St. Paris could get new mowing ordinance


ST. PARIS – Village council authorized Village Administrator Joe Sampson to develop an ordinance to address issues with mowing grass at abandoned properties during Monday’s regular meeting.

After researching some information, Sampson said the village’s current ordinance allows the hiring of an outside contractor to mow properties at the owner’s expense, but the village has to pay the upfront cost of an outside contractor.

Sampson said he wants to write an ordinance that would allow the village to mow these properties at the village’s expense and to turn this expense to taxes so the village would be reimbursed.

“So, what you’re saying is instead of us hiring and paying out of pocket and then getting reimbursed later, just cut out the hiring of somebody else and then we would just get reimbursed directly, in theory,” council member Terry Ervin asked.

Sampson replied that village employees would do the mowing instead of hiring people to perform this task.

After some discussion, council authorized Sampson to write an ordinance to address the issue and then have it reviewed by an attorney before council approves it.

Council also approved a motion to amend 2015 appropriations for a reallocation of project money.

These changes included reducing the appropriations for the general fund account from $524,423.25 to $519,993.25 and reducing appropriations for the street fund from $406,154.28 to $356,013.28.

Appropriations for the water fund were increased from $452,957.95 to $477,528.95 and appropriations for the sewer fund were increased from $577,320.62 to $607,320.62.

Council approves fire board appointment

Council approved a recommendation to appoint former mayor and council member Ed Mason to the Johnson-St. Paris fire board.

Council member Larry Watkins, a board member, said the board is comprised of a village council member, a village resident, a Johnson Township trustee, a township resident and an at-large member. Watkins said the appointment would fill a vacancy being created with the village resident moving from the village.

Council approved the motion 4-0 with Watkins abstaining from voting. Council member Niven Jester was absent during Monday’s meeting.

In other action:

•Following up on recent village events, Mayor Joe Reneer said the village’s garage sale day on June 20 went well despite the rain, and the village fireworks were held on June 28 after weather postponed the event by one day. Reneer commended the Johnson-St. Paris Firefighters Association for holding the June 28 event.

•Village Fiscal Officer Cathlyn Adkins presented the 2016 budget to council. Any action on the budget was tabled as Adkins asked council to review the budget and respond by the end of the week so a public hearing on the budget can be scheduled.

•Council approved offering a part-time administrative assistant position to Suzanne Oberly that would go into effect on July 7. According to the contract read during the meeting, the position would be for 20 hours a week plus additional hours as needed with a salary of $9 per hour payable weekly. The term of the contract would be between July 7 and June 30, 2016, at which time it would be renewed on a yearly basis.

•Sampson informed council that the water tower near Graham Middle School would be out of service this week due to rusting on the inside.