Middleport Council rejects playground request

By Lindsay Kriz - lkriz@civitasmedia.com

MIDDLEPORT — A proposal brought forth by Laura Cleland, representing Creating Healthy Communities, and Tim King, representing Middleport Development Group, was not passed by council during Monday night’s meeting.

The duo presented to council a proposal for a splash park that could go on a piece of land adjacent to the old Middleport schools, Fiscal Officer Sue Baker said. Cleland and King said they needed permission to put the park on the land, but that the village would still own the property and the park would be entirely funded, so the village would not have to pay for the expense.

According to Baker, water turned on for about six hours a day for three months would cost the village about $1,000 a year. The operator of the park would be able to control when the water runs throughout the day.

“That would eliminate problems with someone turning it on in the winter, and it wouldn’t raise liability,” Baker said. She added that the park was already covered for liability because it would be considered a city playground, not a city pool.

Council member Dick Vaughan said neighbors in the area would not want the playground on that piece of property, and Cleland and King offered to talk to neighbors to gauge their thoughts on the potential playground. Emerson Heighton and Doug Dixon voted yes, with Dick Vaughan, Sharon Older and Roger Manley voting no. Penny Burge was absent.

During the meeting, there was discussion about having the duo back to talk to the new council about their request.

Fire Chief Jeff Darst again spoke to council about the Memorandum of Understanding regarding Salisbury Township fire protection, and said that the 2016 contract will remain the same as the 2015 contract, with the township paying $1,400 for fire protection.

However, Darst said that Memordanum of Understanding mailed to the township by Village Solicitor Mick Barr will inform Salisbury Township that following 2016 a fire levy must appear on the ballot for Salisbury Township until it passes.

The levy would provide more funding from Salisbury Township to Pomeroy and Middleport for fire protection. Darst said the levy revenue, once the levy passed on the ballot, would be divided between Middleport and Pomeroy based on the number of calls made to each village’s fire station.

Joe Woodall was recommended as the new village administrator by Mayor Michael Gerlach and was approved unanimously by council.

Temporary approprations for 2016 were also approved. According to Baker, these temporary appropriations give the village permission to spend money in 2016.

Discussion was held about the next council meeting, with council deciding that there will be no meeting on Monday, Dec. 28.

Bids were open for old equipment formerly owned by Middleport. A 1987 Ford dump truck was purchased by Larry Henry for $250, a street sweeper was awarded to the Village of Pomeroy for $208 and three fire hydrants were awarded to Baker for $50, Darrell Staley for $40, and Ron Cornelius paid about $14 for the third fire hydrant after council rejected his bid to buy all three fire hydrants for $42.

During discussion of the Income Tax Report, Baker said that the village in 2015 has collected about $16,500 more in than they did in 2014. Minutes from the Nov. 23 meeting were approved, bills totaling $8,150.24 were okayeed and the Finance Report and Mayor’s Report for November, along with the Building Inspector Report and Fire Department Report were also approved.

By Lindsay Kriz