MIDDLEPORT — Initial steps toward establishing a vehicle impound lot and for purchasing two used vehicles for the Police Department were taken by Middleport Village Council at its Monday night meeting.
Mike Hendrickson, village building inspector, reported on his recent visit to the impound lot at Oak Hill. He went there to view a facility in operation and learn the details of the operation as another step toward establishing one behind village hall should Council decide to proceed with that. The visit was a part of the research being done before any action to move forward is taken by the village.
It was noted that the Middleport police need a place to hold cars when arrests, such as DUI, occur, or in other cases where a car needs to be stored while the owner is incarcerated. The other need, Hendrickson said, is for a place where unlicensed and inoperable cars sitting in places around town can be towed and if not reclaimed within a specified time period can be sold or trashed or otherwise disposed of.
The owners of cars moved to the impound lot would be charged the towing fee if one is involved, along with a per day rate as long as a vehicle remains on the lot.
As for the Middleport impound lot, Hendrickson described a 100 by 100-foot area next to the village hall building with six-foot fencing vinyl covered and topped with barbed wire.
Mony Wood, jail administrator, met with Council to to discuss not only the need for an impound lot, but for replacing a police cruiser.
He spoke of current mechanical issues on a couple of cruisers, and noted that he had talked to Carl Hysell who has what Wood reported to be two well-equipped cruisers on the lot. Hysell gave Wood a trade-in value of $1,000 on the current cruiser which would bring the cost of one of the vehicles down to $2,200. After considering the condition as Wood reported on another cruiser and the probable cost of repair, Council asked Wood to make Hysell a $4,500 offer for both of the cruisers on his lot with the village’s two current cruisers as trade-ins. Approval to make such an offer was given unanimous approval by Council members.
As for the one mill renewal tax levy for the fire department, Council approved by a five to one vote (Roger Manley voting “no”) to place the levy on the ballot now that it has been certified by the county auditor.
A second reading was given to an amendment on a village ordinance regarding compliance on construction projects, inspections to confirm compliance to the village ordinance, and penalties for those who receive a “stop work” order due to non-compliance and fail to stop. A third and final reading of the amended ordinance will be given at the next meeting.
As for the jail operation, Council requested a financial report be presented at the next meeting. Wood noted that since the March 29 opening a total of $41,022.98 has been received from the 279 inmates booked, 74 from Middleport and 205 from other agencies.
At the meeting were Mayor Michael Gerlach, Council members, Penny Burge, Emerson Heighton, Roger Manley, Rae Moore, Sandi Brown, and Craig Wehrung, and Susan Baker, clerk/treasurer.