News Briefs Week of 4/5/2021

Staff Writer

Free tax filing
services available
With Tax Day delayed to May 17, eligible residents across Lucas, Ottawa and Wood County still have time to file their taxes for free, with the help of United Way of Greater Toledo (UWGT) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Toledo (LISC).
Each tax season, UWGT and LISC come together to offer individuals and families the opportunity to file their taxes in person, at no cost, with the help of a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant for what the two organizations call Free Tax Prep. To qualify for an in-person filing, the filer’s income must be less than $57,000 a year.
UWGT has already filled most in-person tax filing appointments at participating LISC sites, even with the recent deadline extension. However, virtual appointments are still available, where individuals can file their taxes with the online help of a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant. This is made possible via LISC’s Financial Opportunity Center at ProMedica’s Ebeid Center. To schedule a virtual appointment, call 567-585-0469 or email Filers need a computer, an email address and access to the internet and Zoom.
UWGT also reminds community members that “” is available online to anyone with a device or internet connection, no matter their yearly income. “” is a free tax filing software, powered by a partnership between United Way and TaxSlayer. This is ideal for individuals comfortable with filing their taxes independently.
“We are here to help people navigate the complex process of filing taxes. By offering this service for free, we can allow folks to keep their full refund, which often-times saves a person or family from going into poverty,” said Shaulonda Jones, program assistant at LISC Toledo.
“We do not want a single person to miss out on receiving their tax credits or getting their full refund. We want your money being spent on the services a family needs, rather than pricy tax software or consultations,” said Jones.
For more information on United Way 2-1-1 and available in-person tax filing appointments, visit and click “tax appointments” or dial 2-1-1.

Eviction moratorium
extended to July 31
On Jan. 28, Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) extended its eviction moratorium through April 30. Because the factors that led to that extension continue to exist, LMH President and Chief Executive Officer Joaquin Cintron Vega has authorized the continuation of the moratorium until Wednesday, July 31.
The extension allows LMH more time and flexibility to work with its residents to ensure that they remain in their homes, Cintron Vega said. The agency has extended the moratorium several times already and will continue to do so as necessary into 2021, he added.
The temporary moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent and fees and penalties related to nonpayment of rent, applies to all tenants, regardless if their employment was affected by COVID-19. LMH alerts its residents that any rent missed during the moratorium will accumulate and still be due when the eviction moratorium is lifted. For any unpaid rent during the moratorium, the family must repay LMH or sign a repayment agreement to pay any amount owed after the moratorium has ended. LMH is working with its residents to educate them about the process.
“Providing safe and stable housing during the ongoing health emergency is paramount to LMH and the community. The agency has been closely monitoring the negative economic impact the pandemic is having on its residents, including their ability to pay rent,” said Cintron Vega.
During the moratorium, LMH has also established a number of internal safeguards to ensure individuals and families remain housed, including designing a program to provide its families with education and information on available rental assistance. “Furthermore, we are taking all the steps necessary to work on a case by-case basis with residents and we are connecting them to the available resources,” Cintron Vega said.

Monthly screenings
Appointments are still available for Magruder Hospital monthly lab screenings on Wednesday, April 7, and Saturday, April 24.
The screening includes a basic metabolic panel (glucose, BUN/creatinine, calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, CO2, etc.), a lipid profile (total cholesterol/LDL/HDL/triglycerides), and a COVID antibody IgG test.
Screenings are offered 8-11:30 a.m. The cost is $20. Appointments are required and may be made by calling 419-732-4061.

Contracts approved
The Ottawa County commissioners have approved contracting with an engineering firm for technical services and asbestos testing of two spans that are being replaced.
Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc. is being retained to conduct the geo-technical engineering services for the replacement of N. Nissen Road over Packer Creek at a cost not to exceed $7,900 and for geo-technical and asbestos testing services for the replacement of Elliston Trowbridge Road over Toussaint Creek. The contract price is not to exceed $13,300.
The county engineer’s office recommended the testing.
In other business, the commissioners approved a resolution requesting the county auditor establish funds for Seaman Ditch, Hopfinger East Ditch and Hopfinger West Ditch.

Comment on
The Black Swamp Conservancy is applying for renewal of accreditation and a public comment period is now open.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs.
To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit, or email your comment to Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
Comments on Black Swamp Conservancy’s application will be most useful by May 25.

Great Lakes program
The Wood County District Public Library and the National Museum of the Great Lakes invite you to learn more about them and their role in history with The Great Lakes Top Ten via Zoom April 21 at 11 a.m.
The presentation, led by Ellen Kennedy of the National Museum of the Great Lakes, will allow participants to learn more about the museum and listen to stories straight from the museum’s exhibits.
“The Great Lakes are a force of nature and have shaped American history in unique and transformative ways,” said Kennedy.
Registration is required. To register, please email or call 419-352-5050.

Smoke tests set
The Village of Woodville will be conducting a smoke test of its sanitary sewer system the week of April 5-9 to locate leaks and defects in the system.
Village officials don’t expect smoke to enter homes unless there is a defect in the plumbing system or drain traps have dried-up.
Residents are being advised to pour a gallon of water into each floor drain prior to the testing date.
If smoke does enter a home or business, there is a chance sewer gases are also entering. In such a case, the building should be evacuated and work crews should be notified.
The village should also be notified prior to testing if there are immobile individuals with respiratory problems on site.
For information call 419 849-3031.
Notices are being delivered throughout the village about the smoke tests.


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