DOWN: One way or another, everyone in Findlay will be inconvenienced by the Interstate 75 widening and related interchange construction before its done. While the three-year project is well underway, one of the next impacts will fall on the businesses and residents who live along Lima Avenue, one of the city’s main roadways, particularly to the highway. Closure of a large section of Lima Avenue will come in September and will last for a year. That may seem like an eternity for those who rely daily on the street, and who will have to figure out a different route to home and work. The end of Hancock County’s biggest construction project in decades still seems like an eternity away, but the light at the end of the tunnel is this: Imagine how much better the U.S. 68 and Ohio 15 interchanges will be when the dust finally does clear.

UP: Fostoria’s general fund balance is back in the black for the first time since the city was placed in fiscal emergency by the state in May 2016. According to the city’s June financial report, the General Fund began the year $996,359 in the hole, but on July 1 the balance was $42,621. The improvement is the result of various economic factors, but City Finance Director Steve Garner reported income tax receipts in June were up about 50 percent compared to June 2017, partially due the efforts of a tax collection agency the city hired in 2016. Income tax revenue has also increased about 25 percent through June compared to through June 2017. It’s good, of course, that the city’s finances are back on track and heading in the right direction.

DOWN: Last week’s decision by the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission to put on hold Gov. John Kasich’s administrative order calling for eight rivers or streams in northwestern Ohio to be put on the “distressed watershed” list was not surprising, considering the clout of the agricultural industry in the state. Kasich’s order was meant to spur action as Lake Erie and other waterways continue to be contaminated with toxic algae blooms as a result of excessive phosphorus and nitrogen that finds its way into the state’s waterways. While there are various sources of the nutrients, the most significant one is farm field runoff of fertilizers and manure. Kasich’s order would have lead to new mandatory farm practices designed to reduce nutrient runoff. While political pressure has resulted in the designation to be put on indefinite hold pending further study, Kasich’s action still has generated much-needed attention to the algae issue. The burden is now back on lawmakers and state regulators to do something more to address the problem.

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