WEST ALEXANDRIA — The Village of West Alexandria moved its monthly council meetings from the water treatment plant to the EMS building, beginning on Monday, June 19. The move was due to difficulty hearing council, stemming from background noise, and came after the EMS Association voted to allow council to hold the meetings in their space.
The Association’s only request was that the meetings do not interfere with training meetings. Notification of meetings must be given to the association.
“Personally I want to thank them for allowing us use of this building. I think it will work out for us,” Mayor Carol Lunsford said.
Council member Ray Waldek brought up the April minutes which were approved at a previous meeting. In those minutes it states he wanted to have Village Administrator Chris Day put bigger signs on the village truck, but according to Waldek, he did not say that, Council member Deb Smith did. He wanted it noted in the minutes the correct person made those comments.
When discussing the bill list, Smith had a question on Day’s credit card bill. She said that there was a charge from Amazon that was a $19.81 game.
Clerk-Treasurer Judy Myers-Corn noted, “That was Christine Bitner. We had the third grade touring the water plant and what she did was she asked questions, and if they got the wrong answer they got to flush the toilet. It’s that toilet game. Carol Lunsford can tell you more about it.”
Mayor Lunsford added, “Yeah, I saw it work. I got water in my face.”
At West Alexandria’s council meetings, in order for the public to participate, they must call ahead to be placed on the agenda. Council does not allow for public participation following agenda items. There was no public participation placed on the agenda, but a citizen still spoke regarding an Eaton truck dumping trash, which according to council and the Village Administrator, has been an issue.
Council approved an ordinance accepting the tax budget for calender year 2018. This is not the final budget, which will be decided at the end of the year. Council voted to waive the three reading rule.
Another ordinance was brought before council would authorize the insurance at the soon-to-be firehouse. Law Director Richard Faber read a letter from legal council advising council and advised them to pass the ordinance as an emergency and to waive the three readings.
Council member Doug Crouse said, “I don’t see this as an emergency. If we waive the three readings, then we’re going to do what we’re going to do in the next month or so. If we don’t do it as an emergency, it gives us three months. There are some things in the pipeline right now that could help us on the monetary side of it. That’s getting the townships involved.
“We need to slow down a little bit. If we don’t get to things till next year or the spring. I’m all for the building, don’t get me wrong. We’re stewards of our money. If we do something we can’t afford, we’re going to strap the entire town. I think we’re moving too fast, that’s just my opinion.”
Fire Chief Jeff Shafer said, “The townships did say they would be interested in giving some money, but not on a joint township kind of fire district thing. That’s going to take a long time. They were going to donate $100,000 to our fire association. Marty Votel is their legal council, they were unable to do that, but if we did something in our contract they would be able to give us money in order to go towards our station.
“There is money there that can be generated and used towards the building.”
Crouse repeated that he wanted more time and Chief Shafer responded, costs will go up, but it is council’s decision.
Faber clarified, the ordinance must be passed as an emergency in order to avoid a referendum petition, but the council could hold the three readings and then pass as an emergency. Council then held a vote to waive the three readings, which would pass the ordinance and speed up the process in establishing the new fire station.
The motion failed, four to two. Council member Waldeck and council member Ian Campbell were the two members who voted to waive the three readings.
Council voted to approve the first reading, which means there are now three months before the ordinance will pass.
In other fire department news, council member Smith said, “There were comments, concerns, and questions about the fire departments signs. Not really knowing what direction to classify them as — construction, political, whatever sign. But the Ordinance 128805 says it’s not to exceed 16 square feet in area.
“With the village owning the property, it was decided that we could do whatever we wanted to do. We can work with the fire department to make sure we get them legal. I can’t see the town owning the property, the signs being on our property, and use taking them down with a chainsaw. Let’s make them legal.”
Mayor Lunsford said that West Alexandria has two upcoming events: There will be fireworks and other activities on July 4.
The Village of West Alexandria meets for their council meeting once a month, on the third Monday at 7 p.m. now at the EMS building. The next meeting will be held on Monday, July 17.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH