POMEROY — Pomeroy Village Council currently has a vacancy.
Luke Ortman, formal council member, gave his letter of resignation at Monday night’s Village Council meeting, effective immediately. Ortman will be moving from the area, and can no longer hold the position.
The council is asking for any applications for the position to be turned in by July 7 at 4 p.m., with applications being reviewed and interviews occurring at 6 p.m.
Concern has been raised by Pomeroy citizens that a council member, Robert Payne, is serving on the board but is not a resident of Pomeroy. In a phone interview, Mayor Jackie Welker said that Chris Tenoglia, council law director, confided to him that Payne’s membership was legal because one of his two homes is still in Pomeroy.
According to Welker, Tenoglia told him that as long as Payne’s drivers license address and voter registration address are Pomeroy addresses, Payne is still a legal resident of Pomeroy.
“A nice opportunity came up with horses and a swimming pool, and they have another house not here in town,” Welker said. “It’s not all the hocus pocus people want it to be.”
After open concerns from village citizens, the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs-Vinton Solid Waste Distribution’s management plan was ratified and passed, with very few changes from the last plan in place.
Ordinance 767, related to speed limit changes, was read and approved. The changes will be made along main street, and Welker said the main speed difference will be as cars enter and exit the Pomeroy-Mason Bridge. Currently the speed entering and exiting the bridge is 25 MPH, but will be changed to 35 MPH.
“We’ve taken flack for being too slow and being a speed trap, and we don’t write many speeding tickets,” Welker said.
According to the statistics, Welker said that about 15,000 cars come off the Pomeroy-Mason Bridge daily, and in May 2014 Pomeroy Police only gave about 45 speeding tickets. With the new speed limit in place, the village hopes the number of speeding tickets will be lower, he said.
“We thought this would help alleviate that perception (that we’re a speed trap),” he said. “Downtown is open. We’re attracting new businesses to the area, and want to make sure that people we know we have a business district. We want those folks to be in Pomeroy.”
Pomeroy Fire Chief Rick Blaettnar approached the council about the renewal of the 1 mil plan, meaning that $.10 of every $100 will be given to the Pomeroy Fire Department. Blaettnar made a case to the council about increasing the amount to 2 mil. If passed, $.20 of every $100 will go to the department, the Meigs County Board of Elections said.
Committee reports discussed during the meeting showed that both Village Administrator Paul Hellman and Pomeroy Police Chief Mark Proffitt within their balanced budgets “efficiently and soundly,” Welker said.
“Right now we look very strong,” he said.
Lastly, an open discussion of the Old Pomeroy High School was held, with no exact decisions made about the property, which is now the property of the village.
According to Welker, some members want to bid the property, and some wish to retain it because it currently has higher property value now than it did originally.
The meeting was adjourned, with the next meeting July 7 at 6 p.m. as potential council members are interviewed for Ortman’s position.