HEBRON – Village Administrator Ralph Wise had good news for council members at their March 28 council meeting.
He reported that the Ohio Public Works Commission approved the village’s request for $160,000 in financial assistance to replace the culvert on West North Street. The culvert currently restricts the flow of storm water through the village. The estimated cost to replace it with one with more capacity is $217,000. OPWC is awarding the village a $120,000 grant and will loan an additional $40,000 interest-free for 20 years. The funds won’t be available until July 1 and the work will probably be done next construction season.
Wise also reported that Community Development Coordinator Linda Nicodemus learned this week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant for the village. The approximately $207,000 of federal funds would be used to return about 3.5 acres of the Sunny Acres subdivision back to a designated wetland. The project includes the purchase of two residential properties and the demolition of a frequently flooded house. The village’s share is 25 percent or $69,000 which will be used to remove the water and sewer lines in this area. Wise said the next step is to publish a public notice providing a 30-day public comment period.
Council members also unanimously approved a last-minute request from Fire Chief Jack Stickradt to seek an $18,000 grant from the Shriners. “I apologize for the untimeliness,” Stickradt said. He explained he just learned about the opportunity on March 23; applications are due March 29. No matching funds are required. The fire department proposes to use the grant to purchase a training simulator on how to use fire extinguishers. It could be used in-doors and would significantly reduce the cost of training since it doesn’t use costly fire fighting chemicals.
In other business Wednesday night, council members were asked by the Village of Glenford’s council president to consider donating the village’s now out-of-service 1986 dump truck to the small Perry County village. The truck is worth about $2,000, but needs a little more than that in repairs to operate, he told them. Glenford has a $12,000 a year annual budget and currently does not have any vehicle that can haul any materials The village relies on a blade attached to an ATV and volunteers to clear snow off the village’s six miles of roadway. Council members, by a 4-2 vote, asked the village solicitor to draft an ordinance declaring the truck surplus and to donate it to Glenford. Council members Clifford Mason and Annelle Porter voted “no” because they wanted some independent verification of the truck’s value and cost of repairs.
After considerable discussion, council members decided to wait until their April 11 meeting to decide whether they want to give Licking County the required two-year notice to discuss possible changes to their contract to provide bulk water to the county-owned Harbor Hills water distribution system. The 10-year agreement expires April 14, 2020. If Hebron does not give notice by April 14, the contract automatically renews for five more years at the same terms and conditions.
The contract price is a fixed percentage of the in-village rate so it increases as in-village rates change. It brings in about $110,000 in revenue annually. “I don’t see what it hurts to say hey and let’s talk about it,” Mason said. “I feel we should leave it alone,” Porter said.
Council members unanimously agreed to send a letter to Home Expert owner Jody Litton that the village is not interested in selling any of its lot at Main and High streets including the portion behind Litton’s business. Litton inquired about buying the portion behind his business at the March 14 council meeting. He needs more room and might construct a garage for a service truck.
Council members also agreed to set Tuesday, May 15, as the annual Chipper Day. The village’s free Spring Clean-up Day will run from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 19, at the Public Works garage. Residents can drop off items too big for regular trash pickup. However, NO tires, liquids or Freon-containing appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners can be accepted.
Police Chief Larry Brooks said the department will dedicate its new garage and large-item evidence room at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11. Council’s next regular meeting follows the dedication at 6:30 p.m. The garage was funded by a $175,000 bequest from the estate of Thornville resident Jack Artz. The police department was one of six beneficiaries of Artz’s generosity.
During council member comments, Porter claimed about the deteriorating condition of the railroad crossing on Ohio 79 north of O’Neill Drive. Mayor Mike McFarland said he would pass the complaint on to ODOT. Wise said ODOT might have some repairs done when Ohio 79 is being repaved from Enterprise Drive to Andover Drive in Health