PREBLE COUNTY — Three local villages held council meetings in recent weeks.
Village of Camden Council held its first bi-monthly meeting Thursday, Oct. 1.
County Commission candidate Adam Craft addressed the council briefly to promote his campaign. Craft, who described himself as “conservative, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-police,” will be running for the seat currently occupied by Republican incumbent Denise Robertson.
“I’ve heard good things about you, even from your opponent,” council member Kelly Doran told Craft. Independent candidate Mary Bullen is running against Craft for the County Commission seat.
Doran also raised concerns about a four-block section of OH-725 which runs through downtown Camden, saying that the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Eighth District office keeps postponing work on the busy road.
“It’s the worst street in our town,” Doran said. “It’s the most heavily traveled thoroughfare, and it looks the worst and it feels the worst.”
The village has spent over $800,000 in the past five years to improve roads in Camden, according to Doran.
“That’s a lot of money invested in our streets,” Doran said.
Finally, council member Jeff Steele announced the hiring of Josh Forrer as Fire Chief. Current Chief Gary Taylor plans to retire effective Oct. 31, according to Steele.
“The chief has been grooming [Forrer] and another firefighter for the past year, with the hopes that one of them would take over the job,” Steele said of Forrer.
Gratis Village Council accepted the resignation of EMS Captain Hadyn Beachler during its second bi-monthly meeting Thursday, Sept. 24. Council also approved the promotion of EMS staff member Minh Nguyen to Lieutenant to replace the vacant Captain’s position.
Village of Verona Council held its monthly meeting Tuesday, Sept. 14. Council members discussed various road repair projects, including the grant-funded repair and repaving of a section of Main Street in the village, as well as repair and repaving of Harrison and Commerce Streets and an area at the intersection of Reynolds and Georgetown-Verona Road.
The village took out a $100,000 loan for these latter repairs, according to Village Treasurer Leslie Evans. Council plans to discuss what to do with the remaining funds once the current invoices are paid.
Council also voted unanimously to empower Mayor Nikki Plank to make decisions regarding purchases made with Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, according to Evans. Verona was awarded $40,214.98 in CARES Act funds.
“CARES Act purchases have and will be discussed [by council], but given the short timeline to complete this, getting quotes done and doing all of the research, this was necessary legislation, given the fact that council only meets once a month,” Evans said. “It is very hard to get a quorum together for special meetings, and this was the best way to move forward.”
CARES expenditures approved so far include an automatic door opener and HVAC upgrades intended to combat the virus, according to Evans.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook or Instagram @mproperenglish