Friday, June 29, 2018

Happy Mayflies? Happy Lake Erie

by Sara Guiher, TMACOG Water Quality Planner

Very few of us welcome mayflies to our homes, places of work, cars (let’s be honest, they’re EVERYWHERE), with open arms. A large hatch like we’ve had this year might make you want to hide until it passes. But when it comes to the health of Lake Erie, mayflies are a good sign!

Mayflies spend most of their life in an aquatic environment such as a lake or river. The adult form that we are familiar with lives only long enough to reproduce after leaving the water. During their aquatic stage mayflies are intolerant of pollution and low oxygen. When Lake Erie received high levels of industrial pollution and sewage, these organisms could not survive in large numbers. When our lake was declared “dead” in the 1960s, mayflies were in the same place. Today’s issues in Lake Erie could also impact these sensitive species; large algal blooms can deplete oxygen in the water. But this year’s batch is good news about water quality, at least in early summer.

So next time you see a swarm of mayflies, hopefully you smile at their signal that hope is not lost for Lake Erie. Just remember: when you greet a cloud of our water quality friends with a smile, it’s probably not a good idea to open your mouth.

Here's some mayfly larvae collected by students in the 2017 Student Watershed Watch. 










Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Potential Path for Paddlers

People from Pemberville in Wood County to Port Clinton in Ottawa County and communities in between have looked at the recreation potential of the Portage River for many years. Plans were recently dusted off for a proposal to include a water trail project in the Ohio State Capital Budget. While that funding opportunity did not come through, state agencies dealing with waterways say that the idea has merit and preliminary plans are positive.

At a meeting of the Portage River Basin Council held at the Pemberville Opera House on April 4, Tom Arbour, Water Trails Coordinator for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and

Bike Month is Here!

Something for everyone this month:


May 4
Pedal to Petals
Sylvania Art Walk bike train. Check WeAreTraffic.org for details.

May 5
Toledo Bikes! Group Ride
Meet at Toledo Bikes! 1114 Washington St., downtown Toledo. Call for time: 419.386.6090.

May 9 
Bike to School Day
Schools hold special events to encourage young students to walk or cycle to school. Cycle with your children.

May 12 
Bike Day at the Toledo Farmers Market (9 a.m. – noon)
Ride to the market in downtown Toledo and pick up the brand-new Bicycle Users Map, created by cyclists for cyclists. Learn how experienced bike commuters use separated paths and city streets to get to work and school. T-shirts for cyclists while supplies last. Toledo Bikes! Is on hand for inspection and minor bike repairs.

Maumee Valley Adventurers - Saturday Casual Ride (9 a.m.). Meet at Middlegrounds Metropark.

May 16
Ride of Silence – Toledo and Bowling Green (6:30 p.m.)
These solemn, slow group rides are an annual reminder to drivers that cyclists share the road. We remember people who have been injured or killed while riding bicycles. More than 200 cyclists riding silently together create a memorable event.

May 18
Bike to Work Day
Be the hero at your office and organize a bike ride. Meet at a park and ride in together, or take your bikes to work and have a lunchtime ride. If you have an office wellness committee, get them involved in planning something special. Call TMACOG for tips on organizing Bike to Work Day at your work place.

May 19 
Outdoor Expo with Metroparks Toledo (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Try out all kinds of outdoor activities at the Expo and meet area cycling clubs and businesses. Learn about Metroparks cycling programs, trails, and other amenities.

Bedford Bike Cruise (registration 9-10 a.m.)
Meet at Jackman Road Elementary, Temperance, MI. Two choices: Land to Lake 30-mile route, or the family friendly local route.

May 26 
Kids Open Shop at Toledo Bikes!
Check website for hours: www.toledobikes.org.

May 27 
Sylvania Slow Ryders
Group bike ride starting at the Sylvania Library. Every fourth Sunday, June-September (4 p.m.).




Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Water/Wastewater Training

“Field Training & Asset Management for Water and Wastewater Operators and Engineers”
Wednesday, May 9, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Grand Lobby of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, Toledo

Topics
  • ·         Human Assets: How to manage and motivate your staff
  • ·         Asset Management: How to comply with Ohio EPA regulations
  • ·         Asset Management: How to take action
  • ·         GIS – Inventory of assets
  • ·         Financial assistance programs
  • ·         Stormwater
  • ·         SCADA systems for water and wastewater treatment plants
  • ·         Field Demonstrations: Sewer and manhole assessment, hydrant inspection


The registration fee is $40 for TMACOG members and $75 for non-TMACOG members. Attendees will be provided a light breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and will take home a flash drive with presentations. Operators and Professional Engineers will earn up to 6.0 contact hours.


For more information contact TMACOG Water Quality Planner Kris Barnswell: 419.241.9155, ext. 1123 or barnswell@tmacog.org



Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Friday, April 13, 2018

Funds Still Available for Fuel Conversion Vehicles

Ohio EPA announces the award of $2.8 million in new Alternative Fuel Vehicle grants for 15 projects statewide. These grants will pay a portion of the costs of 141 new heavy duty alternative fuel vehicles, including 24 propane school buses, 2 compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses, 41 CNG transit buses, and 74 CNG refuse trucks. These grants are supported with state dollars from the Alternative Fuel Transportation Fund of the Ohio Developmental Services Agency.

Approximately $2.2 million is still available, and Ohio EPA will continue to accept and review applications in the order received until all available funds have been allocated. 

Eligible vehicles must have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of at least 26,000 pounds, and be fueled by CNG, liquefied natural gas (LNG), or liquid petroleum gas, also referred to as propane or butane. Application information and the list of new grant recipients are posted on the AFV grant program website.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Monday, April 9, 2018

2018 Ohio Public Works Expo

Registration is open for the Ohio Public Works Expo to be held June 20-21 at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo. See the details in the brochure after the jump: workshops and other great information. You may also register on-line at http://ohio.apwa.net. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Construction Notes from the 2018 Toledo Region Transportation Summit

All presentations from the 2018 Toledo Region Transportation Summit are posted on www.tmacog.org: http://www.tmacog.org/Summit.htm

Mike Gramza, Ohio Department of Transportation

• The Diverging Diamond in Perrysburg was completed in 2017. Gramza said, “In my 30-year career, the most significant improvement in traffic.”

• The Waterville Bridge estimates came in under budget. The new bridge over the Maumee River will be built right next to the existing bridge and the road will be re-aligned to the new bridge. The old one will be demolished after the new one goes into service.

• The extensive re-building of the entire Phillips-Berdan-Willys Park area will be completed this year. Three of the five planned roundabouts are complete. The additional two will be done in 2018. This whole project will change access to I-75, includes bridges, re-route roads in addition to the roundabouts. The City of Toledo says that this region reflects a $30 million investment

• In Bowling Green, ODOT is partnering on a new gateway to the city. There will be two new roundabouts, moving a waterline and pump station and building a bridge. The bridge will have orange beams, special lighting and signage. That project will starting September, 2018 and be complete in 12 months.

• A new Dorr St. intersection with I-475 has been a priority since 1996. Construction will begin in 2018.

• A new ODOT initiative is DriveOhio. This program assists the development of systems supporting autonomous vehicles. Director of DriveOhio, Jim Barna, says that “It's going to be here sooner than we believe.”


Chris Matta, Ohio Turnpike & Infrastructure Commission

• The replacement and resurfacing of roads and bridges takes up 75% of the budget of the Ohio Turnpike & Infrastructure Commission.

• The Ohio Turnpike is well-positioned to be a laboratory for autonomous vehicles. It is 241-mile straight line corridor. Fiber optic is already buried in anticipation of autonomous vehicle service. There are sensors already operating with real-time traffic and weather transmitted to vehicles. Software and data exchange protocols have started. The turnpike is pleased to address the number of accidents on its road and anticipates that autonomous vehicles will reduce accidents and injuries.


