Eric Phillips gives a brief economic presentation every month to Marysville City Council.
On Jan. 10 his presentation should have come in a box wrapped in colorful paper, ribbons and a bow.
"Honda of Marysville made a great announcement today," said Phillips, the executive director of the Union County Economic Development Partnership. "They are going to build their new hybrid right here in Ohio."
Earlier in the day, Honda announced it would invest $23 million in its Marysville operation and add 50 new jobs to accommodate the production of the new, two-motor Accord Hybrid Sedan. Honda manufactures two hybrids in the U.S. but the Accord Sedan hybrid will be the first manufactured in Ohio.
"The announcement today reaffirms Honda's commitment to Marysville and Ohio," Phillips said after the council meeting. "And it reaffirms Honda's belief in our workforce and our ability as a city and county to meet their needs."
The Marysville Auto Plant is undergoing an expansion of 95,000 square feet to house assembly processes and logistics specifically for production of the Accord Hybrid.
The project includes lengthening the main assembly line to accommodate the unique hybrid production processes, and adding space for related parts receiving and sub-assembly operations.
"With more than 30 years of continuously building eight generations of the Honda Accord close to our customers, our team now is using its experience and flexibility to add this sophisticated Accord Hybrid model," said Marysville plant manager Jeff Tomko in a press release. "At the same time, we are continuing with our commitment to manufacture new models in Ohio, along with the resulting growth in jobs."
The announcement was just part of the festivities at the council meeting, which also featured mayor John Gore leading members of his administrative team and council in shredding the $5.8 million mortgage on the city's water plant. The shredding was symbolic.
"The fire chief (Jay Riley) told me I couldn't burn the mortgage inside," Gore told the audience. "He said I was welcome to burn it if we all wanted to step outside."
On his way to the shredder, Gore confided, "what we're going to shred tonight is a copy of the mortgage because the city attorney (Tim Aslander) told me we weren't allowed to shred the actual document."
But Gore remained pleased.
"This issue has been ongoing for something like 20 years," he said. "It feels good to have this thing paid off."
Also at the meeting:
Council voted 7-0 to reelect Nevin Taylor as its president. Council members J.R. Rausch and Tracy Richardson were both nominated for vice president; Rausch was elected by a vote of 4-3.
Gore said the Street Division of the city's Service Department used 621 tons of road salt during the last three snow storms. The city still has 2,400 tons of road salt in storage and will order additional salt soon.
"We received very few complaints about the work our Street Division did getting the roads clear but I would like to remind residential and commercial property owners the importance of clearing snow and ice from sidewalks and driveways."
Clearing sidewalks and driveways "helps to ensure the safety and mobility of the community ... and allows police, fire and EMS personnel safe access to homes and businesses in times of an emergency."