US 62 and Oregon Street Traffic Signal Update

The Village has received many phone calls asking about the status of the flashing traffic signal at US 62 and Oregon Street. We believe the signal malfunctioned May 4th and promptly called ODOT. It was determined by ODOT the responsibility is the Village’s to repair the signal. As soon as it was determined the signal was our responsibility, the Village ordered the parts needed to repair the signal. We expect to have the signal operational by Wednesday, May 16th, at the latest.

Jim Lenner – – 967-3177

State awards $150,000 grant to Thirty-One Gifts


ThisWeek Community News – April 30, 2012

A state grant is making the trip to work safer for a Johnstown company’s employees.

State Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) announced Monday, April 23, the state had awarded a $150,000 Roadwork Development Grant to Johnstown’s Thirty-One Gifts, a direct seller of embroidered handbags and other home and gift items.

In 2009 and 2010, the company invested $5.4 million in building, infrastructure and land improvements. It also created 75 new full-time jobs at the Johnstown business park as part of an expansion project.

“I want to commend Thirty-One Gifts for choosing to invest in Johnstown and bringing new jobs to the community,” Schaffer said in a news release. “The modifications to U.S. 62 made possible by this grant will benefit Thirty-One Gifts as well as nearby businesses by allowing traffic to flow more freely, and I am happy that these dollars will be used to improve our community and local businesses.”

According to the release, the project includes adding a right-turn lane along U.S. Route 62 as well as the installation of a traffic signal at Route 62 and Commerce Drive. These improvements will allow a safer entry and exit of vehicles into the business park and decrease traffic congestion.

Thirty-One Gifts has committed to funding the balance of the roadwork improvement costs.

“This is great news,” Johnstown Village Manager Jim Lenner said.

He said the Roadwork Development Grant was a collaborative effort by Thirty-One Gifts, the village of Johnstown, ODOT and the Ohio

Department of Development to bring the infrastructure upgrade from planning to reality.

“The village is excited to continue our outstanding relationships with our local businesses to assist in any way possible to keep or create jobs in Johnstown,” he said.

“This is for a project that should’ve happened a long time ago,” said Megan Gordon, director of economic development for Thirty-One Gifts.

She said the company has been paying for a person to direct traffic at the Route 62 and Commerce Drive intersection. The grant will help to pay for an automated signal that will help all businesses in the park, Gordon said.

“That intersection is dangerous,” she said. “We didn’t feel it’s safe.”

She said Thirty-One Gifts agreed to monitor the intersection until funding was available for the traffic light and other upgrades.
Gordon said her company would like to expand operations in the Johnstown business park, but not until several infrastructure issues are addressed, beginning with the intersection.

“Right now, this is step one. It has to be safe,” she said, adding the village of Johnstown has worked diligently to help Thirty-One Gifts improve the business park.

“The village has been an amazing partner. We’ve been working on this together,” said Gordon. “We’ll get it done.”

MP3 Downloads Now Available at Licking County Library

More and more libraries are offering ebooks and audiobooks for download, but the availability of digital content for music is still limited. Licking County Library now provides the Freegal music service, a portal through which library patrons can download (and keep!) up to three songs a week.

Here’s how: Go to the library’s website at and click on the Freegal button (located on the left under the blue toolbar). On the freegal page that appears, enter your library card number with no spaces and your pin. You’re in!

Freegal currently offers tracks from the Sony record label. The MP3s work on any kind of player, including iPod, and are compatible with both PC and Mac. Songs downloaded from Freegal will remain in your computer until you choose to delete them.

Taken from the Newark Advocate – May 1, 2012|blogs


Elm and Payne Street Improvement Bid Request

Sealed bids for “Elm and Payne Street Improvements” will be received by The Village of Johnstown, 599 S. Main St., Johnstown, Ohio, 43031, until 11:00 a.m. (local time),  May 23, 2012, and at that time publicly opened and read.

