Mayor Ed Kidston and the Pioneer Village Council praised the village’s street crew for their hard work during the recent snow storms. Many employees had worked double shifts, and had worked nights and weekends to keep the roads clear and safe for residents.
Administrator Al Fiser said that due to the large amount of snow, the rods that are placed on top of the town’s fire hydrants had been needed in order to locate those hydrants that had been buried in snow. He said that the village crews were working on keeping the hydrants free of snow so that they can be accessed if needed. As part of an effort to keep walkways safe, Chief of Police Tim Livengood asked residents to clean their sidewalks as they are able. He said that he is aware that the bitter cold and heavy snow has been a barrier to being out shoveling walks, but that if they are able, people should do what they are able in order to keep their sidewalks clear. He also encouraged people to check on elderly neighbors during adverse weather conditions.
In his monthly report, Chief Livengood encouraged people to look at the Pioneer Police Department’s Facebook page for information such as snow emergency levels, changes in garbage pick-up, and recent scams and thefts per the FBI. At present, Livengood is working with Fiser to assess intersections for the line of sight to prevent accidents since snow has been piled up along the road. They are working to widen the intersections that have snow piled at the curbs.
During the month of January 2014, the Pioneer Police had 57 calls for service. Of these, 24 were dispatched, eighteen were officer initiated, six were by telephone, five were from walk-ins, and four came from other agencies. The southeast quadrant of Pioneer was the busiest. There were six incident reports, eight traffic warnings issued, and no traffic citations issued. There were no criminal charges filed during the month Average response time was one minute, nineteen seconds, and the average time out on calls was nine minutes, twenty seconds. The department conducted five home checks.
Fire department Chief Denny Fackler said that they had responded to fifteen runs from January 13 through February 10, and followed up on one controlled burn. He requested a safety meeting, and council approved the meeting for 6:30 p.m. the day of the next council meeting. He also requested and received approval to add John Rathke as a probationary firefighter.
Rick Ward and David Slifka from the Reading Emergency Unit, Inc. told the council of upcoming in-service education. They have been meeting with hospitals concerning non-emergency services, and are going to have a wheelchair van and ambulance for non-emergency transports. They will provide inter-facility services. The Village of Pioneer is being considered as a venue for housing the wheelchair van, which would provide easy access for area residents needing services. They explained that they would pay any local emergency responder staff for their service, and would also supply EMT education and continuing education.
The newest electrical superintendent, Brad Vandevoorde was introduced to council. He spoke to council about current activities in the department.
Though no students were present at the meeting, council had received a request in writing from North Central High School students asking for the fee to rent the Community Center to be waived for their upcoming Homecoming Dance. As per tradition, council voted to allow the students to use the space at no cost.
Council renewed their present one-year contract with MetalLink for an additional three year period. The business has an antenna on the water tower, for which they pay to village. Fiser noted that they have used MetalLink since 2002. Fiser was authorized to sign the contract on behalf of the village.
Fiser discussed the Village’s comprehension and liability insurance that is up for renewal. Last year the cost was $43,421. Following the demolition of the old water tower, council will save money this year with a cost of $42,017.
During recent cold snaps, Fiser said that the sensor that tells the water tower pumps when the tower is nearing empty had frozen. Because of this, water pressure was low the preceding Saturday in early morning hours, but crews took care of it. They will be renting heaters to prevent this from happening again. He added that the tank was functioning properly.
Clerk/Treasurer April McMillen said that auditors began the audit process on January 22, and expect to complete the audit later in March. They anticipate an exit meeting in early April. The cost to the Village for the audit is $15,785. McMillen asked for and received approval to attend the Municipal Clerks conference in April where she will earn more education toward earning her certificate.
Council heard Ordinance 02-2014 in its first reading. This is an Ordinance to approve current replacement pages to the Pioneer codified Ordinances.
Resolution 01-2014 was approved. This is a resolution authorizing the execution of an energy purchase power supply schedule with AMP-Ohio. This is for long-term purchases only, and is a contract ensuring that long-term contracts will not exceed $45 per megawatt hour. This is not the usual purchase price, which is normally lower. According to AMP, hourly purchase prices had risen to large amounts during high-usage days when electrical use spikes.
In concluding the meeting, Mayor Ed Kidsten wanted village residents to know that if they saw any of the town’s road crew using village equipment to clear their driveways, this was being done with his permission. He said, “Our guys work sometimes around the clock when weather like this happens. One individual had worked 16 hours straight, then had to go home and shovel out his own drive.” He said he was willing to take the heat if anyone thought this was not right, but he felt it was only fair after they had worked so hard to keep the roads passable and safe during the heavy snowfalls.
With no further business, council adjourned their February meeting. Regular council meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Pioneer Community Center.