During the Newcomerstown Village Council meeting Feb. 1, council approved Mayor Pat Cadle to pursue further information on the potential purchase of the former Simonds property on Heller Drive.

According to Mayor Cadle, as part of the village's plan for improvements and clean-up in Newcomerstown, the village is interested in looking at some ways the unsightly property could be transformed into a useful property again. At present, the property is not only considered unsightly, but is also considered a danger to the community. The huge abandoned structure that once housed the former Heller Tool Company and later Simonds, has the village and members of the community concerned due to the potential dangers. The structure has been repeatedly vandalized and was also previously set on fire by vagrants that were staying inside the structure at night time. Even though the property is private owned with no trespassing signs posted, youths, adults, and vagrants have been noted to break-in. The structure reportedly has many unsafe issues. The overhead area is loose, unstable from vandals attempting to remove wire, and pipes. The floor has unlevel surface with a multitude of deep shafts in the floor where previous machinery and boilers were once located.

According to Mayor Cadle, the property has potential for many useful ideas that would benefit the community of Newcomerstown. Some of the ideas include construction of more housing (apartment units, mobile home park), additional parking for community events, and school sports events. The area nearest the river could also be used for the boat launching site that has been discussed in previous years.

The village's plan is to first establish contact with the current owner to see if there would be interest in selling the property. The funding to purchase and upgrade the site could be obtained through grants from the Brownfield Revitalization and/or the EPA Clean Ohio program. The CIC (Community Improvement Corporation) is currently

See SIMONDS, page 2

involved with the village's plan for improvements in Newcomerstown.

Other business discussed included:

Councilmember Kristie Wilkin announced her plan to personally host a meet and greet for village employees on Feb. 12. Wilkin's intention being a way to familiarize herself with each department and its staff and have better understanding of each department's process.

Council approved the street department for the purchase of 100 ton of road salt for next winter. The purchase will lock in the price now and ensure the village of having adequate salt supply which has been in limited quantity the past few years.

Council approved the initiation of a plan to set up an advisory board for the park.

Council approved Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance for all village employees working a minimum of 25 hours per week.

Council approved an ordinance to establish a contingency plan for potential extended absence of the village's fiscal officer. This was another recommendation of the state auditor as part of the exit from fiscal emergency. Beth Ferguson-Pollock will provide initial assistance to the village fiscal office in the event of extended absence of fiscal officer Lisa Stiteler. The rate for Pollock will be at $25 per hour. In the event the initial assistance would be unavailable, the village will utilize the Uniform Accounting Network (UAN).

Village council later entered an executive session to discuss personnel. No action taken at this time.

The next regular council session is scheduled for Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in the library annex.