ARCANUM — The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many communication methods, and one council member expressed concern for the current situation on Tuesday.
Tim Philpot Sr. shared with the council a desire to hold meetings in the new administration building, citing the current videoconference method as a “sterile” environment.
“I feel we are more productive when we meet in person,” continued Philpot, who wanted a return to a sense of normalcy. “Am I the only one concerned about this?”
Council members Bonnie Millard and Jerry Boolman agreed after Philpot went on to explain how to stay within Governor Mike DeWine’s ten-person limit and maintain a six-foot distance within the council chambers. He asked for a motion after council members Jacob Banks and Rick Genovesi agreed with holding meetings in person, as well. However, Mayor Baumle proceeded to explain, along with Bill Kessler, village administrator, the current technical challenges of the request.
“The ability to fit people in a room does not quantify the ability to have our meeting,” said Kessler. “We will not be able to have public interaction. I think that would be a problem.”
Chief Marcus Ballinger cited a grant to purchase a camera that would encompass the entire council as currently he, along with Mayor Baumle and Kessler, can meet in the new administration building but are only visible by a computer webcam. A setup that would not capture the entire council both in terms of video and audio continued Chief Ballinger, who further explained when the remainder of Ohio opens towards the end of the month, normal council meetings can resume.
“We’re really just a meeting or so away. If everybody can hold strong and we can get through one more meeting, I think it will be a lot better for us,” said Chief Ballinger.
When asked about having the necessary equipment in the future, the grant was again cited, with Kessler to obtain quotes.
Council also discussed, gave a motion, and/or approval to the following:
*A closure to the pool for the season in favor of utilizing funds for improvements and reopen next year
*Park shelters, playground equipment, and restrooms remain closed until further guidance from Gov. DeWine
*An amendment to the 2020 Appropriations for current expenses and other expenditures of the Village (Parks Pool and Rec Levy Fund, Storm Sewer Surcharge Fund and Harvest Fields, LLC Escrow Fund)
*An amendment to the 2020 appropriations for current expenses and other expenditures of the Village (Electric Fund)
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. However, 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 held remotely via video or telephone conference technology. All public meetings will be viewable to the public through livestream information provided 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.