ST. PARIS – The St. Paris Village Council discussed a bid for the sale of the municipal building and police headquarters during Monday’s regular meeting.
During the March 20 meeting, council passed an ordinance authorizing the advertising for bids for the sale of the village municipal building, 135 W. Main St., and police department headquarters, 137 W. Main St.
On Monday, Mayor Joe Reneer said the village received one bid for the property.
Village Administrator Joe Sampson opened the bid and read a letter from Wooten Automotive and Towing LLC submitting an offer of $300,000 for the property. Along with the letter was a down payment for $15,000.
To proceed, Sampson said, council would need to accept the bid and check as an acceptable offer for the building contingent on an occupancy agreement between the village and the bidder as well as a lease to own contract with the bidder.
“By voting to say you’ll accept this, you have not officially sold this building,” Sampson said. “You are only saying that we accept this as an offer and we have to go into the two next steps then to get the contract together that will talk about taxes, leases, maintenance, electric, gas and his payments throughout the process until it belongs to him.”
Reneer stated council was voting on whether this was an acceptable bid. If approved, the matter would enter the contract phase.
Council member Niven Jester asked if the money received from the sale of property would be going towards tearing down and constructing a building at the site of the old junior high building. Sampson said it would and explained some of the cost options for demolishing the property.
“This isn’t going to happen this year either; this is going to be over like a five-year period,” Sampson said. “I want to make sure like in the contract that if we start towards that with these investments and looking at that building that we get out to the point and we’re not quite there yet then we have a chance to stay here a little longer.”
Council unanimously voted to accept the bid.
Council member Adkins resigns
Council accepted the resignation of council member Tyler Adkins after Reneer read his resignation letter. Reneer noted the letter was addressed to “administrator’s puppet.”
“I, Tyler Adkins will not be a part of a village council that allows administrators to misappropriate village funds as well as condone such actions then lie to the tax papers regarding such activity. Therefore I resign,” Adkins stated in the letter.
Members in the audience applauded following the reading of the resignation letter.
Adkins was voted in as a council member in November 2015.
After unanimously accepting Adkins’ resignation, council unanimously approved appointing Ben Hackley to fill his position.
Pay raises approved
Council approved granting pay raises for four village employees after previous attempts failed.
Pay raises were approved for office assistant Suzanne Oberly, streets, parks and land superintendent Diana Wallen, streets, parks and land employee James Copes and water and sewer department employee Ben Shuman.
All four resolutions passed by a 4-2 vote with council members Terry Ervin II and Jester voting against the pay raises.
The resolution granted a raise for Oberly from $9 an hour to $10 an hour, a five percent raise for Wallen from $720 per week to $756 per week, a five percent raise for Copes from $600 per week to $630 per week, and a five percent raise for Shuman from $709.61 to $745.09 per week.
In addition to the pay raises, council unanimously approved hiring Spencer S. Mitchell as a full-time water/sewer operator for the village. Mitchell will be compensated at $673.20 weekly.
During the safety committee portion of the meeting council member Gary Doeden provided a summary of police activity from January through April 29. During that period of time, Doeden said there were 206 traffic stops with 30 percent of stops resulting in citations, 30 arrests including four direct drug arrests and 28 medical runs assisting JSP.
Thus far village police have received 1,510 calls for service this year.
Council approved tabling taking action on holiday pay for village police officers. Reneer said the village does not have anything in its handbook stating how holiday pay is set for police officers.
Reneer stated he received a letter from the JSP Firefighters Association pertaining to the 4th of July celebration.
The letter from Lt./Association chairman Brad Yost states the association will hold community fireworks on June 24 at dusk with a rain date of June 25. The association is seeking donations to make the fireworks possible.
The Independence Day celebration will start with a family fun day which will include a bounce house, water games, three legged races, a balloon toss and other kid games. Other events include a medical helicopter landing, DJ and grilling.
Council approved a $500 donation to the association.
In other action:
•Reneer stated the village farmer’s market is scheduled to start Friday and will run all summer. The market will be held every Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
•With garage sale day scheduled for June 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Reneer advised people to be careful as the village’s population doubles on that day.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.