Council hears church request; names street Gorman Rupp Way


BELLVILLE — A Bellville church is asking village officials to “partner” with it so it can gain more space.

Will Humphrey, pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church, said his church is “growing beyond our building” and asked if the church could use the village opera house, for Sunday school classes.

Humphrey told council the church building is 200 years old, and the basement has low ceilings. He said the space doesn’t work for some young people. He talked about his son, who he said ran into a congregation member when he was playing.

The church needs space “so little boys can be little boys,” he said.

Council member Vic Swisher asked the ages of the Sunday school kids. Humphrey said they are all elementary age children, and the church would be sure they are “controlled up there.”

The opera house is on the top floor of the village hall building. All Souls Church sits next to the village hall building.

Humphrey said the Cornell glee club is to perform at the church, and the church has grown over the years.

He said the church could use the space once or twice a week, but would start with once a week.

Council went into executive session to consider the request.

Mayor Teri Brenkus said after the session the proposal would have to be worked out and the village would get back to Humphrey.

The village has had several events at the opera house, including a recent performance by Jazz Live Dec. 1.

Village administrator Larry Weirich told council a request to use the Bellville zip code for the area around I-71 and State Route 97 has been denied.

If one goes under I-71 the other side now carries the zip code of Lexington, which is 44904. He said using that zip code is confusing because Avita Health Care is building there, and its information tells people it is located in Bellville. The zip code for Bellville is 44813.

That area where Avita is building was annexed by the village, so Bellville technically governs that area.

Weirich said the U.S. Post Office “gave the push back” on the request, and said the standard answer is to deny such a request.

This means an appeal must be made, and it has to go to Washington, D.C., Weirich said.

If an appeal is made, it must be handled in 30 days, according to Brenkus.

She told council about a gift made by Jim Gorman, who has given the village a check for $10,000, to cover the cost of getting new vests for police officers. Police Chief Ron Willey was in the process of putting together a grant request, when Gorman asked what would be required.

He said he would take care of the cost for the vests.

Brenkus said each vest will be fitted to a police officer, and the individual cost for a vest is $1,100.

Weirich also told council a street in the area around the McDonald’s in the I-71/State Route 97 corridor, is nearing completion. This means the street will need a name.

He said he talked to Gorman about naming the street after him, and he said he didn’t want to go that route. He did say he would accept Gorman Rupp as part of the name. The Gorman Rupp company is located in Bellville.

Council voted to name the street Gorman Rupp Way.

Weirich said naming the street that way will give the company accolades. He said Gorman “wants it that way.”

Will Humphrey, pastor at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, at the Bellville village council meeting. Louise Swartzwalder | Bellville Star
Will Humphrey, pastor at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, at the Bellville village council meeting. Louise Swartzwalder | Bellville Star