CAMDEN — Camden Village Council voted unanimously to waive disconnect fees for water and sewer service and offer free trash pick-up service for village residents for 60 days during its second bi-monthly meeting Thursday, March 19. Village officials later announced via Facebook that shut-offs of water service will cease, citing the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic.
“During this pandemic, directives and requirements from the state and the nation are ever-changing and coming at a rapid pace,” Mayor Karen Moss said on her Facebook page. “The situation and the nuances involved are new to us all. It is sometimes difficult to keep up and to make the best-informed decisions, but we are working hard to serve the members of our community to the best of our ability.”
Controversy erupted earlier this week when water service to some residents was shut off due to non-payment.
“While Camden Village Council discussed this issue during its meeting last week, it became clear today that a revised approach was needed, and steps were taken to immediately restore water,” Moss said.
The village currently has about $178,000 in its trash fund, according to council member Kelly Doran.
“We’ve been putting money back for years thinking we might eventually buy a garbage truck and start doing our own trash service,” Doran said. Doran proposed that a portion of that money be used, instead, to offer residents free trash pick-up service for the next two months.
Council member Jeff Steele took suggested that the village should refrain from disconnecting residents’ water and sewer service throughout the duration of the Covid-19 restrictions and closures during the March 19 meeting as well. Council ultimately voted to offer residents two free months of trash pick-up service. Council also voted to waive disconnect fees for water and sewer service, provided that delinquent accounts are brought up to date.
Police Chief Matt Spurlock delivered a presentation on the police department’s statistics for the month of February, saying that officers had gone out on 65 calls and made 26 reports. Forty-two percent of those calls were drug-related, according to Spurlock, while a further 12 percent involved alleged sex offenses.
Officers performed 185 traffic stops which resulted in 74 citations, according to Spurlock. The rest resulted in drivers being issued verbal warnings.
Spurlock asked council to approve the purchase of a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe. The department would lease the vehicle at a rate of between $12,000 and $14,500 per year for four years.
Councilman Doran asked if an older vehicle would be gotten rid of once the new one is purchased. Spurlock said that the oldest of the department’s five current vehicles would probably be retired from service.
Sgt. David Stemp requested permission to purchase two new vehicles during council’s Feb. 20 meeting. The vehicles, both Chevrolet Tahoes, would be purchased at a cost of approximately $55,000 each and leased through G.M. Financial.
Doran suggested purchasing only one vehicle at that time. Mayor Karen Moss ultimately tabled the issue pending discussion with Chief Spurlock.
Camden Village Council meets the first and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at 74 W. Central Ave.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @improperenglish