VERMILION — This picturesque lakeside community can now boast officially about being something locals have known for a long time, according to Mayor Eileen Bulan.
“We’ve always known we were the best hometown, and now everyone else will know, too,” Bulan said of the city’s being named one of Ohio Magazine’s five 2013-14 “Ohio’s’ Best Hometowns.”
The accolade is part of the magazine’s November issue, which includes its eighth annual honors.
“We’d like to put that on our signs into the city but we haven’t got that far yet,” Bulan said.
The recognition follows a process that saw city and school officials, as well as representatives of the city’s Main Street Vermilion business and civic organization, submit “quite lengthy” applications that sought information about the community, Bulan said.
The magazine’s editors evaluated applicants on community spirit, education, entertainment, health and safety, business environment and culture and heritage.
An Ohio Magazine staffer who visited Vermilion in recent weeks was given a tour that included a trip on the Vermilion River in the downtown area, a visit to the town’s Lake Erie beachfront, and stops by local well-known businesses including the critically-acclaimed Chez Francois restaurant, Brummer’s Chocolates, Paper Moon Vineyards and the Decidedly Different coffee shop.
The magazine appeared to be most impressed with the level of local volunteerism that includes the Shore Thing, a group of residents who tend to the city beach and rent out chairs, as well as the downtown’s mix of distinctive shops, “the walkability of the downtown, and the way we all work together,” Bulan said.
One community was selected by the magazine in each of the city’s five geographic regions, according to a letter to Bulan from Ohio Magazine Publisher Lute Harmon, Jr.
Vermilion joins Aurora, Gahanna, Logan and Loveland as the 2013-14 Best Hometowns recipients.
The November issue is set to appear on newsstands Oct. 22.
“We’re going to celebrate this all year,” Bulan said.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.