West Unity Hires Ric Beals As New Village Administrator

Mayor Peg Bernath announced at the Thursday, September 27, meeting of West Unity Village Council that Daryl “Ric” Beals was being recommended as the new village administrator to replace Randy Mahlman who resigned earlier in the year.

Beals’ starting date will be Monday October 8 when he will begin his 6 month probationary period with the village. Starting probationary wage will be $37,000 and he will not be eligible for paid vacation days during the probationary period. Once the probation has been completed he will have 3 weeks’ vacation available per year. In 2014 his vacation time increases to 4 weeks based on his prior years of service both in West Unity and in Montpelier. Because Beals already has his own health insurance, the village will not need to provide it for him.

Council unanimously approved Beals’ appointment to the position. “I think it’s prudent to say that Ric does have all the existing licenses that he will need for both the water plant and the sewer plant,” said Councilor Rich Merillat. “He has already secured them.”

“I’ve actually already contacted the EPA about getting the community of West Unity under my license,” Beals said. “It shouldn’t take long – a week or two maybe. By the time I get here it should be real close anyway. I don’t have to worry about reporting until the end of October anyway and by then I should be set.”

Due to the absence of both Ron Hausch and Kirk Thompson, there were no legislative matters handled by Council at the meeting.

Reporting as acting Village Administrator, Mayor Bernath informed Council that Phase II of the Parkway renovation has begun. “There’s a couple soft spots that they had to dig down and put in some extra base,” said Jim Eisel. “They have most of the stone in now and hopefully by the end of the week will be ready to start pouring curbs.”

Big trash pick-up will be held Monday and Tuesday, October 8 and 9. Eisel also asked the mayor to point out that, even though some residents have already raked some leaves, his crews won’t be ready to do leaf collection for a couple of weeks yet. If residents want to bag their leaves the village will pick them up on Mondays but as far as the ‘leaf sucker’ goes, the village won’t be getting that up and running for a couple weeks.

The owner of the property on South Defiance Street that is currently in court has until October 2nd to complete the work that needs to be done. Mayor Bernath also reported that although the county had the village’s paperwork, West Unity was somehow left out of the county’s bid contract for the chip and seal projects done through the county. The consensus was that the village will hold off until next year, adding any other areas to their list as they are determined to be necessary. Eisel stated that there are some spots that need to be taken care of yet this year but that village workers could dura-patch the worst spots to get the village through the winter.

Because the village computers currently run on the Windows XP operating system which will be obsolete at the end of the year, the village is getting quotes for three new computers. They are also looking at a new phone system that would have the capability of having voicemail for everyone including Council.

Chief J.R. Jones gave special recognition to Assistant Chief Dan Fedderke for his handling of a medical emergency. “With the help of some of the people at the senior center and the first responders, there was a good outcome to the situation,” Chief Jones said. “Not too often does that happen. We’re not medics. We don’t do that so I just wanted to recognize him because it was a pretty good deal.”

Councilor Merillat asked that Council consider purchasing a portable defibrillator for the Kissell Building. “Ruth Smothers came to me with the request saying that with all the senior citizens out there and the other events held there it might be good for the village to have one available,” Merillat said. Mayor Bernath suggested checking with Jim Hicks, head of Williams County EMS to see if he can get a better price for something like that than is normally available to the village. Council decided to explore the idea further, making sure enough funding is available for something like this.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of West Unity Village Council is October 11 at 7:30 p.m.  in Council Chambers.

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