Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker touted his accomplishments in his latest State of the Town address.
Theaker will step down this year at the end of his third term.
“Eleven years ago, when I was first elected mayor of Mansfield, I inherited a city that was placed under a fiscal emergency by the State of Ohio in 2010” , he said in the speech, delivered as a printed statement. “Our city was overwhelmed by dilapidated structures and we struggled to maintain the numbers of our security forces.
“Today, I am pleased to present State of the City 2022, highlighting the significant changes and growth our city has experienced over the past year. Some transitions have been welcome, and while others have been uphill battles, we have continued to take productive steps towards a brighter future for Mansfield.”
The mayor acknowledged the cooperation and collaboration of community leaders, city council members and city employees.
“Eleven years ago I pledged to make Mansfield the best city in which to live, work, love and raise a family, and as I enter my 12th and final year as mayor, I hope the results of these efforts have put Mansfield on the path to success and in a much better place now and for the future,” Theaker wrote.
ARPA funding has helped in a number of areas
He noted Mansfield’s continued recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding has helped those efforts.
Some of the largest amounts include $1.5 million for the North End Community Center, $750,000 for small businesses, $750,000 for bike path work on Trimble Road and $500,000 for Westinghouse demolition .
ARPA money has also helped or will help work on the Clearfork Reservoir Dam, renovations to city buildings and front foundation work, upgrades and replacements of police facilities and firefighters and the redesign of the website in IT.
Theaker highlighted economic development, which included a $12.3 million investment by M&D Real Estate Investments for two additions to the Newman Street Company facility. This investment allows Edge Plastics to expand its manufacturing capacity. Thirty-five full-time jobs are planned.
Airport West 1 LLC has acquired 15 acres in Airport West Industrial Park and built a 160,000 square foot facility. The owners are negotiating with a potential tenant and hope to secure a lease soon. The total project investment will be $10 million.
1027 Trimble LLC has begun construction of a 12,200 square foot office building that is expected to house medical providers. Of the space, 50% will be leased to Akron Children’s Hospital, while the remainder will be available for rent. The project investment will amount to $4.9 million and will create five full-time jobs in the first year.
Another million dollar investment by Ohio Valley Stamping & Assemblies plans to create 20 full-time jobs over the next two years. Ohio Valley acquired the former Rable Machine property at 137 Touby Court to expand its business. The company has invested in new machinery and equipment needed to produce parts manufactured for Newman Technologies.
In terms of city operations, 62 structures were demolished throughout the year as part of the ongoing attempt to rid the city of the blight.
Community Development completed 21 emergency home rehabilitation centers and spent over $1.96 million in block grant funds and $90,000 in HOME funds. He also partnered with the Richland County Foundation for a Downtown Incentive Grant to fund downtown housing rehabilitation.
Engineering oversaw the resurfacing of 142 streets and lanes, totaling 25.89 miles, at a cost of $4.5 million.
The municipal police handled more than 30,000 calls in 2022
The police department handled 30,111 calls for service in 2022. Robberies and burglaries decreased by 33.3 and 6.8 percent, respectively.
Body-worn cameras were commissioned for patrol officers through grants, as well as a technician for the crime lab.
The grant funding has also expanded ShotSpotter’s coverage area from 1 to 3 square miles as police use audio technology to try to follow gunshots.
The fire department responded to 12,204 emergency calls, including 2,074 fire interventions. MFD added two rescue teams.
Additionally, Station 1 renovations provided separate rooms for firefighters in response to COVID-19.
The fire department added an assistant chief to oversee EMS functions, and the office of fire prevention brought in an administrative assistant.
“In closing, I am proud of the work we have done together as a community over the years to improve Mansfield and make it a place we are all proud to call home,” Theaker wrote. “It was an honor to serve you as mayor.”