NEW PARIS — During a meeting on Monday, Feb. 3, New Paris Village Council discussed salvaging mementos from the old school building located on the village’s park property before demolition this summer.
Council member Mary Jane Thomas asked about an old piano, but Mayor Kathy Smallwood did not know anything about the piece. However, she invited Susan Laux with Mote & Associates to speak more about the possibility of saving different items.
Laux explained, they recently held the pre-construction meeting with the contractors. They agreed to provide a pile of bricks from the building, signs that display different school subjects, and possibly a sign which says “Jefferson High School.” They also discussed a scoreboard which may be in “decent” shape.
“They are willing to work with us to try and salvage those items,” Laux said.
Council member Peggy Bishop asked if the public was allowed on the property, but council responded they were not. Laux added, people are allowed on the basketball court or in shelters, but are encouraged to stay away from where work is being done on the building.
Bishop also asked if there are signs displayed telling people to stay out of the building and Mayor Smallwood said the public has never been allowed in the building and there are “no trespassing” signs displayed on all doors.
Thomas reported neighbors telling her “kids have been on the roof of the building.”
“All better reason for it to come down,” Laux said.
In other business, Laux reported:
•Remediation is ongoing in the school building, but there might be more asbestos present than expected. They are measuring the levels to try and get an accurate number. She will report back to council with those results..
•An application for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Recreational Trails Fund Grant she previously discussed with council is due in early March. She brought copies of a resolution for council to approve to submit their application to widen and pave the walking trail at the park.
She explained, it is an 80/20 grant, which means 80 percent of grant funds will be available, with an expected 20 percent local match. If council determines they cannot afford their match, they can always withdraw their application later.
Council approved the resolution, which authorizes the application to be submitted to ODNR. Council waived the three reading requirement, citing an emergency due to time restraints.
•Plans for the second stage of the Spring Street Bridge project with Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be submitted on Feb. 14. As part of the process, the village has to notify the public. The village will be sending letters to all properties around the bridge informing them of the road closure and detour.
•Applications are due on Feb. 28 for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds through Preble County. A Public hearing will be held on Feb. 10 with a planning meeting on Feb. 13 at the Preble County Courthouse during the regular Preble County Commissioners’ meeting.
Laux asked council if members were still interested in submitting an application for work on Cardinal Hill Drive. She presented a resolution for council to approve, so the village would not have to host a special meeting before applications are due on Feb. 28.
There were two proposals: one at a cost of $117,500 which does not include curb and gutter work and one at a cost of $200,500 which includes work on curb and gutter.
A motion was made to approve the resolution without curb and gutter work included. Council approved the resolution 3-2, with council members Luther Conway and Bishop voting against.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH