A team and a person were publicly praised at the Delaware City Council meeting on Monday.
The team was not surprised, but the person was.
The Dempsey Middle School wrestling team was issued a proclamation by Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle because “the seventh- and eighth-grade squad capped a history-making season by winning an Ohio Capital Conference championship after going undefeated in its dual meets; and won the Tormasi Tournament, placed five wrestlers in the state middle school event, and qualified for the state dual-meet championship.”
The 2015-16 team was praised for its “remarkable dedication and team spirit”; while coach Mark Rieman and assistant coaches Michael Bowman, Michael Freado and Chad Spring were honored for their devotion.
However, before the proclamation reading, Riggle was herself recognized during the public comment portion of the meeting. Traci Cromwell, representing the Evening Kiwanis Club of Delaware, spoke.
“It has come to our attention how much of your heart and time you have put into the duty of mayor of our city,” Cromwell said. “You not only listen to the concerns of citizens, but you also listen to the concerns of the employees. You have made a difference in the lives of children and adults. When you have spare time from your mayoral duties, you are helping the veterans of our country. I can make a long list of things you have done that have made a positive impact in our community, but the most important thing is you make a difference just by being you. Thank you for everything you do for us.”
Riggle was presented with a U.S. flag that had been flown over the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve got tears in my eyes,” Riggle said after receiving the flag and applause from the audience, staff and council members. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
Also at the meeting, a public hearing was held on converting the former Shell gas station at 147 E. William St. to an auto repair shop. The building has been empty for more than a decade.
“I think we all know it well, and it certainly hasn’t been good for the building, particularly that corner, to be vacant for so long,” said planning director David Efland as pictures of the property were shown. “I’m pleased that business is coming back into the property, but also into the city.”
“Basically, what we want to do is make it nice, very trendy,” said business partner Don McCann. “It’ll be like The Gap of auto repair. With the Auto Zone and the Eagles (next door), it’ll be a nice fit.”
Council member Chris Jones said the business could be the start of revitalizing the area around Lake Street. A conditional use permit was unanimously approved by council.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.