New Paris Council considers projects, finances

By Oliver Sanders -

NEW PARIS — The New Paris Village Council met on Monday, Oct. 3 to consider several projects and financial options.

Eric Meilstrup of LCNB National Bank and Amy Aldridge of Farmer’s State Bank, each presented packages offered by their perspective institutions for the village to consider. Each bank offered similar, yet different services and interest rates. Council decided to research the offers before making a decision on which bank to choose, which will be decided for November’s meeting. The village currently does business with LCNB.

In other business, Porter Advertising has revisited an earlier price offer by the village concerning two billboards located in the village which have stood since 1940. Council originally offered a price of $600 per year for a five-year contract. Porter asked to drop the price down to $250, with slight increases per year over the five-year contract. After much debate, council approved a motion to accept $500 per year for five years. Porter agreed to respond in November if the company agrees or disagrees with the deal. If no deal is agreed upon, the billboards will be demolished.

Susan Laux of Mote & Associates, Inc., reported on funding available for improvements and repairs to East Cherry Street. She noted, a company seeking to take on the project may provide materials, but permits are needed for the projects to begin construction. The blueprints are completed, and the officials are only waiting for a “trust print” to be submitted. This is expected to take three weeks to complete.

Laux also reported on the status of a project to improve the Spring Street bridge. The village is looking for a grant to help fund the job which is scheduled for 2019, but the project may be pushed back to 2020. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will provide 95-percent of the funding, while the village must cover the rest. There is no deadline for the project itself, but the job must be paid in full before the project begins. A motion was approved to extend the project into 2020.

Laux also spoke about an opportunity for a Land and Water Conservation Grant to provide funding for the local parks. The deadline for 2017 funding is set for Nov. 15. The grant provides funds for two years. There is talk of tearing down buildings and constructing new public facilities. One option is to use what is known as a Brownfield Loan, which can be paid back in 10 years but offers a limited amount of money. Another option is the Ohio Development Service Agency, which offers more money, but must be paid back sooner and is for one-year-only projects. Funding will not be available until 2019 should the Nov. 15, deadline for application be missed. Council is looking into this matter with hopes to conclude it for the November meeting.

The old school building has been put up for demolition. Council is looking into a bid from Razorback Construction for $250,000 to remove asbestos, and $400,000 for the entire project. Council will decide on the offer at the November meeting.

The New Paris Safety Department reported answering to 113 calls for assistance last month. Eighteen reports were filed, and three arrests were made. All village officers recently passed their firearms certifications. In addition, officials reported the state of Ohio has passed a bill for police departments to use Multi-Agency Radio Communication system radios. Preble County Sheriff Michael Simpson agreed earlier to play the fees of $1,080 per year for the village to use the radios, according to officials..

An ordinance on grass clippings in the village was discussed. It was noted, unless council rewrites the ordinance, neither council nor local law enforcement can enforce it. The Sanitation Department is responsible for delivering citations to offenders. If the fine is not paid, the citation will become a civil issue. Council agreed to rewrite the ordinance, considering items like tougher enforcement, shorter process times, and the length of time for leniency.

A resolution, Res. 2016-12, was proposed to amend funds for a project for a street opening using police funding overage. The permit for any company to break ground on a street opening is a $50 non-refundable fee, but the money from the overage will help fund the project should one come up in the near future.

Council set Halloween Trick-or-Treat time as 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

A motion to purchase road salt was brought to the table and approved. The village will pay $73.56 per 80 tons of salt. The village has a supply of salt and has ample storage for more. The current price is the same as in 2015.

The next meeting will occur on Monday, Nov. 7, at the New Paris Public Building at 301 Cherry Street.

By Oliver Sanders

Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH

Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH