WEST ALEXANDRIA — West Alexandria Mayor Carol Lunsford encouraged residents to participate in the upcoming election during village council’s first bi-monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 4.
“Be sure to vote tomorrow, and good luck to all the candidates,” Lunsford said.
The village saw council member Dan Utsinger elected mayor once the votes were tallied Tuesday night. Utsinger was appointed to fill former councilman Doug Crouse’s seat after Crouse passed away on May 30 of this year. Utsinger will be sworn in in January, once Lunsford’s term officially expires.
Mayor Lunsford praised village police and EMS officers for their presence and visibility during the community’s Halloween festivities Oct. 31.
“I get a lot of comments from people driving through our village about how well our children are protected,” Lunsford said. “We had police and EMS in every corner of the village.”
Fire Chief Jeff Shafer also praised the police, citing an incident Oct. 30 where WA Fire Department personnel were attacked while responding to a structure fire at 1276 Ohio 503 South, just north of the vilage. Residents at the property were apparently upset firefighters had not arrived more quickly and began pounding on the firefighters’ vehicles. Village police officers and Preble County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the incident, and ultimately took two of the offending residents into custody.
“They had those guys cuffed and in the car just like that,” Shafer said. “I don’t know how police do it. When you roll up on a scene you don’t expect to be attacked.”
Police Chief Anthony Gasper asked council to approve part-time police officer Eric Stevens to be moved to full-time effective Jan. 1.
“He has the most experience, and he has that experience within our county,” Gasper said. “He’s done a good job for us working part-time.” Council voted 5 to 1 to approve the request.
Mayor Lunsford read portions of a letter from Ohio State Representative J. Todd Smith at the top of Monday’s meeting. The letter invited Lunsford and Mayor-Elect Utsinger to attend a meeting Nov. 18 to discuss the village’s eligibility for capital improvements funding. Funding from capital improvements grants can be used for various types of public works projects, including improvements to highways and parks and recreation facilities, conservation efforts, renovations of government offices and public school facilities, and cultural and historical sites.
Coucil will hold a special meeting Wednesday, Nov. 20 to discuss an upcoming survey to determine new sewer rates. The new rates will be dicated by the United States Department of Agriculture, according to council member Holly Robbins.
“Council will not be in control of any rate increase,” Robbins said.
West Alexandria Village Council meetings take place the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Twin Valley South High School Media Center.