ST. PARIS – Village council and residents discussed potentially placing a levy on the November ballot for police services.
The conversation took place during a work session held prior to Monday’s regular meeting. No action was taken on the topic during the regular meeting.
Mayor Joe Reneer said the purpose of the work session was to start the discussion about placing a levy on the ballot which has to be submitted to the county board of elections by August.
Council member Terry Ervin II said the three things that need to be looked at include whether the village is interested in placing a levy on the ballot, what the purpose of the levy would be and what amount of millage the levy should have.
Reneer said the village’s police department currently operates with two full-time officers, a chief and sergeant and eight part-time officers who fill shifts. When asked what the purpose of the levy would be, Reneer proposed an option could be to have three full-time officers.
“The budget for the police department is shrinking so that makes it difficult to have full-time people – quality full-time people – to do the training with the equipment and everything you need,” Ervin said. “The more full-time people you have, I believe the better potential opportunity you have for more consistent policing serving the village better.”
When asked why appropriations for the police department have continued to decrease, Reneer noted the village was bringing in close to $400,000 in income tax in 2008 while this year they are bringing in below $300,000.
As the conversation continued, council was urged to send out some type of questionnaire to gauge the public’s interest in a levy.
Council approves curfew amendment
Council unanimously approved an emergency amendment to the village’s curfew ordinance.
The amendment states a curfew will be in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sunday and Monday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the curfew is in effect from 12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m.
The curfew is enforced for residents age 17 and younger unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Monday’s action occurred after council and residents discussed the curfew during a work session on April 4. This discussion came following reports of thefts from parked vehicles, broken car windows and license plates stolen.
The original ordinance was established by the village in 1981.
Council approves sending letter to school
Council authorized Village Administrator Joe Sampson to send a letter to Graham Local Schools officials regarding water and sewer operator services.
During the March 7 meeting, Sampson informed council that the school district asked if the village would be interested in putting a contract together to take care of water and sewer services at Graham High School. Council proceeded to approve constructing a contract for work at the high school.
In a letter to District Operations and Services Supervisor Don Burley, Sampson requests the school board consider a contract between the village and the school board to provide water and sewer operator services at the high school again.
The letter notes the village previously contracted with the school board to provide operator services for the water and sewer plants outside of the village.
“If there is a consideration for this, then I would like to meet with you and work out a proposal for a contract to present to the board as well as village council for their approval,” Sampson states in the letter.
Sampson said during Monday’s meeting that even if an agreement is reached, the contract would have to go before council and the school board before it would be accepted.
In other action:
•Council approved the resignation of St. Paris Mayor’s Court Clerk Beverly Gleason effective June 30 after receiving a resignation letter.
•As part of spring cleanup, residents will be able to leave regular trimmings, brush, sticks, twigs and organic lawn waste bundled and bagged at the curb for free pickup between April 25 and 29. The items must be on the curb on or before April 24. Rubbish, lumber and construction materials will not be accepted.
•Volunteers are needed as part of the Pine Tree Trail pedestrian trail cleanup at Kiser Lake on this coming Saturday and Sunday. The cleanup efforts are organized by the Covenant Lutheran Church and interested participants were asked to call Kathy Zimmerman at 663-4758 or Linda Fullerton at 663-4562.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.