CAMDEN — Village Council discussed CARES Act spending during its final bi-monthly meeting of 2020. Trash recycling and collection of overdue traffic citations were also discussed.
Council approved a resolution to apply for CARES Act funds during its Thursday, Aug. 20 meeting. Since that time approximately $190,000 has been disbursed to the village, according to Fiscal Officer Becky Wilson, including funds previously disbursed to other municipalities that were unable to be spent before the Dec. 31 deadline.
The CARES money has been used for a variety of purposes, according to Wilson, including equipping restrooms in village buildings with touchless faucets, toilets and hand driers. This qualifies for CARES funding because it reduces contact with high-touch surfaces that are believed to help spread the coronavirus.
The village has also used the funds to purchase a new standpipe; to equip village buildings with hand sanitizer stations; to provide the Fire and EMS Department with a “hot box” designed to sterilize and disinfect equipment; to provide touchless computers for local Police Department vehicles, and to purchase benches to be placed along the planned walking path near U.S. 127.
Council voted to accept a final $57,888.52 in CARES Act funds during Thursday’s meeting, as well as to spend $58,844.35 to build a new gazebo in Bicentennial Park, near the corner of E. Central Ave. and N. Lafayette St. The structure will measure 24 feet in diameter – “way bigger” than the current gazebo, according to Wilson – which will allow for socially distanced seating.
Also during Thursday’s meeting:
Clerk of Courts Nancy Melton once again updated council on efforts to collect payment for unpaid traffic and Mayor’s Court citations. Melton first suggested turning over delinquent accounts to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Department of Collections in Aug. 2019.
After many delays due to bureaucracy and the ongoing impact of COVID-19, Melton informed the council that she had finally begun turning over files to the A.G.’s Office the previous Monday.
Rumpke Regional Manager Noel Moomey spoke to council in October to address concerns about loose trash being blown around the village. Communal recycling bins located near a local park are thought to be the primary source of the loose trash problem.
Moomey indicated that offering individual recycling service to Camden’s residents in place of the large bins would likely not address the issue of loose trash blowing around, as the small, open bins used for residential recycling would likely just add to the problem, as well as adding an increase of $4.50 to the average resident’s trash bill.
Council voted not to move ahead with the recycling service on Thursday, citing the exorbitant cost, which would be the same as that of providing village residents with an additional full-sized trash can.
“That seems crazy to me,” council member Jeff Steele said.
Finally, council member Kelly Doran urged council to take action on a property located at 107 E. Central Ave in the village. The property will soon go up for auction, according to Doran, potentially allowing them to acquire it without paying more than $40,000 in overdue taxes.
“I don’t want to see it fall into any kind of hoarder’s hands,” Doran said, indicating the property could be used to attract new businesses. “We could get it cleaned out and put a little bit of money into it to help someone develop it to our standards.”
Doran indicated that despite its neglected state, the building is structurally sound.
“It needs plumbing, electrical, heating and everything else, but otherwise it’s solid,” Doran said.
Village Council meetings take place the first and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in Camden Town Hall.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish