Bradford Council board member Sandra Miller builds free pantry


BRADFORD — A local resident and Bradford Council board member recently created a little space where residents can help out their neighbors in need.

“I built a little free pantry,” board member Sandra Miller said during the council’s meeting on Thursday evening. “I need a public place to put it.”

The free pantry, like a medium-sized cabinet, would be set on a post and would be a spot where people could take and donate goods as needed.

Miller said she had not gone to churches yet to see about possibly putting the pantry outside one of their locations, suggesting first to locate it in the park across from the municipal building. Village Administrator Rick Looker wondered if that would detract people from using the pantry if it was too visible. Miller said she was concerned about it being vandalized if it is too secluded.

Looker then suggested putting it in the grassy area next to the municipal building. Board member Galen Balmert suggested that could provide privacy with the location being in between the two buildings.

“If you give me a spot, I’ll have it in a week,” Miller said.

Miller said that she would do all the work of putting in the free pantry after the village marks off a location for the pantry.

The board gave its consensus for free pantry to be put in next to the municipal building.

Also during the meeting during public comment, property owner Bruce Osborne asked for assistance from the council in regard to a water bill of approximately $1,784 he received for a property on the 300 block of East Church Street. The water bill was so high due to a water leak that had gone undiscovered.

Looker explained that the village offers residents a water leak adjustment once per year, and Osborne had already received a water leak adjustment on a previous water bill for another water leak that lowered an approximate $700 bill to around $400. Looker did not have the authority to offer Osborne a second water leak adjustment to his bill, but he did offer Osborne an 18-month payment plan to pay off the $1,784 water bill.

“This is kind of a hardship on me right now,” Osborne said.

Miller made a motion to offer Osborne a second leak adjustment, and the motion failed as no other board members seconded the motion.

Balmert said that if they offered Osborne the second leak adjustment, then they would have to offer it to everyone who came before them.

Board member Jeff Wirrig asked if the property in question on the 300 block of Church Street was a rental property, and Osborne indicated it was. Wirrig said that if he was Osborne that he would get rid of the property due to its condition.

Another property came forward during public comment who requested variances for properties along Hess and Stichter streets. The board approved waivers for the property owner to allow him not to construct curbs and sidewalks with new properties due to other nearby properties lacking curbs and sidewalks.

During Looker’s report, he updated the council that the village was awarded a grant for approximately $4,575 from the Darke County Parks District to replace electrical boxes in the park. The replacement project will cost approximately $20,000. Looker said the Pumpkin Show committee also offered to donate funds to the village, but the Pumpkin Show committee did not know yet how much it could donate.

The board approved allowing Bud’s Electric beginning the work for the project, which needs to be completed by the beginning of November.

The village also will contract with Cummins for maintenance of three generators, including one at the Water Treatment Plant, one at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and one at the village’s lift station. The total cost for a three-year maintenance agreement is approximately $12,284.

By Sam Wildow

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Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected].

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