Ric Beals Begins Tenure As West Unity Village Administrator

West  Unity’s new Village Administrator, Ric Beals, brought a lengthy list of items he has worked on or will be working on in the near future to the Thursday, October 11 meeting of Village Council. Beals began his job Monday and already had eleven items to report on at the meeting on Thursday.

Beals stated that he is currently in the process of renewing the village’s Tree City USA membership and that he and Mayor Peg Bernath had attended an ODOT statewide transportation improvement program to learn what projects are currently on ODOT’s list for the years 2014-2017. Big trash pickup has been completed for the fall.

Village improvements being worked on include the Parkway resurfacing project and the new sidewalks on the south side of East Jackson Street. Beals stated that Parkway is temporarily on hold while the concrete cures but that Jim Eisel was checking with the contractor to see if the barriers could be removed on Friday. Jason Hancock began pouring the concrete for the sidewalk on Thursday.

Beals said that he will be scheduling interviews for the open maintenance position with the village. He has gone through the resumes received and will start interviews as early as next week. He also stated that he is prepared to purchase three new computers for the village from Kore Communications of Montpelier at a total cost of $4,929.90 which was the low quote.

The village’s chipper needs some repair work done. Beals said he has an estimate of $4,000 to fix it but will know more as workers continue to go through it and price and/or fabricate replacement parts. He also stated that West Unity will have the use of the county’s Durapatcher next week to work on street improvement issues. In another equipment report Beals stated that the village’s Vactor truck had been serviced and was now ready to pick up leaves.

Police Chief JR Jones pointed out to Beals a lack of stop signs at the end of the alley behind village hall. Three total stop signs would be needed as there are none for this alley at N. Main, N. Madison or at N. Liberty Streets.  Beals agreed that stop signs would be a good idea in all these locations.

Al Bennett, a member of West Unity’s Chamber of Commerce, spoke to Council about West Unity’s upcoming Fall Fest to be held October 27. He stressed the need for more community involvement. Plans are currently underway for a silent auction, kids inflatables, Powder Puff football and a Pack-a-Pickup with non-perishable items. He requested that the village block off North Main from the stoplight to the first alley from 8-4 on the day of the festival. He stated that the Chamber would be getting a schedule of events out shortly.

Williams County Sheriff candidate, Dan Hughes, also spoke to Council regarding his candidacy and qualifications for the sheriff’s position.

In legislative matters, Council suspended the three readings and passed Resolution #10-2012-05 establishing the rates of pay for the village administrator. Salary for the administrator position will be $35,000 per year during the first 6 months as a probationary rate of pay. After that the pay rate will raise to $38,000.

Mayor Bernath thanked the village employees for their efforts while she served as interim administrator. She said their help was greatly appreciated.

The village Tree Commission reported that they had gone to Fayette to look at some maple trees that Larry Miller would like to donate to the village. They said there are between four and six that are ready to be planted now and several more that could be planted at the village tree farm.

Village Solicitor reported that he is checking on the status of the demolition grant available thru the county. Once that is cleared the village will proceed with the demolition of the Mann property on S. Defiance Street.

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Rediger asked for a meeting of the Finance and Insurance committee. The village insurance representative will be present October 25 at 6:30 PM to discuss insurance rates for the village.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of West Unity Village Council will be October 25 at 7:30 PM in Counci

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