NEW RIEGEL - Several break-ins have occurred recently in New Riegel, according to Police Chief Steve Swartzmiller. Investigations are ongoing. He reported a recent theft had been solved and prosecuted with restitution being made.
A meeting to discuss possibilities for more coverage in the area with Swartzmiller, Mayor Larry Bouillon, Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry and a representative from the Ohio State Patrol Fremont post has been set for 4 p.m. Monday. The following evening, Public Safety Committee members are to meet.
Swartzmiller advised residents to keep homes and garage doors locked. Keeping bushes near the house trimmed is helpful and additional lighting, preferably motion lights, are beneficial. He suggests residents notify the authorities of suspicious or unusual activities.
Members discussed the possibility of placing a police levy on the November ballot, but Solicitor Rick Palau said several pieces of legislation must be enacted first with the county and state auditors needing time for approval before an August 8 deadline for filing. The idea was tabled for now.
Swartzmiller said he is seeking grants for additional funding, and Bouillon has spoken with local, state and federal officials for other revenue sources.
Council hired engineering firm Kusmer and Associates Inc., from Fremont, to handle the sidewalk upgrade project, funded by a $22,000 Community Development Block Grant. They are to take care of the pre-bid meeting, the open bids session and oversight of the work. The project was estimated to cost $23,625, leaving the village to make up the difference and $2,450 engineering fee.
Engineer Al Zamora recommended the sidewalk repairs start at town center and branch out until 3,500-square feet of concrete has been poured for needed areas. Council members questioned whether any work was to be done to curbs and if tree roots are to be cut.
Parks and Recreation committee chairman Deirdre Bakies reported Aqua Doc has treated the fire pond and sprayed curbs and the park. She said Jeff Finn from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who is transforming an old ballfield into a wildlife area, should break ground soon.
Bakies said the inventory of all village trees found more than 60 trees need trimmed or removed, with 40 of them being ash trees. She has been attending a Tree Academy to assist organizations in tree care and planting. Because so many trees need removed in the village, she explained the planting process for replacement.
Finance Committee chairman Rick Kessler provided information and the cash summary in Fiscal Officer Jackie Honaker's absence. Honaker is to attend the public records training July 10 at NCOESC.
In other business, council:
Moved to allow paying a $20 fee to First National Bank for stop-payment on the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan payment.
Learned the village is released from the USDA mortgage for the sewer collection and transport system July 20.
Approved a resolution for the 2013 budget.
Approved a community trash pick-up day for Sept. 15. Items are to be at curbside by 8 a.m. and costs are not to exceed $1,000. Batteries, tires, construction material and liquid paint will not be collected.
Determined to pick up brush and leaves starting at 8 a.m. Sept. 24 and following Mondays as necessary.
Approved the purchase of 10 30-inch stop signs and reflective strips not to exceed $700.
Council is to meet at 6 p.m. July 17 for a records retention meeting followed by the regular council session at 6:30 p.m.