By Art Hunter
A dedication ceremony was held in Batavia Tuesday, July 15 for the Main, Second, and Fourth Street Project.
“This bicentennial year is a good time to be the mayor of Batavia,” Mayor John Thebout said. “We’ve had the good fortune in recent years to see a revival of our village, and we are well on our way to making Batavia the best county seat in the state of Ohio.”
The nearly $5 million project included a redesign of East Main Street, and the rebuilding of South Second and North Fourth streets.
Thebout said that it was possible to realize the project only through the efforts and cooperation of many people. He recognized the efforts of the village administrator, council, and contractors. He also recognized that the cooperation of the state and local governments was necessary to make the project a reality.
Village administrator Dennis Nichols said that a county seat gets its money from the people who work there, and that the revitalization of East Main Street would not have been possible without the village’s recent annexations. He recognized residents Donald Saylor, Glen Wiedenbein and Glen Wiedenbein II for leading the annexation drive and making it possible for the village to increase its area by two thirds.
“Not everybody was happy about that, but there’s no free lunch,” Nichols said. “The mayor and village council stood firm and that’s how we got from there to where we could begin on the project.”
Also making remarks at the ceremony were County Commissioner David Uible, who personally contributed funds for the new courthouse clock, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Warren Walker, Village Association of Batavia Trustee Robert Baillie, Burgess & Niple Principle Engineer Donald Bezold, and Ford Development Corp. Project Manager Michael Frey.
The redesigned East Main Street has wider sidewalks, a center turn lane, and stamped asphalt crosswalks.
The utility poles and overhead wires have been removed and new decorative streetlights have been installed.
The storm sewers have been upgraded, and the upgraded underground utilities include conduit for a future installation of fiber optic cables for high-speed broadband internet access in the village.
The streetscape features new landscaping, with planted center islands and trees along both sides of the street.
South Second and North Fourth streets were rebuilt and have new sidewalks.