A photo of a slide showing where a large dry dam would be constructed near North Lake Park.

Mansfield City Council plans to vote Sept. 21 on dry dam engineering measure:

One of Mansfield's jewels; the Carnegie Library:

Toledo Beer & Bacon Fest unites 20 Northwest Ohio craft breweries on Sept. 11:

Ashland Council to discuss plans for new dog shelter Sept. 21:

You're listening to Source Daily. Join us Monday through Friday to stay up to date with what's happening in North Central Ohio. We’ll be sharing a closer look at one of our top stories, along with other news, local history, memorials, answers to your questions, and more. 

Today - One of the most controversial proposals in Mansfield City Council’s recent history nearly came to an early vote Tuesday evening. Mansfield City Council had its second reading of a measure that would authorize the city to fund work for a dry dam along the city’s north side.

The city would specifically fund the engineering and design work for the dry dam at a cost of about $1.5 million. As you may already know if you listened to Tuesday’s episode, or have been keeping up at richlandsource.com, there was an interesting conversation at the last meeting.

Some council members indicated they wanted to wait until next year to vote on the issue. Among them was 3rd Ward representative Jon Van Harlingen, who has consistently voiced concerns about the cost of the overall project.

But Van Harlingen changed his tune … slightly… on Tuesday evening after council member Jason Lawrence suggested moving for an immediate vote. In fact, the most outspoken critic of Mansfield’s dry dam proposal said he won’t stand in the way of a vote to move forward. But still, he doesn’t want to rush things.

Van Harlingen explained that this has been going on for over 100 years and no administration would ever tackle it because of the cost. But here we are today. We’ve got two weeks, we’re going to have a vote.

Known as the Touby Run Flood Mitigation Hazard Project, the dry dam would alleviate flooding issues in the north end of Mansfield.

Fourth Ward councilman Alomar Davenport reignited the conversation after Tuesday night’s second reading, saying he was “vehemently opposed” to pushing the vote into 2022. He argued that delaying the vote prevents the city’s administration from addressing a public need.

He said it’s their job to vote on it, and he’s tired of people asking him what we're doing with the dry dam and having absolutely no clue.

At-large councilman Phillip Scott reiterated his support for tabling the bill until after the city budget is passed next spring. He said though he’s not opposed to the dry dam - he’s concerned about the money being able to pay for it.

But at-large councilwoman Stephanie Zader disagreed, saying that waiting to develop plans for the project could mean losing out on potential funding opportunities.

Zader said they’ve talked this thing to death. It's time to take some action. She noted that there's infrastructure money being passed down from the federal government right now. And if things are delayed, that infrastructure money will go out to others.

Mayor Tim Theaker said the city has already missed out on such opportunities.

In his eyes, the only way that they can apply for this money is to be shovel ready. And to be shovel-ready, you have to do the engineering up front. Theaker said there was federal money that they could have applied for and they even had the support of legislators in Washington - had they been ready.

Having the design work done would provide a plan, along with the opportunity to apply for federal funding for the project. It wouldn’t actually obligate the city to build the dam -- that would require an additional vote from council.

Davenport summed this up nicely saying that they’re not voting for the $15 million project. They’re voting on the $1.5 million to get the design done.

Fifth Ward councilman Jason Lawrence agreed. So he moved to put the motion on the floor for a final vote, but pulled it after Davenport and Zader expressed hesitance.

They wanted a full reading first. Davenport said he hoped and expected a vote on the matter on September 21st after three readings.

Next, some local history… Did you know that Mansfield’s Carnegie Library was built in 1908 for a cost of fifty thousand dollars?

When Mansfield was awarded a Carnegie grant for a new library building, the commission was given to local architect Vernon Redding. Mansfielders were proud of his creation. Built in the Classical Revival style, the library has corinthian columns, a broad stairway, an exterior made of white vitrified brick and white enamel terra cotta, and a roof made of red tile.

You can see pictures of how the Carnegie Library looked back when it opened at richlandsource.com

Now, we’d like to take a moment to highlight a few upcoming events...

If you’re up for a bit of a trek, the 2021 Toledo Beer & Bacon Fest is all local again this year celebrating locally made craft beer from more than 20 Northwest Ohio breweries — including many newer breweries like Buffalo Rock, 60cc and HEAVY Beer — and pairing it with great Hungarian-inspired bacon dishes.

Hosted by The Hungarian Club of Toledo and the Glass City Mashers, the event will be from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 at The Hungarian Club of Toledo in the historic Birmingham Neighborhood of East Toledo. Check out the link in the description for tickets:

This Saturday, put on your athletic gear because there are two worthwhile causes to support. At 9am, the Mansfield United Lions Club is hosting a Diabetes awareness 5k and 1 mile walk at Malabar Intermediate School. And the Northwest Ohio Chapter of Walk to End Alzheimer's will raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's research and care and support in our area. The walk starts at 10am and leaves from the OSU at Mansfield Science Building.

Next, From Ashland Source… 

The Ashland City council is thinking about rezoning a slice of land to accommodate the construction of a new dog shelter... and potentially a grooming salon and veterinary clinic. 

The effort to build a new shelter has been going on for years.

But it recently got a boost when a group of fellow dog lovers donated $600,000 to the county commissioners to cover some of the construction costs... which have been estimated to be up to $1 million for a new facility. 

If all goes to plan, construction on the shelter could wrap by spring 2022. 

The city council will vote on the property's rezoning during its next scheduled meeting on September 21st.

Finally, we’d like to take a moment to remember So many. Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Together, they were the deadliest terrorist attack in human history... 2,977 were killed, more than 25,000 were physically injured, and long-term health consequences followed for so many first-responders who dug through the rubble looking for survivors.

As we remember the horror of that day, we must also remember the horror of what followed. Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, thousands of American soldiers killed and wounded, and families who can never be made whole again.

We will be thinking of those who have lost and sacrificed so much this weekend. We hope you do the same. Thanks for listening, join us again tomorrow!

Also, make sure to head over to richlandsource.com and click be a member button to help support independent local journalism that informs and inspires. 

Every contribution goes to helping us make Richland County a better place and to help keep our journalism free. 

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