CAMDEN — Village Council voted to cut sewer bills and discussed park security, street improvements, and plans for a farmer’s market during its second bi-monthly meeting Thursday, May 20.
Ashley Brandenburg Myers addressed the council on behalf of Camden Comeback about plans for a farmer’s market to be held on Thursday afternoons through the end of October. The event, slated to begin June 10, will take place in Veterans Park.
Camden Comeback is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and empowering the community, according to the group’s mission statement, as well as strengthening cohesion and morale.
“We want to bring new businesses and new residents into the community, but others will benefit as well,” Myers said of the farmer’s market, which could feature fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, and even homemade furniture produced by residents of Camden, Eaton, Gratis and Oxford.
“We’re opening it up to everything, as long as it’s local and homemade,” Myers said. “We don’t want it to turn into a flea market.”
Councilman Jeff Steele made a motion to authorize the use of either Veterans or Bicentennial Park for the event, which was approved by unanimous vote.
“I’m delighted this is finally coming to fruition,” Mayor Karen Moss said. “I think it’s going to be good.”
Village Administrator Rusty Wilson raised the issue of “continuous vandalism” taking place in local playgrounds and parks.
Council member Debbie Hickman asked whether the Camden Police Dept. regularly patrols the parks.
“That is in the village limits, so they need to be checking that stuff,” Steele said.
Steele also suggested installing lights to keep the park areas brightly lit during nighttime hours.
“Whoever’s doing this is like a cockroach – they don’t like the light,” Steele said.
Fiscal Officer Becky Wilson suggested closing the parks earlier.
“The park should close at dusk,” Wilson said. “There should be no one there past dark.”
Councilman Kelly Doran also suggested installing higher-quality video cameras in the park to allow police surveillance and make perpetrators easier to identify.
“I want to be able to see what kind of fillings they have in their teeth,” Doran said.
Council member Wendell Mackie expressed similar sentiments.
“We’ve got a lot of technology out there, so let’s get this park secure,” Mackie said.
In other business
Doug Kramer, of Eaton-based civil engineering firm Kramer & Associates, again updated council on several ongoing projects, including construction due to take place on W. Central Ave. near the intersection of State Route 725 and U.S. 127.
Kramer informed the council in April that the W. Central Ave. project would begin accepting bids April 29, with work slated to begin a few weeks later. He reported on Thursday that bids had been reviewed, and that construction of sidewalks, curbs and storm drainage on the south side of W. Central Ave. would commence soon, pending the council’s approval of Kramer’s recommendations.
Council voted unanimously to accept a bid from Hamilton-based W.G. Stang, LLC. Approximately $72,000 of the total $247,000 project will be completed using village funds, according to Kramer, with the remainder being paid for using grant funds.
Hickman also suggested lowering the village’s base rate for sewer service by five percent, reducing the average resident’s bill by $3.56.
“I think that sounds like a good idea,” council member Toni Keesler said.
Hickman made a motion which was seconded by Mackie. The measure passed by unanimous vote.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish