2009-07-25 / News

Police chief taking on new responsibilities

By Charles Prince

MILLERSPORT - Police Chief Randall Lewis got some additional responsibilities at the July 14 council meeting.

Village Council members unanimously approved an emergency resolution appointing Lewis as property maintenance code officer. He will be paid $10,000 a year on a 1099 basis which means he won't receive any benefits beyond what he receives as police chief.

Council will be back to full strength next month after Mayor Dean Severance appoints Donna Thogmartin to fill the vacancy created by Kenneth Brotherton's resignation. She previously served on council and Severance said she has agreed to run for a four year term in November. Four seats are up in November including Thogmartin's. Council members Charles Mesko and James Wright are seeking reelection, while Gary Matheny is undecided.

A consultant has been revising the village's zoning regulations since last year. A draft of the revisions is nearly completed and will be discussed at a 7 p.m. meeting on Monday, August 3 at the village offices. "We've been working pretty hard on it for awhile," Severance said.

Council members also agreed unanimously to switch the village's telephone service from Sprint to ValTech Communications of Reynoldsburg. ValTech is a Ohio PUCO regulated competitive local exchange. The move is expected to save the village about $2,000 a year while maintaining current services. "Anytime we can save some money for the community it is a good thing," Severance said.

A delayed opening and cooler weather has pool revenues running behind last year, Mayor's Assistant Vince Popo reported. A total of 68 memberships were purchased this year, compared to 79 last year. An increase in the minimum wage has increased labor costs. All pool workers will be paid the minimum wage this year, eliminating small increases for experienced lifeguards.

Cruisers bar and the Classic Cruisers Car Club got the green light for a car show on Friday, July 31. Village officials gave them permission to park cars on Terrace Street once the private property spaces are full. Proceeds will benefit the local Christmas fund.

Council members also unanimously approved a resolution supporting the goals and objectives of the Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow group. The group, modeled after a similar effort at Indian Lake, hopes to improve Buckeye Lake's water quality. Council President Dave Levacy is a trustee.

Officials will wait to see whether the village's application for Ohio Public Works Commission funds to repair Lancaster Street is approved before making a decision on street resurfacing. The grant requires a $50,000 village match which wouldn't let much for the village's own resurfacing program. The focus on Lancaster Street is building up the soft spaces and cutting down some curbs. Street superintendent Gilbert Arnold expects a final answer on the application within 30 days.

Severance and council members briefly discussed a question from Lewis about continuing to provide police reports to The Beacon. Lewis said he had heard some comments that some residents were reluctant to call police because they are afraid of the reports showing up in The Beacon. Severance and several council members said the reports are clearly public records and must be provided if requested. A couple members added that the reports also show residents what the police department is doing. "I want the reports in the paper," Severance said.

Village council's next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11 at the village offices.

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