NEW PARIS — On Monday, Jan. 4, New Paris Village Council held its first meeting of 2016 and voted to promote Sergeant Jeremy Schroeder to replace Chris Driver as chief of police.
Driver resigned to pursue a job with the Grandview Police Department at the new Kettering Medical Emergency Room in Eaton.
Schroeder will take over the police chief’s role with a six month probation period and will receive an increase of $2 per hour for the new position. He will be required to pass a physical, a psychiatric test, and go through a polygraph test before taking the position as chief.
Council also selected the village’s new insurance plan for 2016 because the village’s former plan was not available for 2016.
Council elected to move forward with a plan which will increase the cost by 19 percent. The plan will have an annual premium of $24,000 a year. Employees will be responsible for 15 percent of the cost.
The plan was considered the closet the to the village’s previous plan, according to Mayor Rick Van Winkle.
Another option being considered by the village would have doubled the increase of deductibles for employees for a savings of $4,000 a year.
In other business, council approved putting $75,000 toward the matching of a potential grant the village is applying for.
The grant, if received, would go toward the clean up of the old school located within the village. Currently the village faces a $400,000 cost for the cleaning of asbestos and the tearing down of the school facility.
Van Winkle said adding $75,000 to the grant application, along with another $25,000 grant for a total of $100,000 match from the village, would “give us a start” towards the project.
The village would only be responsible for the money if the grant was received by the village. The grant would total $450,000.
It was also noted by Susan Laux of Mote & Associates, if the village were to show plans for a developmental project at the location the grant would be “more competitive.”
Laux said during the meeting, the village would find out some time in May if they received the grant.
Some potential ideas discussed for the property included a playground and walking trail, but Van Winkle said there are “possibilities for everything.”
Council also elected Kathy Smallwood to be the president of council in 2016, and approved spending $1,200 for the construction of a small lean-to for lodging of village vehicles.
New Paris Village Council meets the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m.