Member Highlight: Village of Haskins
The Village of Haskins is a small but growing community. The population in 2003 was 650 people. With the building of new residential subdivisions, the population is now 1188. Mayor Paul Gies says that he is one of the many new people who moved to Haskins in the last decade for the peaceful small town living. The village is a bit off the beaten path in Wood County southeast of Waterville. State Route 64 and SR 582 are the main roads. Villagers will be very glad when the widening of US 24 and I-75 work are complete as many residents commute to the north and south. The village has their own police department. Middleton Township volunteers staff the fire department and host the annual chicken barbeque fundraiser in August. The village motto is “Where to Live,” reflecting a commitment to a safe and family friendly community.
Even though the population grew, the old elementary school building in Haskins closed its doors this year. Next year, elementary students will commute with the junior and senior high school students to Tontogany. The closing of the school has meant a loss of some tax revenue. Mayor Gies says that village administrators are looking for new business to help replace the lost tax revenue. He notes that there is some land available in the village for warehouses or manufacturing.
As a founding member of TMACOG in 1968 and an ongoing member since that time, Haskins and TMACOG have worked on many projects together. Most recently, TMACOG worked with the Village of Haskins during last update to the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (the 208 Plan). Water and wastewater has been an important issue in the village. A new wastewater treatment plant was built recently, replacing one that had outlived its useful life. Rate setting for the new plant was complicated. Mayor Gies says that thankfully the increase in population has allowed them to lower rates a bit. Council Member Nancy Perry recently attended TMACOG Tech sessions on utility rate setting as part of the village’s commitment to proper civic management.
Members of village administration have been active in TMACOG since its founding. Mayor Gies serves on the TMACOG Board of Trustees and village Council Member Perry is part of the Stormwater Coalition. Mayor Gies said, “We value the collaboration we find at TMACOG. And we have more influence when we speak as a region rather than as one village.”