ANTWERP — A reluctant farewell was given to Antwerp Volunteer Fire Chief Ray Friend during Monday’s council meeting.
Friend has spent 53 years with the fire department, beginning in February 1966. He became chief in January 1987.
Friend, who has announced his retirement, will leave the department June 30.
Mayor Ray DeLong read a congratulatory letter to Friend, stating, “Your hard work and diligence have certainly benefited this community.” Friend, in turn, praised council for being easy to work for and with; he left the meeting to a round of applause.
Council okayed Robert Addis as the new fire chief, with Richard Fruit as assistant chief. Addis joined the department in August 1985, Fruit in September 2007.
Council also discussed vandalism and juvenile delinquency at the park. Since the last council meeting and the distribution of letters in the community, awareness has been raised of the problem, which has diminished considerably, according to Police Chief George Clemens.
Cameras remain running at the park, and many of those responsible have been apprehended. Clemens said many have been banned from the park.
A 2006 ordinance setting down park rules will likely be upgraded at the next regular council meeting, scheduled for July 15. A number of new rules have already been added to the current set for consideration. The most notable change may be the prohibition of children under 12 from being allowed in the park without adult supervision (the current rules state those under the age of 6 must be accompanied by an adult).
In other business, council:
• passed a resolution accepting the lowest bid for the waterline replacement project on Canal and South Main streets. Bryan Excavating Inc., Bryan, will handle the project for $251,774; hopes are to have it completed in late summer or early fall.
• approved a resolution retaining Melanie Farr’s services as village solicitor for two years beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
• passed an ordinance prohibiting treated bulk water sales in town. Farmers can continue to purchase untreated bulk water from the village.
• approved an ordinance transferring $35,000 from the general fund.
• held the second readings of two resolutions renewing existing tax levies. The first resolution was for current expenses, including street lighting expenses, while the other is for providing and maintaining fire apparatus and equipment. The resolutions must be passed in order to place on November voting ballots.
• congratulated the Archers’ softball team, which won at state; the boys’ baseball team, which took part in state semi-finals competition; and Heather Oberlin, who came in 13th at state in track and field. DeLong praised the teams and their coaches for “putting (Antwerp) on the map.”
• heard bids for the Riverside Park drainage project were taken, with B. Hill’z Excavating, Wayne, getting the nod for $24,590. The project will begin in August.
• discussed the west side of Shaffer Road, which has been sinking over 10 years. The situation has worsened due to constant rain. If the road cannot be repaired, Shaffer could be made into a one-way street. Council hoped to have a repair project in the fall.
• discussed the possibility of selling a bus barn near the school behind Archer Drive, with no action taken. Council will determine what to do with the items stored within the structure.
• approved a motion to join Harvest Farm Management. A public hearing was held on June 4 regarding the placement of Wentworth Road into an agricultural district. By becoming part of a designated agricultural program such as Harvest Farm Management, the farm land would be unable to be sued for such things as contributing to the Lake Erie algae bloom, according to village administrator Sara Keeran.
• heard security cameras have been installed at the depot, which is now the location of several village offices.
• heard the park will be sprayed today for dandelions and broadleaf weeds.