As part of a measure to conserve village funds, the plan of changing salary employees to an hourly wage, and decreasing the work week for all full-time employees to a 35 hour week, has been temporarily put on hold.

Newcomerstown Village Council briefly discussed the plan at the Aug. 2 meeting. However, council later called for a special session to take place Aug. 6 to discuss the same plan. No action was taken at that special session according to council member, Sue Simmons.

Council member Dave Hickman later requested for the plan to be removed from the agenda during council's meeting Aug. 16 until the issue was further discussed. Council members agreed stating council had not had adequate discussion on the matter. They added that they wished to follow up at a later time.

Items discussed/approved at the Aug. 2 meeting included:

* Newton Asphalt and Paving Inc., Strasburg, was approved as the winning bidder for the 2010 resurfacing project at a bid of $294,503. Other bids received were Shelly & Sands at $327,126, J&D Mining Co. at $329,704, and Neff Paving at $446,601.

* Mayor Steve Guy announced a special community project that is currently being offered to the village through the Newcomerstown High School sports program. Students participating in the sports program will be assisting with the clean-up and mowing of properties in the village that have been foreclosed on or properties that the village has been maintaining at their own expense. Mayor Guy is encouraging the public to partake in the project, either by loaning mowers, trimmers or a can of gasoline, if possible.

"This is a way to improve the appearance of our village and will also help the village save money by donation of manpower. I plan to help out of some of the mowing on a couple of the days that have been designated in August," Mayor Guy said.

For information about the project, call Newcomerstown Athletic Director Matt Ritzert at 498-4084.

* Third reading was given for sewer and water rates.

* Slip repair at 307 Cross St. was tabled until further assessment can be completed at the site. Council member Hickman said Hitchens and Associates have been contacted about the re-assessment.

* Council approved a past bill of $2,550 from May 18 for on-site training provided by CMI.

* Councilmember Simmons discussed concerns about the need for the police department's canine program to be reinstated. Simmons said the program is necessary to keep residents and the school population safe from illegal drug activity. The program has been temporarily shelved due to department expenditure reduction. The department is planning several fundraisers to get "Elvis," the department's canine, back to work. Any monetary donations can be sent to the attention of Simmons or Heather Stein-Wells.

* Council entered into executive session to discuss personnel. No action taken.

Items from the Aug. 16 meeting included:

* Council approved changing the date of the next regular session to Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. due to the Labor Day holiday.

* Following a third reading, water and sewer rates were approved. Councilmember Earl McCormick was against approving the ordinance. He said he felt council had inadequate time to review the ordinance. Councilmember Burris Gardner made the motion to proceed and remaining council members Simmons, Stein-Wells, Bush and Hickman were agreeable to Gardner's motion.

* Mayor Guy read several letters, one from Northpoint Engineering regarding update of the plans for the landfill site cap revision. Another letter from Ray Booth, on behalf of the Newcomerstown Public Library, in regards to placing a banner for the library across Main Street. Council member Stein-Wells said there has been past concerns with banners on Main Street due to issues with them getting caught in power lines. Village Solicitor Shawn Lindsay was to look into the matte, and get back to council. Another letter was from TimeWarner regarding the rights of customers for interrupted cable service.

* Council entered into executive session to discuss personnel. No action taken.

* Councilmember Stein-Wells later made the motion and council approved automatic payroll deduction of $50 per single and $100 per family plan for insurance starting next pay period. Employees will not be able to change their policy until December 2010 (to be effective for January 2011).

* Council approved non-terminal, annual contract with LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System). Police Chief Gary Holland explained the importance for LEADS in regards to the protection of citizens and providing vital, up-to-date information to track criminals. Missing children can also be located more efficiently with the system.

* Liquor license transfer was approved for Smoker Paradise from 425 W. State St. to 120 W. State St. The transfer was opposed by council member Gardner with council members Hickman, Bush, McCormick, Simmons and Stein-Wells being for the transfer.