CENTERBURG — Welcome news from the Ohio Department of Public Safety was among business items discussed Monday night at the monthly meeting of the Centerburg Village Council. The ODPS Emergency Management Agency confirmed that it will reimburse the village for 80 percent of costs it incurred in the cleanup following July’s severe storm. Village Administrator Phil Lohmeyer said the amount of the reimbursement will be between $7,000 and $9,000.
Council Chairman Dave Beck reported that the Central Ohio Joint Fire District (COJFD) will host an open house this Saturday, October 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The department’s building and equipment will be on display, and there will be gear drills, search-and-rescue demonstrations and air evacuation drills. Refreshments will be served.
The COJFD’s current tax levy expires at the end of the year, and the department is pinning its hopes for 2013 funding on a 5.5-mill renewal levy that will appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Council has expressed unanimous support for the levy.
Centerburg resident Roxanne Quinn addressed council about traffic safety issues on Union and Preston streets. Quinn said that excessive speed and instances of drag racing have created a dangerous situation in an area that is heavily traveled by people going to school athletic fields, playgrounds, Head Start and day care programs, and a senior citizen center. She reported that her family’s pet dog was recently struck and killed by a speeding driver on Union Street, which has a posted limit of 25 mph.
“That could have been a child,” Quinn said. “The neighbors are adamant about this. We understand that the street can’t be patrolled all the time, but we need a permanent fix. We’re willing to hit the bricks to help any way we can.”
Quinn’s recommendation was to install speed bumps, and she noted that removable speed bumps made from recycled rubber are available on the market. Lohmeyer said that Knox County maintains portable electronic radar signs and agreed to arrange placement of one on Union Street to gather more information. Mayor Diana Stockmaster noted that there have been discussions about the situation in the past, and council referred the matter to the Oct. 23 meeting of the village Safety Committee.
Centerburg’s contract for police protection from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is up for renewal, and Lohmeyer, Beck and council member Jerry Hess met recently with Sheriff David Barber and Sheriff-elect Dave Shaffer to discuss contract terms. Council discussed the issue in more detail in executive session.
Following a third reading, council unanimously ratified the new DKMM Solid Waste District Plan. The plan is under review through October 20 by the Delaware, Knox, Morrow and Marion county governments and those of the area’s largest municipalities.
Lohmeyer reported that replacement of pumps at the village water plant has been completed. With reference to the start of construction of the new wastewater reclamation facility, an EPA-required archeological survey of easements did not reveal any artifacts that would force a delay. EPA is expected to sign off on the project soon.
Council member Ronda Seligman reported that the Heart of Ohio Women’s Club has raised approximately half of the funds that will be needed for creation of a multi-image mural on the side of the municipal building facing Main Street. The mural will be adjacent to a new electronic community events sign that is being funded by the Centerburg Area Business Association. The lighted mural will depict four vintage scenes of the village.
Council approved the fiscal 2013 budget during the summer, and last night gave a first reading to 2013 employee compensation and line-item appropriations.
Several community activities are scheduled this month. A community block party will be held this Sunday, Oct. 7, from 3 to 7 p.m. on South Clayton Street. There will be a Fall Colors Walk on Sunday, Oct. 14, beginning at 2 p.m. from Memorial Park. Also on the 14th at Memorial Park, from 4 to 7 p.m., is a gospel festival hosted by the Community Church. Death by Banjo and the Cornerstone Gospel Group will perform. Tentative plans have been made for a “Ghosts of Centerburg Past” cemetery walk on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Finally, Trick or Treat night will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The next meeting of the council will be on election eve, Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.
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