HICKSVILLE — Defiance County Sheriff Doug Engel came to Monday’s Hicksville Village Council session in response to what he referred to about the “rumor mill” regarding a proposed 911 levy for the November ballots.
Engel referred to the 0.4-mill levy, which begins in 2020, as a “renewal with an increase,” noting it was done in part due to increasing insurance, maintenance and employee costs.
Should the levy succeed, he said, law enforcement systems throughout the county are looking into changing their communications system, which Engel referred to as faulty. “Some areas (of the county) have no (police) radio coverage,” he said.
A proposed new system, he declared, would allow communication through the county and is known as the Marcs System. All law enforcement personnel in the county would have radios, which would require a service charge; part of the new 911 funds would be toward payment for the radios.
Alternatives, he said, had been examined, including the construction of two 800-megahertz towers at a cost of $1 million per tower, which he believed to be cost-ineffective.
As the first wave of money would benefit police departments, he added, fire agencies would be able to file for a grant to purchase portable radios. All of the fire agencies in the county filing as a unit would greatly increase the chances of receiving funds rather than individual agencies making independent filings.
Much of Hicksville’s current communication equipment rests atop one of the village water towers; this, Engel believed, would eventually be rendered obsolete, but not until all communications needs throughout the county are filled. Until then, he said, the equipment would remain in place and functioning.
“Our goal is to help (the) municipalities; the levy money allows us to complete the plan,” Engel said.
He added that the amount of money taxpayers would have to contribute would likely come down “drastically” from initial projections when the levy was first announced.
Council also heard from Mark Young and Robert Garza of Two Bandits Brewing Company, who proposed a fall festival downtown for October. Called Hoptoberfest, the festival would run from noon-11 p.m. Oct. 6 and would likely involve closing down part of the downtown area for the day.
The two plan to have a motorcycle show from 1-4 p.m. in front of the brewery/restaurant downtown; food cooked outside; and live music, with a polka band outside beginning at 1 p.m. and the Wannabees inside the building beginning at 6 p.m.
The fire department also plans to get into the act, with a breakfast and a 5K run to start off the festivities. Not to be outdone, Hoptoberfest would feature a tongue-in-cheek 0.8 K run later in the day, with participants receiving a doughnut halfway through the run and a beer at its conclusion.
Proceeds would benefit Helping Hands of Hicksville.
Young also mentioned House Bill 47, which is used in certain areas of Toledo and Napoleon and allows communities to have open containers during certain events at specified times for communities with populations of 35,000 and under. Should Hicksville take advantage of this bill for Hoptoberfest, laws regarding alcohol consumption would still be enforced; the rules could be modified further as per council’s wishes.
In other business, council:
• spoke favorably about rehiring acting village administrator Kent Miller to his former post. Council’s next step is to approve Miller’s hiring by ordinance to make it official.
• held the first reading of a resolution opposing private distribution of ground water from the Michindoh Glacial Aquifer to locations outside of its designation, including Hicksville.
• held the first reading of a resolution to assess street light millage at 2 mills for each dollar valuation for the current year’s tax list.
• held the first readings of separate resolutions to assess delinquent utility and mowing bills.
• held the first reading of a resolution to enter into an agreement with Defiance County commissioners to recover monies spent for indigent persons’ counsel fees.
• tabled a resolution allowing the village administrator to sell village property no longer needed by the village for public use.
• decided against cleaning the area of Crook Miller, which has dirt piles and bricks on its property. The nuisance board wants the industry to clean up the area, but Crook Miller apparently does not have the money available in its 2018 finances to do so. The village briefly discussed cleaning the property, which is located on Handle Lane, and placing the cost on the industry’s property taxes, but Crook Miller said that it has apparently contacted a company to clean up the area and carrying away debris.
• discussed a World War One centennial commemoration weekend on Nov. 10-11. A display of World War One memorabilia will be available at the library; World War I historian Mitchell Yockelson is scheduled to discuss the events of the Battle of Meuse Argonne, one of the final battles of the war. Hicksville’s Meuse Argonne Avenue was named in memory of the local military personnel who died during that battle.
• briefly discussed having a barrier installed to eliminate trucks pulling into the new parking lot in front of the park’s restrooms. Semis, explained police chief Kirk Stickney, could damage the asphalt there.
• heard equipment has been bought for an upcoming pickleball clinic at the park.
• noted yet another rate hike from Mediacom, which provides cable television to the village.
• noted the seasonal closing of the village swimming pool on Aug. 17.