By: Amy Wendt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
The Archbold Police Department has added another officer to its roster as Evan Rufenacht was sworn in at the village council meeting on Monday, July 17, 2023, where all members were present except for Vaughn Bentz.
In other police matters, council voted to approve Resolution 2023-29 amending the employee pay scale, moving AFD officers from Pay Grade F to Pay Grade E.
Village Administrator Donna Dettling explained that Chief Leo Wixom came before the Police and Fire Committee and requested that adjustments be made to the officers’ pay scale in an effort to keep Archbold Police Department’s pay competitive with larger law enforcement agencies.
The resolution “was in anticipation of hiring Evan and where we wanted his starting pay,” clarified Dettling. “It’s actually in reaction as well to some of the pressures in other communities that are coming up.”
In other items, Council approved the June 19, 2023 meeting minutes, June 2023 Financial Reports, and Bills and Payroll in the amount of $1,187,531.04.
Several other legislative matters were also on the council’s agenda. Upon suspension of the rules, Resolution 2023-28 was passed accepting a bid from Midwest Contracting Inc. for the Municipal Building Remodel Project.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this – so pretty excited,” noted Mayor Brad Grime.
Dettling elaborated, “We’ve had three bids. The lowest bid was from Midwest Contracting at $1,378,900.00.
“Right now, we’re working through contract documents and setting up a preconstruction meeting. We’re tentatively scheduled for asbestos crews next Monday.”
Early in the village hall remodel process, asbestos was discovered primarily in the basement and in small amounts in other parts of the building. Before any construction begins, the asbestos will be completely removed.
In response to the reno, the village hall offices have moved to 131 Westfield Drive until construction is complete. It has not yet been determined when the Village Council Chambers will need to be relocated.
Resolution 2023-30 authorizing the Village Administrator to enter into a Contract of Sale of Real Estate for the parking lot located on Ditto Street behind 219 N. Defiance Street was also approved.
According to Dettling, the village will receive a donation of four parking spaces from Mike Childs, owner of CIG Financial Services.
The resolution establishes the authority for the VA to work out those details. The anticipated newly acquired lots will eventually be incorporated into the village’s current parking network and will be improved during the upcoming Ditto Street project.
Council also greenlighted Ordinance 2023-31 amending Archbold Code of Ordinances Chapter 76 – Parking Restrictions at Mailboxes. It was noted that the measure was essentially a “housekeeping” matter to update the ordinance, so it aligns with the current USPS requirement of maintaining a 30-foot approach to all mailboxes – 15 feet before and 15 feet after a mailbox allowing for carriers to deliver mail safely.
With no additional legislation to address, council then reviewed Committee and Board Minutes from the Police & Fire Committee June 29, 2023 meeting, the Board of Zoning Appeals July 13, 2023 meeting, as well as the Park Board Meeting minutes from June 28, 2023.
Councilor and Park Board Committee member Chad Kern added that a contractor is lined up for the construction of the Splash Pad pending permit approval.
It is anticipated that the approval process will only take one to two weeks and construction should begin shortly thereafter.
Kern also noted that improvements are continuing at the Ruihley Park ball field.
In department reports, council reviewed the Hiring Report for Police Officer Evan Rufenacht, APD Police Department Call Response June 2023, AFD Fire & EMS Calls for Service June 2023, and Street Department Labor & Fleet Reports June 2023.
Also brought before council was the Income Tax Receipt report for June 2023.
“Overall it looks good. I mean, when you consider the .3 increase, we’re at 5.7, which is excellent. But then I always force you guys to look at withholding which is down 1.8 – which is still not a bad place to be because .3 obviously makes up for some of that. But it’s misleading if you just look at the overall 5.7,” explained Dettling.
During the council comments portion of the meeting, Councilor Kevin Eicher expressed concern about the safety of the intersection of County Road 24 and State Route 2 and suggested that a discussion be held in the future about the possibility of rumble strips installed at that location.
With no other business, the meeting adjourned. The next Archbold Village Council meeting will be held on Monday, August 7, 2023, at 5:30 p.m.
Amy can be reached at email@example.com