At the May 1 meeting Barnesville Village Council approved Mayor Dale Bunting to sign a 60 day extension for an agreement to purchase two buildings on West Main Street that will be torn down by the village to make room for a parking lot and street-level park area.
Aaron Bruggeman, attorney with Bricker & Eckler, LLP, addressed council seeking the extension of the purchase agreement which was originally to be signed that day. Bruggeman said the extension was needed to finalize details with the property owners upon the return of Village Solicitor Marlin Harper who was out of town. President Tim McKelvey questioned why the extension wasn't for 30 days. He and councilman Terry McCort voted against the 60-day extension. Bruggeman said he and Harper agreed that the 60 day extension would be best to make sure all details were finalized.
"I just want to get it done, whatever it takes, " said councilman Brad Hudson. "Guys that's our issue. It's on our end and we need to solve it."
Council had the first reading of an ordinance to increase village water rates, but added a clause that the rates are to be reviewed annually by the water and sewer committee.
"I know it has been been eight years since we had a water rate increase and I understand that the cost of chemicals has increased, and I understand the plant is getting older and we need to do this," Mayor Bunting said. "The only thing I have a concern with is the five-year deal (reviewing water rates every five years), adding that he thought it should be reevaluated more often.
At McKelvey's request, Village Administrator Roger Deal listed some of the needed water projects. He said the biggest was the $4 million Slope Creek waterline replacement project, which Bunting clarified was to be paid for from the sale of water to gas and oil companies from Slope Creek. Deal said both reservoirs need repairs.
Bunting said many waterlines in the village are at least 50 years old and need repaired. Deal said the the current plant was constructed in 2002 and upgrades were needed. He said the damns at the reservoirs also need repaired and the pumpkin water tower needs to be painted.
Deal said repairs to the spillway at reservoir #2 are mandated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and will cost an estimated $200,000.
Deal also reported that Antero Resources and Gulfport Energy were both gearing up to begin making water withdraws from Slope Creek Reservoir again soon.
He said Antero will need to run new power to their pumps and will be bringing an easement to the village soon to execute with South Central Power. He said Gulfport plans to draw water for the Starr pad in June.
Assistant Fire Chief Tim Hall announced that the Barnesville Fire/EMS will be providing free blood pressure checks the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at the fire station. The first check was held on May 6.
Hall said the EMS department will also begin doing wellness checks on recent patients by phone.
Mayor Bunting thanked the department for doing the checks, and Hudson and McKelvey also agreed that it was a good thing.
Police Chief David Norris said Cody Lucas had completed his six month probationary period and requested that he be appointed as a full-time officer, pending a required physical. Council authorized the mayor to appoint Lucas.
Chief Norris said a new police cruiser arrived the previous week and would be ready to be put in service once the lettering was complete and the radio was installed. He said it was a nice vehicle, and asked for permission to advertise the sale of an old Crown Victoria police car. Council authorized the chief to advertise the sale of the vehicle.
Bunting said Mayor's Court receipts for April totaled $3, 457 with $1,270.50 going to the state; 49.50 to the county, and $2,137 to the village.
Village Administrator Roger Deal said at Barnesville Memorial Park, the Albert S. George Youth Center was being painted and that new steps going down to the T-ball field had been instaled. Deal said the paint has made the Youth Center look like a new building and invited council to go see it and the steps which he said also looked really fantastic.
Deal said a landing at the bottom of the first set of steps was the idea of Mayor Bunting and reduced the number of steps by half.
Building permits were approved for Dave Clift, 208 Leatherwood Pike, new decks; James and Helen Hibbs, 769 E. Main St., wood to vinyl siding; Tom Johnson, 129 E. Main St., replacement of sidewalk, Nancy McLaughlin, 231 Harrison St. for the construction of a new home; Virginia Baker, 260 W. Main, demolition of an old building; Gene Plumly, 502 W. Main St., changing of a garage roof from shingles to metal; and West South Street for the demolition of two buildings for the construction of the new St. Vincent DePaul location.
Council approved the payment of bills in the amount of $154,519.68.
The investment committee will meet with Meeder Investments on May 10 at 5 p.m. in council chambers.
Bunting suggested a work session in the near future to go over a five-year plan for village projects. He said there were many projects "in motion" this year and the many projects that had been "put off" now need to be completed.
"The thing is, we want to stay ahead of things. That's the bottom line," McKelvey said.
An executive session was called by Hudson to discuss personnel.