MILLERSPORT – Mayor Dean Severance gave the oath of office to four new auxiliary police officers at the August 10 village council meeting.
The new unpaid officers are:
• Lt. Chris Forshey who retired in January as Pataskala’s Chief of Police;
• Scott Carpenter;
• Greg Sheets; and
* David Wyland
Council’s Safety Committee reviewed the applications and recommended the appointments. Committee members also discussed the possibility of shortening Police Chief John Shirk’s six month probationary period. Shirk opposed the change and it will remain six months.
In his report, Shirk said officers worked 613.75 hours in July, up from 548.5 in June and 341.5 in May. He thanked VFW Post 1388 for a $250 donation and Cruisers Tavern for a $50 donation that helped the department replace its aging computer.
Shirk said the safety vests and traffic cones for in-street fund raising at the traffic light should be arriving soon. The police department now has primary responsibility for those events.
Shirk explained an amendment to the village’s codified ordinances. It creates a citation and settlement process in lieu of filing a criminal complaint in court for some violations. The change means that the village will retain all fine revenues for these violations and that fines can be lower than those assessed and retained by the Lancaster Municipal Court.
The amendment covers the following violations:
• Dogs or other animals running at large;
• Failure to license dogs;
• Barking dogs;
• Dangerous or vicious
• Littering or deposit of garbage;
• Parking violations; and
• Junk motor vehicles.
Police will enforce some of the provisions while a code enforcement officer will have to be appointed to enforce the property maintenance provisions. The code enforcement officer will report to the mayor. Violators will first be given an opportunity to correct or abate the violation before fines are assessed.
The amendment provides that failure to abate the violation or to pay fines assessed can lead to the filling of a criminal complaint in Lancaster Municipal Court.
In other business July 10, Street Supervisor Gilbert Arnold said most of the village’s in-kind work for the Lancaster Street resurfacing project has been completed. Village workers replaced some curbs and added handicap ramps to sidewalks to meet most of its share of the project, rather than making a cash contribution.
Arnold wants to wait until the Lancaster Street contractor is on the job to see if the village can afford to resurface more streets this summer. Fair Avenue is the worst, he told council. He estimates that Fair, Park, Firehouse Alley and Cottage would cost about $35,000, but hopes they can strike a better deal.