Members of the West Unity Village Council unanimously passed Ordinances 2013-03 and 2013-04 during their last regular meeting on August 8. The ordinances, which were both passed after approval to suspend the rules that would require three readings, were necessary for the village to move forward with the purchase of a vactor truck from Jack Doheney Companies. Ordinance 2013-03 provides for the necessary changes to be made in annual appropriations. Ordinance 2013-4 gives Village Administrator Ric Beals the authority to act on behalf of the village to make the contract with Jack Doheney Companies and Fiscal Officer Beth Rediger to appropriate the needed funds for the purchase of the equipment.
The 1994 remanufactured Vactor Model 2115-C will replace the 1980 model that the village has owned for 17 years and is being purchased from the village for $105,000. Monies for the purchase of the truck will come from the following: 2011 Street Fund – $15,000, 2901 MVLT Fund – $15,000, 5201 Sewer Operating – $15,000, 5101 Water Operating – $15,000, and 4901 Capital Projects – $15,000. The remaining $30,000 will be borrowed from Farmers and Merchants State Bank and then repaid out of the Debt Service Fund.
The SRO agreement between the village and the school district regarding was also discussed. The original agreement, which was temporary, will be needing to be replaced and council was in need of deciding whether they would be wanting to bill the school district for three-fourths or all of the School Recourse Officer’s annual pay and benefits. The three-fourths pay would reflect only the time that the officer was on duty during the school year. Thoughts on the matter were slightly mixed as council member Rich Merillat noted that the addition of a full time officer would have not been necessary had the SRO position not needed filled. Council member Dave Chester, however, noted that the original agreement and budget proposed to voters has the village paying one-fourth of the officer’s salary and that asking Millcreek Township residents to pay an officer who was working over the summer within the village wouldn’t work. With a total cost of $42,000, including all benefits and insurance, the council agreed with Merillat’s descent to only bill the school for three-fourths of the officer’s pay.
During the meeting Village Administrator Ric Beals also reported that the trees on E. Jackson Street are down and that Lingvai Excavating got the bid on the new water line project with a bid of $91,194.00, approximately $11,000 under estimate. Beals also reported that he pumped out a pool at an empty house on E. Jackson Street and put mosquito pellets in it, which will hopefully help with some of the mosquito issues neighbors have had as well as that the 330 gallon propane tank that the village has had up for bid has been sold for $275.00 and has been removed.
Beals also reported that both of the village’s water towers have been inspected. While the new one has no issues, there are some repairs to be made to the older one and that he will be getting quotes on the cost of repairs and the cost of dismantling the tower so that cost comparisons can be made. Other items reported by Beals included that a new sign is being made for the compost yard, that notifications about the rules of the compost yard will be included in residents’ water bills, that he has mailed sidewalk repair/replacement letters to the owners of 35 properties, that he is moving forward with adding a security camera at the compost yard, and that Jack Doheney and Companies are finishing the agreed upon repairs of the vactor truck.
Chief of Police J.R. Jones reported that he has recently sworn in two new officers. Trayce Chester has been brought on as an auxiliary officer and will be attending the police academy at Northwest State Community College in the fall. Dustin Hartsock will be joining the West Unity Police Department as a part-time officer. Jones also reported that Officer Michael Polley, the current SRO, will be coming off of probation on August 19.
Mayor Peggy Bernath commended Chief Jones and the department on their handling of the increased traffic throughout the village over the U.S. 127 garage sale event that was held the previous weekend. Mayor Bernath also noted that there was a great deal of recognition for the Village of West Unity and its residents on blogs and in other areas where garage sale goers wrote about their experiences during the garage sales. It was noted that West Unity had some of the nicest people along the route and was a spot that people should visit during future events.
Council member Ron Hausch also mentioned during the meeting that the village’s weather siren has been popping the breaker and that the problem is being looked into and that the village may want to readdress whether or not grant monies are available for the addition of a second siren. He also commented on a system of mass notification that he has heard about that would notify people of community events, inclement weather, or any number of other issues that the council might like to have communicated. Research will be done to see what systems are available.
It was also reported that West Unity’s Community Days will be held on October 26th. With a recommendation to have trick-or-treating coincide with the Community Days, council unanimously agreed to hold trick-or-treating on October 26th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.
Chelsie Firestone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org