Village of West Unity Pushes Through On Projects Despite Minor Setbacks

With no legislative matters needing addressed, members of the West Unity Village Council heard from Village Administrator Ric Beals directly following the approval of the bills and the preceding meeting’s minutes. Beals informed council members that the village is rebuilding one of the ditch rotors at the sewer plant. Originally installed in 1997 and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the motor housing needed some additional rebuilding and new bearings needed to be ordered. Also having to pull a pump and send it out for a rebuild, the village ran into a significant expense in the repair work.

Beals also informed council that the transmission in the new Vactor truck the village has just bought had what mechanics referred to as a “catastrophic failure”. The village is working with Larry Hurnung in Archbold to have the transmission rebuilt and reinstalled and Doheney Company, the company the village purchased the truck from, is covering all costs of the repair. Council member Kirk Thompson asked Beals if there would be any type of warranty on the rebuilt transmission and Beals replied that he would look into the matter.

Also facing a setback was the new water line on Jackson Street. While village employees thought that the project was complete, they soon found that the carwash was without water. The village worked with Lingvai Excavating to locate the line to the carwash, which the village had originally thought connected at Elm Street. The line had not originally been mapped in the past but now, having been found, has been tapped into the new water main and mapped out to avoid problems in the future. Village employees now believe that the work is finished but the additional time and resources put into correcting the problem has also put this project over budget.

Beals, however, did also have good news for council as, while the village has faced some minor setbacks, progress continues to be made throughout the town. Beals told council that he has been working with Bobbybee on the rebuilding of the village’s new website and informed them of the url available for their use to monitor the progress. He also informed council that the demolition of the E. Jackson Street property is officially a go and then allowed Village Solicitor Ryan Thompson to explain the progress on the Taylor Street Property. That property, under a Freddie Mac lien, has been significantly more complicated for Thompson and the village to address. Thompson, however, continues to work through the procedures for having permission granted to the village to demolish the building.

Beals also informed council that a CCNO supervised crew will be fulfilling community service hour by painting the old street barn. The use of such crews saves the village a significant amount of money as the village is only responsible for buying the necessary supplies for the project. Council member Rich Merillat expressed a sincere amount of gratitude and appreciation to those who have made such programs available to the community.

Beals finished his reporting by letting council members know that there had been a county meeting on OPWC (Issue 1) funding at that a total of four projects in Williams County were submitted. Beals noted that he is confident that the village receive funding for the next phase of the E. Jackson Street water line upgrade, which will extend the line to County Road 21. He will not know for sure, however, on the status of the funding until November.

After hearing from Beals, Chief of Police J.R. Jones informed council that mounted deputies will be returning to assist with Trick or Treat festivities again this year. As a reminder, West Unity’s Trick or Treat will be on October 26th from 6:00-7:30 PM this year.

At that point Mayor Peggy Bernath reminded council that they would need to fill out an early renewal to keep their current insurance plan for an additional eleven months. With a December 1 deadline, council passed a resolution to move forward with the early bird renewal as described. Mayor Bernath also informed council that the village’s new fiscal officer, Rebecca Thatcher, will be attending the same training at Kent State University previously taken by exiting fiscal officer Beth Rediger. The training will be held from October 14 through October 17.

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