Two new village employees will soon take their places in their new positions.
Travis Goodwill of West Lafayette was hired as the new street superintendent, and Chris Harrah, also a resident of West Lafayette, was hired as part time street department employee to replace the seasonal workers. Village council approved both Goodwill and Harrah during village council's regular meeting , and will officially began their positions on Aug. 8.
Goodwill will also over-see the maintenance of the cemetery which is a separate job position. Harrah will work up to 28 hours per week assisting the village with mowing, trimming, and other necessary tasks, as well as snow removal in the winter months. Harrah also has a CDL certification which is necessary to operate the plow and other heavy duty equipment.
Other items discussed during the Aug. 7 session included:
■ The Parkhill Drive water line project is scheduled to begin. The contractors believe that the project will be completed in about 45 days, according to water department/Tom Saurbrey.
■ According to Mayor Pat Cadle, the EPA recently assessed the former Simonds property on Heller Drive for chemical exposure. The buildings have been repeatedly vandalized by individuals salvaging/ scrapping for metal. It is being planned for the buildings on the property to be razed.
■ Shelter #6 at Cy Young park was recently damaged by a large tree that fell onto the shelter. The damage, and replacement is estimated at $8,000.
■ Mayor Cadle reports that trees on the hillside behind Cy Young park are scheduled to be assessed/ removed by Dennis Cabot, of West Lafayette for creating pallets. Many of the trees are so crowded, and growing spindly, weak, some are dying. Thinning out the trees will allow the more quality trees to grow better, and become stronger. The village will generate money from the trees that are to be removed.
■ Twenty-one trees within the village are also scheduled to be removed. The trees are either dead, dying, or are causing damage to sewer lines, fire hydrants, and must be removed.
■ The solar project will soon be in progress. Verdi Solutions have a goal for installation of panels at the water and sewage departments by Oct. 1. The panels at the former landfill area will be installed at a later date.
■ Council approved the fee ($8,945) for the second half of 2017 for the required ground water monitoring done by Northpoint Engineering.
■ A house/property on South Chestnut Street was recently donated to the village by Wells Fargo. The village plans to sell the property and generate funding to improve the neighborhood ( adding/ or improving sidewalks, etc).
Another house, also located on Chestnut Street, that recently was heavily damaged by fire is planned to be razed soon due to safety concerns by the village. Several walls of the structure are still standing, but are weak, and it is a concern that the walls will collapse and fall onto persons, or automobiles passing by on Chestnut and Pearl streets. The owners of the property reside in the Mansfield area and will be contacted by the village to discuss razing the structure as soon as possible.
A revenue and expense report was discussed. Expenses were reportedly about where they normally should be at this time of year. The revenue for Newcomerstown was noted nearly a million dollars more than last year. The solar project is expected to bring in even more revenue, according to Mayor Cadle. The revenue in the general fund is currently at 52%, street fund 45%, cemetery fund at 70%, pool & park at 49%, water and sewer R & I at 58%.
Council discussed a need/ or replacement of a 'no outlet' sign at the end of South Chestnut Street where the street ends at a private property. A sign will be installed soon.
Council pre-approved for the Sept. 4 meeting which falls on the Labor Day holiday to possibly be canceled, or re-scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 5. The cancellation of the meeting will be pending on what is accomplished at the Aug. 21 meeting, and whether anything would require being discussed/approved before the Sept. 18 regular session.