Originally published in the Johnstown Independent
Sunday July 12, 2015 7:35 PM
Originally published in the Johnstown Independent
Sunday July 12, 2015 7:35 PM
Sunday July 12, 2015 7:28 PM
The fun, food and festivities of summertime Fourth of July parades, come early to the village of Johnstown, with the annual Johnstown Fireman’s Festival.
The festival will begin Wednesday, June 24, and run through Saturday, June 27.
The parade is scheduled to step off at noon, Saturday, rain or shine.
It is organized by the Johnstown Fire Department Association, a group of retired and current firefighters who raise money for the Monroe Township fire department.
Amusement rides and vendors will open at 6 p.m. daily, Wednesday through Friday, and at noon, Saturday.
The festival started in 1975 as a local street fair and a way for the fire department to raise a few dollars.
Now, it has grown into an event so large that former fire chief Johnny Johnson estimated the festival attracts more than 10,000 people over the four days.
“It’s a big family gathering where people can say ‘hi’ to old and new friends,” Johnson said.
He said the festival used to be held on July 4th but the organizers found their was too much competition with other festivals and celebrations in Granville, Sunbury and Centerburg.
There will be 12 food trailers, offering classic carnival food such as corn dogs, elephant ears, gyros, cotton candy and bratwurst and otherr sausages.
Johnson said rides at the festival are top-notch because festival organizers contract with the same company the Franklin County Fair uses.
In previous years, the Miss Johnstown Pageant has been held the Tuesday before the Firemen’s Festival, but this year it’s being held Saturday, June 20, because of summer camp scheduling conflicts.
Each night of the festival there will be live music from 8 to 11 p.m.
Wednesday night, Southern Touch will perform. Thursday, June 25, the music will be provided by Sidewinder.
Friday, June 26, local band Cool Kids will perform and Saturday, June 27, Marquis 66 will perform.
The parade will start with a line up at the Johnstown High School at 9 a.m. and will proceed along Route 37, turning left onto Pershing Drive and left onto Oregon Street, ending back at the high school.
Floats will be judged starting at 10:30 a.m. and winners will be announced as they pass the announcer’s stand. Awards and trophies for best looking, best float and judge’s choice will be presented near the Gazebo after the parade.
The parade lineup is based on a first-come, first-served basis and Johnson said everyone is invited to participate.
“I get 40-50 calls every year from people wanting to be in the parade,” he said. “All they need to do is show up in the morning.”
The grand marshals of the parade will be all 192 members of the Johnstown High School Big Red Band.
The band has previously performed in parades such as the Outback Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl and at Walt Disney World.
Only parade vehicles will be allowed on Douglas Street.
There will be a drive-thru lane via Oregon Street for drop off only of parade participants.
For more information, call Johnny Johnson at 740-967-7771.
Sunday March 1, 2015 3:52 PM
The salt supply in Johnstown and surrounding areas appears to be in good shape thus far this winter.
Jack Liggett, Johnstown’s service director, said more than 350 tons of salt have been used during the nine snow events in the village. Even having used that much salt, the village still has more than 300 tons of salt in storage, he said.
Glen Hacker, chief operator, told Village Council on Feb. 17 that the village’s salt supply was replenished recently. Some of the salt on hand is leftover from last year.
Having enough salt is one factor, though, Liggett said. The other factor is in getting the manpower to distribute the salt.
“Sometimes, I’ll have to ask my water-and-sewer plant operators to help plow the roads,” he said. “I have guys plowing from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and then the plant operators finish the roads.”
He said the village saves money by giving employees who plow compensatory time off instead of paying them overtime.
“It’s like a vacation bank where they earn time that they can use later,” Liggett said.
When a snow event begins, he said, the village sends one of its large snow plows to salt and plow the north side of town, starting with Edwards Road, and then works east to west.
The other large plow truck covers the south side and starts on Concord Road and Jersey Street, also working east to west.
Additionally, the village uses three pickup trucks with attached blades to plow cul-de-sacs and smaller roads.
Liggett said both plow trucks were inspected in October and are holding up well.
Ericka Pfeifer, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 5, which serves Coshocton, Fairfield, Guernsey, Knox, Licking, Muskingum and Perry counties, said District 5 had used 40,606 tons of salt as of Feb. 4. At the same time last year, it had used 84,000 tons. As of Feb. 18, the amount used rose to 57,227 tons, she said.
“We are operating at 50 percent of our capacity, which is exactly where we want to be at this time of the year,” she said.
The price of salt increased 49 percent from 2014, when it was $48.84 per ton, to $72.97 per ton in 2015, Pfeifer said.
“We knew that in 2015, there would be a price increase,” she said. “Since we negotiated our salt contract last year, we were able to build the cost into our budget and allocate funds for enough salt.”
A combination of salt and brine, a water and salt mixture, is used to melt ice, she said.
When the temperature drops below 20 degrees, she said, a calcium blend is added to the brine to help with the melting process.
ODOT focuses on plowing and salting interstates, highways and arterial routes first, Pfeifer said.
As of Feb. 18, more than 58,905 manhours were spent plowing or salting, according to Pfeifer.
View the online article here
Monday February 2, 2015 11:55 AM
Johnstown leaders should know within two months whether applications for state funding have been approved.
Johnstown in 2011, 2012 and 2013 requested a state grant to rebuild Concord Road.
This year, the Ohio Public Works Commission appears to have come through with a $290,000 grant and a $340,000 loan to rebuild Concord, the only access road for two large housing developments in the village. Concord begins off state Route 37, on the village’s southeast quadrant, and runs east all the way to Northridge Road.
The last significant repairs to Concord Road occurred in the 1980s. Only spot repairs and necessary maintenance have been done for the past 25 years.
The village submitted an application Oct. 2, 2014, to the Ohio Public Works Commission District 17 nomination committee to receive funding for this project. District 17 includes Delaware, Fairfield, Knox, Licking, Morrow and Pickaway counties.
District 17 on Jan. 23 recommended to the full commission approval of the grant and loan, Village Manager Jim Lenner said.
He said it would be exciting to finally be awarded funding after three unsuccessful attempts.
“Concord Road is one of the worst roads in the village and will only get more traffic as the village grows,” Lenner said.
Within the next 60 days, village leaders should find out whether Johnstown officially has been granted the money from the commission. Lenner said the full commission usually follows the districts’ recommendations.
The rebuilding of Concord Road would occur in two phases.
The first $200,000 phase would start near Middleburn Street and would be financed by the village.
The next phase would be focused on the first third of the road, from South Main Street to Concord Crossing Drive. This phase would occur after July 1, when the funds from the grant and loan become available.
The project is anticipated to create five-10 temporary jobs during the construction, according to the village’s grant application.
A construction bid process is expected to begin in early summer 2015 and construction would begin by mid-July.
The $340,000 no-interest loan would be for a 29-year term.
Lenner said it would be great to get such “free financing” from the state.
Currently, Concord Road is plagued with drainage issues, which have caused road-surface failures, Lenner wrote in the grant application. Motorists often have to avoid potholes or ruts by swerving into the opposite lane, he wrote.
In the spring, a motorcyclist was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole on Concord Road and broke his shoulder. Without proper funding, all the city could do was update the sign warning motorists about the treacherous conditions, he wrote.
In the grant application, Lenner wrote that the concern for safety of motorists is of the utmost importance for village officials and residents.