Council approves pay rate, village budget

Rich Osborn discusses council’s decision over use of the Spoon property

Bellville Village Council finally came to a definitive conclusion on a newly approved pay rate, raising their proposed monthly wage from $70 to $120.

Council members were set to begin receiving $70 per month in January of the upcoming year, after approving the figure at a previous meeting.

“I think it is a good move up from the $70 myself,” said Bellville Mayor Darrell Banks.

Council members agreed by a 3-to-2 margin approving the ordinance after its third reading, councilmen Victor Swisher and David Griffon opposed the measure.

Along with the accepted pay legislation, council approved the sale of Mid-Ohio Resources Inc.’s property located on State Route 97.

The location was the site of an active plant and dredge from 2006 until 2013. Mid-Ohio General Manager Bob Lanker stated a company from Indiana was interested in purchasing the land. However, he needed council’s approval for its sale because of a right-of-refusal clause the village maintains.

In addition to the other passed ordinances, council approved the tentative budget to present to the Richland County auditor Patrick Dropsey.

“It’s basically the same budget we operated on last year,” said Bellville Fiscal Officer Brigette Gatton. “Even our street construction budget is running about the same.”

Banks reported that the Bellville’s income tax earnings are up $21,000, which is roughly an eight percent increase, a number that is consistent with a seven percent rise in village population and 50 percent increase in new businesses.

He also updated council on the status of acquiring a new village administrator.

“We have had six people that have shown interest, five of which have sent their resumes in,” Banks said. “There are some promising candidates.”

While potentially good hires, none of the applicants were located close to the area.

“We had one guy apply from Alaska, one from Florida and a guy from North Carolina with a lot of good experience,” Banks said.

Council also approved a license agreement with Bellville resident Rich Osborn, which will allow him to use a village owned garage on the former Spoon property. The terms of the agreement have Osborn performing maintenance to the exterior and interior of the property in exchange for its use.

“It’s a very voluntary, soft sort of agreement,” explained Bellville Village Solicitor Jeff Mussman. “Any additional services that need to be done by the property won’t be funded by the village and the agreement can be terminated at any time by either party.”

Banks also confirmed at the meeting that Bellville Police Officer Joshua Frech was leaving the force and had been sworn into the Mansfield Police Department on July 7.