2014-02-01 / News

Hebron sets course for 2014

By Charles Prince

HEBRON – Village Council will continue to meet at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in 2014.

At council’s January 8 reorganizational meeting, council member Bob Gilbert was reelected council president for 2014. Council member Jim Friend will continue to represent council on the Planning & Zoning Board.

Mayor Clifford Mason made the council committee assignments for the new year:

• Safety: Annelle Porter (chair), Tom Marietta and Scott Walters;

• Finance: Gilbert (chair), Alayna Morris and Friend;

• Water/Wastewater: Marietta (chair), Porter and Gilbert;

• Public Works: Morris (chair), Marietta and Gilbert;

• Parks/Recreation: Walters (chair), Friend and Marietta; and

• Personnel: Friend (chair), Porter and Morris.

Council members will continue to hold a combined committees meeting at 6 p.m. on the Monday between the two monthly council meetings. That meeting will be chaired by Village Administrator Ralph Wise.

In other business January 8, Police Chief James Dean said there were 62 vehicle crashes in the village in 2013. Officers made 41 OVI arrests during the year.

Dean said Mayor’s Court collected a bit over $53,000 in fines. The village’s share was about $29,000. He recommended that auxiliary officer Keith Loughry be moved to part-time paid status immediately to replace an officer who resigned to join the Mt. Vernon Police Department. Council members unanimously approved the appointment.

Fire Chief Randy Weekly said the department made 1,213 runs in 2013 – 877 EMS and 336 Fire. Total runs were 1254 in 2012 and 1186 in 2011. Council members unanimously suspended the three reading rule to unanimously authorize Mason and Fiscal Officer Deborah Morgan to execute a five-year contract to provide Fire/ EMS services to the unincorporated portions of Union Township south of the Columbus and Southern Ohio railroad tracks.

Jeremiah Weekly, son of Fire Chief Randy Weekly, asked council members to waive the village’s anti-nepotism policy. He is a part-time firefighter/paramedic and has worked for the village for 10 years. Jeremiah has a full-time position with the Newark Fire Department, but is requesting the waiver so his application could be considered for the vacant full-time fire fighter/paramedic position.

“I’m asking for your blessing to be considered for this position,” he told council members.

Mason suggested council members discuss the issue at their combined committees meeting. He added that the village’s employment counsel recommended that the village not veer from its policy. That leaves two options, he said. Jeremiah’s father could retire or council could waive the policy.

Income tax administrator Mindy Kester reported that revenue was up about $65,000 in 2013. Most of the increase came from employer withholding.

Mogan reported that the village’s 2 mill fire levy expires this year. The first opportunity to ask voters to renew or replace it will be in November. It will be collected through 2015. Hebron property owners pay six mills for fire/EMS services and they will begin paying the 1.5 mill Union Township fire levy voters approved in November.

Mason said one person indicated interest in filling out the rest of Marietta’s term on the Planning & Zoning Board. J. Wayne Carruthers’ appointment was unanimously approved.

In his report, Wise said design work has begun for the Kelly and Westview drives resurfacing project. Engineering is getting started to replace the culvert on North 6th Street. He said South High Street sidewalk project has received environmental clearance and engineering is underway.

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