Public safety concerns top council meeting

NEW RIEGEL — New Riegel Village Council members met Tuesday evening to discuss public safety concerns and area agendas.

Council was informed of public concerns over what was perceived to be a correlation between a lack of on-staff village police and recent criminal activity in the area. Council members discussed the concerns and reiterated that any recent criminal incidences had no relation to the effectiveness of the contract for patrol with the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office.

“If we had 24-hour service, we’d still have a drug problem,” Mayor Larry Bouillon said.

Among the solutions discussed were stricter zoning regulations and potential ordinances for limitations on rental properties, organizing a block watch and issuing information to residents on public awareness. It was noted the most important tool for keeping neighborhoods safe is the diligence of neighbors and knowing who to contact regarding suspicious activity.

Fiscal officer Megan Reinhart said the village received its first invoice from Seneca County Sheriff’s Office for $1,040 for one month of service.

In related news, council agreed to list the village police cruiser for sale as it no longer is in service. It was noted the vehicle, a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria, has 55,308 miles. For more information, contact Bouillon at (419) 595-2839.

Bouillon also announced council is to have two available seats beginning Jan. 1. Eligibility requirements for candidates include being a registered voter and having at least one year of residency in New Riegel. For more information, contact a council member.

Council also deliberated over the following items:

• Community trash pick-up is to begin at 7 a.m. Sept. 30. Residents are reminded not to include concrete/concrete products, batteries, tires, waste oil, paint/paint cans, yard waste or tree trimmings. For information, call (419) 595-2839.

• Leaf pick-up is to begin at 8 a.m. Oct. 9 and is to continue every Monday through the season.

• It was reported there has been no change in the tile repairs on West Findlay Street, but work should begin soon.

• The sidewalk project has been postponed until spring to allow time for tile repairs.

• Village Parks and Recreation chair member Deidre Bakies updated council on the tree planting project. She said she has been in talks with Ohio Division of Wildlife and Forestry officials, and informed council of a quoted $425 cost per tree. Council agreed to obtain additional pricing from area suppliers and contractors.

• Efforts to clean up ditches were noted in new business. Council members noted ditches and creeks were operating at 30 percent and clean up potentially could improve water issues or future flooding.

• Council approved retaining resident Adam Faeth on an as-needed basis for snow removal and winter street maintenance. It also was noted members are to begin researching options for a replacement tractor/loader to maintain more of the snow removal process through the village.

• Members approved the purchase of an additional pallet of street salt for winter.

• There is a 5K race scheduled Oct. 14.

• A motion was made to move the sign for American Legion Post 354 from South Street to CR 10. Council is to revisit it after further research.

• New Riegel Schools’ annual Halloween parade is at 2 p.m. Oct. 29, starting at the American Legion, and village trick-or-treat is to follow until 4 p.m. At the direction of Bouillon, council agreed to have sheriff’s deputies on duty for the duration of the festivities.

Council is to meet at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17.