Kelleys Island News
By Leslie Korenko
Finally, nice, cool weather and some refreshing rain, but still not enough and plants are really beginning to show the effects of our local drought. October is still pretty busy with parties, fundraisers, Owl Banding and more. Check the Chamber website for details. The HARVEST FEST is October 1st, and thanks to Dave Marco, the park will be decorated again this year. COUNCIL MEETINGS move to the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. at Kelleys Hall. The Great Lakes Islands Alliance (GLIA) comes to the Island on October 4th. October 15th is the KILA Family HayRide (part of a whole bunch of family themed activities) and October 22nd is Adult Halloween day.
BIRD BANDING is underway with mixed results. Robust winds made for a dismal couple of days banding. The FAA granted the village $455,000 for reconstructing the runway lighting. There are new signs in the field across from the airport explaining the natural area there. Channel 13 did a presentation to the school about weather (the Storm Tracker car toured the Island) and the News mentioned that there are just five students in the school this year: Grade 4 (2); Grade 6 (1) and Grade 7 (2). Quite a reduction from last year when so many people sheltered on the Island because of Covid. Construction on the GROOVES is wrapping up and they are expected to reopen sometime in early October. The official dedication has been pushed back to next spring. It seems like building is going on everywhere here. Foundations are going in, additions and new homes are being built along almost every road. One small construction project is on land across from the cemetery. There’s an open air housing unit for pheasants and rumors of a private hunting club coming to the island. Work is underway for the new storage building for the Parsonage Resale Shop which should be completed by winter.
Council notes: The POLICE DEPT. had 21 reports including damage, theft, sound ordinance, and a dog bite. They received 446 phone calls. There was one accident (vehicle rollover), six arrests (disorderly conduct/Intoxication and underage consumption). Eleven tickets were issued along with three warnings. They investigated one residential alarm. James Bartus was officially appointed Police Chief and Amy Krall was appointed as a full-time officer in the position of Sergeant. KI EMS will be training on pediatric emergencies. They had 15 runs and 27 clinic calls. The FIRE DEPT. had one fire run in August. This month’s training will be Search & Rescue which will be held on school grounds. The WATER DEPT. welcomes Nataliya Makarova-Skeens as the new operator in training and Donna Divoll as the new bookkeeper. They report eight new water taps with six more pending. The service pump rebuild project is half completed and should be done next spring. The Village considered applying for a grant for “the public sewer system,” however, it was not an option under the OPWC grant. Procedural questions were raised after Council voted to increase appropriations for the FAA-Airport Improvement fund ($152,283.19) and the Water fund ($100,000) with no discussion or explanation. Both ordinances were introduced by Mayor Ehrbar, however it was questioned why this was not presented first to the Finance Committee for review.
Middle Bass Museum Update
The recently formed Middle Bass Island Historical Society has obtained its tax exempt status from the IRS which allows it to receive donations directly. The Society is moving forward with its internal organization and tending to other corporate and tax related matters such as formalizing the Board of Directors, completing additional required filings with the IRS and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, establishing corporate bank accounts and creating an IRS-compliant internal accounting system. These actions have been undertaken by Rich Plewacki and Matt Roesch, as legal advisors, and Jay Musson and Jan Ross on the financial and accounting matters.
Meanwhile, the Society’s Implementation Team is addressing a variety of more interesting initiatives. The Team consists of a cross section of like-minded Middle Bass Island residents and friends who are interested in, and focused on, working to make the Society’s historical museum a reality. The primary focus of the Team will be to take on the operational and administrative responsibilities necessary to create an actual museum, which includes setting up the processes of accepting and managing items to be included in the museum, public relations, etc.
A key issue is obtaining a facility to host the museum. The Society is working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on a proposed joint venture to establish and maintain a museum facility. The Society received good news recently that ODNR was going to invest a significant amount of money to restore the old Lonz Mansion. The long-term plan for the Society is to lease a portion of the Lonz Mansion for the museum. For the near term, however, a lease is currently being worked on with ODNR representatives for space in the Lonz Winery Cellars to serve as the museum’s initial home.
The overall goal of the Society is to preserve and share Middle Bass Island history with the public. It has been a lot of work to get to this point, and will take more time to accomplish all of the Society’s goals. The Society, as well as the Middle Bass Island residents, feel it is well worth the effort to leave Middle Bass’s future generations a real view of the island’s rich history.
If you would like to be involved on the museum team or would like to make a donation to the Society’s effort, call or email Jim Roesch (419-260-3659; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please visit the Put-in-Bay Gazette subscription form. This piece of Put-in-Bay journalism has been provided to putinbayohio.com courtesy of the Put-in-Bay Gazette, Put-in-Bay’s only local newspaper. Visit their website putinbay.news for more information and to subscribe!