A $900,000 improvement project will have the roads in downtown Bolivar closed incrementally throughout the summer. (Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV) 

BOLIVAR - The village’s mayor is thanking residents for their patience during an ongoing construction project that has had various roads closed downtown and the annual Strawberry Festival canceled for this year.

Mayor Rebecca Hubble says the area is undergoing a dramatic makeover that includes various aesthetic and infrastructural improvements.

"We’ll have curbing and green space and also adding old-fashioned street lighting, canal street lighting, but we’re also doing some infrastructure needs. We’re replacing all the water lines and putting new meters in the downtown area on Canal Street," she says.

Hubble says they’ve already had closed sections of Poplar and Cherry streets closed temporarily due to the construction, with additional closures expected in the coming weeks and months. She says they know it’s a hassle, but they’re doing their best to make sure people can still get to their destinations. 

"This summer will be rough on our residents, you know. It’s going to be difficult, especially for our elders who are trying to get to the post office or get to do their banking needs but our goal is to make it as painless as possible," she says. "We talked with ODOT and they’re really going to work hard to try to make sure our residents will be able to get to what they need to."

Hubble says the work is expected to last until the end of September, but she says their downtown businesses will remain open and have parking available for anyone coming into town to shop or dine.

"All of our restaurants will be open for business, and we want people to come to our restaurants. We do have parking. It’s located behind, the Cherry Street parking area. All that is open for parking, behind the Towpath Tavern, all of that, and there’s good lighting back there," she says.

Hubble says the $900,000 project is costing the village around $100,000 thanks to grant funding and an interest-free loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission. 

"This is something that we’ve needed to do for years and just not had the money, and we were fortunate enough to get TAP funding, and we also got funding from OMEGA, ARC, OPWC, so we were able to get a funding source from many different areas," she says. "We still have to pay back a little bit of some loan money there that is part of the OPWC, but most of it has been paid for, and we’re very thankful for that."

Hubble says the village’s annual car show and chicken barbeque is still on for July 20th but over at Fort Laurens. She says the Strawberry Festival will be back next year at its usual time and location. 


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