Friday, April 14, 2017

Clean Ohio Funds Awarded to Metroparks

The Metroparks of the Toledo Area is the single beneficiary of the most recent round of Clean Ohio grants to preserve open space in Lucas County. The Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC), which evaluates Clean Ohio applications, announced their recommendation April 13, 2017. NRAC will recommend that the Metroparks be granted $1,898,471 for “East Riverfront Restoration – Phase 1.” The entire restoration is envisioned as three phases. The Metroparks is providing a local match of $740,442.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Friday, February 24, 2017

Area Townships Eligible for Funding for Better Warning Signs

The 2017 Township Sign Grant application cycle is now open and will run through Friday, June 9th, 2017. For this year, the program has been provided an additional $1 million in funding, doubling the program’s available funding to $2 million. 

The Township Sign Grant Program provides funds to improve signs on roads where accidents are more common. Better signs can warn of sharp turns in the road, fixed objects (such as bridge abutments), bike path crossings, and hidden drives. 

Image result for road signs

The qualifying townships for 2017 in our region include:

· Benton (Ottawa)
· Cass (Hancock)
· Center (Wood)
· Clay (Ottawa)
· Clinton (Fulton)
· Danbury (Ottawa)
· Eden (Seneca)
· Freedom (Henry)
· Freedom (Wood)
· Harris (Ottawa)
· Liberty (Seneca)
· Loudon (Seneca)
· Middleton (Wood)
· Monclova (Lucas)
· Napoleon (Henry)
· Perrysburg (Wood)
· Plain (Wood)
· Portage (Wood)
· Ridgeville (Henry)
· Salem (Ottawa)
· Sandusky (Sandusky)
· Springfield (Lucas)
· Washington (Hancock)
· Washington (Henry)
· Washington (Sandusky)
· Washington (Wood)
· York (Fulton)
· York (Sandusky)

More information concerning the Township Sign Grant Program, including a link to the sign grant application, can be viewed on the program’s website at:
Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ohio Stormwater Conference

Registration is now open for the 2017 Ohio Stormwater Conference. This year's event is May 10-12, at the Kalahari Resort and Conference Center in Sandusky. Visit the conference website by clicking here.

According to the conference website, this event will provide updates on environmental issues, new technologies, regulatory information and pollution prevention. 

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Monday, January 30, 2017

What fellow members were talking about in their caucus sessions today

The TMACOG General Assembly was held today. Members met in caucus sessions before the business meeting. Here's what they talked about: 

Counties Caucus
Notes presented by Doris Herringshaw, Wood County Commissioner
  • Heroin/opiates epidemic and its influence on law enforcement and impact on families.
  • Insufficient funding for necessary infrastructure.
  • Water quality and supply discussion recognizes that we have made progress as a region in designing a safe and fair system.
  • County officials are anxious to see what’s in the new state budget particularly in the Medicaid sales tax issue.
  • They discussed if counties of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan should create an emergency plan for zero carbon energy.

City Caucus
Notes presented by Mike Beazley, Administrator for the City of Oregon
  • Agreed that the water discussion was making progress.
  • Discussed a law slipped into a bill that allows microcell towers to be erected in right of way with little warning to the community. Cities are looking at legal options.
  • Like the counties, city representatives are worried about proposed changes to Medicaid which could cost millions.
  • The struggle to provide adequate public services (streets, legal services, criminal justice) is  Recommended that elected officials start talking to gubernatorial candidates now because it will be too late to be effective after an election.

Village Caucus
Notes presented by Gordon Bowman, Mayor of Pemberville
  • ·         Appreciated a presentation from TMACOG Vice President Kurt Erichsen on the regional water planning progress
  • ·         Noted EPA water requirements that are difficult for villages to meet
  • ·         Community policing is a big challenge: cost of training, getting enough coverage from officers, turnover among staff. Some village are having to change part-time to full-time to hold on to staff.
  • ·         Heard from First Energy about the role of Davis Besse to the regional energy grid and tax consequences of closing that facility.

Township Caucus
Notes presented by Mark Hummer, Lake Township Administrator
·            Thanked TMACOG for providing a forum for discussion.
·            Is grateful that townships are heard in the water policy discussion.
·            Noted that townships have room for growth and need to be part of economic discussions.
·            Noted that noise ordinances, zoning compliance are difficult to enforce.
·            Identified firing ranges as a source of complaints.
·            Noted lack of funding for road repair.

