By LYDIA BAULER
FOR THE COURIER

FOSTORIA — Plans to create and improve travel routes around the area and within Fostoria city limits were the topic of discussion during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Council heard the first reading of a resolution to apply for an Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement and Local Transportation Improvement grant.

The administration is planning capital improvements for the North Main Street area between Jones Road and Culbertson Street as a way to help spur economic development, with added benefits to residential areas, Mayor Eric Keckler said.

“If you look at the north end of Main Street, there are a good number of industrial sites that we could spur some job growth in,” he said. “These new water and sewer lines would help some residential places on the south end of that project area and residents on the north end of Union Street.”

The improvements tentatively would include “widening the entire length of Main Street from where it comes off the overpass area on Jones Road all the way to Culbertson Street,” Keckler said.

According to the resolution, the improvements would include pavement, storm sewers, sanitary sewers and waterlines.

The mayor said generally, Ohio Public Works projects typically are funded by a grant and by a no-interest loan over a 30-year period.

Separately, Seneca Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Charlene Watkins gave an update on other ongoing plans in the region, such as:

  • A joint comprehensive plan for Seneca County, Tiffin, Fostoria and the Seneca County Park District that will be the building base for “a massive strategic plan” for the community, Watkins said.

    She said the comprehensive plan is “an overall desire of your community about what they would like to see happen in the next 20 years.”

  • A transportation plan is taking shape for proposed biking and walking trails, Watkins said. She said the county is lacking routes for biking, hiking, walking and roller-blading.

    Watkins said a top priority is to create a trail network connecting the county farm to downtown Tiffin. She said another major priority is connecting the North Coast Inland Trail in Sandusky County to the Wyandot County Trail.

    More locally, connecting Fostoria to those routes is a priority as well, she said.

  • A transportation plan that aims to create a Tiffin-Fostoria connector route to reduce congestion and boost development, according to the Regional Planning Commission’s website.

    That plan includes a Fostoria loop road project that would provide a safe, efficient transportation loop around the City of Fostoria that is good for residents, business, and economic development.

Separately, Doug Pahl, a councilman-at-large, said he expects to resign from his post by Nov. 1. Pahl said he plans to purchase a home in Eden Township, making him ineligible for council.

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