By Art Hunter
A capacity crowd filled the Batavia council chambers Monday, April 8 for a public meeting on the village’s plans to redesign East Main Street and rebuild North Fourth and South Second streets.
Don Bezold, an engineer with the Burgess and Niple engineering firm, presented the preliminary plans for the project.
Some residents expressed concerns with certain aspects of the Main Street design, such as the medians which are being proposed for sections of the street, but overall, the designs were well-received.
Village resident Dan Haglage expressed enthusiastic support for the plans.
“I think this plan is fantastic,” he said. “It is reflective of what happened at the meeting a month ago. Everything that was brought up as a reasonable idea has been incorporated and I really applaud what you’ve done.”
Council member Steve Staton said that the project is going to make the village “walking friendly” once again, and will have effects well beyond the nine block area included in the project.
“This is going to be one of the biggest building projects Batavia has ever seen,” Staton said. “This is going to make a fundamental difference to this community. This will pull our whole community together.”
The plans will be discussed again at the council’s next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, May 6.
Mayor John Thebout said that if council does not make a final decision on the details of the plan at that meeting, it will be closer to doing so.
“We will be getting closer at that point to making the final choices,” Thebout said.The project is expected to cost approximately $4.8 million. Grant money in the amount of $989,000 from the Ohio Public Works Commission will pay for part of the project. The remainder of the project cost will come from a $1.35 million OPWC loan, and $2.5 million in bonds.