ARCANUM — Similar to many other entities finding a way to continue work while protecting everyone from the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, the village council held the last meeting of March via video conference Tuesday evening.
This new normal left only a few village leaders assembled in the new council chambers at the new administration building with the majority meeting through laptops, computers, and cell phones from home.
At the start, Chief Marcus Ballinger shared information related to COVID-19 and the safety of the village. This information included following Ohio State Governor Mike DeWine’s policy of checking employee temperatures, availability of PPE kits, and utilizing technology as exemplified by that evening’s meeting.
“A lot of work went into this,” said Chief Ballinger, with encouragement to follow valid COVID-19 information such as the Ohio state government, Governor DeWine, CDC, and the health department websites shared on the village’s Facebook page and village website (listed below).
Chief Ballinger also noted the food pantry for individuals 55 and older and those with disabilities in the community. Pick up and delivery of prescriptions for those in need is also available.
“I want to thank all the employees in the village of Arcanum,” continued Chief Ballinger. “Everybody has just been amazing with the changes that had to take place.”
When asked if any confirmed COVID-19 cases in the village, Chief Ballinger replied none. However, “I will tell you when they give the reports out, they may not tell us.”
To date, the Ohio Department of Health reports 2,199 confirmed cases in Ohio, with 13 in Darke County.
Council also discussed utilities with Bill Kessler, village administrator, noting the village utility collection was down by $16,000.
As it currently stands, the State of Ohio passed through the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that shutoffs are 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 two weeks ago.
An order by the state was also put into place that prohibits water shutoffs during the pandemic.
When asked about village repayment policy, Kessler reiterated no shutoffs at this time. However, whatever the customer incurs in expenses over the duration will be billed, eventually, with payment plans as the state and the federal government has offered nothing in which to assist their customers for such potential future billing. At least, at this time.
Council also discussed, gave a motion, and/or approval to the following:
*An amendment to the 2020 appropriations for current expenses and other expenditures of the Village of Arcanum
*Authorizing the Sept. 2, 2019, to Jan. 27, 2020 utility write-off accounts
Council meetings are held at 7 p.m. every second and last Tuesday of the month at the village administration and police headquarters at 309 Albright Street.
Due to COVID-19, 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 (villageofarcanum.com) or village Facebook page (@villageofarcanum).
Call the village administration at (937) 692-8500 for more information.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email email@example.com. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.