The Newcomerstown Street Department was commended by the Newcomerstown Village Council last Monday for its efforts in clearing the snow and ice from the roadways.

"I think he did a really good job," councilmember Jim Carr said about Newcomerstown Street Superintendent Bob Martin.

The street department has been strapped by a lack of manpower and has resorted in asking water and sewer department employees, who have the correct license, to aide in the plowing of snow.

Mayor Jim Friel said the village was hammered with two heavy snows and three waterline breaks.

Councilmember Sue Simmons said Martin and Cemetery Superintendent Mike Bryant worked some 35 hours straight to plow the snow off the roads.

"We got ice the first go 'round and once the ice is down, the plows go to the main streets," Simmons said. "I don't think they could have done any more because of the ice and the water line breaks."

Martin said that he has already ordered another load of salt for treating the roads and is ready for the next snowstorm.

"They did a fantastic job considering (the situation)," said Mayor Friel.

Village officials are reminding residents to not park on the streets during a snowstorm so that the plows can make it through the streets safely.

In other business, council officially approved the resignation of councilmember Janet Bush, effective Dec. 30. Council will have 30 days to appoint someone to the seat. Letters of interest from village residents are to be sent to: Newcomerstown Mayor Jim Friel, 124 W. Church St., P.O. Box 151, Newcomerstown, OH 43832. If council does not appoint someone to the seat within 30 days, Mayor Friel will appoint an individual to serve out the remaining one year of Bush's term.

Council also approved the resignation of police officer Justin Shelby at its meeting, effective Jan. 5.

In other business, council hired Beth Pollock of Newcomerstown as the new part-time fiscal officer for the village. She will work 20 to 25 hours per week at a rate of $10.25 per hour and will start immediately.

Council also hired Michael Ferguson of Newcomerstown as the new part-time employee at the street department. He is not to have more than 30 hours per week at $10.09 per hour.

Councilmember Heather Stein-Wells thanked all the individuals who submitted applications for both positions.

Cemetery Superintendent Bryant publicly thanked the Newcomerstown Elks Lodge for its $750 donation to the Cemetery Fund for lawn mowing equipment.

Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland said he has been working with the Newcomerstown school district in discussing safety measures at the school buildings.

He also presented the year-end totals for his department.

Council approved Ordinance 19-12 which authorizes the mayor to enter into a contract

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with the Tuscarawas County Jail for housing of inmates at the Tuscarawas County Jail for 2013 at a cost of $55 per day (which includes all meals).

Council entered into an hour-long executive session to discuss personnel.

Upon their return, council approved paying Newcomerstown Street Superintendent Martin for 32 hours of vacation pay.

Newcomerstown Village Council will meet again Monday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at the David Barber Civic Center, Newcomerstown. The meetings are open to the public.