MOUNT VERNON — Funding for Centerburg Community Memorial Park is still up in the air.

At Monday evening’s Centerburg Village Council meeting, councilmembers discussed a recent meeting, held Dec. 6 with representatives from village council and Hilliar township, to discuss potential ways to fund the park after Hilliar Township Trustee Don McCracken visited a council meeting in August to ask the village to consider providing funding for the park. Solicitor Kyle Stroh said that there are “mechanisms” in place for funding the park such as the joint recreation district that the village and township had entered into in the past, but McCracken reiterated to the News that Hilliar Township has no interest in forming a joint recreation district again.

Mayor Dave Beck noted that all conversation about potential ideas for funding is very preliminary. He suggested, at both the Dec. 6 meeting and at Monday’s council meeting, the possibility of establishing joint ownership of the park between the village and the township. Stroh stated that he had spoken with Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville, who serves as solicitor for the township, about the legality of joint ownership and said that it could be done.

No official decisions or plans have been put into place and further discussion is warranted, according to Mayor Beck.

In new business, council discussed the employee licensing/certification rate structure for 2019 for employees of the wastewater plant. The rate structure would be set up to attract well qualified candidates down the road should current employees retire or leave, and would also help with employee retention as the rates in the current ordinances do not reflected current pay levels, Deputy Clerk Molly Thompson told the News. Mayor Beck also noted that with the switch to Del-Co water, employees will no longer need water certification, which will need to be reflected in the wording of the rate structure. Council will discuss the issue further in February once Village Administrator Joe Hardin has given them a table that outlines the rate structure, Thompson said, noting that council took no action and the issue did not receive a first reading.

At Monday’s meeting, council also:

•Gave a first reading to a resolution for the Knox County Land Bank Memorandum of Understanding. The Knox County Land Bank can serve as a partner with the village to address vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties in the village, to reclaim the properties to put the properties back to good use. In order for the Land Bank to operate within the municipal corporation of Centerburg, council must enter into an agreement with the Land Bank;

•Passed a Resolution for approval of the Delaware Knox Marion Morrow (DKMM) district plan for solid waste management as an emergency;

•Gave first reading to resolution for Regional Planning Committee representative. Based on population size, Centerburg can have two representatives, roles that are currently filled by councilmembers Greg Myers and John Jackson. The municipal planning commission has until February to appoint representatives who can be elected officials or private citizens living within the Centerburg municipality;

•Reviewed and approved two percent wage increases for employees as designated by the Village Clerk and Village Administrator. These wage increases were included in the budget approved by council in July of 2018, according to Thompson;

•Approved overtime pay for the village’s utility billing clerk. Overtime was accrued by the utility billing clerk as a result of the change to Del-Co water and to monthly billing cycles.

•Discussed the Knox County Area Development Foundation’s, in cooperation with the Knox County Foundation, proposal to partner with villages in Knox County to provide a plan that will help guide future village development, at no cost to the village. The plan will also account for public and stakeholder input. Mayor Beck said that the village welcomes the help of the ADF and the opportunity to plan for future development.

•Discussed interest in an Internet exchange area within the village used as a safe spot to for individuals who have bought or sold something online to meet each other.

•Went into an executive session to discuss pending litigation. No action was taken.

The next village council meeting will be held Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.


Callan Pugh: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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