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Grand Rapids Council Discusses Parking Passes and Scout Project

Meeting minutes from the Grand Rapids’ council meeting, on October 25, 2021, have been posted on the Grand Rapids, Ohio website. Topics of discussion included welcoming the village’s newest employee Jeremy Weaver to the staff. The mayor and council also discussed Applebutter Festival parking passes, the roof at Grand Rapids Town Hall, and the color of the cannon in front of Howard Cemetery.


According to the official minutes, there were some issues with resident parking passes for the Applebutter Festival. Each year residents can request two parking passes for friends and family which gives those individuals the opportunity to park at a resident’s home instead of the public festival lots. Residents are to request their passes from the village office by September 1. The passes are then mailed out. Residents on the Grand Rapids in the 419 Facebook group complained they didn’t know they had to request passes and were denied when they called after passes ran out. During the discussion officials with the village said the information to request passes was sent out and it was posted online. Councilwoman Rachel Smith suggested people are under the impression the passes are printed at the village office when they are sent to a printer to be made. According to the village, there were issues with the printing shop that resulted in a delay in having them created.


In all 100 people requested passes out of 375 that were created. Those extra passes were used for those who called the village until they ran out. This is the third year residents have had to request passes. Mayor John Berry suggested the Applebutter Committee or Historical Society take over the task.


The Eagle Scout project that put a new coat of paint on the cannon and fence by Howard Cemetery was brought up again. The project was completed over the summer and the conversation appeared to get slightly heated during the village meeting on September 13 between village officials and those representing the scout who worked on the project. Village officials were upset about the lack of communication regarding the shade of green that was used on the cannon.


During the meeting on October 25, the chain of e-mails between the village and scout was discussed. According to the village, officials reached out numerous times regarding specifics on the project with few replies from the scout. Mayor Berry stated he received an e-mail from the scout stating that he would like to apologize to the village for the miscommunication. According to the mayor, residents questioned why the village was “holding up this boy” in regards to not signing off on the project. The mayor clarified that he did sign off.


“Mayor just wanted the public to know that we asked for information but never received it. Mayor is hoping to get things cleared up.” -Meeting Minutes

Other council members noted the paint on the fence is starting to bubble up and rust spots are becoming visible. Suggestions were made to repaint the fence next year.


In another discussion it appears the roof at Grand Rapids Town Hall has sprung a leak. The village was working on getting it repaired and had a carpenter ready to fix the ceiling once the roof is repaired. Grand Rapids Town Hall has sat mostly unused since the beginning of the pandemic. Council is currently meeting at the old fire hall. Few, if any, events have been hosted inside of the historic building.


In other village news, the Village of Grand Rapids Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, December 8, to consider a variance requested by Joseph and Susan O'Donnell to be able to build a garage on Monroe Street. The garage would cover an additional 24 square feet over the allowed coverage of 25%. The hearing will be held at the old fire station.


Towpath Media reports on the Grand Rapids meeting minutes when they are available at GrandRapidsOhio.com. The public can visit meetings in person on the second and fourth Monday of the month or read the full minutes at GrandRapidsOhio.com.

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