West Unity Prepares To Move To New Town Hall; Council Member Resigns

West Unity’s Village Council held its last meeting at the old town hall as preparations are under way to move to a new site at the end of the month.

The town hall will move a little bit west on Main Street to the old medical building past F & M Bank. Moving Day is slated for Dec. 28 with an open house set for 1-4 p.m. Dec. 30.

The village office will be closed Dec. 28, but emergency cell phone numbers will be posted.

The Dec. 8 meeting was also the last meeting for Council member Randy Mahlman, who announced his resignation effective at 11:59 p.m. He declined to give a reason, but thanked the council for their help during his three years on the board.

Mahlman is the village administrator for Edon and will continue with his duties there. He was the administrator for West Unity for seven years.

In other news, the council approved pay ranges and rates of pay for selected personnel on the payroll. In a separate motion, special salaries were also approved.

The police chief position will have a pay range of $42,000 to $49,000 with J.R. Jones being compensated $47,240 for 2017.

The assistant police chief’s salary range will remain at $33,000 to $41,000.

The lieutenant’s salary range will be $32,000 to $39,500. Lt. Phil Fry’s salary will be $37,185.

Full-time patrolmen and school resource officers will have a salary range of $29,500 to $36,500.

Officer Tyler Borton will be paid $33,100; Scott Vershum will receive $33,100 after his probationary period; School resource officer Jeff Arnold will have an annual salary of $35,500.

Part-time officers will continue to receive $12 per hour and $11 hour while on probation. If a part-time officer works more than 84 hours in a two-week period, they get 1.5 times their pay rate.

The Maintenance Supervisor’s range is $17 to $22 per hour with minimum licenses for water and wastewater. Maintenance Supervisor Jim Eisel will be paid $21.40 an hour.

Maintenance persons will be paid $13-$19 per hour. Matt Axford will be paid $17.95 per hour and Taylor Wheeler $16 per hour.

The range for a Village Fiscal Officer will be $36,000 to $45,000 annually. Village Fiscal Officer Kim Grime will receive a salary of $41,200.

The range for Village Administrator is $42,000 to $55,000. Village Administrator Joshua Fritsch will be paid $51,500 per year.

Deputy Clerk Katie Baltosser’s rate will be $15 per hour.

The Water/Wastewater Supervisor, depending on their licensing will have a salary range of $19 to $24 per hour.

The mayor’s annual salary ($4,000) and council member’s ($3,000) remain unchanged.

The salary ranges were adjusted upwards and are necessary to help the village recruit and advertise to fill positions. With a salary range, the village isn’t locked in to a specific amount, Mayor Peg Bernath said.

“Two (positions) needed adjusting,” Bernath said.

The council approved advertising the village will be accepting bids for the town hall.

There had been some discussion on auctioning off the site, but Solicitor Ryan Thompson said the ORC only allows for accepting sealed bids.

The language concerning the disposal of real property hasn’t changed since 1961, he said.

The Revised Code requires the village to advertise for five weeks it is accepting sealed bids and the sell to the highest bidder, Thompson said.

“We are stuck with whatever the Red Book says,” Thompson said. “The village can reject all bids and do this again.”

In other news:

The village will now reimburse $6 per linear foot for sidewalks.

The council approved the 2017 Permanent Appropriation Ordinance for a total budget of $2,278,461.98.

The village has money in many funds, but it can’t spend it all, so it must set aside specific amounts to make sure it has enough to operate at the first of the new year, Bernath said.

A resolution detailing the allocation of funds set aside 26 percent of collected funds for debt service; 17 percent for Capital Projects and 57 percent for the General Fund.

Anyone with leaves that haven’t been picked up are to gather them and bring them to the compost site.

James Pruitt may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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