New Madison council changes meeting time, approves levy


By Carolyn Harmon - charmon@aimmedianetwork.com



NEW MADISON — At Monday’s Village of New Madison Council meeting, a motion was passed to change the future meeting time to 6 p.m., beginning Monday, June 19.

Also, a change was made to an approved motion, in May, asking residents to approve an additional 1 mill continuous levy. A resolution declaring a necessity of the tax levy failed. In addition, the following village ordinances regarding water were approved: establishing fees for the termination and re-connection of water service and an increase in water rates for everyone by $2 and a 60 cent overage increase.

Board of Public Affairs (BPA) President Jason Cockerham explained that the increase will pull in about $12,000 a year into the Capital Improvement Fund, which will eventually help pay for a new water tower to replace the existing one that was built in 1933. A new water tower will cost between $750,000 and $1 million, he said. The recent grant application was turned down and the village will keep reapplying, Cockerham said. According to Councilman Karl King, to keep the tower running, the Sewage, Sanitation and Water Committee got a quote for repairs and voted to pay $17,000, consisting of $9,800 to re-do the interior with bees wax and $6,500 to repair the leak.

“We are getting another band-aid on it to buy us some time,” Cockerham said. “That is why we want to be proactive of getting that rate increase on there. Everybody needs to pay because everyone is going to need this new water tower.”

Money is also needed to replace many of the village fire hydrants that date back to the 1930s, according to Cockerham. About 30 more need replaced at approximately $5,000 each.

In addition, the following village ordinances were approved: the authorization of the Street Commissioner Duane Cook to seek bids for certain street repairs for Washington Street and Stephens Road; declaring the necessity of a tax levy requesting certification from the Darke County Auditor (Dave Yost) of revenue from 1.0 mills for fire protection and declaring the necessity for renewal of a tax levy in requesting certification from the Darke County Auditor of revenue from 2.4 mills.

Other possible ordinances were discussed. One was changing the mowing ordinance from having to mow twice a year to keeping grass to a height requirement. The other was responding to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office request to make an amendment to the current ordinance that allows golf carts or all terrain vehicles (ATVS) for special events only, and they must be stickered. Mayor Lisa Garland said the goal is to have the ordinance prepared and approved at the next meeting, in time for July 4. According to Mayor Garland the Darke County Sheriff’s Office will be covering the July Fourth event. The officers will be on the Tri-Village School during the fireworks and on traffic control afterwards. There will be a minimum of three cars and six officers that will cover a total of 51 hours at a cost of about $2,000, Garland said.

In other news, Mayor Garland said the village continues to get calls and complaints about the sidewalks and the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Safe Routes to School project. She does not know if the project will be completed by July 4.

“I don’t think people fully understand that this is not the village’s project but ODOT’s,” she said.

Mayor Garland also got a call about the New Madison Public Library alley because people are speeding there. She said Street Commissioner Duane Cook has purchased a “One Way” sign and will install when it arrives. Councilwoman Monyca Schlechty said folks have reached out to her about people not picking up after their pets.

Fiscal Officer Roberta Hocker turned in the 2018 proposed budget and it was accepted by council. Hocker said the village has not been audited for 2015/16 and she is working ahead, but is unable to do anything further until she hears back from the Ohio Auditor of State’s office. In addition, the Uniform Accounting Network computer from the Ohio Auditor of State will be delivered June 15. She also addressed the need for overtime pay. The village is also planning on creating new small website soon.

“I have given you a copy of this overtime pay law that went into effect in December,” Hocker said. “We discussed it last year and nothing was ever done. I think moving forward you may want to consider it, especially for Duane (Cook). He has had overtime the past two weeks.”

In old news, the former New Madison Police department items were discussed. Mayor Garland said the village is waiting for the Village of Arcanum Police to make an offer on the package deal, including the SUV. She recently faxed them requested information on the guns.

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.