Fire levy, zoning, park activities on Middleport’s agenda

Staff Report

MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Village recently met in regular session, discussing the Salisbury Township fire levy, zoning, activities at Dave Diles Park and other agenda items.

Council met in regular session on Nov. 22 at village hall with Mayor Fred Hoffman presiding. Present were the following: Council members Matt Lyons, Shawn Arnott, Ben Reed, Brian Conde, and Susan Page. Larry Byer was absent due to fighting a structure fire on So. Second Ave. Also present were Fiscal Officer Susan Baker, Police Chief Mony Wood, Village Administrator Joe Woodall, Building Inspector Mike Hendrickson, and Village attorney Richard Hedges. Numerous visitors were present due to the zoning decision appeal to be heard at council. Opening prayer was given by Rev. Hopkins followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Motions were made to approve the minutes of the Nov. 8 meeting and to approve payment of the bills as reviewed by the finance committee. Both were approved unanimously.

Mayor Hoffman stated he had met with Board members of the Meigs County Board of Elections and Meigs County Prosecutor James Stanley concerning the Salisbury Township fire levy being on the Middleport and Pomeroy ballots. Hoffman clarified to Ohio Valley Publishing, that after he met with Stanley, it appears there was “a mistake in the paperwork by township officials.” The Mayor further stated that Stanley was working on a solution to the problem and Hoffman asked the village be “posted” on what was going on with the issue “and that both Middleport and Pomeroy would just like to have this taken off both villages tax rates for 2022.”

The mayor thanked Conde and other village officials who met with Ann Bonner concerning trees at both Hartinger Park and Diles Park. He said that he had met with Ms. Bonner afterwards and was made aware of what recommendations were made. He stated that Conde would provide an update on this meeting.

Resolution 296-21 was passed unanimously, which allocated $2000 to promote arts/crafts activities. This had been discussed and agreed to some time ago and would provide these funds to the Riverbend Arts Council to assist them.

Baker stated that an employee had requested the use of the gym for a family dinner. She stated that, since council had suspended use of the gym by the public, that she felt it needed to be brought before council. After a short discussion, council agreed that this use would be allowed and that the gym would be opened up for public use as it had been in the past before the pandemic, using the same guidelines as before.

Police Chief Wood requested payment of some vacation pay to Jail Administrator 2 Dawn Erwin and also reimbursement to her of phone charges which she had incurred. After a short discussion, both items were approved.

The mayor stated that Village Administrator Woodall had sent all council members information on the possible purchase of a truck. Woodall stated that there were some problems with the present truck and felt it would be a good idea to trade it in while the village still had good equity in the vehicle. The present truck was still being paid for and the village could purchase a new vehicle and make payments as it is now. Council agreed and voted unanimously to proceed with the purchase.

Mary Wise appeared before council to discuss Christmas activities in the village. She stated that she had been approached about organizing something for the Christmas holidays. She stated that she had talked to Don Stivers about the Masonic Lodge and Riverbend Arts Council working together to organize activities. She stated that Stivers had agreed to take charge of a parade and that she had talked to Conde about helping with other organized activities at Diles Park. Conde stated he had made several contacts and they were in the process of organizing some activities at Diles Park. The Mayor thanked both of them for their actions in organizing some activities.

Conde stated that he, Joe Powell and Hendrickson had met with Ann Bonner at Hartinger Park. He stated that Bonner felt the trees at the park could be trimmed and not removed. She felt the one large tree in question was still a solid tree and just needed some attention. She also made some recommendations on the trees at Diles Park and would be returning in December to assist with supervising some of the trimming.

Conde also stated that a discussion was held with her on the location of the handicapped equipment which was donated by the Bunner family. Conde stated that Bonner did not feel the location in Hartinger Park was a very good location for various reasons. Conde stated that, after reviewing several sites, it was agreed that the best location was on village property along Laurel Street behind village hall. Council approved this recommendation by Conde.

Conde also commended the work of volunteers in the downtown area in providing some Christmas items and decorations in that area.

Conde also discussed briefly with Attorney Hedges his recommendation that downtown buildings not be permitted to be used for storage.

The mayor stated that “we would now proceed with the discussion of the appeal made by Billy Goble on the decision of the zoning commission not to change an area between N. Third and No. Fourth from residential to commercial. The Mayor stated that Mr. Goble would make his presentation and then all those who were on the agenda would be allowed to speak. Billy Goble made his presentation, after which those on the agenda were permitted to speak. There were lengthy discussions from all involved, both for and against the re-zoning. After all were heard, council members discussed the proposal at length. After discussion, it was voted unanimously to uphold the decision made by the zoning commission not to change the zoning of the area.”

Council adjourned with the next regular meeting scheduled for 7 p.m., Dec 13.

Information submitted by Middleport Mayor Fred Hoffman.

Staff Report