Hearing residents’ viewpoints on recent “nuisance letters”, along with other concerns, was part of the straightforward agenda taken up by Edon Village Council during its regular session held Monday, June 16, 2014 in Council Chambers. Mayor Darlene Burkhardt called the evening meeting to order with Councilors Roxana Nester, Lee Lawrence, Duane Thiel, Richard Chapin, Gale Horn, Fiscal Officer Heidi Bidwell, Solicitor Tom Thompson and three guests in attendance; not answering roll was Councilor Chuck Bidwell.
Referencing last month’s discussion regarding letters sent to individuals failing to maintain their properties (Village Ordinance Chapter 1305 ~ Nuisances), Peggy Mathers and Matt Bauer inquired as to why the issue was being addressed with them at this time.
“We did receive answers as to why [limbs at the old school] were not picked up; however, my question is, why were they there since last fall? What was the issue then?” Hired just for mowing the grounds, a dead tree on the property had been cut down for the wood, leaving limbs to be disposed of by the Village.
“If you take care of the grounds, why should it be [the Village’s responsibility] to remove them?” inquired Councilor Chapin. “If I cut a tree down in my yard, I feel it is my responsibility to take care of the limbs.”
“Then why wasn’t that addressed to [Matt and I] when we came up here last fall and requested the limbs be removed?” noted Mathers. “If that would have been told to us, we would not have had a problem removing them.” While the Village will pickup limbs, review of the service is expected due to current changes in how to properly dispose of them.
Admittedly, had the limbs been placed on a front lawn, and not at a location where they were less bothersome, removing them would probably have been a bigger concern at the time. “It couldn’t be worked into the schedule to get [the limbs] picked up,” said Street Superintendent Jim Brigle, “and it wasn’t a top priority [for the department]. It was my fault; it’s over and taken care of.”
Confirming for Mayor Burkhardt and Council that everything was now cleaned up, Ms. Mathers stated, “I just had these questions because I wasn’t able to speak at last month’s meeting.”
With their main issue dealt with, Peggy and Matt continued talking to Council about further matters of concern, including follow-up upon receiving notices to remove tires on personal property and cleaning up backyard items (taken care of), Peggy’s unpleasant incident during a frank, stern and to-the-point-meeting set up specifically with the mayor (felt the Police Chief had insinuated himself into the conversation), the effect of neighboring properties on your property value (one of several determining factors), overall response to “blight” letters (almost all have complied; follow-ups will be conducted with those who haven’t) and the removal of “no engine brake” signs on East Indiana Street two years ago (Councilor Horn will check with ODOT regarding signage).
“I do want to thank you for coming to the meeting tonight,” commented Councilor Nester. “A lot of times, we’re not told what’s going on; we all appreciate you coming and voicing your opinion ~ for speaking up and letting us know.”
With concerns addressed and the air cleared, Mayor Burkhardt thanked Ms. Mathers and Mr. Bauer for coming and returned to the remaining evening agenda.
In other action, Council:
•Noted Village Offices would be closed Friday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.
•Approved the second of three required readings of Ordinance 04-14 ~ authorizing the removal of stops signs at the eastern and western intersection of Railroad and South Main Streets, allowing right-of-way access on Railroad along with the placement of a “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop” warning sign at the northern intersection of South Main and Railroad Streets.
•Voted to suspend the three reading rule and adopt as an emergency Resolution 02-14 Accepting the Amounts and Rates as Determined by the Budget Commission and Authorizing the Necessary Tax Levies and Certifying Them to the County Auditor (annual action; 2.0 mills ~ approximately $20,184 to the 2015 Budget General Fund).
•Learned Solicitor Thompson was currently revising the language of an ordinance drafted at the request of the Planning Commission to address temporary structures within the Village, e.g. tents, membrane structures, etc. not designed for permanent use.
•Requested Solicitor Thompson to prepare a resolution authorizing the Village to subscribe to Everbridge (the communication and mass notification system selected by the County) and to approve the associated annual subscription cost of $271.63 for a one year term.
•Was informed by Street Superintendent Jim Brigle the Village’s repaired backhoe was delivered last week and is working fine; “to do list” projects are underway with assistance from seasonal worker Taylor Muehlfeld; mosquito spraying will be done when weather conditions are optimal.
•Heard the Park Board was looking into possibly forming a support organization similar to “Friends of the Edon Public Library” to help raise funds for upkeep and care of Village parks. Additionally, Councilor Thiel noted the Board was checking out costs to upgrade one of Walz Park’s basketball courts and to deal with Field Three’s water issues (Summer Ball League coaches have volunteered labor); findings will be presented to Council in August.
•Was updated by Councilor Nester regarding the possible purchase of a mini excavator for Edon Union Cemetery; it appears other entities won’t be able to utilize this particular piece of equipment. Input will be solicited from Village and Township Departments on their interest in obtaining a larger piece of equipment with the Cemetery Board to fit all needs; it is hoped to have a decision next month.
•Was informed applications for the zoning inspector position had been received; upon review, Board members will decide when to set up interviews, etc. with potential candidates. The position could possibly be filled before July’s meeting.
•Accepted Chief Tom Szymczak’s submitted May Vehicle Report and Service Log (nonattendance due to vacation).
•Accepted the Minutes, Financial Report and Bills as presented.
•Was thanked by residents Jan and Dan Hall for voting to keep Edon looking good; to keep property value up. “We need to take pride in our town if we want to bring in new industry,” they shared.
•Voted to enter into Executive Session prior to adjournment for the expressed purpose of discussing personnel; no action was expected to be taken.
The next regular monthly meeting of the Edon Village Council will be held Monday, July 21, 2014 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Village Chambers.