2007-09-01 / News

Hebron adds another full-time police officer

By Charles Prince

HEBRON - Village council members unanimously approved an emergency ordinance to add one full-time police officerposition.

The force currently has a fulltime chief, lieutenant, sergeant and three patrolmen plus several part-time and auxiliary officers. Most weekend hours are now covered by part-time officers.

Members also approved spending up to $11,000 to replace the police department antenna and radio base station that was recently struck by lightning. The current tower is literally ready to fall over, Police Chief James Dean told council. The new antenna will be mounted on the roof of the municipal complex. Proceeds from insurance are expected to offset some of the $11,000 cost.

Council members also discussed the Hebron Business Association's plans to hold a Lakewood homecoming parade and bonfire in Hebron. The parade would set out at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27 from the Kroger parking lot to Evans Park for a bonfireand pep rally. The association has Lakewood's support with the band, cheerleaders and football team participating.

"It will take most of the force at time and a half to do this parade," Dean told council.

Beth Walters of the association suggested the village's share of the bed tax levied on the Best Western Lakewood Inn could be used to cover the extra police costs. Dean said he budgets for overtime and doesn't expect to exceed his budget, even with covering the new parade.

The fire department crew watching over the bonfirewould be the regular on-duty crew, Fire Chief Randy Weekly said.

"I think this (parade) is terrific," Village Administrator Mike McFarland said. "There is a lot of support for this."

Several council members were concerned about possible parking on the grass which is prohibited. Since no one knows how many people and vehicles will turn up at the park, McFarland suggested moving ahead and doing the best they can. The business association also wants to hold a health fair in conjunction with the next Hebron blood drive which is set for 2-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Council members also agreed to spend $14,068 for a portable computer and software for the EMS program and $4,092 for firefighterturnout gear, generator and hose couplings.

Members also discussed the interview process for the new fiscal officerposition. The position replaces the previously elected clerk/treasurer.

Nearly two dozen applications were received for the new post. Though the state law authorizing the post sets a residency requirement, village council is permitted to waive that mandate. Most council members want the successful candidate to live in the village. However, they agreed with council member Erin Finkes' recommendation that every candidate making the cut be interviewed without regard for residency status.

"Our working pool (of residents) is really small," she cautioned.

McFarland reported that he met earlier in the day with Buckeye Lake Development Director Valerie Hans about a possible bulk water sale to the dry village. He suggested to her that they address rate expectations before involving elected officials in both villages.

"Then we can see if there is a connection or disconnection," McFarland explained.

Council returns to its twicemonthly meeting schedule in September, meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 and 26.

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