Dave Dysard, City of Toledo

• Upcoming projects include the next phase of Bancroft St. rebuild, from Secor Rd. east to Perth St. This area will remain two lanes in each direction. The first phase, from Perth to Parkside, was a “road diet” adding a center lane, bike lanes, and reducing car traffic to one lane in each direction.

• The Cliffs on Front Street is in partnership with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. This will include two roundabouts on the East Side construction site. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has selected the City of Toledo to be the site of a new hot briquetted iron (HBI) manufacturing facility. In a statement, they said, “riverfront property with multi-modal logistics and competitive utility rates were major factors in their location decision. The company will construct a $700 million facility at the Ironville Terminal the Port of Toledo. Cliffs will create 130 new jobs in the manufacturing sector and support 1200 construction jobs over two years.” Read more: http://toledo.oh.gov/news/cliffs-natural-resources-inc-to-locate-in-toledo/

• There will be intense construction in downtown Toledo as state routes are resurfaced and Toledo Waterways Initiative improves sewer separation downtown.

• Bikeway projects in the region will include the Overland Trail, from Ottawa Park to Joe E. Brown Park. It will take a jog through Woodlawn Cemetery, which is an arboretum and bird sanctuary.

• An additional four miles of the Chessie Circle Trail will be paved.

• The downtown Toledo bikeshare project will be completed in 2018. Plans call for a fleet of 100 bikes distributed among 18 stations. There will also be 150 smart technology bike racks. The bikes are 3- or 8-speed models on a step-through frame with built-in keypads that will lock and unlock the bikes. GPS systems will track where the bikes are within the system. TARTA will be in charge of bike maintenance and moving bikes around to keep the stations stocked.

Jim Gee, TARTA
• In a major change affecting downtown traffic patterns and real estate, TARTA plans to eliminate downtown loop lanes and remove the loop bus stations in the area. They are moving operations to the former Goodwill building on Cherry St., which will be re-configured as a central station. Gee says that the station will include better facilities for riders including rest areas and food.




Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

“Range anxiety” – worry on the part of a person driving an electric vehicle that the battery will run out before a charging station can be reached – is cited as a reason why some people are reluctant to use electric vehicles as their main transportation. However, there are a significant number of publicly accessible stations available in the TMACOG region from a McDonald’s in Port Clinton, to Northwest State Community College in Archbold.  

TMACOG transportation planners are working to identify locations and types of electric vehicle charging stations in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. See the map and the list of locations. This information is preliminary and does not include every station. Planners are looking for resources that will help identify more. If you know of a station not listed here, please contact Marc VonDeylen (vondeylen@tmacog.org) at 419.241.9155 ext. 1136 with the address and type of charger if known.


Level 1 charging units use household current (120 volt, 20 amp). Level 2 chargers are faster and use 208-240 volt, 40 amp current, the same as a washer or drier. While vehicles and delivery of service differ, in general level 2 charging adds about 25 miles of range per hour (RPH), while level 1 charging only adds about 4 miles of RPH.

http://www.tmacog.org/BP_18/03_18/electric_stationslocations.pdf

http://www.tmacog.org/BP_18/03_18/Electric_Stations.pdf
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Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

TMACOG Partner NORED Annual Meeting

Time is running out to register for the 2018 NORED Annual Meeting to be held Thursday, March 15, 2018 at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg.

This year's speaker is Gary Leidich, a consultant to the electric industry and Board Member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.

Registration for individuals and reserved tables of eight are available at Eventbrite using the link below when paying by credit card.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-nored-annual-meeting-tickets-41878070436



Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Friday, February 2, 2018

Special Districts and Authorities Caucus, Jan. 29, 2018

TMACOG members have asked to learn about what their fellow members discussed at caucus sessions during the 2018 General Assembly held January 29, 2018. See links in the next several posts to each of the caucus session notes. 

Special Districts and Authorities

Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions – Scott Carpenter, Facilitator of the Special Districts and Authorities Caucus and Director of Public Relations for Metroparks Toledo called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone present.  Introductions were made around the room.

