Pioneer Village Council Approves Raises, Annual Motorcycle Ride


Pioneer employees will see a 2 percent raise on average following action by the Village Council. The mayor’s and council member’s salaries are not affected.

The only positions that will see more than a 2 percent raise will be Electrical Apprentice I which will pay out at $15 an hour, up from $10, as a new person is in the position.

The Public Works Technician IV is being promoted to Public Works Superintendent II and will their hourly wage rise from $16 to $19.

The council interrupted its meeting Nov. 14 to discuss wages for workers and returned a bit later ready to vote.

Council approved July 8, 2017, for Kaleb McLaughlin Memorial Ride and Organ Donation Awareness Day. The request was made by Kevin and Kim Oxender, Kaleb’s parents.

The annual event has raised a total of $49,325, with $25,250 given back to Pioneer, Kevin Oxender said. Organ donation is an important part of the event as Kaleb’s harvested organs helped at least two people the couple knows of, he said.

At the 2016 event, there were 206 motorcycles registered for the ride. The event featured Pioneer resident Mike Franstead leading 10 other bikers in Germany.

That group rode the same number of miles and made the same amount of stops, Oxender said.

This year organizers are working on doing a simultaneous ride with a group in Germany. People will able to view both group via a podcast, Oxender said.

The 2016 ride brought in $14,830 with $11,250 given back. Of that nearly $10,000 stayed in Pioneer:
First Responders $4,000
Fire Department $2,500
Pioneer Baby Box $250
Fire and Iron Station 84 $2,000
Kaleb’s North Central FFA Scholarships, $1,000.

Other recipient included $500 for Williams County DARE, $1,000 for Community Tissue Services of Ohio and $500 for Life Connections of Ohio.

A 5K run, “Kaleb’s Donor Dash had 134 participants.

The family has been contacted by Donate Life to have a photo of Kaleb become part of a float in the 2017 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

The organization will come to the Oxender’s house and use dried flowers to make the image, Kim Oxender said.

Mayor Kidston commended the family for taking this tragedy and turning it into a celebration. All the hard work the pair have put in has paid off, he said.

“You two have dug in and done a great thing here,” Kidston said.

In other news, bids will be opened on the Clark Street project at 11 a.m. Dec. 15.

The mayor suggested storing the waste cement so it can later be crushed and used for limestone. Administrator Al Fiser said the village did the same thing for the First Street project.

Fiscal Officer April McMillan said the village revenue has been amended by $75,000 and she will send the higher figure to the county. Revenues were expected to be around $455,000 but now will be closer to $530,000, she said.

She suggested the village take a look at outsourcing income tax collections to one of two companies that service other communities in the area. There’s no hurry as it will be at least six months before the companies can someone out to look at the village.

The village has seen its income tax collections top $500,000 for the first time, Mayor Kidston said.

“Our economy is doing well,” Kidston said. “We haven’t raised the rate, but the total dollars has gone over a half million.”

The village is purchasing a 48-slot cremation tomb for the cemetery. Cremation is becoming a more popular option for people over a traditional burial, Kidston said. The cremation tomb costs $24,500 and the village has the funds to cover the expense.

Residents who want to be placed in one of the slots will pay $1,000. Non-residents will pay $1,500.

“Over time we will make the money back to purchase a second tomb, if the first one fills up,” Kidston said.

Police Chief Chad Livengood’s report was brief. Halloween went well, he said.

Fire Chief Danny Fackler said the department went on 22 runs since the last council meeting. The department’s recognition of Fire Prevention Week was well-attended with 200 kids up at the school and 96 at Lake View United Brethren Church, he said.

Council approved appointing probationary firefighter. The newcomer was a firefighter in southeast Ohio, Fackler said.

Council approved a 2-year fire protection agreement with Amboy Township (MI). The current contract will expire before the end of the year.

Amboy will pay $12,500 a year in two semi-annual payments of $6,250.

James Pruitt may be reached at

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