Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Congratulations City of Toledo - Safe Routes to School Grants

Safe Routes to School Projects Funded

The City of Toledo has been selected by ODOT to receive nearly $460,000 in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding for district-wide infrastructure improvements to make it safer for children to walk or bicycle to school. There are 40 elementary (K-8) schools in the Toledo Public School (TPS) District. The grant is the result of collaboration among Live Well Greater Toledo (a program of the Greater Toledo YMCA), the Toledo Public Schools, and the City of Toledo.

During this funding round, only 28 percent of Ohio applicants were awarded any funding at all and the TPS SRTS program received 100 percent of its funding request.
“The fact that the Toledo Public Schools SRTS program achieved one hundred percent funding speaks to the overall quality of the travel plan,” said Christine Connell, TMACOG staff for the Pedestrian and Bikeways Committee. “This is sure to get more students walking and biking to school.”

Small Communities Get Help With Blight

The Ohio EPA is offering a free workshop to inform small and rural communities of the state and federal resources available to help redevelop brownfields, or blighted properties. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, October 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Fort Piqua Plaza Banquet Center, 308 N Main St, Piqua, OH 45356. 

The speakers will present strategies for identifying and prioritizing brownfield properties; grants, loans and services available to help communities with brownfield redevelopment; and computer programs for brownfield management and grant writing.

Speakers from Ohio EPA, City of Piqua, Ohio Development Services Agency, JobsOhio, U.S. EPA, Great Lakes RCAP, USDA, and the Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Program (which provides assistance to small communities through a U.S. EPA grant) will address the following topics:

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Careful How You Drain that Swimming Pool

The TMACOG Stormwater Coalition provides helpful information for people draining pools and hot tubs in preparation for cooler weather.

Many pool owners don’t know that draining pool water directly to the storm sewer can harm local creeks, rivers and lakes and the fish and wildlife that live in them. This is because pool water contains chlorine, copper, and filter backwash that, when discharged to a storm sewer, runs directly to ditches and streams without being treated.

Discharging chlorinated water through your sanitary drain is the best option because this allows the water to be treated before it enters natural water bodies. In most cases, the sewer rate is based on water use when you filled the pool, so you will not be charged an additional fee. On the other hand, you could incur fines for improperly draining pool water to the storm sewer. If your only option is to drain pool water to a storm sewer, use the steps below to avoid fines and make sure that your end of season pool maintenance does not harm our local waterways.

Step 1: Rest water. Let water sit for two weeks after the last chemical treatment to allow chlorine to break down and leave the water. Allow suspended solids to settle out of the water by keeping swimmers out of the pool for a week prior to draining. The water should not appear murky once suspended solids are settled out. Skim all leaves and algae from the water’s surface.

Step 2: Test water. Before draining, water should be near neutral (pH6.5-8.5) and free of chlorine, bromine and algaecides before discharging. Test kits are available at pool supply stores.

Step 3: Use water for irrigation. As much as you can, allow water to infiltrate through grass, gardens, or other permeable surfaces. You can use a hose to evenly distribute and direct water. Stop draining when lawn and vegetation are saturated and water begins to pond. Do not allow water to drain onto your neighbor’s property.

Step 4: Drain remaining water. After saturating grass and other vegetation, the remaining de-chlorinated pool water can be drained directly to the storm drain. To prevent soil erosion, make sure that water does not flow over bare soil. Only clear water should be flowing into storm drain. Settled solid materials should be properly disposed of in regular trash or compost and should not be discharged with pool water.

Step 5: Properly store chemicals. To avoid stormwater pollution and injury all chemicals should be sealed and stored off the ground away from potential moisture and water. Follow all storage instructions provided on bottles. When time comes to dispose of chemicals, contact your county hazardous waste disposal facility.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Risingsun's Village Council is a Little Different

In the village of Risingsun, there are two mayors and two city councils. Mayor Rick Whetsel works for the streets department; Mayor Paige Curlis enjoys bowling and Zumba. Whetsel has been mayor since 2001 and Curlis has been mayor since April, 2015. Whetsel drives to meetings and Curlis asks her mom, Alice Connor, for a ride because Paige Curlis is a 13-year-old student at Lakota Middle School.