CONTINENTAL – Three re-elected council members were sworn-in when Continental Village Council members met Tuesday. Mayor Matt Miller administered the oath of office to Tom Armey, Dan Sullivan and Jordan Streicher. Streicher was chosen as council president for 2022.
It was decided to retain the same committee members: infrastructure, Jordan Streicher and Dan Sullivan; zoning and review, Tom Armey and Mike Varner; finance and technology, Todd Bartley and Roxie Knipp; recreation and response, Tom Armey and Dan Sullivan; income tax review board, Kathy Prowant, Roxie Knipp, Todd Bartley and Scott Welch, solicitor.
The mayor met with representatives from Poggemeyer and Caldwell Tank Dec. 30 to go over the last few items prior to filling the tower. At that time, the mixer had not been installed nor the heater. Now the mixer is in, and the heater install is in progress. Mike Leis, village water operator of record, wants to wait until the heater is installed prior to filling the tower with the cold temperatures forecast for the coming weeks. Since the Village has not taken possession of the tank at this time, it is the contractor who must fill the tank and make sure everything is operational hopefully by the end of the month. Demolition of the old tower will be done after everything checks out on the new one.
Fiscal officer Susan Darby and the mayor attended the Perry Township trustees meeting Dec. 29th to go over the contract for fire protection. The trustees were agreeable with the changes and the contract was signed.
AEP will be doing some work around the area of the substation to upgrade the poles and lines running north through the alley. AEP has requested to increase the easement. Solicitor Welch recommended accepting the easement. After map was reviewed, council suspended the rules and approved the resolution in emergency so the easement can be filed.
Thursday there will be a meeting of the Putnam Soil and Water at the Continental American Legion about the Powell Creek Watershed. They are looking for input on slowing the drainage of the water to improve the water quality in the watershed. The water from this area reaches Lake Erie and falls under recent legislation to limit the nitrates that flow into the lake. While the agent was in town, Miller took him to the well field to see what can be done with the flooding in that area. The area was rumored to be a wetland which severely limits the actions that can be done. The agent informed him that this is not a wetland, the ponds are where clay was dug out for a tile mill. This means the area could have outlets installed to limit the flooding potential around the wells. A survey will be done to produce a plan.
In the maintenance update, council learned that the new snowplow for the dump truck should be completed by next week with delivery by the end of the month. The maintenance department has purchased salt for the new truck, and it has been delivered. Sunday there was a water leak at a commercial business. The repairs included two new valves being installed which separated the business line from a neighboring home. Then Monday, a new leak was discovered next to a meter at another Main Street business, and this resulted in a new meter and two new valves.
The recent water and sewer billing cycle shows that the leaks have stabilized and found there are some meters that will need to be changed out.
Darby requested to increase the temporary appropriations for funds where the equipment ordered in 2021 has not arrived yet. Darby closed the 2021 purchase orders and would like to reopen them in 2022 when the money will be spent. Council approved the action. The increases are general fund, $21,000 (fire hoses); street fund, $11,700 (snowplow); street levy fund, $38,100 (paving that could not be scheduled, company agreed to hold the quote for 2022) and enterprise improvement, $298,563.96 remaining balance on work to be completed on the water tower.
The mayor is looking into some improvements at Buckeye Park with a possible paved walking path around the top of the big pond and ADA accessibility to the shelter house and the new walkway. He would also like to look into replacing the valves in the smaller ponds so the water levels can be regulated without using a trash pump to move the water from the small ponds to the large one. Streicher asked if he is including any projects for the Sparling Park area and the mayor stated he would like to get some drawings, and then meet with the Park Committee members. The Village has purchased more benches like the ones already installed in the downtown area and as soon as the weather breaks, they will be installed along with a bicycle rack that was donated to the Village by the school.
There will be some grant money available to help pay for demolition of dilapidated commercial buildings available this year. Sullivan would like to push harder to get things through the Review Board process in a timely manner. Regarding the two buildings that have been condemned, Miller stated that the village will be dealing with one owner as the owner of the collapsed building sold to the owner of the building to the south. Miller stated he slowed the proceedings on forcing the demolition of the two buildings after the deaths of both previous owners out of respect for the widows and families.
Darby asked if the cement had been removed from the property on Grove Street that had a fire and was demolished. The time given the property owner to remove it expired at the end of December and with all the on-going work the village employees have been doing they have not removed it yet. Hopefully, this week it can be removed by employees and the cost will be charged against the fire damage fund which is holding a percentage of the owner’s insurance in escrow for just this type of situation.
In other action, council:
• approved the minutes of previous meeting, approved bills as presented for 2021 and 2022 and approved the receipts since the last meeting for 2021 and 2022.
• approved management reports presented for 2021 and 2022 except for the bank reconciliation, which will be posted when the year is closed.
• approved then and now purchase order approved for 2021 for Sidney Electric $3,320 for repairs to high service pump and Grove St. lift station, and Bojhun Environmental for wastewater testing.
• learned the inspection report for the clear well was received and submitted to the EPA, showing the clear well is in decent shape with some minor maintenance needed.
• learned the green sand filter is offline now for maintenance; the man way door is completed and waiting for the contractor for the sandblasting and painting to be completed.
• approved a building permit from a business owner at on North Main Street to install new tanks.
• moved to allow an inter-fund transfer $68,000 from the General Fund to the Debt Service Fund to make the fire station and truck loan payments.