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Mike Leavitt Awarded Key To The City

Mayor Laubaugh recently awarded Mike Leavitt the Key to the City for his dedication to improving the south side of Wadsworth.
The Key to the City is an award given yearly to an individual or individuals who have shown ongoing acts of service to others and the community.
“Sometimes an individual will recommend a person for consideration,” Laubaugh Said. “Other times, it is an individual I observe throughout the year.”
This year, Mike Leavitt was chosen to receive the award.
“Mike has been a true advocate for the business district in the southern end of Wadsworth,” Laubaugh said. “He brought business and building owners together in an effort to revitalize the area. He branded the area as the Match District, which is particularly appropriate due to its proximity to the old Match factory. He mentored the business owners as well. He collaborated with the city to advocate for much-needed improvements to help spark the revitalization.”
Leavitt is the owner of Water Main Grill, a restaurant on the south side of Wadsworth.
Since buying the building he has looked forward to the opportunities for growth in restaurants and entertainment on the southern end of town.

Mike Leavitt was awarded during Mayor Laubaughs State and City Address. Mayor Laubaugh presented Mike Leavitt with the Award. Photo courtesy of the City of Wadsworth.

“The City of Wadsworth has an Economical Development Department and over the last few years they’ve evaluated the city needs and what they’d like to see and they realized the city would like to see more restaurants and entertainment things,” Leavitt said. “So they were able to reach out to different restaurants and give them opportunities for growth and expansion to be able to help satisfy those wants and needs of the community.”
Over the past few years, he has expanded and worked to better the area around his restaurant and with the help of the city and other surrounding businesses the southern part of town is starting to improve in the ways Leavitt has hoped.
“The hope is that people can park and be able to walk around and have various places to eat and be entertained without having to drive to the center of town or drive to the other side of town.”
He hopes to call this reinvented part of town the Match District instead of the current name for it the South End, due to its more negative sound.
“Those two words south and end are both kinda negative words and it always had that image of [not being as nice as the other parts of town],” Leavitt said. “Overtime it was getting [the bad rap] there was no attention, not necessarily from the city but also the businesses here and it kinda took on not really a favorable part of town to some degree.”
Leavitt believes that calling it the Match District instead of the South End will bring in a new feel for the South End and bring back the historical feel to this part of town, due to its close proximity to the historic Match Factory.
“I think it’s probably a very good time and opportunity to recreate that historical feel, that matches the district and get that south end taste out of your mouth,” Leavitt said.
He is honored to have received the award and looks forward to the growth with the Match District.

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Riley Hunt
Riley Hunt, Staff Writer
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    Bill RobertsonMar 16, 2024 at 4:28 pm

    Way to go Mike .