The work consists of pavement resurfacing, spot full-depth pavement replacement, and installation of new storm sewer.  The Engineer’s Estimate for this work is $120,000.  The Project is to be completed within 60 calendar days from the date of award of the contract.

Contract documents may be examined at the Village, or at the office of the consulting engineer, W.E. Stilson Consulting Group,355 East Campus View Blvd., Suite 250,Columbus,Ohio43235, or at Central Ohio Builders Exchange,1175 Dublin Road,Columbus,Ohio, or at the Columbus Dodge Reports,1175 Dublin Road,Columbus,Ohio.

Contract documents may be obtained from W.E. Stilson Consulting Group,355 East Campus View Blvd., Suite 250(Phone 614-847-4670).  Orders for Contract Documents which are to be delivered by parcel post or other carriers will not be accepted after five days prior to the bid date.

Each set of Contract Documents shall consist of Project specifications and plans.

There is a nonrefundable charge of $40.00 for each set of Contract Documents.

Each bidder is required to furnish with its proposal a Bid Guaranty in accordance with Section 153.54 of the Ohio Revised Code.  Bid security furnished in Bond form shall be issued by a Surety Company or Corporation licensed in the State of Ohio to provide said surety.

Each proposal must contain the full name of the party or parties submitting the proposal and all persons interested therein.  Each bidder must submit evidence of its experiences on projects of similar size and complexity.

It is the Bidders responsibility to comply with the prevailing wage rates and threshold amounts on Public Improvements inLicking County,Ohioas determined by the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services.

The Village reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids, to waive any informalities in the bidding; and to enter into a contract with the bidder whom, in their opinion, offers the lowest responsive and responsible bid.

Each bidder must insure that all employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Johnstown will welcome circus to town May 13

ThisWeek Community Newspapers – February 17, 2012


Johnstown Village Council member Chris Speck confirmed for The Independent Feb. 16 that the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus will perform for Johnstown May 13, with shows at 2:30 and 4 p.m.

“I’m pretty excited about all this,” he said. “It’s been a long time since the circus has been in town, if ever.”

He said tickets will go on sale about a month prior to the show and will be available at most Johnstown businesses. They will cost $6 for children, $9 for adults and he believes that children under 2 will be admitted for free.

There will be a tent-raising at 10 a.m. the day of the show.

Downtown Johnstown Inc., is sponsoring the event, Speck said.

“They came to us,” he said. Speck said the Hugo, Okla.-based circus contacted Downtown Johnstown, looking for an organization to bring it to town. A Culpepper & Merriweather spokesperson said the circus will send an “advance clown” to Johnstown a week or two ahead of May 13 just to make sure everyone remembers the circus is coming.

According to the Culpepper & Merriweather website, the circus features all sorts of animal acts and performers, including performing camels, a high wire act, a dog and pony revue, several trapeze and unicycle performers, and, of course, clowns.

The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus had very humble beginnings, the website relates.

In 1985, Robert Johnson, Jim Hebert and Curtis Cainan started a small show. The three alternated announcing, performing and selling concessions during each performance for the first year. They didn’t sell tickets, instead relying on donations received from passing a hat.

Oblivious to everyone in the business who told them they could never succeed, they were able to gradually add employees, equipment and animals over the years, the site states.

The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus was based in Queen Creek, Ariz., until 2001, when new ownership moved its base of operations to Hugo, deep in the Red River Valley. Hugo is known as “Circus City, USA” for a good reason. The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus is the 20th circus to call Hugo home since 1941, and the fourth active circus currently operating from the seat of Choctaw County.

Speck pointed out that Downtown Johnstown Inc., with more than 50 members, offers other entertainment to Johnstown as well. The organization sponsors the fourth annual Cupola Classic Cruise-in Sept. 9, which Speck anticipates to feature roughly 200 cars. The organization also sponsors the “Third Saturday” concert series, a farmers market, an outdoor ice skating rink, and a Labor Day flea market, among other activities.

