The village of Amelia council met on Aug. 16 to handle a variety of business matters.
– The council approved the meeting minutes from the special meeting held on Aug. 10.
– The council approved paying the monthly bills.
– Assistant Fire Chief Mark Fyfe reported that fire calls in the month of July were up, but that emergency medical service calls were down.
He also said that department had not administered any Narcan – a drug used to treat narcotic overdoses – during the month.
– Police Chief Jeff Wood reported that the department recived 489 calls for service in the month of July, which is one more call over this time last year.
He also shared an annecdote of an officer who thwarted an attempted suicide when he quickly responded to a 9-1-1 call from a wife who asked that an officer check on her husband, who was at home with her kids.
When the officer arrived less than two minutes later, he found the husband passed out in his car in the garage; the man had run a hose from the car’s exhaust pipe directly into the car.
The man is reportatly alive and doing well.
– The village’s National Night Out event has been resheduled – due to thunderstorms – for Aug. 21 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Spencer Shank Park, located at 70 Robin Way.
– The council discussed recent requests from the public to use the village administrative offices, located at 119 W. Main St., for various events, including meetings.
The council approved the request, noting that while some of the buildings areas are restricted, the public is welcome to use the downstairs area.
– The village’s new collection system rehabilitation program is set to start in October or November, reported Mayor Todd Hart.
During the proejct, the southeast curb lane of state Route 125 “could be shut down” for four to six weeks between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., Hart explained; the road will reopen during the day.
A digital sign will be put up in advance of the work to let drivers know about the upcoming closure.
The project, which is set to go out for bids soon, will line all the sewer pipes down Main Street with a fiberglass material.
“They will not tear up the road; they’ll have to tear up some yards for the laterals, but they won’t be excavating any road,” Hart said.
– The village, along with the local chapters of the Masonic Lodge and American Legion, will host “Thunder in the Park,” a car, truck and motorcycle show, on Aug. 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the American Legion Post 773, located at 137 Main St.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Autism Foundation.
– During the public comment period of the meeting, several speakers addressed ongoing concerns they have with the village leaders and policies.
Reoccurring themes, which carried over from the previous month’s meeting, focused on:
– The tactics used by the council to pass a 1 percent earnings tax on people who live or work in the municipality.
The council approved the earnings tax during a special meeting held on Feb. 5., during which the council members voted to suspend the Ohio Revised Code’s three reading rule – intended to give citizens an opportunity to voice their opinions and potential concerns – and passed the earnings tax as an emergency.
– Why isn’t there a sign identifying the administrative building as such?
– Why aren’t the council meetings recorded and made available online?
Hart said that administration is moving forward with putting up a sign at the administrative building, such that they met with a sign professional earlier in the week.
Hart also said that administration is procuring wireless microphones, and he hopes that the necessary infrastructure will be in place to start recording council meetings next month.
On another topic, the Amelia police officer who is accused of badmouthing citizen activist Renee Gerber – a former council member and a lead organizer of Wake Up! Amelia, an official political action committee – while in a local Speedway is being invested, according to Hart.
He went on to recommend that Gerber file a report about the incident.
“I do enough to tarnish my own name, I don’t need help,” Gerber quipped.
Cutline: During the public comment period of the village of Amelia council meeting on August 16, 2018, several speakers pressed their concerns with the village leaders and policies. Tim Rosser, pictured, a resident and former council member, called, again, for Mayor Todd Hart’s resignation.