stars-storyPOMEROY – Pomeroy Village Council met last week with several residents addressing concerns.

Pomeroy merchant and resident, Annie Chapman, addressed the council to the proposed ordinance that would raise parking meter fees in particular. She asked the council to hold off any further action and asked that they meet with the Pomeroy Merchants Association. Chapman said she spoke with several of the merchants that were opposed to not only the fee increase, but the meters in general. She said customers have commented to merchants they also dislike the meters. She said removing the meters would be more conducive to have customers stay longer through the day and enjoy shopping more than having to worry about running to the meter.

Councilman Dru Reed asked where else people could go without paying for parking. It was also noted that if costumers have tickets and they take them to the merchants they have shopped at, the business can get the tickets validated.

The discussion then turned to Dan Short and the acquiring of several parking spaces that were acquired as complimentary spaces from the Merchants Association. Some discussion followed on how many spaces are actually free. Currently, two spaces are marked. Mayor Jackie Welker also noted that parking is free on the weekends.

Mayor Welker went on to say that he had called the mayor of Athens and the they are working on having the officer that currently monitors the meters and writes the tickets training. He said the last time the issue was brought before the council by Chapman and other merchants that it was the enforcement of the meters in question. The potential purchase of refurbished meters was also discussed to replace the current meters in downtown Pomeroy.

“I agree our enforcement could be better,” Mayor Welker said. He then noted that the village would be spending a million dollars in the downtown area of Pomeroy with a grant. “We want the meters to function as well,” he said.

Mayor Welker expressed concern with the courthouse parking. Chapman suggested a specific section of the parking lot could at least be free. She said it would allow customers not to have to rush out for the meter when they are shopping. Chapman said the times were all off in the meters as well.

Mayor Welker then said Chapman liked the meters. Chapman said no. The free spots were again mentioned and using some of the other meters to have all the meters working.

The discussion then turned to the free spots and that there are 10 spots customers could use while downtown. Chapman said the merchants would like to see more of the free spots.

Donald May, resident, asked about dumping on the flood road. He asked about an ordinance addressing the issue.

“The flood road sucks. It looks like trash city,” May said.

Mayor Welker said the E.P.A. may be assisting the village in cleaning the area of the trash in the spring.

May also brought up a potential water leak area. May also asked about what has been in the water noting discoloration and a strong odor to the water. Paul Hellman, village administrator, said he tested for chlorine. He is supposed to check into it.

May also asked about the Sternwheel Festival. Chapman said that festival is the most productive for the village businesses. She noted that the Merchants Association voted to assist in helping with the Sternwheel Festival.

Councilman Luke Ortman said the Imagine Pomeroy group has committed to help as well with the festival. Ortman said they were working to have events not be in conflict with Racine’s Party in the Park. The possibility of a boat ride from Pomeroy to Racine and vice versa was also mentioned.

May said side walk parking has also been an issue with sidewalks being cracked. Chapman noted in one area, school children regularly have to walk in the road because the car is on the sidewalk.

Pomeroy Police Chief Mark Proffitt said they could get around the area. He said there is no parking on the road in the curve and that the village is not responsible for the sidewalk.

Chapman described the situation, especially with children walking in the area as “hazardous and dangerous.”

May again asked about the enforcement in regards to trash and code enforcement. Mayor Welker said the trash issue is “still a sore subject” for him. He said they were working on it. Chief Proffitt said code enforcement has been out.

An area of Lincoln Heights was discussed with an issue of space between the road and sidewalk. Hellman said old millings could be used to fill the space

Mitch Altier gave a brief update on several grants to fund projects. It was also noted that a training for council members is available that half of the council must attend to be eligible for a grant as well. A discussion followed about how many days the training would take. The training is April 23 and April 24 in Athens. Without at least half of the council attending, the grant money would not be released.

A Fields Excavating bill of $59,542 was voted on to be paid. Council member Ruth Spaun asked if they would be coming back to fix things and Hellman said they would.

The second reading of Ordinance 763 which increases the pay of the police chief and those in the police department had a discussion of exact wording around it. Spaun asked for the ordinance to be read aloud which it was. Spaun took issue with the wording of the beginning of the ordinance.

Pomeroy car on sidewalk picture
Council discussed cars being parked on the sidewalk like this vehicle.

