In his State of the Village message, Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, said Archbold’s selection as a best hometown by a statewide publication has brought visitors to the community.
Speaking to members of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce, Monday, Jan. 23, Wyse said the selection was also announced on a cable television news channel. As a result, Wyse said people from Dayton altered their plans and drove out of their way to visit Archbold, as did another couple from Mansfield.
“Anytime you can portray the community in a positive way, it helps get visitors to come here, and spend a little money here,” he said.
Switching from good news to something more controversial, Wyse highlighted the ALS-1 issue.
ALS-1 is the paramedic rescue squad based in Archbold, that is funded by the Fulton County commissioners.
The commissioners expressed concern about Archbold’s practice, which allows an emergency medical technician, or EMT, to remain on call overnight.
Other departments require their EMTs to stay at the fire station overnight.
When the paramedic program was implemented about 10 years ago, Wyse said Archbold officials asked how they could best integrate full-time paramedics with paid volunteers.
“Volunteers are the strength of the program,” Wyse said.
“The on-call system works for us. It’s not the best for everyone else, but it works well here.”
He said of the Archbold Fire Department’s 38 members, four are new members, serving probationary periods.
Of the remaining 34, 32 are, at a minimum, licensed EMTs.
Of the 32, eight are paramedics.
Wyse said AFD employs only four full-time paramedics. The other four work at other departments, fill in shifts in Archbold, and, as AFD members, respond to rescue calls when available.
Wyse noted that after a recent car crash near Pettisville, 29 members of the Archbold Fire Department answered the call.
“That kind of manpower plays a significant role in making sure our outcomes are positive,” Wyse said.
He told chamber members county officials will continue to evaluate the EMS system. A meeting of officials is set for March.
Lafayette Street, Finally!
One of the biggest accomplishments for the village in 2011 was the extension of Lafayette Street to Co. Rd. 24.
Wyse said the best word that sums up the project was– “finally!”
He said Lawrence Short, former Archbold mayor, first proposed extending Lafayette to Co. Rd. 24 in July 1977.
“In the last 15 years, I think every elected official who has campaigned in this community has campaigned on getting Lafayette Street done,” he said.
The project was so big, village officials broke it into segments.
Even today, some parts of the Lafayette Street project are not done.
Wyse said there are some drainage issues that have not been addressed. Those projects have been delayed.
“But the road is in,” he said.
Another big project in the village during 2011 was the construction of a new valve chamber at the Archbold water treatment plant.
Originally, when a large water tank, known as a clear well, was built, valves 30 feet underground were simply buried, with controls running to the service.
When one of the mechanisms failed, workers had to dig down about 30 feet to repair them.
To make such maintenance easier in the future, an underground room, or valve chamber, was built around the valves.
The project cost about a quarter-million ($250,000) dollars, Wyse said.
Wyse also shared news about the downtown historic district.
Lauber Clothing, one of Archbold’s oldest businesses, will rent some of its space to Homier’s Monumental. The company, which carves granite stone for memorials and monuments, will move its showroom currently located north of Archbold to the Lauber Clothing store.
Wyse also mentioned the announced closing of the Huntington Bank downtown branch.
The building has served as a bank since it was constructed in 1908.
Wyse also discussed the corner of North Defiance and Stryker Streets. The intersection is difficult for semitrucks with 54-foot trailers to negotiate.
Bell-shaped bollards, which tended to catch trucks and immobilize them, were removed and replaced with steel poles, which are easier for truck drivers to see.
However, trucks still cut the corner too sharply, and strike the posts.
To illustrate his point, Wyse played a video clip from a camera overlooking the intersection. It showed a semi striking the concretefi lled steel post with enough force to bend it.
Even though the problems with trucks becoming disabled at the intersection has abated, Wyse said he would still like to see Co. Rd. 24, west of town, developed into a truck bypass.
Mayors To Meet
Wyse said the mayors of Fulton County’s seven communities will meet in February to discuss some issues that jointly impact them.
He noted that mayors in neighboring Williams County hold such meetings quarterly.