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Baltimore police coverage increasing

BALTIMORE – Business owners and residents should soon be able to sleep a bit sounder.

“Every night from midnight to 8 a.m. somebody will be watching,” Police Chief Michael Tussey told The Beacon after Monday night’s council meeting. During the meeting, Mayor Bob Kalish swore in another part-time police officer.David Kennedy, of Westerville, will soon be on the street once he completes field training with Tussey. Kennedy is an experienced officer,working in Sugar Grove and most recently South Bloomfield.”I promised to bring on the best people we can find,” Tussey added.

His addition gives the department two full-time officers, including the new chief, and fivepart-time officers. Three of the part-time officersare currently on injury leave due to incidents that occurred elsewhere.

“We’re real close to 24/7 coverage,” Tussey said. “We’re probably at 90 percent coverage.”

Tussey also told council that a business security card program is underway. Night officerswill be getting out of their cruiser and checking businesses. A card will be left, noting the time and the officer’s name. Tussey said the program demonstrates that businesses are being checked and the time notation helps should something happen later. He also reported that a suspect was identified two hours after a June 15 abduction and robbery. Warrants have been issued for the suspect’s arrest.

Tussey is continuing his introduction rounds, meeting recently with the Liberty Union School Board, the superintendent, building principals and the chamber of commerce.

Council member Chuck Keller asked Tussey about the use of fireworks in Johnson Park. “It’s hard to express to parents that it’s not OK,” he told Keller, noting Ohio’s lax laws on fireworks. He wants to educate parents and youth about the dangers. Tussey says it is difficultto catch offenders, but officerswill respond to calls and complaints.

In other business Monday night, council members, by a 5-1 vote, approved a new three-year contract with Waste Management for residential waste collection. Tony House voted “no.” The new contracts begins July 1. Residents will pay $11.25 per month during the first year, $11.70 per month during the second and $12.17 per month in the final year. The current monthly toter rental charge is unchanged at $2 per month and won’t change during the contract. Waste Management will also add a monthly fuel surcharge based on the price of fuel.

Four companies bid on the contract. Village Administrator Marsha Hall said one bidder, BSS Waste of Logan, was actually a bit lower on the monthly charge, but didn’t include yard waste and non-freon appliances in the base bid. They are extras. Pickup of bundled yard waste and non-freon appliances were included in the Waste Management bid. “We looked at everything,” Hall said. “It (Waste Management) is the lowest and best bid.”

Council members unanimously waived the three reading rule and competitive bidding requirement to authorize a $37,076.45 contract with Precise Boring, Inc. to replace a waterline along Ohio 158 from the cemetery to the north corporation limit. Village officials discovered that the waterline is substandard during the extension of a sewer line to the new Ace Hardware store. The line is approximately 35-years old and can not handle high pressure. Right now the new store is about 1000 feet from a firehydrant and the existing line can’t support the pressure created by hydrants. Two additional hydrants will be installed north of the cemetery when the line is replaced.

An ordinance prohibiting anyone classified as a “sexual predator” or “sexually oriented offender” from living within 1,000 feet of any school; licensed daycare facility; village-owned or operated public park, swimming pool or public or community playgrounds was kept on the table at the request of the village solicitor.

Village Fiscal Officer Flo Welker reported that the pool is doing well this year. So far more memberships have been sold this year than all of last season. She promised a complete report at the next council meeting.

Kalish recently attended the Ohio Mayors Conference. He has updated Hall and Welker on the changes to Ohio’s Public Records Law that were discussed at the conference. He was elected treasurer of the state group which means he will become president in 2011.

Council’s next regular meeting is set for 8 p.m. on Monday, July 2. Members will discuss a possible summer recess in August at the next meeting.

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