The village street department handled the area’s first real taste of winter weather without issue and is ready for whatever more may be on the way, according to Village Administrator Larry Weirich.
He reported this at the Bellville Village Council meeting on Tuesday, adding that the village has plenty of salt in storage to handle future snow and ice storms.
Weirich also reported on a number of upcoming projects and repairs. He said he has looked into the cost of new pedestrian crosswalks for Main Street, which would be placed in two locations where there are currently only painted crosswalks. These signs are solar-powered, can also be run by electricity and would blink all twenty-four hours a day. He expressed some concern about the brightness that this blinking might have on residents near that particular part of Main Street and plans to research similar crosswalks that only flash when a pedestrian hits a button to cross.
“They make them to be seen,” Weirich said. “In my opinion I think we need them.”
He said he will present council with more information on the matter in the future.
Weirich also reported that the village received its annual bridge inspection report for the Durbin Street Bridge and the Hines Avenue Bridge and received a favorable rating, adding that minor repairs will be completed both bridges in the near future. Weirich said that he is waiting for approval from Ohio Utilities Protection Service before starting repairs on a water line on Worshire Road, which was the location of a water leak last week.
Weirich also reported that the second phase of a project at the village’s wastewater treatment plant will begin in February. The first phase involved the installation of a new system that helps increase the level of oxygen in the sludge at the plant. He said that system has been online since Dec. 1 with only one day of interruption. The EPA reported some violations in areas that should be corrected by the first phase of the project as well as the the completion of the second phase.
Weirich also reported that the street department has also been working to maintain the ice rink in front of village hall, which has been made more difficult because of the cold weather.
Bellville Mayor Darrell Banks spoke briefly before council and mentioned that Bellville Police Chief Ron Willey will attend the upcoming funeral of Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell, who was slain in Danville on Sunday night.
The mayor also reported that he has been in contact with the Army Corps of Engineers of this district and is seeking their permission to remove debris from the Clear Fork River, in the area of “The Blue Bridge” and hopes to receive to get it removed soon.
COUNCIL PASSES LEGISLATION
Council passed three pieces of legislation on Tuesday, including one that allows for the village to use an online service that helps local government to sell the village’s unneeded or unfit property such as old police cruisers or lawn mowers. The money from the sale of such property goes towards the purchase of new equipment of a similar kind, while the sale of old police cruisers goes towards the purchase of new ones. A second piece of legislation that council approved allows Weirich to receive training in Ohio public records law to ensure that any public record requests are handled as the law requires. The third piece of legislation allows for routine, necessary budget transfers from the village’s general fund.