ARCANUM — Village leaders held an emergency meeting for legislation aimed at continued governance and utilities in light of ongoing, almost daily changes and challenges in taking preventive measures against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Wednesday evening.
Effective immediately, all public meetings that are required to be held to continue the governance and delivery of services to the village will be conducted remotely via video or telephone conference technology. All public meetings will be viewable to the public through livestream on the village website or village Facebook page (info provided at the end of this story).
Meetings not required for the continued governance of the village will be postponed or canceled, including but not limited to committee meetings and council meetings.
As move-in day at the new administration building was due to begin on Thursday, March 19, with today (Friday) designated as technology day, staff will be working diligently over the next two weeks in preparation for the remote Tuesday, March 31, council meeting.
“Obviously, it is going to be advantageous in the next two weeks,” said Mayor Greg Baumle on the technology capability of the new location with an update that the ribbon-cutting and open house slated for Tuesday, April 14, has been postponed.
The Arcanum Fire Station is also closed to any outside visitors. Fire Chief Kurt Troutwine stated via social media, they will continue to respond to all calls received as normal. Those with an emergency are to call 911 or if a non-emergency contact the Darke County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center at (937) 548-2020.
Chief Troutwine further stated they have taken proper precautions to keep both staff and patients safe. He asked individuals not to be alarmed if they are wearing masks and gloves when arriving on a scene.
“Our duty is to protect and serve our communities, and we need to take proper action to keep our members healthy. By doing so, they can continue to volunteer and respond on calls for the community.”
The second part of the emergency meeting was in regard to utilities as the State of Ohio has passed through the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that shut-offs will be suspended. Since the Village of Arcanum is its own electric company, the village council had to pass legislation to supersede their own utilities during this state of emergency.
According to Mayor Baumle, shut-offs and late fees will be waived on a case-by-case basis.
For this current week, utility payments may be dropped off at the Old Town Hall dropbox. However, starting on Monday, March 23, payments will be accepted by drop-box or drive-thru only at the new 309 Albright Street location.
For Mayor Baumle and staff, it is all about staying ahead of the curve and following Ohio State Governor Mike DeWine’s lead during this challenging time.
The administration staff, along with the help of area churches, is working on non-perishable deliveries for village residents 55 and older, and those with disabilities.
Those individuals may reserve a package of non-perishables by calling on Mondays between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., at (937) 692-8934. Items will be delivered every Tuesday, with delivery available until the State of Emergency has been lifted.
Faith United Methodist is accepting donations of non-perishable food and water. Items may be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the east basement door on Thursdays. The church is located at 101 E South Street.
The Village of Arcanum Police has also offered to pick up and deliver prescriptions. Call the village administration at (937) 692-8500 for more information.
Arcanum residents may keep up-to-date via the village website (villageofarcanum.com), Facebook page (@villageofarcanum), and with the CodeRED alert system. For tax, utility, and other general questions call (937) 692-8500.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.