By Doug Hampton
Leaks were found covering a portion of the water that the city has been losing since a spike was discovered on November 20. A leak was found in the fire protection system near West Williams St. and Madison Ave. and one at the Stark County Fairgrounds. Those issues were addressed, but it was also noted that the fire house is going through about 20,000 gallons a month. Alderman Dan Hardman will check into it and report back. The city usually processes around 180,000 gallons of water a day but it had jumped to 240,000 gallons. With the issues that have been found, the city is processing about 200,000 at this time.
After an executive session, the council voted to start paying part-time police officers $16 per hour. The Police Committee will meet on Friday, January 20 at 2 p.m. at city hall to review applications received to fill a full-time officer position recently vacated by new-hire Ray Bessimi who has now accepted a full-time position in another department.
The council voted to pay the new full-time officer $33,000 per year plus benefits and after a one year probation and contingent on the officer having moved to Wyoming, the officer will receive an increase of $1,000. The council gave authority to the Mayor and Police Committee to hire a new officer after their committee meeting.
Police Chief Mark James submitted his monthly report showing 34 calls, no arrests, one assist call and two citations issued.
Engineer Justin Reese from the Farnsworth Group suggested the council set up some committee meetings to go over the options for the wastewater treatment plant, reminding the council that pre-applications would be due to the EPA on March 31. Sewer rates will also need to be analyzed for the project. The last rate increase was approved in June 2009.
The council approved a donation of $250 to Freedom House and a donation of $700 to this past year’s Moonlight Madness activities. The donation for Moonlight Madness was not on the agenda when it was originally requested, which meant the council could not bring it up for a vote, therefore it was postponed until someone from the chamber could attend and have the item listed on the agenda.
Per the advice of city attorney Bruce Fehrenbacher, the council reviewed and adopted an ordinance establishing a limit for reimbursement of travel, meals and lodging expenses for council members and city employees. The ordinance is the result of a new state law applying to all taxing bodies.
The city learned that the easement needed for the property south of the Paramount Theater has been signed, so the central air conditioning unit can be placed on the property.
Mayor Pat Maher welcomed new business “The Gaming Goat” to town and attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.
First ward alderwoman Rosemary Knowles was absent from the meeting.
By Doug Hampton