An extension of Pioneer’s Clark Avenue may come without a cost for the village, according to Mayor Ed Kidston.
It was announced by Kidston during the Pioneer Council’s June regular meeting that $1,000,000 had already been acquired for the project, with potentially another $800,000 coming by mid-July. Applications for a Community Development Block Grant and a grant from the Ohio Department of Development, each totaling $500,000 in funds, have been met with approval for the village. The third grant application, for the aforementioned $800,000 is still pending, though Kidston is confident that the fund will be procured for the project as well.
“Last I heard, it looked real, real positive that we would get the grant,” he told council.
According to Kidston, if that money is awarded to the village, the extension will be virtually paid for through grant money, alleviating an overwhelming majority of the financial burden for the town.
The extension of Clark Avenue has become necessary due to the expansion of Reifel Industries, which produces e-coat lines. Owned and founded by Tom and Kathy Reifel, the expanding of the Pioneer-based facility not only created a need to add on to Clark Avenue, but produced some unique opportunities in the way of obtaining funds for the undertaking as well, leading to the requests for grant money made by the village.
During his report to council, Fire Chief Denny Fackler notified them that Engine 72 is currently out of service due to a major pump malfunction. He estimated the cost of repairs for the engine to fall between $10,000 and $15,000. Kidston, evaluating the village’s options, made an inquiry to the chief regarding the vehicle’s value.
“Can you give me a stab in the dark about what Engine 72 is worth, without the repairs?”
Fackler approximated its worth in its current condition at roughly $10,000 to $15,000, as opposed to the $168,000 the village initial paid for the engine. No action was taken on the matter during the course of the meeting.
Police Chief Timothy Livengood was questioned by council about a dumping issue taking place in the recycle bins of the village. The placement of inappropriate materials in the bins has led to the village entertaining the notion of having set hours of access for the citizens of Pioneer, as Livengood speculated that a large portion of the dumping could be taking place between 4:00 and 5:00 A.M. While the possibility of residents outside of the city limits being responsible for the illegal act has been mentioned, there is no evidence to support the claim.
“We can’t prove the dumping is coming from people out of town,” Livengood stated.
Another idea posited by the Police head called for the purchase and installation of more advanced cameras around the bins. Particularly, the cameras Livengood has in mind would guarantee an enhanced picture with clearer resolution.
Also raised in Livengood’s address to council was the acquisition of a new traffic model program. Designed to produce simpler and more efficient crash reports, among other things, said program is meant to be more officer-friendly than its predecessor. That outgoing program has proven difficult to use by Pioneer Officers at times, and the change will likely be a welcome one.
Providing an update on the coming Kyle McLaughlin Memorial Ride festivities to council were event organizers Kevin and Kim Oxender, the parents of the deceased McLaughlin. Among the items discussed by the Oxenders was the inclusion of a memorial tree auction, which will take place at the conclusion of the motorcycle run.
Anyone in the Pioneer area who has seen someone close to them pass on is encouraged to add that person’s name to the tree.
“We know we’re not the only ones who’ve lost a loved one in this town,” claimed Kevin humbly.
Other events, set to take place in conjunction with the Memorial Ride include a blood drive held at the Pioneer American Legion, 5K and fun runs, and the creation and distribution of photo I.D.s by the D.A.R.E. program.
At the request of the North Central High School graduating class of 2017’s advisor, the rental fee to use the Pioneer Community Building will be waived for a fundraising event put on by the students. In an effort to expand their budget for the school’s 2016 Prom, the juniors-to-be will be holding a Purse Bingo function on October 24 of this year. The date of the event was selected in order to avoid conflicts with the school’s sports schedule. Council approved the request unanimously.
After months of planning, the renovations to First Street will begin in early July. Gerken Paving, a Napoleon-based contractor charged with the project’s completion, will arrive in Pioneer to commence the task on the fifth of next month.
The regular meeting concluded when council elected to enter into Executive Session to discuss possible litigation and possible land acquisition. No action took place.
T.J. Hug can be reached at