Eugene "Doc" Householder, director of the Belmont County Tourism Council and member of the Barnesville Bicentennial Committee, presented Barnesville Village Council members with architect's drawings of a proposed renovation to the Barnesville Memorial Park Amphitheater.

Householder said the efforts to upgrade the Amphitheater stemmed from a series of concerts held their last summer as part of the village's Bicentennial Celebration. The committee, who raised the money to pay for the architect's work, has continued to host a series of successful Bluegrass concerts at Annie K's restaurant in Barnesville. Those proceeds are going toward the cost of the renovations, however, Householder said he did not have an estimated cost on the project.

Plans call for the replacement of the Amphitheater's wooden roof with a metal one and the grass floor with a concrete floor. A handicap-accessible ramp will also be added. Householder said the stone wall in front of the amphitheater and the terraced earth seating will remain.

Economic Development Director Bill Knox suggested the village look into the availability of a Nature Works Grant for the project.

In another funding issues concerning the park, council members discussed how to raise funds to help pay for the village's annual July 4 fireworks show.

Village Administrator Roger Deal said the park board received two quotes, both for $7,500. He said the quote from Pyrotechnics (the same company hired in 2008) included more shells. Both quotes were for July 4, making them significantly higher.

Fiscal Officer Amy Jackson said the cost has increased by $2,000, leaving the village to pick up the shortage.

"In the past the fireworks fund paid for the show, but then we began dipping into the park fund," Jackson said. "When the cost was $5,000, we could get enough donations to cover the cost."

She said the village has paid for 50 percent of the cost the last two years.

"I don't see the park having the funds if there are not enough donations," Councilman Brad Hudson said. "I can't vote to spend money we don't have."

"We have to stop somewhere," Councilman Terry McCort said.

Deal said in the past, the village has had its fireworks on another day other than July 4, but with the Beast of the East Tournament and the Chamber of Commerce Chicken Barbecue at the park that day, they had been sticking with the holiday. He said the firework company could provide an alternate bid, but would have to be booked as soon as possible.

Knox offered to spearhead a fundraising campaign, asking local businesses to commit to up-front funds. Mayor Tom Michelli and Councilman Ron Bischof volunteered to help Knox. They were given 30 days to raise the money.

"It would be a shame if we didn't have it (the fireworks), but the village can't fund it," McCort said.

In other park business, Bischof commended Bunting and Hudson for their efforts in completing the grandstand roof at the park.

"They went above and beyond," he said.

Deal updated council on efforts to cover the drain at the park pool, as recently mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool Act. Deal said there are very few companies who make the pool drain covers and the back log is tremendous. He said a representative of the Ohio Department of Health told him that as long as the village is making an effort, the pool can be opened for the summer.

In other matters, Mayor Michelli presented the press with information about a United States Postal Service Town Meeting. The meeting, held in Zanesville on April 14 concerned the proposed moving of mail processing from Zanesville to Columbus.

"So, it will take two days longer for you to get your mail," Michelli said.

According to the information provided, any proposed changes must be approved by the Area Vice President before they can be implemented.

Although the meeting has already been held, comments may be submitted up to 15 days after the public meeting. Comments may be mailed to: Consumer Affairs Manager, US Postal Service Columbus District, 850 Twin Rivers Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43216-9631. All comments must be postmarked by April 29, 2009.

Deal informed council members that the boat ramp is now open at Slope Creek following an inspection by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Deal also said that cathodic protection will be applied to the pumpkin water tank. Deal said the company neglected to do it properly last year and is now replacing the lining for free. He said the tower was drained of water and will be out of service until today, April 22.

Deal showed council members pictures of a new salt bin that will soon be completed. He said the new bin is taller, making it easier for trucks to dump the salt and street department employees to stack the salt.

Several other street department issues were addressed by council.

Bischof asked council members about blocking off parking spaces in front of the Catholic Church for funerals. Police Chief David Norris said he would look into getting a sign prohibiting parking there during funerals.

Bischof also said he was approached by neighbors who felt park Street should be Park Avenue. Jean Davies, who attended the meeting on behalf of the Bicentennial Committee, said the street had been so named for the last 80 years.

Hudson addressed complaints about a catch basin at the bottom of the middle school drive way where it meets Shamrock Drive. Bunting said he too received complaints that people were hitting it. Deal said the street department would raise the level of the road in that area.

Fire Chief Bob Smith informed council that the department's 2001 fire engine was currently being repaired and he did not know how much those repairs would cost.

Smith said an EMT class was being held to increase squad membership. He said five of his department members were taking the class.

Smith also informed council of the recent passage of a House Bill that allows one EMT and one first responder per call, as opposed to two each per call.

Smith asked for permission to use the park lake for a Saturday, May 23 youth fishing tournament sponsored by the fire department.

Police Chief David Norris said he completed an application for a Cops Recovery Grant Program with the help of Hudson and Jackson.

Chief Norris asked for approval to apply for a Burns Memorial Grant to purchase a video camera for one of the department's cruisers. He said they already had a camera for the other cruiser that was purchased with money from that grant. He said the grant would pay for all but 10 percent of the camera's cost. Norris noted that previously, that amounted to $4,100. Council approved the grant application.

Mayor Michelli said he has sent letters to home and property owners whose homes need repairs.

Council approved the following building permits: Ruth Jarvis, 220 North Chestnut St, roof; Froehlich Enterprises, Inc., 110 E. South St., commercial drive-thru and Jerry Mayberry, 301 E. Main St., home construction.

It was announced that the local observance of the National Day of Prayer will be held at the Veteran's Memorial Plaza on Thursday, May 7. Organizer Rev. Ed Eberhart asked council members to attend the observance. Lunch will be provided after the event by the fire department.