MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Village Council met in regular session on October 25 at village hall with Mayor Fred Hoffman presiding. On the agenda were paving, ordinances, the demolition of structures and other business items.
Present were the following: Council members Matt Lyons, Shawn Arnott, Ben Reed, Brian Conde, Susan Page, and Larry Byer. Also present were Fiscal Officer Susan Baker, Police Chief Mony Wood, Village Administrator Joe Woodall, Building Inspector Mike Hendrickson, and Village attorney Richard Hedges. Visitors present were Nancy Burns, Yvonne Scally, Billy Goble, Bill Lambert and Jerry Lee. Opening prayer was given by Rev. James Keesee followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
According to a news release about the meeting:
Hoffman stated that the zoning commission had met recently to review a zoning change requested by Billy Goble. He stated that Mr. Goble had requested that three lots between No. Third Ave. and No. Fourth Ave. be changed from residential to commercial. He stated that the zoning commission had voted against this change and that council would have the opportunity to vote on this at the Nov. 22 meeting.
The Mayor stated that the joint OPWC paving project with Pomeroy and Syracuse scored well initially and that the county sub-committee would be meeting Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. at the commissioners’ office to rate all county projects. He stated that projects were submitted by Meigs county, Middleport, Syracuse and Racine. The mayor stated that a high rating is needed on the project in order that it may have a chance to be funded.
Hoffman stated that he had contacted Ann Bonner about inspecting trees at the park and she would arrive at 10 a.m. on Nov. 16 and urged those who could to meet with her at the park.
The mayor stated that council had previously agreed to hire Margie Baker-Keilitz as assistant fiscal officer beginning Jan. 1, 2022. The mayor requested that she be hired on Nov. 12 at a wage rate of $14 per hour for up to 21 hours per week as was previously agreed to. He thought she would be a great help for the present fiscal officer. All council members were in agreement and approved of the hiring.
A formal contract was presented for the supplying of meals for village jail prisoners. Chief Wood reported stated that this has been working out very well and he was pleased with the service. Wood briefly described how the operation worked. Council approved the agreement which lasts until Dec. 31, 2022 with either party having the privilege to opt out of the agreement with 180 day notice given or if conditions of the agreement were not met.
Ord. 141-21, an ordinance to increase impound fees, was given a third reading and adopted, and Ord. 142-21, an ordinance to amend fees for zoning permits, was given a second reading.
Chief Wood stated that he would like to purchase some candy to be given out by the police officers who would be on patrol on Trick or Treat night. This was approved by council. Wood also stated that he needed several vest covers and trousers for the police officers. He stated the cost of this would be approximately $1,500 and requested that some of the ARPA funds be used for this. After a short discussion, council agreed to this request.
Building Inspector Mike Hendrickson stated that Chris Hutton had been awarded the CDBG contract for the demolition of nine houses/mobile homes in the village. He stated that the contract gives him 90 days to do this but he was sure it would not take Hutton very long. He named the houses to be demolished and stated he had the list in his office if anyone wanted it.
Hendrickson also stated that he had received a call from an individual who was reportedly interested in opening Emmitt’s Pub in Pomeroy. “The gentleman was interested in obtaining two of the Middleport permits which are presently not being used since there were none available in Pomeroy,” stated the news release. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided to table the request until the next meeting and requested that Hendrickson and Wood obtain more information on the inactive Middleport permits and how the system works through the Office of Liquor Control.
Joe Woodall stated that the water project was moving along well on Page Street and that he did not want to have work done in the downtown area until after the holidays. He felt this could be done in early spring. He stated that some valves were on back order and he hoped that they could be delivered soon in order not to hold up the project. He discussed various aspects of the project with council. The Mayor commended Woodall for his handling of the water break in the area and for making sure that Overbrook had a supply of water during that time.
Conde stated that the handicap equipment project was “sort of on hold right now” and inquired if the remaining parts had been received. Woodall stated that he thought the parts had been received. Conde stated that he would keep everyone informed on what was happening there along with other activities planned at the park.
Conde also stated that he felt it would be good if the village could allocate some funding for demolition of some of the houses that need attention in the village. The Mayor stated that the Ohio Department of Development was coming out with a new grant program shortly that may be of assistance. He suggested that we wait for the guidelines on this program to see if it might be beneficial to the village. Conde also inquired of Chief Wood how he was doing with personnel at the police department. Wood stated that there was some overtime due to vacancies that keep occurring but he continues to fill positions as they become vacant.
Conde stated that he had been approached about interest in a public orchard in Middleport similar to the one in Pomeroy. After a brief discussion on the proposal, it was decided that Conde would investigate the idea and report back to council.
Matt Lyons discussed the possibility of obtaining professional advice on the positioning of new playground equipment at the park in order that everything would be located in the best manner possible. After a short discussion, Conde and Lyons agreed to look into some time of layout for this.
The Mayor noted to the Sentinel that he had noticed in the minutes of the previous meeting that Paul Reed had also commended Tim Smith for all his donated work around town. The Mayor noted that he had neglected to put this in the article of the previous meeting.
Next regular meeting of the Middleport council will be Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
(Information submitted by Middleport Mayor Fred Hoffman)