2012-04-14 / News

Swimming pool will open this year

By Charles Prince

MILLERSPORT - Get out your sunscreen! The Millersport swimming pool will reopen this summer.

Village council members unanimously approved the oneyear reprieve Tuesday night thanks to an anonymous donor. Mayor Dean Severance said an anonymous donor has pledged to match donations/fundraising revenues dollar for dollar up to $5,000. “We need people to step forward,” Severance said. Mayor’s assistant Vince Popo said American Leak Detection of Columbus was able to isolate the leak that caused the loss of more than a million gallons of water last year. It can be fixed at a reasonable cost. Council President and Buckeye Lake Marina owner David Levacy paid for the company’s services.

The village’s Board of Public Affairs, that oversees the water and wastewater systems, also backed off of an earlier demand that the swimming pool pay for its water usage this year. Instead, the first one million gallons of water will be free. Usage last year was two to three times that amount due to the leak.

Levacy asked Walnut Township Trustee and former Fire Chief Bill Yates to head the fundraising efforts for the pool. He immediately accepted. Thanks to the match, $5,000 in donations/ fundraising revenues will turn into $10,000.

In other business Tuesday night, council is back to six members. Severance appointed David Sherrer to replace Kenny Munday who resigned for health reasons earlier this year. Council members unanimously approved the appointment and Severance administered the oath of office. The former Board of Public Affairs member will serve through 2015. Sherrer will serve on the Finance and Rules Committee.

Severance also administered the oath of office to Jerry Murphy who was promoted to Battalion Chief with the fire department. His promotion fills the vacancy created when Matt Bergum was appointed Fire Chief last month.

In his report, Bergum said the village has received its first payment for EMS transport fees. The $27,000 payment represents payments for transports through January 2012. “I could spend the insurance money (EMS billing) five times,” he said. “It’s helped as a cushion.”

Bergum presented two financing options for the $179,000 Horton medic that council members agreed to purchase last month. The best, he said, is a five-year lease/purchase with First Capital Equipment Leasing Corp. at 3.445 percent a year. Commodore Bank offered a five-year loan at 4.75 percent a year. The village will make five annual payments of $38,941.83 every October for five years. Total interest cost is $15,359. Delivery will be in eight to 10 months. The new medic will be stationed at the Fairfield Beach Fire Station.

Council members also unanimously suspended the three reading rule and adopted an ordinance setting a 14-day work period for the fire department. Severance said the federal Fair Labor Standards Act allows up to a 14-day work-week for firefighters due to their typical 24 hours on and 48 hours off work schedule. Moving from a seven to 14-day work period will reduce payments for overtime. Severance said the savings will be significant citing a prospective $600 savings on a recent pay period.

Council members also unanimously approved the third and final reading of a sound ordinance. In February, Police Chief John Shirk asked council to enact a more comprehensive noise ordinance. The current ordinance only applies to motor vehicles, so police couldn’t address loud parties or music unless other problems arose. The new ordinance is based on Lancaster’s and includes a catch-all “disturbing the peace” provision and also addresses “ sound amplifying devices” on private property and in motor vehicles. Shirk said the new ordinance will give police officers a tool to address noise complaints that aren’t caused by motor vehicles. He asked that it be held for all three readings to give the public an opportunity to comment on it. No comments were made. “This gives our law a little more teeth,” Severance added.

In this report, Shirk said, “ There seems to be a cat problem in the village. We have people on both sides.” Several residents said stray or abandoned cats have been a major problem. “It’s making a smell problem,” said one resident. “It’s driving me crazy.” Several residents complained about smell; damage to lawn furniture, plants and mulch; and garage invasions. “We haven’t found a solution,” Shirk said.

“We’ll work on the problem,” Severance promised. “We’ll see what we can do about it,” Levacy added.

Severance suggested a zoning meeting to prepare revisions to the village’s zoning resolution for presentation to council. That meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, April 30, in council chambers. Council’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8.

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