please keep a safe enough distance from the trick-or-treaters. Please wash your hands before passing out candy. Please only give out pre-packaged treats. It is a good idea for both trick-or-treaters as well as those passing out treats to use hand sanitizer often during the night. All parties should wear masks, including parents, and those handing out treats. Let us all do our part to stay healthy and everyone have a fun night.

The Liberty Center Merchants have decided to move forward with the annual Christmas event held at the library as well. The vendors have been narrowed down to 20 so there can be enough room to space them out for proper social distancing. More planning is to come so keep an eye out for all the information on this event.

As you know, we have had to raise the storm sewer rate by $7 per month. I realize that was not going to be a popular decision, but in order to fix the infrastructure, we have had to plan accordingly. The current storm sewers have been in the streets since the 1930’s, and most of them are nothing more than a 6-inch clay tile, which are falling apart. We are currently looking at grants to see if we can get some help in covering the cost of these very expensive projects. We are going to be sending out income surveys in the village, and this will determine our eligibility for these grants. They are completely anonymous and go to a third party for review. No one in the village sees them, but they are extremely vital, so I implore you to please fill them out and not disregard them. We cannot get approval for any grants without them.

Recently myself, a local parent, the school superintendent, the middle and elementary school principals, and the transportation director from the Liberty Center schools have formed a committee to try and get approval for a state grant called, “Safe Routes to School.” This grant funds projects to help improve sidewalks for walkers as well as streets and signage indicating there is a school zone. Here again, we need help from local parents in the form of surveys. Poggemeyer Engineering is the firm we are working with and they will be assisting in getting surveys out (They will go to households with students K-8). Once again, these surveys are crucial when it comes to winning these grants.

We will be having our fall unlimited drop off in a few weeks. The schedule will be Wednesday, October 14th from 7am-8pm, Thursday, October 15th 7am-8pm, Friday, October 16th from 7am-8pm and Saturday, October 17th 9am-1pm.

Thankfully, we have been able to avoid any serious threats of COVID-19 in our little village.  The village will continue to create a safe environment as best we can. We are using CARES Act money to install hand sanitizers in the parks as well as continue to routinely spray down the public equipment with sanitizer. Let’s keep doing what we are doing, and we’ll get through this.

I continue to plead for everyone to shop local. We can all get through this if we stick together. Support our businesses and each other any way you can. Thank you everyone and God Bless our little community.