Newcomerstown Village Council hesitated in making any comment last Monday evening about the recent suspension of Newcomerstown Street Commissioner Bob Martin.

Instead, Newcomerstown Mayor Jim Friel maintained the fact that Martin is on suspension without pay from the village for violation of departmental policies. He was officially suspended March 8.

It was rumored that a closed-door hearing took place prior to last Monday's village council meeting where Martin was present.

Mayor Friel said Martin's tenure with the village "is in his hands to see if he follows through."

In Martin's absence, Newcomerstown Cemetery Superintendent Mike Bryant is serving as both the Cemetery and Street superintendents. A decision on Martin's job is projected to be made by the next council meeting, Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the David Barber Civic Center.

Bryant re-assured council that "all (village) employees will be cross-trained at both (the street and cemetery) departments so there's no break in service."

Council said the part-time employees, as well as seasonal help and those from Job & Family Services will be utilized in the village.

Bryant also told council that two of the village's dump trucks are being repaired at Truck Sales in Midvale. He also asked to have the New Holland tractor taken to the Bakersville Garage for electrical issues.

Bryant re-assured council and village residents that the potholes will be repaired in the village. Mechanical problems with a truck hindered them from filling the potholes last Saturday. Work may begin one evening in the village.

In other business, Alan Bambeck of the Newcomerstown Community Improvement Corporation presented council with the proposed expansion of 31 Inc. in Newcomerstown.

The expansion and proposed easement would allow the company to build a significant project in the Newcomerstown Industrial Park -- which would mean more jobs to the community.

"We want to keep them here," Bambeck said in hopes that council would agree with the Newcomerstown CIC in approving the project.

Council approved the project and offering their blessing for the expansion.

Meanwhile, Sharon Hanrahan, Financial Planning Commission administrator for the Office of Budget and Management, explained what the Newcomerstown Financial Planning Commission will be doing in order to get the cemetery fund out of a deficit. She said a plan for recovery will be submitted to council before July 2 for their approval.

"It's going to be challenging to come up with a set of action plans to get the village out of fiscal emergency," Hanrahan said.

The commission's next meeting will be April 29 at noon in the Fellowship Hall of the Church of Christ in Christian Union.

Along the same lines, council approved the village's permanent appropriations for 2013 which total $2,425,992.63.

Councilmember Heather Stein-Wells told council that the Newcomerstown Emergency Rescue Squad was able to obtain a $42,000 grant from the J.E. Reeves Foundation to go towards a new grass fire truck in the village. She said the truck will be here within the next four to five weeks.

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