UTICA — The first order of business for Village Council Monday was for Mayor Lester Grennell to swear in Mark Jenkins as the newest member of the council. Jenkins replaces James Runyon, who resigned when he bought a house outside of the village.
Jenkins is a lifetime resident of the village, growing up on Mill Street, and is a gunsmith. He said he applied for the position because he thought it was time for him to “give back to the wonderful community that has been great to me in the past.”
Village Council accepted the donations of property from the Iron Rock company to expand the width of Nardi Alley to 30 feet (the width of a street) in order to gain Ohio Department of Transportation approval for an access to their property off U.S. 62.
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Council gave final approval to four measures on the agenda, including an ordinance establishing pay rates for village employees, a resolution for the administrator to enter a contract with the Licking County Planning Commission for administration of flood damage prevention regulations for the village, a resolution directing the fiscal officer to advertise for bids for village insurance and a resolution for the mayor to enter a contract with the Licking County Commissioners for reimbursement of legal counselor for indigent defendants for the village.
Richards explained the pay ordinance is an annual measure submitted to the auditor to determine cost of living raises for employees. They usually amount to about three percent.
The flood damage agreement is a three-year contract.
Council also gave emergency approval authorizing the administrator to enter the Ohio Water/Wastewater Emergency Response Network mutual aide agreement.
Richards reported that when the wastewater plant lost power Nov. 9 when the main electrical feed burned, it resulted in $6,000 in emergency repairs and permanent repairs will cost about $18,750. He said they are waiting for parts and he hopes the repairs will be done in December. The work is contracted to Jess Howard Electric of Blacklick.
Another equipment failure occurred when they started to take down the banners in the village in order to put up Christmas decorations. A hydraulics line in the bucket truck failed and the truck had to be sent to Circleville for repair. He said they are waiting for a cost estimate on the repair.
Richards also said leaf collection has been extended for a week because the wet weather has made it impossible to collect leaves on many days.
Police Chief Cameron Bailey said Police K-9 Blaze has been accepted with the department as a part of the U.S. Marshal Service. He is one of two “bite dogs” accepted by the service.
The annual Utica Christmas Walk will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5.
Donations of new, unwrapped toys (value $25 or less) can be made at the walk or can be topped off at CES Credit Union, Park National Bank, City Hall or Utica Church of Christ by Sunday, Dec. 9.
Money donations must be made to the Utica Church of Christ by Monday, Nov. 26.
The gifts will be distributed to parents of underprivileged children in an around Utica Dec. 15.