SYCAMORE - Mayor Matt Boucher opened the Sycamore Village Council meeting Tuesday evening with a speech.
"2013 has been a very good year, and I'm hopeful for an even better 2014," he said. He thanked several groups, including Wyandot County Economic Development for breaking ground for a new water plant, which is to have tours available upon completion. He also thanked Sycamore Fire and Police, saying there were fewer break-ins in 2013 than in previous years. Police Chief Richard Blankenship said the village had 133 service calls in 2013, down 77 from 2012. Boucher also thanked the employees and residents of Sycamore for keeping each other safe during the winter.
He also said that McDermott's Video and Ice Cream and Bowlmor Lanes, businesses affected by fires in 2013, have been remodeled and reopened, and that damaged roads only are to be patched until the water lines are replaced.
Council went into a lengthy executive session on EMS issues before reconvening, at which point Fire Chief Bryan Clouse said the Saturday fire classes are to resume after previous cancellations. He also said final notice for EMS bill collection letters sent out prompted phone calls in high volume, and that they were going to set up an e-mail account to aid people in paying their bills.
In attendance were Fire Captain Mark Fleming and Lt. Kevin Weyand, expressing concerns about old fire equipment and asking the council to implement an emergency fund for the fire department to access in the event of equipment failure. The department had issues with a truck last week and found a replacement truck at a good price, but council was not able to address it soon enough and another company bought it.
"It was a deal of a lifetime, and we missed it," Fleming said.
Councilwoman Dawn Needles said she didn't think it was possible to create an emergency fund, but Councilman Tony Flood said the council would discuss ways to get the information voted on quickly in the event of another equipment emergency. Boucher said he would discuss the matter immediately with Solicitor James Gucker, who was absent.
Village Administrator Chuck Clark announced village offices are to be closed Monday to honor Presidents' Day.
He asked council if the meter reads for residents could be estimated for the month instead of walking to get accurate reads due to the weather, and the motion was passed. Business meters still are to be read accurately.
Clark also asked that residents keep hydrants clear of snow to aid in emergency situations.
Councilman Ralph Decker said the project on 8th Street to tear down the streets, sidewalks, curbs and drainage systems and rebuild them has been made official. The contractor for the project is to be picked Feb. 22.
In new business, council agreed to motions to increase the water revenue loan through Ohio Water Development Authority to $429,542.81, and to schedule finance meetings for 6 p.m. Tuesday and Feb. 25.
Council members thanked residents and village employees for keeping the sidewalks and streets clear.
Council is to meet at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25.