NEW LEXINGTON – The New Lexington Village Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 15. After excusing the absence of council member Jeff Danison and the approval of the minutes, the council heard from Vince Crawford of Waste Management (WM).
Crawford presented a report on how COVID-19 had impacted WM’s service in New Lexington and thanked the council for understanding the policy changes the pandemic caused. He reported that across the state WM had 15,000 employees working from home, but no worksites were closed.
The trash volume on residential pickup has seen an 8% increase during the pandemic, according to Crawford. Despite the difficult winter weather in February, Crawford cited the cooperation from Village Administrator Bo Powell and the New Lexington street department that allowed WM to maintain service to its 1,300 New Lexington customers.
Wrapping up his report to council, Crawford pledged WM’s support for the Hometown Heroes program again in 2021.
Following Crawford’s presentation, Mayor Trent Thompson reported that he is now in the marriage business. Thanking Police Chief Scott Ervin for an assist, the mayor officially wed a couple even though he had previously not realized he had the authority to do so. No word on whether Thompson will leave his position at Thompson Insurance to become a full-time wedding administrator.
Heather Rockwell, village finance director, delivered the financial report following Mayor Thompson’s wedding report. Rockwell reported a balance of $55,232 in the Fire/EMS funds for February. As of the March 15, 2021 council meeting, the balance was $49,141 and Rockwell stated that funding should hold until the April levy funding is received.
The village could be in line for a sizable grant as part of the American Rescue Plan by the National League of Cities, according to Rockwell. The dollar amount is undetermined until this plan reaches the reality stage.
Village Administrator Bo Powell presented his report following Rockwell. Powell said he had a contract with Hamburg Fireworks for the July 4 holiday for $10,000. Hamburg wanted to set a definite date for the celebration as July 4. However, council balked at determining the actual day for the fireworks display until several other factors could be determined. The contract with Hamburg remained intact but no date for the fireworks was chosen.
Additional issues brought to council’s attention by Powell included the final financial outlook for the Streetscape project, interviews for full and part-time employees for the water department, and a guardrail to be placed around the Veterans Park at Main and Broadway Streets.
Powell also stated that permits for the pool opening in 2021 are in place as well as a pool manager. Powell said Dave Ratliff will be the pool manager in 2021.
Next on the meeting’s agenda was Police Chief Scott Ervin. Service calls for the year stood at 1,118, which is an average of 14-15 calls per day. Chief Ervin gave a quick update on the patrol officer recently injured in the line of duty. Ervin stated that the officer was waiting to hear from his orthopedic surgeon for the next step in his recovery. Chief Ervin said a police cruiser struck a deer causing $3,600 in damage.
Fire Chief Jim Fain reported an odd occurrence for the fire department/EMS units in that they recently had a one-run day. For the month, Fain reported 66 runs had been made as of March 15, 2021.
Councilperson Susan Goodfellow delivered a municipal committee report concerning the plans at the Board of Elections (BOE) on Jackson Street. Making a change in parking on Januarius McGahan Street, making the alley behind the BOE one way, and the location of the ballot dropbox were discussed. Goodfellow recommended that the changes should move forward, but discussion on the actual location of the dropbox may need more attention from council.
Sue Boyle gave a parks and recreation committee report concerning the Fall Festival. She told council that fliers had been printed and would be displayed throughout the village. She also reported on the flag order for Broadway Street.
Under unfinished business, Kathy Chute reminded council that issues concerning annexation, the proposed homeless shelter, and the trees on State Street would need to be addressed.
No ordinances required attention from council. The meeting was adjourned at 7:29 p.m.