May 29th is the day the U.S. honors those who gave their lives in service to our country. At 8:00 a.m. this Monday, local veterans will have a solemn Memorial Day service in Exchange Park by the clock downtown. They will read a poem and say a few words in remembrance of their fallen comrades. There will be a cannon salute. Sue and I always attend. The ceremony will be repeated at Maple Grove Cemetery at 9:00 am. AMVETS is sponsoring a light lunch from noon to 1:00 p.m. Public invited. There is no rain date. As one Vietnam veteran told me, “We never stopped because of weather.” THERE IS NO PARADE THIS YEAR. Why? The membership of local veterans’ organizations has aged. Many are in their 80s and 90s. Their love for our country and fellow veterans is still strong. But time has limited what they can do physically. The work involved in marshaling the Vermilion Memorial Day Parade is just too much for these special people. Perhaps another group will revive Vermilion’s Memorial Day Parade. Our Veterans have already done more than most of us.
We ALL should take a moment this weekend to remember the real meaning of Memorial Day. Where would we be without those who gave their futures so that we could have ours? Be sure to do something good with what they gave us.
UPDATED! Street Replacement Program
You live on the worst street in town. We agree. I usually learn something when a resident stops to tell me all about their street’s condition while I’m holding two cups of very hot coffee. Sue says I repeat myself. She says it repeatedly. But, once again, here is how street replacement selection goes:
1. Tell your ward Council rep that your street is in need of repair. You can tell the Administration, too. We’re happy to listen. But Council decides. What? You don’t know your Council Rep? Go to: www.cityofvermilionohio.gov. “City Council.” “Meet Council.” “Find your Ward.” Or call us.
2. Engineer Howard, Service Director Valerius and Finance Director Hendricks report to Council the condition rating of the proposed worst streets and how much money is available.
3. Then, Council gets together IN PUBLIC MEETINGS and decides which streets will get your tax dollars. You can attend and make the case for your street. Council has the final say on how City tax funds are spent and where. Then City Hall gets to work fixing them.
I’m sorry if your street didn’t make the cut this year. The Streets Budget and grants only stretch so far. NOW, if we had a big, new, tax-paying business in our community…
“What happened to the anchor and propeller that used to be by the old museum?” That’s what an older gentleman asked me at Third Thursday. “Did you sell them for scrap?” No worries, sir. Those two artifacts belonged to the Inland Seas Museum when it was here in Vermilion.
Local families, Ted and Betsy Wakefield and Dan and Judy Kernell, purchased the anchor and propeller from the owners. These generous neighbors then donated the artifacts to the City. Vermilion Rotary raised money to rehab these two iconic items. Once restored, the anchor and propeller will take places of honor in the redesign of Main Street Beach & Park. God Bless Vermilion's volunteers!
The new comfort station at the beach was opened for Third Thursday May 18. The restroom will remain open 7 days a week. According to Service Director Valerius, restrooms will open at 7:00 a.m. Restrooms will remain open until LAST CALL that evening. Everyone should tend to business before closing the restrooms at 9:30 p.m. Main Street Beach & Park hours are DAWN TO DUSK as set by ordinance. And yes, you followers of the solstice, opening and closing times will be adjusted throughout the year as the earth tips on its axis and the hours of dawn to dusk change in Vermilion.
Lights out…The Great Eclipse
Speaking of Vermilion’s place in the solar system, it sounds like an army of dedicated followers of the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN may be fueling up to invade Vermilion April 8, 2024. The TOTAL eclipse will cover a swath from Toledo to Youngstown. Every mayor in that swath claims that their city will be the center of the blackout. Vermilion is not second to ANY other city. So, as your mayor, I hereby declare that “VERMILION IS THE CENTER OF THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE 2024!” “PERHAPS, CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE!” In any case, next April you and I will be in the dark for a while with A LOT of strangers.
Ms. Barb Knapp is a Bluebird Beach resident and retired schoolteacher. She’s a smart lady and knows a thing or two about the coming eclipse. Ms. Knapp taught me a lesson in my office last winter with maps and charts. She gave me the heads up that people from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND WORLD travel to places to experience a total solar eclipse. Places like Vermilion. She leaned forward and asked, “Is Vermilion ready?” Now, Ms. Knapp has me concerned. I had visions of the last scene in the movie, Field of Dreams where a line of cars, as far as the eye can see, is driving to the cornfield. “They will come,” Ms. Knapp said. I talked to some other mayors and County Commissioners. And Ms. Knapp is correct. County and city governments are scrambling to figure out how to respond to the surge of skyward looking humanity. One Commissioner said, “There won’t be an available campground or parking space north of I-80. Cell service may be overloaded.” So, Ms. Knapp, the VPD, VFD, Main Street, the Chamber and others all met at Hometown Bakery to start planning. If 100,000 Woollybear attendees put a strain on Vermilion’s city resources, what would an invasion of two or three times as many people do to our city’s public spaces, roadways and emergency services? And don’t forget the Wastewater Treatment Plant!
Residents of a Small Town on a Great Lake will need to make a decision over the next 10 months. Do you plan a vacation to Colorado? Or do you set up a table in your front yard and sell those funky retina protecting sunglasses to the visitors? I still haven’t gotten over the whole pandemic thing. What next?
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