PAULDING — Village council here continued to discuss a cockroach problem in a Perry Street location during its regular meeting Monday night, and tabled action on an ordinance that would prohibit livestock within town limits.
Council also was updated on a major spike in pool attendance, thanks to a period of free admissions made possible by private donations.
The cockroach problem in a building at 109 and 111 W. Perry St. dominated council’s July 15 meeting when members approved an emergency ordinance prohibiting pest infestations within the village.
Mike Iler, owner of the Past Time Cafe, 107 W. Perry St., which has closed temporarily, told council that his bathroom has become infested with cockroaches. He blamed the problem on an adjoining apartment building owned by Hacker Combs, with which his restaurant shares a wall.
The village’s solicitor — Harvey Hyman — and Iler updated council on the situation Monday, referencing a property inspection report on July 30 made by Bruce Essex, a certified building inspector. The report was provided to The Crescent-News following Monday’s meeting.
It confirmed the problem in the Combs’ property and recommended — among other things — that one of the apartments (unit 107) be “completely emptied, refurbished and possibly fumigated.” Some pest treatment has taken place already, according to Hyman.
Hyman noted that Combs has 10 days to address the matter upon receipt of a letter from the village — anticipated almost immediately — before the city may take action to abate the pest problem.
For his part, Combs suggested in a recent letter to the village by his attorney (Jennifer Brown) that an independent investigation check to see if the cockroaches came from the restaurant.
On a corollary note, Hyman told council that a broken window in Combs’ building has been repaired.
In another matter Monday, council tabled an ordinance that would limit livestock within the village limits.
That followed an appeal from Michael Schweinsberg, 4-H educator with the Paulding County OSU Extension Office. He said parents of some 4-H kids asked him to address council on the issue.
A Paulding resident, Schweinsberg said he understands the concerns about animals in town, but in his neighborhood — where there have been chickens, rabbits and goats — “we have not had any issue whatsoever.” He said limiting kids’ activities through the pending ordinance is going to be detrimental,” he said.
Schweinsberg told council that 4-H animals are some of the most well-kept animals in town because their keepers — 4-H participants — have a vested interest in keeping them that way.
“The 4-H animals are cleaner than any other animal that you’re going to find,” he said. “These kids spend hours every day with them because, for one, they have to keep their coats clean to have them ready to even go to the fair.”
In the end, Schweinsberg said he would be willing to discuss the matter further with council members. This is expected to take place during a council committee meeting at 5 p.m. Aug. 15.
Also Monday, village pool manager Mark Hurd discussed a recap of activity at the village pool, showing a sharp increase in attendance during a free admission period that has continued since July 2. The $3 daily charge was eliminated, made possible through donations by Haviland Drainage, Kauser Trucking, Paulding Hospital, Baughman Tile, Clint Vance and some anonymous donors.
From July 2-30, attendance totaled 6,735 compared to 1,737 in the same period of 2018. The attendance total this year from July 2-Aug. 4 was 7,652.
“We would have to get more sponsors to do it on a long-term basis,” said Hurd of the free admission period.
He is hopeful that sponsors — providing $400-$500 each — may be able to generate some $16,000-$20,000 to get things started next year. Under his plan, they would have their names placed on a village park fence.
In other business Monday:
• Councilman Tim Boss noted that council’s safety committee recently discussed the situation with Oakwood EMS, in which Paulding occasionally covers for that village. He said the mayor, administrator, council president, EMS director and safety committee chairman would meet with Oakwood officials (tonight).
• approved a motion accepting the safety committee’s recommendation to hire an additional police officer.
• passed separate motions authorizing the transfer of $4,140 from the income tax fund to the PCFA fund, the transfer of $96,487.17 from the income tax fund to the general fund and $32,162.39 from the income tax fund to the capital improvement fund.
• approved various property tax assessments for noxious weed removal, and water and sewer charges.
• Goebel requested a utility committee meeting to discuss a possible rate study and rules in the village’s utility policy. No date was set, but he would like to meet in September. He also reported that the street department will begin durapatching soon, while the Garfield Avenue culvert project has begun.
• Councilman David Burtch noted that the Tunes, Brews and BBQ event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday with two bands and a car show. Music starts at 6 p.m., he said. Too, he recognized a Nazarene Church youth group which helped pick up trash and provide maintenance at Fountain Park on July 24.
• Parks and recreation board member Andrea Schlueter told council that repairs are needed at the village skateboard park.