Middleport Council fills officer vacancies

Charlene Hoeflich

October 16, 2013

MIDDLEPORT — Four new part-time officers were hired to replace officers leaving for other employment and a contract for maintenance of the village’s generators was approved at Monday night’s meeting of Middleport Village Council.

Chief of Police Bruce Swift and Officer Monte Wood met with Council and made recommendations for replacement officers. Both explained that these are not new positions for the police department. Council voted to employ Michael Barker and Kevin Johnson as part time police officers at $11.25 per hour, Melissa Grueser as a corrections officer at $9.25 per hour, and Whitney Johnson as part-time dispatcher at 8:45 an hour. Roger Manley voted against all of the replacement officers. Wood reported that he is short a part-time jailer and was authorized to start interviews to fill the position. It was emphasized that none of the positions are new, but simply replacements for officers lost.

During the meeting Council voted to sign a contract with Generator Systems for maintenance over a two year period for $7,915.70. It was noted during the meeting that regular maintenance of village generators is a requirement of the Environmental Protection Agency which requires that villages have two sources of electricity.

The village has five generators, worth about a half million dollars, according to Faymon Roberts, village administrator. The last generator was purchased with grant money left over from the sewer project money, with no cost to the village. It was noted that while it is still under warranty, regular maintenance is required by law.

The ordinance changing the traffic direction on one block of North Third Avenue was given a final reading at the meeting.

Susan Baker, financial officer, reported that the village has an endowment for cemetery care which is up for reinvestment within the next 10 days. Terms of the endowment is that only the interest can be used by the village. Since interest rates are so low, Baker asked for permission to re-invest the endowment money wherever she can get the best rate on a short term basis. Permission was granted by Council.

When a question arose about a siren for the village to be used in times of emergency, it was reported that the one at the old village hall is being restored by the Middleport Fire Department. A report of activities by the fire department for September showed five runs including a rescue/search. mutual aid in an EMS run, a rescue in a motor vehicle accident, and a structure fire on Art Lewis Street. The mayor and council commended Jeff Darst, fire chief, and the department on their work for the community and for the good reporting of service calls to Council.

It was noted that the impound lot is now complete and ready to receive vehicles. Several safety issues involving signage were brought to Council’s attention by Manley.