ST. PARIS – Village council approved an ordinance to accept a petition for an annexation of land into the village during Monday’s regular meeting.
The ordinance accepts a petition started by the First Church of God, St. Paris, to annex 23.471 acres from Johnson Township.
Hearings on the annexation were held on Dec. 8 and 29, 2015, before the Champaign County Commission and the commissioners approved the annexation on Dec. 29, 2015.
The property includes parts of the township east of the village to Heck Hill Road.
Village Administrator Joe Sampson said Thursday that the annexation process will be completed 30 days from Monday’s meeting.
Council fills vacancies
Council approved the promotion of village employee Diana Wallen from parks and land maintenance technician to street, parks and land superintendent. As part of the resolution, Wallen’s salaried wage rate will increase to $18 per hour based on a 40 hour work week.
Within the same resolution, council also appointed James Cope within the street department and to also assist in other departments as needed and directed by Wallen. This position will be a salaried position at $15 per hour based on a 40 hour work week.
Council tables mosquito spray
Council approved tabling action on hiring a company to spray for mosquitoes after a brief discussion.
Sampson informed council that he received two quotes from Able Pest Control, which conducted mosquito spraying for the village last year. The quotes included either $475 for each application as needed or starting in May twice a month through September which would be $5,225.
When asked how many times the village sprayed last year, Sampson said about three or four times.
Council member Tyler Adkins said the spray used last year was for stock yards and cattle barns and had no use to mosquitoes.
“It’s 95 percent water which is a product in which mosquitoes breed in,” Adkins said. “It’s cheaper for the village to buy mosquito spray and use our own equipment.”
After agreeing to table any action, council member Terry Ervin II also asked what the village’s cost would be if they were to perform spraying themselves.
Council authorized council member Jana Crawford to work with the Champaign County Animal Welfare League to address the cat population.
Last November council heard a presentation from His Hands Extended Sanctuary after concern about stray cats in the village was brought up.
During the March 7 meeting, Crawford said she spoke with members of the organization who suggested the village could raise money to have the cats trapped, spayed and neutered.
On Monday, Crawford said she found another organization that could provide the same service for free in the Champaign County Animal Welfare League. She said the league would track stray cats for free and would place signs notifying the public the of the cat capturing and to advise them not to feed the stray cats.
In other action:
•Reneer thanked residents for recording recent village council meetings and posting them online. Video from Monday’s meeting can be found on the YouTube page Eyes on St. Paris or on the village’s website under the links page.
•Sampson said the village’s attorney has determined that office assistant Suzanne Oberly, who has been under contract with the village, is not a contract employee and needs to be a part-time employee meaning the village needs to start taking taxes out on her to meet law requirements. He noted the village is also looking at mayor’s court personnel to make sure they are also in compliance with the law.
•Council approved a lease agreement for the St. Paris Federation of Churches to use property at the municipal building for $5 a month for a community food pantry.
•As the weather improves, Reneer said brush pickup will take place during the week of April 25.
•Council approved a proclamation declaring May as Motorcycle Awareness Month.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.