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State of the Village report at June chamber meeting

At the June meeting of the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce, Village Administrator Jesse Blackburn provided a concise and informative State of the Village presentation. He gave chamber members a snapshot of upcoming and recent developments.

Blackburn began with population data from the 2020 Census, showing a decrease of 158 people:

2010 Census population: 4,125

2020 Census population: 3,967

Housing data shows that this decrease took place while 61 residential units were added to the village.

Beautification of the village is coordinated through an appropriately named "Bluffton in Blooom" committtee. But the village is working on more than than well-loved flower pots that line Main St. $7,500 is budgeted each year for these projects.

Overhead lighting has completed the beautification of several Main Street alleys (nicknamed by some as "pocket parks").

Blackburn reported that the huge stone placed on Bentley Rd. by the Bluffton Stone Company--the largest single stone to be harvested from the quarry--will soon have metal lettering turning it into Bluffton sign. He noted that the flowers currently planted are a "bandaid" to compete with the weeds. Landscaping will come later.

The never ending quest to maintain high quality water and sewer service continues. The village administrator noted that a major water line goes through the university property, which is very unusual. Upcoming projects include

  • Lawn-Riley-Jackson-Elm streets water line project to improve fire hydrant flow and remove rust.
  • SR 103 sanitary sewer work with boring under entranceways. Estimated completion by May 15, 2023.

In 2023 State Route 103 will be resurfaced through the village. Additional projects to be completed working with ODOT are

  • SR 103 pedestrian pathway. Estimated start date May 1, 2023
  • Bently Road realignment at Main. Estimated completed May 15, 2023

As part of the Bluffton Beyond Tomorrow comprehensive planning project, the village is asking residents and those engaged in the community complete a quick survey about the village's future:

The village's Complete Streets Task Force is developing a policy to ensure that all streets provide safe, comfortable and convenient options for walking, cycling and driving. The village is working with Allen County Public Health.

Blackburn gave the audience a heads-up: homeowners will be receiving a letter to coordinate inspection of sump pumps to make sure they do not discharge into the sanitary sewer, burdening the village water processing facilities.