By: Anna Wozniak
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Edgerton Village Council had a busy month, meeting twice in December on the 6th and the 20th, both at 5:30 p.m.
The first meeting, Councilors Sharon Blinzler, Jason Gruver, Lance Bowsher, Leslie VanAusdale, Chuck Wallace, and Pam Wampler were present, alongside Law Director Chris Walker, Fiscal Officer Denise Knecht, Village Administrator Dawn Fitzcharles, Administrative Assistant Amanda Knecht and Mayor Robert Day.
The minutes from the November 15, 2023 meeting were approved as presented, and then council heard from Williams County Humane Society representative Alicia Strup.
Strup shared details of a low cost TNR (trap, neuter / spay, release) program that helps to drive down cat colony numbers.
The cost is extremely low, at $35 a feline, and the process was completed successfully in West Unity.
The program would be a great benefit to Edgerton, as the village currently is facing problems concerning the growth of their local cat colonies.
Dedicated volunteers are needed to make programs like this possible, as the felines need to be trapped, brought in for treatment, and then released.
Studies show that TNR programs help to greatly reduce the growth of cat colonies, and improve quality of life for the fixed felines.
It was then that council greeted law director candidate Reid Rothenbuhler, from Bowling Green, and works with Marsh & Marsh Attorneys, and currently serves as law director for both Bradner and Jerry City.
It was then that council moved on to congratulating Denise Knecht on being Employee of the Month in honor of her 22 years of service to the village.
Knecht thanked council and the mayor for their kind words before moving on to the fiscal officer update, wherein she presented to council the credit card review through November 15 and the completed financials for November 2023.
Police Chief Ken Jacob shared that one piece of body armor has been delivered, and then council went on to approve a legal services contract with Reid Rothenbuhler for law director effective January 1, 2024.
A motion was then carried approving the hire of Jerry Brown as a probationary part-time patrolman before a motion was carried to continue the committee membership from last year.
A motion was then made allowing for the acceptance of ODD funds to pay an invoice for the Brownfield Remediation Project, and the bills were approved as presented.
Council then moved on to give the second reading of three ordinances, and gave two others their first readings.
Ordinance 1129 established the wages and salaries for village employees for 2024, and Ordinance 1130 allowed for permanent appropriations to balance out for 2024.
Ordinance 1131 corrected for ODOT / SRTS appropriation miscalculations, and then Ordinance 1132, amending codes to be in line with HB33, and Ordinance 1133, the police department manual, were given their first readings.
Councilor Wallace asked for an update on the throwback game decorations, and Fitzcharles shared that everything is on pace, and that the village is extremely happy that the saving of the old school has become an opportunity to bring the community together.
They then entered into executive session at 6:24 p.m.
December 20th started out much the same way, but with Administrative Assistant Amanda Knecht absent.
Administrator Dawn Fitzcharles shared that the water treatment plant inspection of the clear well, where the water reacts with the chlorine, is moving forward.
The bid threshold for this project is below that which requires council approval, but Fitzcharles wanted to keep council in the loop with regards to how the project is progressing.
Fiscal Officer Denise Knecht shared the credit card review thorough December 15, and shared that any invoices that come in through the end of the year will be forwarded their way via e-mail.
The bills were accepted as presented before council regrettably accepted Officer Fabian Aguilar’s resignation, wishing him the best with his new position, then moving on to approve the listing of the position he will leave vacant.
It was then that council was reminded that this would be Law Director Chris Walker’s last meeting, and they thanked him once again for everything he had done for the village.
A motion was then made to approve an agreement with Kleinfelder WTP Rehabilitation, with plans to use funding that became available at the end of this month.
The funds must be used by December 2025, and the project plans to finish up December 2024. Council then went on to pass three ordinances, and gave Ordinance 1133, the police department manual, its second reading.
Ordinance 1129 needed the rules suspended so that the wages and salary rates could be effective December 31st.
Ordinance 1130, relating to appropriations to balance out 2023, was approved.
Ordinance 1132, amending the tax codes for HB33, was approved on its second reading after a suspension of the rules.
Fitzcharles then shared that annual billing information from other utilities had been compiled for comparison with Edgerton, and shared that Edgerton boasts the lowest large-energy prices, and places third in residential.
Average residential prices span from the lowest, Bryan, at about $58.98 a month, to the highest, Northwestern Electric, at about $96.14 a month. Edgerton residents pay, on average, $76.32 a month on electricity.
Fitzcharles then moved on to share the findings of the smart thermostat program, with a diagram to back up just how much these devices can save the village.
With the hopes for these savings to be passed on to residents, Fitzcharles urges community members to ask about the smart thermostat program, and also shared that there are rebates available to make it happen at little to no cost.
“It’s nothing to be afraid of, and you can opt out too,” shared the village administrator.
Discussion was then held on fixing the speeding sign south bound out of the village before they voted to adjourn at 6:06 p.m., with the next meeting set for Wednesday, January 3, 2024, at 5:30 p.m.