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A young man shows his animal during the 2020 Bellville Street Fair. (Richland Source file photo)

MANSFIELD -- It was an announcement near and dear to the heart of Richland County Commissioner Darrell Banks.

A former mayor of Bellville, the commissioner took pride Tuesday in telling fellow commissioners that his village had been selected one of the best small towns to visit in America.

Bellville was ranked No. 2 in the nation by the national My Town Today website, one slot behind Boulder, Nevada.

"I have notified Destination Mansfield and they will be able to use that information as they market Richland County," Banks said.

Commissioner Tony Vero took a moment to needle Banks by saying all it took for the village of 2,200 residents to become ranked nationally was for a new mayor to take office.

"I'd like to congratulation (Bellville) Mayor Teri Brenkus for the tremendous job she has done since taking office," Vero said with a laugh.

According to the organization's website, "My Town Today is a national movement committed to the preservation and promotion of small town culture through its local ambassadors, residents, and patrons; and has a mission to encourage stability and growth of small town culture, values, and heritage to the betterment of its communities."

In ranking Bellville No. 2, website CEO Kristy Burns wrote, "Where do I even begin to try to define the small town of Bellville? Is it defined by its proximity to Mohican or Malabar Farm State Parks? Or maybe its great location set along the Clear Fork River? All of these are amazing assets for this small town. But Bellville’s true number one asset, as in many small towns, are its residents. In Bellville, you truly are taken back to the “Mayberry of old,” as it was described to me by many locals. Over several days my family and I visited locations and listened to stories; so I can wholeheartedly tell you this statement is true."

Also on Tuesday, commissioners:

-- approved an upgraded security system and outdoor signage for the Richland County Dog Warden's Office on Home Road. The $860 security upgrade with Vector Security will provide improved motion sensors. A $120 contract with Spyder Signs and Graphics will inform the public the dog warden's outdoor kennels are not for public drop off of animals. A chain will also be added behind the building after hours to prevent the public from coming into the area.

-- approved advertising for bids to replace the roof at Dayspring's main building and laundry room. The work, once the contract is awarded, will be complete by the end of summer.

-- approved the renewal of a $31,000 janitorial products contract with Friendly Wholesale for various cleaning supplies for county buildings.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"