The Pioneer Village Council approved a request for repairs to the basketball court at Crommer Park at their meeting on July 16, 2013. Earlier this summer, Mayor Ed Kidston had been alerted to the poor condition of the court by a group of young men who were circulating a petition to have it repaired. Kidston told them that a petition would not be needed, and went to check on the situation, and found the basketball court and tennis courts were indeed in dire need of repairs. Council sought estimates for repairs, and Belson Apshalt out of Reading, Michigan, placed a bid of $16,900 to do repairs. The courts will be capped with 1 ½ inches of asphalt, sealed with a rubber coating, and then receive a final 2 inch cap for a total of 3 ½ inches of asphalt. The fencing and poles will be painted, and the area will receive a clean-up. The city will provide the striping for the courts. Council voted to approve the project and they hope to have it completed in about a month. Money for the project will be taken from the park fund.
Fire Chief Denny Fackler reported that his department responded to 23 runs between Jun 18 and July 14, 2013, and followed up on five controlled burns. This past Saturday, the department finished painting outside the firehouse. Fackler told the council that the fire department’s two defibrillators were, at eight years old, no longer compatible with those at the hospital and they are so outdated that they can no longer get parts to repair them. Council approved his request, not to exceed $5,000 for the department to purchase new defibrillators. Money will come from the fire levy fund.
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Chief of Police Tim Livengood distributed his monthly report for June. There were 185 calls for service, and of those, 120 were officer initiated. He noted that not all of those officer initiated calls are necessarily criminal in nature. The department checks homes when people are gone, and check for unlocked doors. The southeast quadrant of town generated the most calls, with Saturday being the busiest day of the week. Livengood noted that this is due in part to increased traffic through the area in the summer. There were 39 incident reports. Officers gave out 21 traffic warnings and eight traffic citations. Average response time to calls was 2:19 minutes.
Council member Richard Schmucker asked Livengood if he had found out if the village had an ordinance against engine brakes in the corporation. He found that the village did not have an ordinance in place, and noted that the corporation would include portions of State Route 20 if the council voted an ordinance into place. Schmucker then moved to establish an engine brake ordinance for the Village of Pioneer, with all members, except for Connie Salisbury who was absent, voting to approve.
Lakeshore Drive resident Reid Neubauer addressed council with a question concerning flood plains. He had heard rumors that changes to the dike had resulted in his property now being in a flood plain. Kidston said that, no, the repairs to the dike had actually removed some properties from the flood plain and that the rumors were false.None of the changes made had resulted in the harm or change of status to properties. He noted, however, that any properties on the river side are on the flood plain, and always had been.
In regard to the dike repairs, Village Administrator Al Fiser added that completion of repairs is on the list of things to finish by the end of August or early September. It will receive 1 ½ inches of topsoil, and straw will be put on the top. In order for this to be done, the weather will need to be favorable
In other business, the village has been spraying frequently to kill mosquitoes. Council noted that the flowers around the gazebo and in the park near the Community Center have been beautiful this year. They thanked the Pioneer Garden Club for providing and maintaining the gardens. Council member Richard Schmucker asked about the possibility of having benches installed on the porch area of the community center overlooking the gardens. He said that it is shady and would provide a nice place for people to sit. Mayor Kidston said that this was a great idea and that the village would look into it.
In her report, Village Clerk April McMillen said that Ohio Worker’s Compensation had refunded the village 56% of what they had paid in for 2012. The village received $12,000 back.
Mayor Kidston said that he had purchased the old hotel building on First Street at auction this past weekend. He offered it and the property to the village free of charge on the condition that the building be demolished as it was a health and safety hazard. It could be developed as a parking lot, and it would give the village access to an alley. He said that any decision to accept or decline the property did not matter to him. After a brief discussion, council members declined the offer, noting that they could purchase the property at a later date if needed, but as Kidston noted, it would be at a higher cost than his purchase price.
Council voted to approve Ordinance 06-2013, and ordinance amending the appropriation for 2013, and declaring an emergency. This allows funds to be added to Parks and Recreation to cover repairs of the basketball and tennis courts. An amount of $20,000 was added to the electrical department to cover repairs to the bucket truck, and money was added to the Street Funds and Mayor’s Fund. All of this will be used to pay bills.
Council voted to pass Resolution 04-2013, a resolution authorizing and directing the Village Administrator and Fiscal Officer to transfer funds from the Cemetery Trust to the Cemetery Fund.
With no further business, council adjourned the meeting. Regular meetings of the Pioneer Village Council are generally held on the second Monday of the month, unless otherwise indicated.