West Unity’s Village Council Hears Boy Scout’s Plan To Renovate Walbash Park

1 (W.U. Village Council) WEBJustin Wiyrck has his eye on Walbash Park.

Wiyrick, a Montpelier native, stood before the West Unity Village Council at their first August regular meeting. As a member of the West Unity Boy Scouts Troop 669, he asked for the council’s permission to renovate Walbash Park as part of his effort to attain Eagle Scout status.

The initial plan called for adding a play set to the area, complete with a slide, swing-sets, and a climbing wall to the park, as well as building benches and picnic tables. Wiyrick’s estimate for the project was $3,850, which impressed Mayor Peggy Bernath.

“We looked into a simlar project ourselves” Bernath informed. “Your cost is very good.”

The fact that Wiyrick intended to do all of the work himself most likely made up most of the difference between the estimates.

Though supportive of the project, they urged Wiyrick to wait until the Spring to begin. However, the West Unity Chamber of Commerce through its Rails to Trails Committee were hopeful to have new benches and tables at the park in time for the event. Therefore, the council commissioned Wiyrick to build the requested benches and tables with funds he raises himself, while they will go about securing the money for the play set, to be installed at a later date.

A used dura-patcher was secured by the village, and will soon be operational. At a cost of $31,500, this purchase will allow the village to patch its streets without having to borrow Springfield Township’s dura-patcher. Through an SRO agreement, the village will enter into a contract with Brady Township in order to split the cost over a five year span.

The town’s water and sewage rates were amended as well. Residents of West Unity will see no change to their bills, though, as the move was little more than a book-keeping adjustment for Fiscal Officer Kim Grime. Grime also informed the council that collections from village income taxes are up by 7 percent during her report.

Police Chief J.R. Jones updated the council as well. All West Unity Police Department officers passes a firearms qualification test. The department also set an ALICE Training course for Hilltop School officials for Tuesday, August 19th.

Village Administrator Ric Beals has been working with Kamco on issues with pedestrian crossing from their building on East Jackson to their warehouse on Linden Street. As it stands now, forklifts moving across the street need a spotter to hold off traffic. Kamco has expressed interest in purchasing a stop light to resolve the problem, but no concrete solution has been reached as of yet.

Maintenance on the village’s water tower was recently completed by Kessler Tank Company. Whilst cleaning the tank, workers discovered a leak, adding $2,200 in repairs to the bill. The tower should be done with maintenance work for a few years.
The council reviewed a letter sent to them by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in regards to discharge from the South Liberty Street Sewer Pump two weeks ago. Maintenance Supervisor Jim Eisel responded timely to the issue, concluding that it was the result of a fluctuating voltage problem.

The village will keep the EPA apprised of the situation.

Eisel himself was celebrated at the meeting, as he was honored for his 20 years of service to the village.

Earning the moniker “MacGyver” due to the many contraptions he’s improvised over the years, Eisel’s reputation as a handyman is quite stellar.

Pictures of various downtown street lights from Defiance were presented to the council by member Don Le. He reminded his fellow councilmen, as well as administrators, of plans to update the lights in downtown West Unity dating back to 2012. All were in agreement that lights similar to those used in Defiance would be a welcome addition to the village and the funds have been budgeted since 2012.

The council will now research the costs of such lights, as their previous estimates are out of date.

The village received a quote from from Miller Textile on new uniforms, area rugs, and shop rags. If agreeing to terms with the Defiance company, they would save money when compared to their current arrangement with Knox Textiles out of Edgerton. Beals informed Knox Textile, and is giving them the opportunity to give a new quote.

The council’s next regular meeting is set for Thursday, August 28th, at 7:30 P.M.

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