Montpelier Police Chief Dan McGee (PHOTO BY LEANN CHILDRESS, STAFF)
By: LeAnn Childress
The Village of Montpelier Council meeting began at 6:00PM with a Call to Order, Roll Call, and followed up with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
During the meeting the council members discussed the pros and cons of a possible medical marijuana dispensary setting up shop within the community of Montpelier.
The pros were brought forth by Councilwoman Melissa Ewers where she expressed that much research has been done on the health benefits of marijuana.
Ewers also discussed the potential of economic growth for the community. The cons were voiced by Councilman Don Schlosser where he recalled that prior to serving on the Village Council he attended a council meeting with other community members who all opposed a marijuana dispensary in Montpelier.
Councilman Kevin Motter is opposed to the dispensary as well. Council members Chris Kannel and Nate Thompson both referenced Reading, Michigan and its economic growth due to their dispensaries but it also carries the burden of a tainted image that an association with marijuana brings.
Village Manager, Jason Rockey expressed that Ohio is allowing only a few areas within the state to open a dispensary and if Montpelier is chosen it most likely will be heavily regulated and an existing ordinance will restrict where it would be located.
Rockey would send the ordinance to Megan Hausch, executive director of the Williams County Economic Development Corp., who presented the possible dispensary to the village council.
The Village Council would like input from the community members of Montpelier if they would or would not be in favor of a medical marijuana dispensary.
Rockey also stressed that if the community is in favor of the dispensary that there is no guarantee of selection.
Police Chief Dan McGee shared his annual report that calls were handled differently as well as medic assist, and traffic stops were reduced due to COVID over the past year but the department was still able to maintain their presence within the community by cleaning the cruisers after each shift and daily cleaning of other necessary areas which led to the department to be unaffected by COVID.
Chief McGee shared that they received calls for the officers to do birthday drive-bys for the children and often the officers bought gifts to give for the celebrations and many of the events were streamed on Facebook.
Chief McGee also bought DVD’s, popcorn and candy for contests held via Facebook which we re given to several winners for Family Movie Nights.
The department partnered with local businesses in October in the park for National Night Out for community bridge building that went really well. Despite COVID the police department was able to get in 62.5 hours of community service and many of the officers do not log all of the hours that they have put in.The reserves put in 665.5 volunteer service hours for 2020.
Chief McGee proudly spoke of the many awards the officers have received for their service and some of the awards were for life saving efforts. They were also the recipients of the Presidential Executive Order Award for Safe Policing for a Safe Community.
Kevin Sommers presented his annual report regarding the wastewater treatment plant. Sommers discussed some specific issues such as flushable wipes being flushed which are causing backups stating that these wipes are not flushable.
He went on to praise the Combined Sewer Overflow operation saying that the CSO has been fantastic for the wastewater plant.
He said that in 2018 they had 9 events for 63 days, 2019 had 10 events for 73 days, and 2020 there were 2 events in 45 days with one in January and the other in May. Since concluding with the CSO phase 6, in June, there has not been a single overflow.
The primary issue with the plant is sludge management and figuringing out how to handle the waste and get rid of it. Every 8 months we bring in an out of state company.
In 2019 we had one emptied at a cost of roughly $59,000 for 586,000 gallons. In 2020 it was emptied twice at a cost of $90,000 removing around 870,000 gallons.
Going forward, Sommers said that they will continue with the 8-month process which should be able to continue to meet the requirements.
Resolution 1312 – Updating Supervisory Employee Compensation (2nd Reading) – All in favor.
Resolution 1313 – Updating Hourly Employee Compensation (2nd Reading) – All in favor.
Resolution 1314 – Authorizing the Director of Finance to Seek Proposals for Banking Services (Suspend and Pass). It was noted that this was the end of the 2nd renewal. Passed
Resolution 1315 – Opposing Sub. House Bill 157 Regarding Withholding Municipal Earned Income Tax for Those Working Virtually and/or at Home (Suspend and Pass). Rockey noted that this would give the state too much oversight on how the village collects tax and how they do business.
Ordinance 2255 – Accepting a Portion of the Wabash Cannonball Trail from County Road 13 to County Road 17 from NORTA (1st Reading or Suspend and Pass). Passed
LeAnn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org