Schools, Colleges & Universities
Notes presented by Anne Theis, Dean, Business, Information & Public Services at Owens Community College
  • Community colleges and 4-year colleges are offering new programs in cyber security, agribusiness. Nursing continues to be strong
  • BGSU and the Toledo Museum of Art have been discussing a summer program in technology aimed at young people who live within a mile of the museum
  • The concept of coding boot camps was discussed as a strategy for training a lot of people quickly for jobs that are available now. Private partnership seems to make these successful.
  • Universities said that it is hard to keep faculty in coding and technology because the jobs for people with those skills are very well paid.
  • Community colleges are partnering with industry for non-credit training in pre-apprentice programs
  • New high school graduation requirements in Ohio are a source of great concern. Many current juniors are not on line to graduate.
  • Programs that give college credit to high schoolers don’t know how they are going to handle students who can’t graduate high school and move to college.

Special Districts
Notes presented by Joe Cappel, V.P., Business Development, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
  • Special districts contribute to quality of life which keeps young people in the area
  • ·There are investments paying off right now: Overland Industrial Park, new Metroparks including one in downtown Toledo, Bike sharing program, new libraries
  • The regional water plan is the best solution
  • Regional planning and discussion is vital to economic development, road planning.

Non-governmental Members
Notes presented by Dennis McMickens, President & CEO, Safety Council of Northwest Ohio
  • Business are concerned with protecting their property and employees
  • Caucus members discussed creating emergency action plans including plans to address domestic violence that moves into the workplace.
  • Private industry is concerned about cyber security

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Monday, January 23, 2017

It's Not Too Early to Think About Bike Month

Here are just a few of the events for May. Mark your calendar!

Bike Month Events

Wednesday, May 10
Bike to School Day

Wednesday, May 17
Ride of Silence
(6: 30 p.m. University of Toledo, main campus)

Friday, May 19
Bike to Work Day

Saturday, May 20
Bike Day at the Farmers Market
(9 am – noon, 525 Market St., downtown Toledo)

Other Highlights

reduced bus fare (25 cents) for anyone using the bike rack Monday, May 15 through Sunday, May 21

Bike Repair Workshops at Toledo Bikes! Co-op
All Sundays in May, 2-3 pm
Final Sunday (May 28) is a Learn to Commute ride on city streets.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Monday, December 12, 2016

Good News for Ohio Bicyclists: Law Moving Ahead

From the Ohio Bicycle Federation: 

Contact:  Chuck Smith
Telephone: 937-280-4288
Email :

HB 154 Passes General Assembly, on to governor kasich

Passing clearance of at least 3 feet and proceeding when not detected

Columbus, Ohio, December 10, 2016– With final adjournment for the session looming, the Ohio General Assembly on Thursday brought a successful conclusion to a seven-year effort at improving bicycling law in Ohio.   By a 30 to 1 vote yesterday, the Ohio Senate approved House Bill 154, which will:
1.       Set the safe distance for passing Ohio bicyclists at 3 feet.
2.       Permit all Ohio vehicles to proceed through an intersection after stopping and yielding right-of-way when not detected by the device meant to move the signal from red to green.
Ohio Bicycle Federation Chair Chuck Smith said, “The passing of House Bill 154 was a team effort in which the Ohio Bicycle Federation received support from all cycling organizations in Ohio and their members.  The Ohio Sierra Club also provided great support in this effort.  It was everyone contacting their elected representatives which brought this success.  Representative  Mike Henne of northern Montgomery County and his staffer Kevin Arnst did excellent work in moving HB 154 through the legislative hurdles!  Our other primary sponsor was Representative Mike Sheehy of Toledo.  We have
33 House and 7 Senate co-sponsors.  Senator Troy Balderson of Zanesville introduced an identical bill in the Senate.  After HB 154 is signed into law, our job is to educate Ohioans regarding the importance of Ohio motorists leaving at least three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists.”
The legislation will become effective 90 days after Governor Kasich signs it.

# # #

For more information, please contact Chuck Smith at 937-280-4288 or email him at

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Friday, November 4, 2016

Change in the Weather, Change Stormwater Strategies Leaf Collection & Management

Tips from TMACOG's Stormwater Coalition

When you're raking or blowing leaves out of your yard, keep them out of the stormwater system. Here's some ideas. 
  • Spread leaves like mulch in your planting beds or around trees. The leaves will decompose providing excellent fertilizer for your plants in the spring.
  • Compost them.
  • If you must dispose of leaves, use a community compost or yard waste facilities.
  • Or participate in a residential leaf pick-up program. Most Stormwater Coalition member jurisdictions offer fall leaf collection (be sure to check with your jurisdiction for collection days in your area).

 Most residential leaf collection programs ask residents to rake leaves close to the streets, but not in them. Leaves raked into the streets can wash into storm drains and clog them. Excess organic matter in drains is never a good idea. Note that some jurisdictions do request that leaves are collected into the streets. If you live in one of these communities, wait to rake them into the street until the day or week of collection and keep piles away from drains. 

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |