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Village gives up tennis courts for playground equipment

MILLERSPORT – The Village’s aging tennis courts at Veterans’ Park will become the base for the new-to-Millersport playground equipment.

It’s taken Street Commissioner Gilbert Arnold and Frank Creed weeks to remove all the equipment from Tarhe Elementary School in Lancaster. The equipment was donated to the village.

Using the tennis courts as a base will keep children out of the mud and create a more stable play area. The court will be topped with about 12 inches of crumbed rubber to protect against injuries.

“It (the courts) needs paved,” President Pro Tem Dustin Bidwell explained. The cost to repave is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. “We don’t have the money for that,” Mayor Gary Matheny added.

“I think it is a good use of the facility,” Council member Chuck Mesko said. “There is a limited number of people that play tennis.”

Recreation director Tom Nebbergall said the village was forced to include the courts in a Community

Development Block Grant in order to get a baseball field.

In a straw vote, members agreed 5-1 to put the equipment on the tennis courts. Council member Donna Thogmartin said she hated to lose the courts.

In his report, Police Chief Mark Consolo said the department is rebuilding staff after losing officers to other departments. Auxiliary or unpaid officers worked only eight hours in July.

Consolo said three applications are being reviewed, two officers are beginning the field training process and four should be completing field training soon.

In his report, Village Administrator Vince Popo said a video check of Terrace Street sewer may have found the cause of the recent sewer overflow. The problem is in the line that runs under the canal. It should be able to be repaired by running a new line inside the existing one.

In his water report, Popo said they have discovered that a West Bank customer removed a water meter and was just paying the minimum bill. The customer has now been assessed charges totalling more than $2,600 which includes a $500 penalty, $625 for a new pit and meter and installation charges. The customer could also be charged with theft of utility services.

On a more positive note, Popo said all but nine water meters have been replaced. Meters are now being read monthly.

Thogmartin complained about mosquitoes being particularly bad this year. Matheny noted that it has been a wet year and that there is little the village can do. Spraying has little long-term effects. Popo has briquettes available that can be used to treat standing water.

Council members unanimously approved an ordinance outlining the conditions and services being provided for the Dollar General annexation. The developer is purchasing 1.67 acres on the west side of Lancaster Road just north of the village corporation limit. The property must be annexed into the village before it gets water or sewer services.

The village now has a final report on the soil test for the pro- posed park on the former Sohio service station property on Lancaster Street. The village will have to add a 15 foot wide concrete strip the entire length of the property to limit exposure to hydrocarbons in the soil from asphalt. The concrete strip is expected to add $2,500 to $3,000 to the cost.

The Streetscape Committee expects to get the final OK to start construction at the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission’s Sept. 21 meeting.

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