The horrific fire that took the Janesville Acoustics plant to the ground, remains on everyones minds.
The loss of the building itself is devastating, but the loss of nearly a hundred jobs, and so close to the Christmas holiday, is especially unsettling to the people of Newcomerstown.
Members of village council recently opened its meeting Dec. 5 with several comments about the tragedy, and commended various individuals for their outstanding assistance that night.
Councils commendations were given especially to the members of the Newcomerstown Fire Department as well as Newcomerstown Water Superintendent Don Walkup. Councilmember Heather Stein-Wells said the fire required nearly 6,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze.
She and several others expressed their gratitude to Walkup for his quick response to the tragedy by opening all available waterlines close to the site so that the engines could pump water.
Council members discussed their concerns for the loss of jobs and several made suggestions on how they could contribute to the employees of Janesville.
One suggestion was that council members and department heads would take up a monetary collection among themselves.
Another suggestion was given and was later agreed upon to hold toll roads at two locations in the village on Saturday, Dec. 10 and collect money from local citizens.
The question weighing on everyones minds now seems to be whether Janesville will re-build or relocate to another area.
Former Mayor and recently-elected councilmember Jim Carr said he wished to convey the villages genuine concern in response to the tragedy and show the owners of Janesville
See TRAGEDY, page 4
that the village wants to keep jobs available for its residents. He is anticipating Janesville to re-build in Newcomerstown.
Other business from the Dec. 5 meeting included:
Board of Public Affairs member Jim Friel said an upcoming meeting is being planned with an official of AEP Ohio concerning possible costs for the village in regarding to the street lighting project.
Fiscal Officer Kim Meek said according to recent report received from Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA), it shows that the villages income tax revenue is up by $32,000 in comparison to last year.
A request (read by Meek) by Street Superintendent Bob Martin to have a heater at the village garage replaced was tabled until Martin (absent due to a death in the family) can be present to provide further information. The heating system, which is currently inoperable, is 30-plus years old and parts for the system are no longer in stock.
Second reading was given on an ordinance for a contract with Tuscarawas County Jail for housing inmates at a rate of $55 per day.
Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland and Fiscal Officer Meek were approved to have carry-over of previously accumulated sick time.
Resolution was approved for accepting amounts/rates for the budget commission and authorization of necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor.
A semi-annual payment for ground water compliance monitoring at the landfill site was approved. The fee is assessed each June and December.
Council later entered executive session to discuss contractual issues concerning the landfill closure. No action was taken.
Councils next meeting will be Dec. 19.