MIDDLEPORT — The Middleport Village Council approved to accept funding from the USDA to purchase two trash packer trucks in a 3 to 2 vote.
Village Administrator Joe Woodall applied for funding through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase two trash packer trucks, which will allow the village to haul their own refuse starting in January 2020. In the grant, the village asked for $241,000. The USDA awarded $177,300 in grant funds and $72,700 in a 10 year loan.
Council approved the purchase with council members Emerson Heighton, Ben Reed and Brian Conde voting in favor. Council members Sharon Older and Carolyn French voted against the purchase. Councilperson Susan Page was absent from the meeting.
Council adopted Ordinance 121-19, which states the project funding with Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to repair the slip on Mill Street. As previously reported by The Daily Sentinel, ODOT will pay for 100 percent the repairs if the project is completed by October 28. After that deadline, the village will be required to pay 20 percent to complete the work.
The roadway will remain closed until the repairs are complete.
Building Inspector Mike Hendrickson told council that someone is interested in purchasing the Mill End Fabric building and the vacant lot beside the building. The prospective buyer wants to put a used car lot on the property with five to six cars. They would also rent out the upstairs apartment and use the store front as an office space. Hendrickson said property is not zoned for that type of business, but he asked council if they would consider changing the zone information to allow a car lot to be in the space. French said she did not like the idea of a used car lot being on the property. Conde said he was not against any business coming into the village. Heighton suggested that Hendrickson talk to the neighbors to see what their thoughts and concerns are on the matter. Hendrickson said he will get in touch with the neighbors and report back to council.
Council accepted the resignation of Steve Bunch from the Public Works department. Woodall said he hired Jeff Darst to mow on a seasonal contract until November 1.
Village resident Robert Saltzman spoke to council about police presence on behalf of the Village Manor apartments. Saltzman asked if the police would walk around the apartment complex to patrol the drug activity. Jail Administrator and Assistant Police Chief Mony Wood said it is not the job of the police department to be “private security for Village Manor.”
“The police department is being targeted because we don’t go walking around, which I don’t think we should,” Wood said. “We don’t go walking around your house.”
Wood said the residents of the apartments cannot get along and the police department is called for verbal disputes at the property.
Mary Kimes spoke to council about a new church group moving to Middleport. LifePoint of Middleport will open on Saturday, June 29, starting at 1 p.m. with a community block party at 337 North Second Avenue. Kimes said the ministry is “for the people in this generation facing life issues, drug addiction, depression, and loneliness.” LifePoint will be holding church services on Saturday evenings at 5 p.m. They also offer drug counseling, after school kids programs promoting a drug free life, youth group, and bible studies. LifePoint of Middleport is a second location from LifePoint of Athens, a Pentecostal church dating back to 1915.
The next Middleport Village Council meeting will be held Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall on Pearl Street.
Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.