Commissioner visits Republic

REPUBLIC – Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller attended Republic’s council meeting Monday evening.

Zoeller said commissioners are instituting work sessions 30 minutes prior to regular meetings on first and third Tuesdays where they will listen to suggestions and ideas for moving the county forward. They also are planning roving quarterly meetings to hear from communities in the county as to their specific needs. These meetings are to be in the evening for the last Tuesday meeting starting in March.

At the present time, commissioners are evaluating the Seneca Regional Planning Commission to ascertain its value to the community. Zoeller feels its main purpose is to seek grants and work with villages to meet their needs.

Coming from a business background, Zoeller is interested in the economic situation of the county. He wants to see more promotion of Seneca County to bring industry to the area for development and jobs. Of late, commissioners are examining the county employee buy-out costs.

He said Republic is important to the area and is certainly part of the program.

Zoeller was not aware of all the information in the state budget released by Gov. John Kasich Monday. He said the county should know the final figures in May revealing how much in local government funds are to be cut.

When asked about the villages receiving funds from casino revenue, Zoeller said he would have to learn more about it and assumed it depended on the total amount received by the county.

Several residents attended to report their electrical bills had doubled or tripled. Village Administrator Crystal Hoepf assured them she would be checking their meters daily to look for spike times. Another citizen reported her water bill doubling even though the home use has been decreased. Mayor Bruce Lambert said the water rates have increased recently, but Hoepf is to check the home for leaks.

The utility committee is to set a date to discuss higher utility charges.

Hoepf said Scipio Township trustees approached her about waiving the fees for water and sewer use in the old school building since the water is turned off. After some discussion, council decided to not waive the fees.

She also said maintenance worker Travis Gregg started Monday.

Chief of Police Don Holmer said he is to receive further training on the in-cruiser computer system Friday. He told council the county mitigation plan for emergency situations will need to be approved by council in order to receive FEMA funding.

In other matters, council:

Accepted the resignation of councilwoman Rhonda Wolpert.

Heard the second reading of an ordinance approving the Republic Village Council’s rules of procedure.

Approved paying the bills. Heard $890,000 is in all accounts.

Heard a complaint about piling snow in front of Town Hall.

Learned the health department is moving forward on the condemnation of a Center Street house.

Council is to meet at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18.