Gratis council honors Doug Farquer

By Kelsey Kimbler -

GRATIS — During its meeting on Thursday, April 4, Gratis Village Council honored former Council President Doug Farquer, who passed away in early March.

“On March 9, 2019 we lost a great village servant. Doug Farquer was a great President Pro tem of council. He was a big supporter of the Police, Fire, and EMS Departments,” Mayor David Johnston said.

“He was always willing to help with anything for village, from handing you tools if you’re down in a hole, to directing traffic, to picking up needed supplies, or giving you a pat on the back and saying good job. We will miss him very much and I wanted to ask everyone to keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Council has 30 days to choose a replacement for the vacant seat. They will be discussing who to nominate for the president’s position during the next council meeting.

Farquer and Johnston had previously submitted plans for Bicentennial Park. However, according to Johnston, his proposed plans are suspected to cost more. Since no other council member submitted plans, Mayor Johnston suggested moving forward with Farquer’s plans.

However, Council Member Donna Waller thought the plans were “too busy.”

“We have to have something. The people that told us they would help us with getting a grant said we have to have some sort of idea of what we want. We asked council at that time to come up with ideas and we only had two,” Johnston said.

Waller said she would come up with ideas and Johnston said they could table the issue again. However, she said she would support the plan as a “rough draft.”

“If you guys look at this until the next meeting, come back and make a recommendation whether to proceed with it,” Johnston said.

In other business:

On March 21, Mayor Johnston had to make calls to get approval for Gratis EMS to borrow $9,000 from the General Fund for payroll with the understanding it has to be paid back within three months. He had to get official approval during the meeting.

Council accepted a proclamation by the mayor to recognize May as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

Council approved Emergency Report Integration with the County Dispatch at a cost of $300.

Council approved radar calibration for the Police Department at a cost of $176.

Council approved the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab Assessment membership fees for January through December, 2019 for the Police Department at a cost of $579.

Council will hold their next Regular Council Meeting on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH