MECHANICSBURG – Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, fourth and fifth graders in the Mechanicsburg Exempted Village School District will have a school resource officer at their disposal.

During Monday’s Village Council meeting, Police Chief John Alexander said the plan is for Sgt. Michel Stratton to be assigned to the district for 17 ½ hours per week.

“We will be talking to the students about bullying and drugs,” Alexander said. “However we can help, we will help. We love helping the schools.”

To fund the school resource officer, Alexander has applied for a grant through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“Whether we get the grant or not, I’m going to move forward with the school resource officer,” he said.

Prior to assuming his new role of school resource officer, Stratton will attend a five-day training program in August at the Columbus Police James G. Jackson Regional Training Academy.

“The Champaign County Drug Free Youth Coalition is paying for Sgt. Stratton to attend the training, which we greatly appreciate,” Alexander said.

In other business:

•EMS Chief Steve Castle said the village’s new 2016 International Harvester squad, purchased late last year from McCoy Miller of Florida for $212,714, has arrived in Loudenville and is awaiting final approval from Mechanicsburg Fire & EMS before delivery is made next week.

The village used a $143,524 grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grants program to help pay for the squad.

•Zoning Officer Dusty Hurst informed residents the village is now enforcing its tall grass ordinance. Hurst said property owners are in violation of the ordinance if their grass is over 8 inches tall or has gone to seed.

•In an effort to find the cause of a crumbling section of roadway on East Sandusky Street, Mayor Greg Kimball said, the village will be running a camera through the sewer line to determine if the problem is a village issue or an Ohio Department of Transportation issue.

•The Mechanicsburg Planning Commission will meet at 8 a.m. on Saturday in the municipal building.

By Joshua Keeran

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.