GATEWAY CENTER UPDATE
Phase I of the demolition of the Oberlin Inn will be underway this week.
Oberlin planning commission director Gary Boyle said construction will begin along East College Street and the south wing of the hotel.
A small apartment building on North Pleasant Street is expected to be removed as well.
Neff and Associates have to submit a new revised plan to the city and have it approved before construction of the new hotel can begin. It will be christened the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center and the Oberlin Inn name will be retired.
Construction of the hotel is expected to be done in phases with one section being removed then built at a time.
The hotel is expected to remain open and running for guests during the process.
LORENZO’S PIZZERIA EXPANDING
Lorenzo’s Pizzeria has been approved to construct a new patio and addition.
The planning commission last Wednesday voted in favor of a one-story addition that will be located at the northwest corner of the restaurant.
When complete, it will seat 17 more customers and have a folding glass wall on the north and east elevations. It will also boast a wood-fired pizza oven.
The existing patio area will be replaced by a partially enclosed concrete patio with a pergola over the east portion of the patio.
Power to most of the city was knocked out around 9:26 p.m. Saturday after a broken spacer cable fell on a piece of equipment that connects to Splash Zone, said Oberlin electric director Steve Dupee.
Four workers responded to the site of the incident and were able to get almost everyone back in service by 10:46 p.m.
Dupee said he is unsure what caused a small trip Friday morning that effected McDonald’s and parts of Edison Street.
WATER LINE BREAK
Water was leaking from a pipe in front of 280 West Lorain St. at 3:15 p.m. on Friday.
A boil advisory was issued to nearly 25 houses between Hollywood and Prospect streets.
The leak was caused by a split in the line and fixed by 10 p.m. The advisory was lifted Saturday.
Public works director Jeff Baumann said where the leak occurred is in a section the city plans to replace.
Tourism sales grew by $11 million last year in Lorain County, according to a Tourism Economics report.
Visit Lorain County, the non-profit headquartered in Amherst Township, released data last week showing sales grew from $318.5 million in 2012 to $329.4 million in 2013.
That’s a bump of 3.4 percent.
Additionally, tourism generated $33.8 million in state and local taxes combined.
In the absence of the state and local taxes generated by tourism, each Ohio household would need to pay $650 to fill the gap.
Tourism is vital to the county’s economy, sustaining 7.4 percent of salaried employment. The industry supports one in every 13 jobs here.
Tourism employment grew 2.5 percent in 2013, more than two times faster than overall Ohio employment growth of 1.2 percent, sustaining more than 8,100 local jobs.
SCAM CALL COMPLAINTS
Phony IRS agents and bogus utility bill collectors are at it again in our area, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Do not panic if you get a call or find a message on your voice mail from the IRS threatening to arrest you for tax fraud and tax evasion. The call is part of a telemarketing scam aimed at getting you to send payment in the form of a wire transfer or pre-loaded debit card, the BBB reports.
The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the telephone.
Report such calls to the treasury inspector general for tax administration at 800-366-4484.
If you receive a call claiming to be from your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.