New Madison open for business


By Carolyn Harmon - charmon@aimmedianetwork.com



NEW MADISON – A Village of New Madison Council Meeting took place May 1.

A discussion took place regarding building up the community. One guest recalled a time when there was a movie theatre and a variety store in New Madison. Council President Doolin pointed out the difficulties with owning and maintaining small businesses.

“It is probably harder and harder each day, each month, to run a small business and compete with the big corporations,” he said. “It comes to the people in the Village to support people like you guys who own small businesses.”

Councilwoman Monyca Schlechty said that is one of the main things on her agenda.

“My vision is to get more businesses in this town and build this town back up,” she said. “We are going to get more revenue by doing that and more people to move into town and buy homes.”

As part of an answer to that, Council approved to start the bidding process for the N. Main Street Project, to hold onto the $380,000 funding. The Village’s match to that funding is $72,000. Since the State Auditor’s Office is assisting the village with Fiscal Officer Roberta Hocker, through a monitoring program to clean up past audits, some on the council think the N. Main Street project can wait. Grants and Funding Specialist Susan Laux with Mote & Associates reminded council why they timed the project the way they did, to coincide with the Ohio Department of Transportation’s paving. This would prevent the Village from paying for that paving. The Village is required to have the project under contract by June to keep the $380,000. Councilwoman Nancy Hill said she thought N. Main was simply a beautification project.

“We are going to have to make a presentation to these people so they are going to want to come here,” Councilwoman Schlechty said. “I am willing to take the chance. I am spending someone else’s money. If it were my money I would do it and that is where I am coming from.”

In Councilman Karl King’s Sewage, Sanitation and Water report, he said the Cemetery Board awarded and signed the mowing contract for $10 an hour with a maximum of $50 a month to Shannon Fritz. Council also approved for Duane Cook to pursue a second quote for a proposal between New Madison and Harrison Township to do milling and repaving of Washington Street, from the railroad, out to Stephens Road. The Village levy for road construction is $59,000.

In other news, Fiscal Officer Hocker said the income tax returns have been entered into the tax program. Statements have been sent to residents who filed, but did not remit payment. Statements were also filed to residents who filed late.

“With [House Bill] HB 5, there is now a $25 late penalty, and 15 percent penalty plus six percent a month,” Fiscal Officer Hocker said. “Hopefully we get our taxes in and not have to deal too much with late payments.”

According to Hocker, the general fund now has $97,000. Part of the increase came from a cashed – in Certificate of Deposit (CD) amount of $25,000 from a $66,000 CD. Hocker also added that the Council’s safety deposit box at the bank is empty, and the card registering all visitors to the box had been removed. Council decided to report the missing items to its attorney. Further, Council decided to let the bank now that it is Council’s policy to have at least two people registering to visit the safety deposit box.

Under old business, the Village’s contract with the Darke County Sheriff’s Office is waiting on a signature from the Village solicitor. Under new business, visitor Nancy Jay voiced her concerns as a crossing guard for Tri-Village schools that the crosswalk be relocated. She would like it moved closer to the parking lot entrance, she said.

“Do we have to contact to state to find out if we can move the crosswalk?’ she asked. “I asked Superintendent Josh Sagester, and he had no idea.”

Council President Doolin said he would find out who makes that decision.

In other news Councilwoman Hill ask that the board approve to take steps towards asking voters for an additional 1 mill levy (approximately $8,333) to be added to the current 2.4 mill levy (approximately $22,000) to the Operating Levy. The board approved to retain the 2.4 mill levy as a continuous renewal only, plus ask for an additional 1 mill to make it a current operating 3.4 mill levy.

At an April 17 Council meeting, a motion was passed to hire Christian Homan as Utilities Superintendent at the Water Plant for an annual salary of $50,000 plus a health insurance premium reimbursement of up to $500. Also income tax deposits as of April 17 total $68,881.66, according to Fiscal Officer Hocker.

By Carolyn Harmon

charmon@aimmedianetwork.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.