“We’re the group to get it done, to make Johnstown all that it can be,” Speck said. “We’re always looking for more events, as well.”

He added that Downtown Johnstown is also looking for new members and ideas for activities. The group meets the first Tuesday of each month.

“It’s a good time,” he said.

Speck said Downtown Johnstown’s goal is make the village a destination point.

“You don’t have to go into Columbus to have a good time,” he said.

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Open Position – Finance Director

The Village of Johnstown is accepting applications for a full time finance director. Job duties include but are not limited to the following: Advanced administrative and managerial work directing fiscal activities for the Village. Work involves overseeing collection, custody, and disbursement of public funds, payroll, and income tax; maintaining municipal accounting records; managing and providing advice on investments; assisting in all bond issues; and participating in budget development.

Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in accounting, public finance, business administration or related field and five to ten years of progressively responsible experience in finance, accounting and auditing including supervisory experience; or any equivalent combination of training and experience. A Certified Public Accountant is preferred.

This is a day-shift position working Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm. Salary depends on qualifications. Benefits include health insurance, life insurance, paid vacation, paid sick leave, and PERS retirement plan.

Applications including resume and cover letter will be accepted until noon on April 20, 2012. Apply in person at the Village of Johnstown Administration Office located at 599 South Main Street, Johnstown, Ohio 43031.

For additional information or a copy of the complete job description contact Jim Lenner, Village Manager at (740) 967- 3177 or

The Village of Johnstown is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Internal and External Notice Will Run Concurrently until April 20th, 2012

Lenner: Educated workforce drives economic development

ThisWeek Community NewspapersFriday March 23, 2012 5:52 PM

Two Johnstown village officials who attended an Economics-Education Summit in Columbus earlier in the month presented their findings to village council on March 20.

David Keck, president of Johnstown Village Council, and Jim Lenner, village manager, talked about how they learned how education can drive economic development in the area.

“The big thing I took from it was having a valuable workforce,” Lenner said. “Companies aren’t going to want to come into a community if there are no workers to staff their needs.”

To obtain a viable workforce, Lenner said, local schools have to provide the necessary training for those potential employers.

“A lot of times it’s companies saying ‘We’re coming. We need a program in association with a vocational school or secondary school to get our workers trained within six months,’” Lenner said.

“A lot of communities work with organizations such as C-TEC (Career and Technology Education Centers) or Ohio State University-Newark, or the vocational schools to build programs that funnel trained workers into that company,” he said.

Keck said there are 9,600 open jobs in Ohio right now, but residents across the state are not trained for the positions that are available.

He said the village is currently putting together a commercial packet for businesses looking to build in Johnstown.

“We want to make sure we include some things in there that represent some of the points that were brought up, like about logistics and about training and about the education opportunities near here,” Keck said.

“We have a good public schools system and on top of that we’re within easy driving range of dozens of schools that do all sorts of things,” he said.

Keck said it’s all about promotion — which is why he said the commercial packet is a great first step.

“If we promote the schools that are near us, then that means they will be more likely to provide the kinds of things that the community needs to draw these kinds of businesses in, and that just helps the residents and helps the village financially,” he said.

One problem, Lenner said, is with businesses that require drug testing. He said a lot of potential employees fail the test.

“The career tech schools are saying kids will progress through something until they need a drug test and they skip to another major if they don’t have to have a drug test,” Lenner said. “They said it’s a huge problem in education and economic development.”

Both Lenner and Keck agree that with Ohio being with in 600 miles of 61 percent of the manufacturing in the United States and Canada, Johnstown needs to be ready to provide opportunities to help the local community thrive during difficult economic times.

Chamber hires economic development director

by Seth Roy

Newark Advocate

NEWARK — Licking County’s diverse population and business climate were key factors in Dan Evers applying for the Chamber of Commerce’s new economic development director position.

