Following an executive session called by Fiscal Officer Darla Fuller to discuss personnel, Barnesville Village Council members voted to hire an income tax clerk to replace Donna Warner, who is retiring at the end of the year. The name of the new hire is not being released yet, but Fuller said she is expected to begin her duties later this month.
In a related matter, council also approved a special membership with the Central Collection Agency, a division of the City of Cleveland, to provide income tax collection services for non-filers and those who are under-paying. Fuller said once non-filers are identified, they will become the villages customer. Fuller said CCA special membership will allow the income tax department to increase collections by having access to Internal Revenue Service data not available to municipalities with populations below 250,000, while keeping a local person to assist residents with concerns.
Speeding on Morgantown Avenue and Pine Lane was addressed by two residents, one from each street, who presented petitions bearing a total of approximately 100 signatures from residents there to Mayor Ron Bischof and Barnesville Village Council.
Morgantown Avenue resident Pat Reischman presented a petition signed by approximately 30 residents asking the village and the police department to help address speeding and the running of stop signs there. Reischman said most of the residents on the part of Morgantown Avenue where the traffic problems are occurring signed the petition and agreed that there was a problem.
Someone is going to get hurt if something isnt done, said Reischman, who said she talked with Police Chief David Norris and several council members in the past. Reischman said residents were looking for cooperation to alleviate the problem. She suggested temporary speed bumps that could be removed in the winter time and said that it was not her intention to impede the street department who were doing a wonderful job.
A Pine Lane resident also presented a petition and told council members about an incident in which a one-year-old childs arm was broken when the childs parents overturned a stroller the child was in when attempting to get out of the street to avoid being hit by a speeding car. She noted that Morgantown and Pine Lane were connected. She said there were 22 small children living in that area where many young families have moved in recent years. She said she was addressing council on behalf of those children.
Reischman asked what residents in the area could do. Mayor Ron Bischof said he would speak with Chief Norris, but asked the ladies to narrow down the times of day in which the speeding was occurring, so that extra patrol could be provided. He also asked them to get license plate numbers or at least descriptions of vehicles.
Tracey Guy, representing American Legion Riders Post 168, asked for permission to use the park May 7 -11, 2014 to stage an American Veterans Traveling Tribute there.
She said plans are to stage the wall at the East Richland Friends Church, escorting the trailer down State Route 40 and into Barnesville.
Guy said the Barnesville High School baseball coach as already agreed to adjust the game schedule to accommodate the traveling tribute. Guy was granted permission to use the park and to have the baseball field lights turned on at night. Organizers plan to have the wall arrive on May 7 for set up, with an opening ceremony to be held from 12-12:30 on Wednesday, May 8. The wall will remain at the park and leave on Sunday, May 11.
The American Legion Riders Barnesville Post 168 is asking for community support in their effort to raise money to bring the American Veterans Traveling Tribute to Barnesville. She said letters have been sent to local businesses seeking donations. A total of $5,000 must be raised by January 7, 2013. Guy said a total of $17,000, including expenses for the crew hauling the 42-foot trailer containing the wall, will be needed.
Fiscal Officer Darla Fuller informed council that a check for $500,000 was written on November 1 to the Belmont County Port Authority for the SR 800 North Industrial Park project. Fuller said the check was picked up by councilman Brad Hudson and given to Port Authority Director Larry Merry. The money is a loan, approved by a council at a September 10 meeting. The money was needed to help secure a grant for the Industrial Park.
Council passed pay ordinance 23 in the amount of $57, 508.43 and an addition of $38, 698.26 for bills. Council also passed ordinance 3576 in the amount of $596,973, amending the original appropriations ordinance.
Council approved a budget not to exceed $1,000 for the annual village employee Christmas party held at Annie Ks Restaurant. Mayor Bischof said Village Administrator Roger Deal had suggested last years allocation of $600 be increased due to increased attendance in recent years.
In a related matter, council also approved the purchase of Barnesville Gold gift certificates to be given to eligible employees with the same criteria as last year.
At the request of Fire Chief Bob Smith, council approved the removal of Brian Sellers from the fire department and the appointment of Larry Lee to both the emergency squad and the fire department. Smith noted that Lee was already an EMT and was going for his intermediate certification.
Assistant Fire Chief Tim Hall asked about the status of two items discussed in a work session a month ago. Hall was informed that one of the requests, holiday pay for department members, required the drafting of a new ordinance and was in the hands of Village Solicitor Marlin Harper. Fuller said that she thought the holiday pay, like the uniform allowance, was to go into effect in January. Councilman Hudson clarified that fire and EMS department members had wanted holiday pay to go into effect beginning this Thanksgiving. Fuller said she would check with Harper, who was on vacation, to make sure he was aware that the ordinance needed to be prepared for the November 19 council meeting.
Mayor Bischof commended the recent street paving project and said that berms were recently completed on Railroad Street.
Bischof also said that a man serving two weeks of community service would be cleaning up branches and other debris at the park and the cemeteries.
Fuller said she had a demo of new CD Rom software to help move the cemeteries from hard copy records to computer records, including map locations of cemetery plots. She said the software was given to Deal to review and could then be reviewed by council members. Fuller said she spoke with one township who had recently taken ownership of a privately-owned cemetery. She said the township was in the process of using the software to transition from hard to electronic records.
Fuller said she was given an estimate for all three village-owned cemeteries, however they could be added one at a time. She noted that Crestview Cemetery would be the priority because it was the only cemetery that still had lots for sale.
Bischof read a thank you letter from the Watt Center committee members thanking the village for recent roof repairs to the building following the June 29 wind storms.
Building permits were approved for Matt Houston, 123 Lincoln Ave. for tin roofing and Daryl Wood, 184 Bethesda St., for the addition of a roof and siding.
Barnesville Village Council will meet again on Monday, November 19 at 7 p.m. in council chambers in the village building on Arch Street.