“An ordinance to amend all previous wage ordinance and establish wages for all employees of the Village of Pomeroy, Ohio,” was the portion she wanted reworded. Ordinance 763 is only related to the Pomeroy Police Department. She questioned the use of “all” in the ordinance. After much discussion about having to re-read the ordinance as a first reading was necessary and adding making the wording specific to the police department, another issue was discussed related to this ordinance.

A question about Councilman Victor Young abstaining and voting in relation to the ordinance was brought up in relation to the previous meeting’s minutes. Young made the second motion in relation to the ordinance at the last meeting and the minutes. Young has a relative that works on the Pomeroy Police Department.

Chief Proffitt said Young could make a second motion. Young said he thought he abstained from everything related to the ordinance. Spaun said they need to amend the minutes. A discussion of what happened ensued.

“You guys just approved the second reading,” Mayor Welker said. He added that Young could vote on it.

Young said he chooses to abstain on votes related to that department, particularly with pay scale.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I don’t understand,” Welker said.

Young said he thought he abstained. Spaun questioned the clarification. The council then addressed other ordinances. All of which passed being read by title only were Ordinance 765, 764 and 762. Spaun voted no on Ordinance 762, with the others voting yes. Ordinance 762 increases the fees for permit parking, parking meters, and other parking related fees.

The ordinance changes the fees to the following: court costs, $90 per case; permit parking at river front parking lot, $100 a year and $60 half year; overtime parking $5; yellow zone, $10; wrong direction, $5; restricted zone, $10; handicap, $50; two hour parking, $5; parking on sidewalk, $5; loading zones, $10; blocking fire hydrant, $50; double parking, $5; obstructing traffic lane, $10; blocking driveway, $10; parking without permit, $10; parking on street, $20; parking on private property, $10; selling, washing, or repairing vehicles on roadway, $10; unattended vehicle while running, $10; non payment of parking violations after 72 hours the fine will double; parking meters, 50 cents per hour; driving letter, $30; and six hour holding cell fee, $65.

Committee reports followed. The parks and recreation committee discussed playground equipment, the purchase of no smoking signs for the ball field, Crime Awareness Week and the shoe display along the river and the Sternwheel Festival. Young brought up the basketball courts and the need to paint them. The mini parks were also mentioned and cleaning them up.

Chapman said the mini parks are dark and need additional lighting. She mentioned the lamp posts that were supposed to be left over in storage if they could be used in the mini park. Welker stopped her and said Imagine Pomeroy and Brandon Bartee had plans for the mini park. Chapman said the merchants would be interested in assisting with park.

Chief Proffitt discussed an incident at Taco Bell involving a person with a gun and an officer. The situation was diffused and no one was injured. Proffitt wanted to replace the officer’s bullet proof vest that was involved as it was 10 year old. The council voted to approve $500 for a new vest. They also approved $400 for tires on car 8 for the police department. Both votes were unanimous.

Street lighting was again discussed with Young asking what was happening with getting American Electric Power to replace bulbs in their lamp posts. Proffitt said they had someone looking at it.

The road slip near Mark’s Auto was discussed. Welker and Hellman were to look into it. Welker said it was going to take thousands to fix it. “We know its a problem,” he said. The Pleasant Ridge road was also discussed.

Young asked about people speaking and addressing the council. He asked who was approving it and added that Welker should be approving who speaks. He said it, “should go through Jackie.”

He added that if someone calls they should be referred to Welker. Young alluded to the people talking too much to the council and addressing them during the meetings. He said specific problems should be routed directly where they are related and asked Welker to “look at it closer.”

Several bills were approved including physical fees in the amount of $230. Another item in the amount of $3,700 was tabled as Hellman said there was something that was billed outside of a contract related to that bill.

Hellman noted that the village had more than 200 tons of salt. “We went through a lot of it,” he said.

Spaun asked about possible emergency amounts, but Hellman said he, “fought, fought, fought,” to get the amount of salt the village had currently.

Councilmen Dru Reed said the dates for the 2014 Meigs High School Reunion on the River has been set for September 26-27. Reed also noted the area has been progressing.

Chapman asked about a clean up day for the village and about the truck for the baskets if Bob’s donates them again this year. Watering the plants is at question. Welker said it was being addressed.

Proffitt said the police department recieved a bronze award from AAA. Profit also brought up the refurbished meters. He said of the proposed purchase of refurbished meters, “It is something to look at and look forward to,” adding, “our meters are worthless and outdated.” The meters were then briefly discussed.

Councilmen Robert Payne was absent from the meeting. The next meeting will be Monday, March 10 at Pomeroy Village Hall.