City of Waterville
The little village that was started by one man in 1831 is all grown up. Waterville was officially re-designated as a city in 2011 when the Census showed that its population exceeds 5,000. Waterville now meets with the City Caucus at TMACOG meetings.
Municipal Administrator Jim Bagdonas participates in TMACOG in both environmental planning and transportation planning activities. He says, “Most local governments throughout the region are facing similar difficulties in providing the cost-effective services expected by their constituents. With its diverse membership, including public and private organizations of all sizes, TMACOG provides a valuable forum to facilitate the exchange of ideas to assist in meeting these challenges.”
As with most communities in the Great Black Swamp, transportation has always been a central concern for Waterville. One route in the city shows the history of transportation in our area. In 1834, the Miami and Erie Canal was completed in Waterville, connecting Toledo to Cincinnati. Then, by 1909, railroads had overtaken canals as the major hauling route and the canal was filled in. It became the Anthony Wayne Trail and part of the highway system as US 24. Now, in a project that started in 2008 and will be completed this year (Fort to Port), US 24 will be re-routed outside of the city. The old canal and US 24 through town will become a local road.
Waterville embraces its history even as it continues to grow. Roche de Boeuf Day in September is the town’s annual festival, named for the sandstone island in the river that was a meeting place for local Indian tribes before it became a support for the iconic interurban bridge that still stands. The city continues to invest in the business district and recently completed two downtown improvement projects with federal Community Development Block Grants.