Utility payments debated

REPUBLIC – Mike Burkholder from Sons of the Legion approached Republic Village Council with final plans for Party in the Park July 19. They include softball at 9 a.m., a bounce house, poker run and the Mick and Janet Reiter Memorial 5K run at 6:30 p.m.

Volunteers still are needed for the bounce house. Live music “Soul Pilot” performs in the evening and a beer garden is to be available.

Lions’ Club member Vernon Burkholder spoke to council about the organization receiving the electric bills for the new building at the park. He said the Lions spent $25,000 plus free labor to erect the building. They mow the park for free and the club’s funds are used for charities.

Burkholder said animosity has arisen between the organization and council. Burkholder said if the club has to pay the electric bills, they will turn everything over to the village.

Councilman Jeff Larick said he thought the Lions were using the building for money-making. Burkholder said the club is not making money off the building.

“The Lions take care of the park for the community for free, maybe we should send the village bills for caring for the park,” Burkholder said.

Councilwoman Deb Bogart said, “If we didn’t have the park, this village wouldn’t have anything.”

The decision had been made at a previous meeting to ask the Lions’ Club to pay the electric bills, but Larick moved that council table the issue until members are able to review past minutes to a conversation regarding the matter. Council voted to hold the electric bills for the park shelter until the issue is resolved.

Doris Lambert suggested a Lions’ Club member attend a council meeting with an annual report of its accomplishments.

Larick reported Scipio Township trustees have playground equipment available from the former Republic School if the village accepts the offer of donated property and develops a public green park.

Fiscal Officer Jason Shade presented the financial report, and said $1,260,331.29 is in all funds with $600,000 invested. Council approved an ordinance amending the 2014 appropriations, waiving the three reading rule.

The utility committee meets at 7 p.m. Monday to prepare the new guidelines concerning the electrical and sewer installation fees.

Council is to meet at 7 p.m. July 21.