By Lynne Phillips
Following an executive session during Monday night’s New London Council meeting, members approved a $1 per hour pay increase for full-time village police officers.
Village administrator Shawn Pickworth said the raises are effectively immediately and affect full-time officers including the chief.
West Washburn Street resident Larry Booth questioned council members how they determine which streets get paved and when. He also asked that a storm sewer located near his residence be checked to see if water that had been laying there was leaking into the sanitary sewer.
Pickworth said, “We have a lot of streets we would like to see paved that are falling apart, but it all comes down to funding.” He told Booth, “The hill going up to your street is getting very bad and we know we are going to have to address it sooner or later.” He noted there is no list indicating in what order streets are due to be paved, reiterating, it all depends on funding.”
Council member Stuart Cooke and Pickworth indicated the water matter would be investigated.
Pickworth also reported five engineering firms submitted proposals for water plant improvements.
Council members approved Pickworth’s recommendation to hire Poggemeyer Design Group of Toledo for the engineering of the project.
“They know exactly what kind of plant we have and what type of expansion we want and they have done this before, multiple times. The other engineering firms have experience in waste water water treatment.” he told council. “Poggemeyer has done this project three times in recent years. It is the main reason I recommend them.”
Cooke asked for an approximate cost of the water plant project. Pickworth said, “We are looking at a minimum of $500,000. And if we do everything it could be $1,000,000.” He noted the project did include some repair but we want to add GACs which is new to plant 2, which we have to do and there are things that have to be done to address algae blooms.” He added, “The clear well has outlived its life.” He said, “There are some things that we can look at but we really need to do this now. If we don’t do it, in the future it is going to come back to bite us.
“We will have better numbers to go by once we start the engineering.” he commented.
Reporting on water and wastewater, John Chapin said there is the start of an algae bloom at the reservoir. “We are testing with the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and there will be more testing in the future.” He added, “We are doing everything we can right now.”
He also told council it took four days to clean the tanks at the wastewater plant to clean from top to bottom and a leak on West Washburn last week made a boil alert necessary. The leak has been repaired.
Police Chief Mike Marko told council there have been many contractors in the village knocking on doors about hail damage. “They must have a permit,” he said. “The permit to solicit are issued by the police department and signed by me. If someone is coming to the door and doesn’t have one it is okay to slam the door and call us,” To contact the police department about permits call 419-929-3504.
As part of the parks and recreation department from Joe Thomas, Pickworth reported as follows:
• The annual Revelations Retreat was held recently at Reservoir Park and by all indications was a success.
• The beach at the reservoir has been very busy and the log roll and water slide are quite popular with the kids.
• New electric spots are being installed at the reservoir and should be completed soon.
• There have been some plumbing issues at the shower house and at the end of the season there will be replacement of urinals and stools.
• Cabin reservations at the reservoir are in high demand. The waterfront cabins are rented for the remainder of the season and the ones located in the woods are booked for the next three weekends.
• The annual F.A.R.M. show was held at Recreation park and went well.
• There is one more week of men’s softball league.
“This year was very easy thanks to little rain,” according to Thomas. Each went very smoothly with good umpiring and the assistance of Davina Carroll in the score booth.
• A new set of swings has been installed in the park and is very popular.
The Kelly Miller Circus is coming to town on Sunday, Aug. 7 at New London Recreation Park. Show times are 2 and 5 p.m.
Tickets are on sale at Gas Depot, Gilbert Hardware, the village office and Miller’s Market. Presale tickets are adult $12 and children under 12 $6. On circus day tickets are $16 for adults and $8 for children under 12.
New attractions have been added to this year’s Labor Day Festival, according to Thomas.
“We will have a rock wall and on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. there will be tethered balloon rides on the Little League diamond. There will be live music on Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 11 p.m. next to the beer tent.”
Presale tickets for Labor Day are $15 for the weekend, but do not include rides on Friday night, laser tag, rock wall or balloon rides. Tickets at the gate are $7 per day.
A park meeting has been set for Aug. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Huron County Development Council Executive Director Carol Knapp attended the meeting in order to present council with information relating to local economic development incentives.
She explained the Community Reinvestment Act, saying it promotes economical development, urban renewal as well as helping to create and retain jobs.
After hearing Knapp’s presentation council members agreed. ”It is something we need to seriously look at it in order to attract and retain business,” said Mayor John Martin.
The Community Reinvestment Act, “It is going to happen,” stated Pickworth. “Council will begin taking the necessary steps at the next meeting.”
In other business council approved the following agenda items:
• A ordinance amending the range of pay provisions contained in the employee handbook and personnel polices. Passed as an emergency.
• First reading of an ordinance amending sections of the codified ordinances relating to manufactured homes.
• A ordinance relating to the transfer of funds.
• A resolution establishing a new subfund within the general fund to provide for accounting of income tax receipts. Passed as an emergency.
• Establish criteria for the veteran’s memorial.
• New London Fraternal Order of Eagles permission to sell beer at the Firelands Festival.
Mayor Martin proclaimed Bicentennial Days in New London to be Sept. 1-5, 2016.
The Village of New London will mark its 200th birthday this year with the first settler, John Corey erecting the first log cabin in the area in 1816. Other settlers followed establishing Merrifield Settlement from 1817 to 1822, later becoming Kingsley’s Corners until 1837 when it changed to King’s Corners. In Nov. 11, 1853, New London was incorporated with Rollin C. Powers as the first mayor.New London Council meets regularly on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in council chambers. The next meeting is Aug. 8.