The year 2019 was a year of continued growth and accomplishments for the Village of Fredericktown. The Fredericktown community has continued to prosper over the past several years as we have seen new businesses move into the downtown area. All indications are that this steady growth will continue for the foreseeable future.
One of the Village’s highlights of 2019 was the Village successfully securing a Transportation Alternative Program grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation. This federally funded grant will cover $922,000 of Phase I construction of the Fredericktown Streetscape Project. This project will extend from Mill Street to the Public Square and will include: replacement of existing traffic lights and cables with new decorative traffic signals and overhead masts; burial of overhead utility lines; replacement of the existing “copper head” street lighting with decorative LED street lighting; new trees and other vegetation; new ADA compliant sidewalks; and new curbs and gutters. In addition to these improvements, Village Council is seeking other area agencies that are interested in helping with the cost of facade improvements of privately owned structures in the downtown business corridor. Construction on this project will take place in 2023 and this new look will help make Fredericktown an even better place to live, work, shop, and dine than ever before.
The Year 2019 was also a year of steady growth for the Village of Fredericktown. Not only did the business community grow, but the residential community expanded as well. Construction was completed on several single-family homes in East Moundvale and roughly ten more homes will likely be built in the same development within the next several years.
Three public improvement projects were completed in 2019, which included: Phase 7 & 8 of the Sewer Separation Project; the Gifford Street/Watson Street Water Main Project; and the 2019 Street Improvement Project. Roughly half of the costs of the $151,000 Sewer Separation Project were covered by a grant from Ohio Public Works Commission. The Village has been successful in securing OPWC funding for the past several years and we anticipate receiving $102,000 in OPWC grant funding for the 2020 Street Improvement Project. The estimated construction costs for the 2020 paving is $213,000.
The local job market held steady in 2019. Some of the larger employers within the Village corporation limits include Fredericktown Local Schools, Unique Metal Designs, Schafer Driveline, and Fredericktown Chevrolet, to name just a few. Kokosing Construction and FT Precision are both located just outside the Village corporation limits but these companies also provide jobs for hundreds of families living in the Fredericktown community. These employers not only provide jobs, but they may also provide products and services to those living in the Fredericktown community. Local employers and employees pay earnings taxes on their profits and wages earned within the Village and many employers pay property taxes as well. These taxes bring vital revenue to the Village enabling the Village to provide public services in return, thus improving the quality of life in the Fredericktown community.
The General Fund carryover at the end of 2019 was $567,254, which is a 7.6% increase from the 2018 year-end carryover. This growth can largely be attributed to the Police Levy as the Police Department no longer relies solely on the General Fund for its operating expenses. Not only does the Police Levy provide approximately $110,000 in revenue per year for FPD operating expenses but it also frees up General Fund monies to be used toward other expenses throughout the Village. The current Police Levy will expire December 31st, 2020.
The Village has continued to pay down debt. This debt includes: loans for storm water improvements, sanitary sewer improvements, waste water treatment plant improvements, water plant improvements, construction of a 300,000-gallon water tower, and the construction of the Owl Creek Trail.
The Fredericktown community has demonstrated great pride in its Police Department and the FPD has continued to raise its standard, thus setting an example for other local law enforcement agencies to follow. The FPD has accomplished this by focusing on its core ideologies: professionalism, integrity, community engagement, transparency, and a focus on customer service. The FPD is fully committed to serving the citizens of Fredericktown through an ongoing effort in crime prevention. Our officers take great pride and ownership in FPD’s success and they are humbled by the responsibility entrusted to them by the Fredericktown community. The Police Department understands that at the core of their success is that sacred trust. This is a trust that the FPD values greatly and strives to maintain each and every day.
As we look back at the past few years, the FPD has seen a substantial increase in calls for service. In 2011, the FPD handled 888 calls for service, compared to an all-time high of 1,747 calls in 2018, which was a 94% increase in calls. However, in 2019, the number of calls dropped to 1,699 – a decrease of 3%. While we do not anticipate a significant decline in the need for police services, we are prepared and committed to maintaining a safe Fredericktown community with an efficient and professional Police Department that helps make Fredericktown a great place to live.
Community engagement is utilized through the Fredericktown Community Neighborhood Watch program. Members of this group meet on a monthly basis to discuss crime concerns and relevant trends within the community. These members of the Neighborhood Watch Program are trained on how to identify and report suspicious activity as well as techniques in how to be a good witness. The greatest benefit of this program is seen in the neighborhood camaraderie and the partnership that has been built and maintained over time between the FPD and the Fredericktown community.
As we move forward into 2020, Police Chief Kyle Johnson urges the Fredericktown community to continue to provide the FPD with input, perspective, feedback, and ideas so that the FPD may continually improve.
Village Council looks forward to providing residents and merchants in the Village of Fredericktown with a promising future. The Village will continue to partner with a number of agencies in making this a great place to live, to work and to do business. We wish our residents and merchants alike nothing but a safe and prosperous 2020.
Mayor Jerry Day