By: Chelsie Firestone – THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Members of the West Unity Village Council convened for their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:30 PM on January 23. With no legislative matters to address, council quickly moved on to hear reports. Village Administrator Ric Beals reported that he is continuing to work with Kamco on possible expansion and job creation, which includes possible purchase of property in West Unity. Additionally, Beals reported that the village has been working at cutting down some dead trees within the village and that the village will soon be bidding out the larger trees and stump removal. Beals also reported that the he has received notification that the last phase of the East Jackson Street water line replacement is a contingency project for Issue 1 funding so there is still a chance that the village will receive funds. Because Beals may not receive final notice of whether or not these funds will be received until the first of May, no plans for capital projects will be finalized at this time.
In terms of the weather that has continued to bring relatively large amounts of snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures to the area, Beals reported that the village has been working to keep downtown parking areas cleared and has helped clear out some mailboxes. While the village will help if needed, however, residents need to remember that such clearing is the responsibility of the homeowner. Beals also urges residents to remember to keep fire hydrants cleared.
Mayor Peggy Bernath opened her segment of reports by once again proclaiming February as Career and Technical Education Month. She then informed Council that she has finished with the various council committee appointments. The committees are formed as follows:
•Parks and Recreation/Juvenile Affairs – Dave Short, Don Leu, Randy Mahlman
•Street/Building/Sidewalks – Kevin Gray, Ron Hausch, Don Leu
•Safety – Ron Hausch, Kirk Thompson, Kevin Gray
•Finance/Insurance/Audit –Fiscal Officer Becky Thatcher, Mayor Peggy Bernath, Council President Kirk Thompson, Kevin Gray, Ron Hausch
•Forestry/Tree City – Randy Mahlman, Kevin Gray, Dave Short
• Kissell Trust – Mayor Peggy Bernath, Council President Kirk Thompson, Dave Short, Don Leu
The mayor also informed Council that the revised rental agreement for the Kissell Building had been completed and was ready for their review. The revisal, which council approved, lowers the cost of renting the building. Also revised is that only the whole building is available for rent. Previously, those wishing to rent the building could choose to rent only half of the building if desired. The revisal is an effort to encourage the public to rent the building more often for both private and community events. Private parties may have alcohol on the premises provided all liability is assumed by the renter. 501-3-C organizations wishing to rent still receive a substantially reduced rental rate. Anyone interested in renting the Kissell Building should contact the village office at 419.924.2271 for more information.
With neither Police Chief J.R. Jones nor Village Solicitor Ryan Thompson having anything to report, Council then heard from Fiscal Officer Becky Thatcher. Thatcher informed council that they had received the Village Income Tax Summary for review and that the total of $770,498.00 collected in 2013 was an increase of $100,208.00 (15%) in 2012. She also informed Council that she will be attending several educational conferences over the next few months and asked for both Council and Mayor Bernath’s support and approval in applying for scholarships that may be available to her that will offset the cost of attendance. Support and approval was granted.
With no reports from council members or need for executive session, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of the West Unity Village Council will be on February 13, 2014 at 7:30 PM in council chambers.
Chelsie Firestone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org