Non-Governmental Members Caucus, Jan. 29, 2018

Welcome and Introductions – Caucus facilitator Dennis McMickens, called the meeting to order. 

Schools, Colleges & Universities Caucus, Jan. 29, 2018

In attendance were representatives of:
The University of Toledo
Monroe County Community College
WSOS Community Action
Ottawa Hills School District
Rossford School District
Penta Career Center
Bowling Green State University
Sylvania Schools
Toledo Public Schools

Moderator: Ann Theis of Owens Community College.
TMACOG staff: Kari Gerwin (facilitator) and Mary Pat McCarthy (notes).

Township Caucus, Jan. 29, 2018

Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions – Facilitator of the Township Caucus and Perrysburg Township Trustee Robert Mack, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. 

Villages Caucus Jan. 29, 2018

Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions –

Mayor Gordon Bowman, Pemberville, facilitated the meeting and welcomed those in attendance. Round table introductions were made. Those in attendance are also noted on the Sign-In sheet for the meeting.

City Caucus, Jan. 29, 2018

1.                   Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions
Mike Beazley welcomed everyone and introductions were given.

County Caucus Session- Jan. 29 2018

Moderator: 
TMACOG staff: Tim W. Brown

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Got Rental Space?



U.S. Census Bureau is looking for office space to rent in the Toledo metropolitan area from June through August, 2019. Space requirements are in the 7,000-7,300 usable square footage range.

If you have office space available for a short time lease, you may submit an application using the following links:
About Federal Business Opportunities: https://aaap.gsa.gov
About the leasing program: https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=aa2040a0bc81e262b202df5e8a5c0a8a&tab=core&_cview=0



The application process opens February 1, 2018.


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Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

In Response to Popular Demand ... the Lyrics

At the retirement reception for TMACOG's Kurt Erichsen, staff and friends performed a short musical number. For those who missed this one-time-only performance, here are the words.


Kurt Erichsen is a Top Environmentalist
(To the tune of A Modern Major General. Lyrics by Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada)

Kurt is the very model of a top environmentalist
He knows the rivers, streams and creeks on Erie Basin’s waters list
With wit and humor on display Kurt is a master cartoonist
In theater and drama he’s a leading musicologist
…..
For future planning we recall the work of student watershed
For permitting and grantsmanship  he’s always been so far ahead
He’s very good at navigating wetlands fens and foggy bog
And formulating policies for regions part of TMACOG.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Stakeholder Meeting - Habitat Restoration

The general public, agricultural producers, and elected and appointed officials are invited to attend a discussion of the plans and potential projects for the following watersheds: Headwaters of Ten Mile Creek, Prairie Ditch, Ai Creeek, Fewless Creek/Swan Creek, and Lower Blue Creek.


Wednesday, February 21 5 - 6:30  p.m. 
at the Swanton Public Library. 305 Chestnut St., Swanton. 


Area agencies are developing habitat restoration plans and want public input on projects and priorities. Partners for the meeting are Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District, Lucas County, and the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission.


Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Adding Staff to Transportation Department

Dana Doubler is jumping into the deep end at her new job at TMACOG. Her primary assignment will be development of the next Long Range Transportation Plan. She will be leading the collaborative process to produce the plan which will be published in 2020. The Long Range Transportation Plan goes out 30 years or more and involves extensive public input, data collection, and analysis. Dana is prepared for the job: she has her master’s in geography from Michigan State University and experience working as a transportation planner at the Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission.

Dana has lived and worked all over the Midwest including Perrysburg, Bowling Green (where she got her undergraduate degree), and Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan. She’s looking forward to being part of the Toledo area. “I like this size of city,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting in there.” She will also be the staff person in charge of the Public Transit Committee.

In her free time, Dana is training for her first 5K and keeping up her interest in fine arts and crafts.

You can reach Dana at 419.241.9155. ext. 117 or doubler@tmacog.org.




Dana Doubler, TMACOG Transportation Planner 







Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org