Town news

Main Street: 2009 Velasquez print

Oscar Velasquez's 2009 Bluffton winter scene painting will be on sale at Deer Creek Shoppes beginning Saturday, November 28th. Velasquez will be at Deer Creek on Blaze day to sign copies of the prints from 3 to 8 p.m.
This year's winter scene is of Main Street near Shannon Theatre. Past scenes from the Blaze of Lights series have included Bluffton University's College Hall, Ebenezer Mennonite Church, Bluffton Presbyterian Church, and St. John's United Church of Christ/Bluffton High School. Copies from year's past will also be available for purchase.
Print sizes are: 8" x 10" framed for $29; 16" x 20" unframed for $29; and 16" x 20" framed for $79.
Velasquez is a Putnam County resident and has been a self-employed artist for 32 years. He has created many large outdoor and indoor murals around the area.

DTR official speaks at Chamber meeting

Bill Yokas, senior vice president of manufacturing at DTR spoke at the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday, November 13th.

Yokas discussed the status of the Bluffton facility and the move of its rubber hose line to a plant out of the country. DTR has offered their employees five options, early retirement, indefinite voluntary layoff, 6 month voluntary layoff, involuntary layoff, or a $10,000 buyout. Yokas maintains that all of their employees have been fully informed, and will continue to be, on the status of their employment with the company. He added that all laid off permanent employees have been rehired.

DTR Industries Inc. is owned by Tokai Rubber, a Japanese company. The automobile industry has been severely affected by the economic downturn. DTR reported their highest payroll ever in 2007 and has experienced declining numbers in 2008 and 2009.

The company expects that DTR will return to 2007 numbers by 2012. The AV portion of the industry is profitable and growing; the Bluffton plant will function as an AV production facility only.

Update: Bluffton University Bus Crash

Federal Insurance Co. and American Alternative Insurance Corp. were released from responsibility in lawsuit filed after the 2007 crash that killed five Bluffton University baseball students.

The 3rd Ohio District Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a March ruling made by Judge Richard Warren of Allen County Common Pleas Court releasing the insurance company. The court ruled that the bus company, Executive Coach, had control over the bus and the driver, not Bluffton University.

The bus accident killed Tyler Williams, of Lima, Scott Harmon, of Elida, David Betts, of Bryan, Cody Holp, of Arcanum, and Zachary Arend, of Oakwood. The bus driver and his wife, Jerry and Jean Niemeyer, of Columbus Grove were also killed in the crash. Niemeyer mistakenly drove the bus up a left-side exit ramp and off a bridge onto I-75.

Around Town

Future Construction on SR 103

Members of council voted Monday night to approve a plan for the resurfacing of State Route 103.

This project proposes to grind 1 ¼” and pave 1 ¼“ asphalt on SR 103 inside the village of the Bluffton corporation limits from the SR 103 (Bentley Rd.) NB exit ramp north through the village (Bentley Rd., Main St., Jefferson St.) to the County Line, excluding the limits of the Main Street Streetscape project. Handicap curb ramps will be installed where appropriate to meet ADA requirements. Longitudinal (centerlines and edgelines) and auxiliary pavement markings (stop bars, railroad markings, cross walks, etc.) will also be included within this project. Parking stall painting and any necessary manhole adjustments will not be included in this project. 
The only potential financial responsibilities the Village would have in this project would be the restriping of parking stalls and any necessary manhole adjustments.
Fall Leaf Pickup
Leaf Pickup is in full swing. The Service Department is working their way around the Village as quickly as they can.
Streetscape Update
The Main Street beautification process is nearing its end, with just a few minor projects left.
The Village is not fully satisfied with the work done the sub-contractor who performed the paver installation, said Jamie Mehaffie during Monday’s council meeting. In addition, the traffic lights at the intersections will continue to be on four-way flashing mode until the construction crews have completed their projects in order to maintain a safe work environment.
There will be a ribbon cutting in honor of the completion of the Streetscape project fifteen minutes prior to the start of the Blaze of Lights Parade on Nov. 28, said Mayor Rodabaugh. In addition, council approved the closing of Main Street from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 for the Blaze of Lights festivities and parade.
The Village Council discussed preliminary steps to make zoning changes for the first time in nearly forty years.
The current zoning codes are outdated and the Village has changed drastically since the last time the zones were examined.
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