“From a business development perspective, there are a myriad of aspects that are favorable,” Evers said. “The beauty of the diversity — the needs of one community are different from another’s.”

Monday, Chamber President Cheri Hottinger announced that Evers had been hired for the new role, which will play an integral part in the public-private partnership of the Grow Licking County Community Improvement Corporation.

She cited his previous experience working in economic development at the township, city and county level as making Evers uniquely qualified for the position.

“We’re just really excited to have Dan,” Hottinger said. “We’re not starting from square one. He is hungry for the job.”

Grow Licking County is a partnership between the county, Hebron, Heath, Pataskala, Johnstown, New Albany, the Chamber, the Port Authority and a variety of businesses.

Evers said the collaboration between the various governments and businesses is exciting and means the focus of economic development needs to be in celebrating the different areas of the county.

Licking County can attract both big and small companies.

“We’re not just hunting elephants,” Evers said, “because of the diversity of the community, because of the assets that are in place and how they orient.”

The governments involved have pledged or paid $10,000 each, and the CIC’s budget includes money from various private businesses.

Evers officially is hired by the Chamber of Commerce, and will fulfill the chamber’s role to provide economic development services with the CIC, Hottinger said.

Before being hired by the Chamber, Evers was a finalist for the village administrator position in Hebron. Mayor Clifford Mason was impressed with his preparedness for earlier interviews.

“He knew a lot about Hebron, but he had done his homework about Licking County, as well,” Mason said.

Evers’ hiring means Grow Licking County can start moving forward in other areas. The group met for the second time Monday, and approved finance and marketing plans.

Next, the group needs to finalize its operational agreement.

The next Grow Licking County meeting will be at 9 a.m. on April 16 at Mid-Ohio Development’s Newark office, 33 W. Main St.

Seth Roy can be reached at (740) 328-8547

Johnstown upgrading website to entice more businesses

ThisWeek Community Newspapers

The village of Johnstown is looking to overhaul its website as part of an attempt to lure more businesses to the village.

Village Manager Jim Lenner said he recently talked to a developer at On-Target Design to discuss creating a new website.

Lenner said the revamped website would attract more businesses looking to find a new home.

“When companies come looking at properties in the village or any municipality, the first thing they do is look at the website,” Lenner said. “They want to see the appearance of the village, and that’s the first time they have a view of what the village is all about.

“So I think having a clean, crisp website is important for the image of the village when people or companies are looking to come here,” he said.

The new website would incorporate more photos and use social media to connect with companies and residents, Lenner said. Village employees are in the process of revising the content, he said, while the developer drafts the website design.

Lenner said the village’s council minutes, agendas, and other matters of official record are currently all paper documents.

Administrative assistant Lisa Rawson is digitizing all of the paperwork from 2008 to the present to put on the new website, he said.

Lenner said interested businesses would easily be able to find information about Johnstown, and that’s important for when businesses look for a new location.

“If a company is looking at the industrial park, they will count you out as soon as they can,” Lenner said. “If you give them all the information they need on your website, you’ll be in the running as the site selection process progresses.”

Lenner said he would like to see more companies come to Johnstown, specifically to the Industrial Park.

On Nov. 15, village council approved $25,000 for planning and engineering costs for a second entrance at the park. On Jan. 17, council approved a resolution for the village to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The agreement means ODOT will add a new traffic light at the intersection of U.S. Route 62 and Commerce Boulevard and widen both streets, adding a right-turn lane to improve traffic flow.

ODOT also plans to add a traffic light at the intersection of U.S. 62 and Sportsman Club Road, as well as put in turning lanes at the intersection and realign the two roads.

With this construction, ODOT is requesting that the village construct a roadway connecting Phillips Drive to Sportsman Club Road.

Reconstructing the Industrial Park and the website, Lenner said, would be the start of bringing in more companies to Johnstown.

Once Lenner finalizes the content within the next two weeks, he believes it will take about three months for prospective businesses and residents to see the final product.