|Ottoville Council President Rieger addresses Dollar General rumors|
|Monday, December 23, 2013 9:07 PM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
OTTOVILLE — Several residents showed up for Monday’s Ottoville Village Council meeting to express concern over the speculation that a Dollar General store would be constructed on State Route 224 across from the high school. Prior to opening up the floor for the public discussion, Council President Tim Rieger addressed the issue.
“There’s been a letter circulating from the chamber of commerce stating council and/or the mayor have allowed Dollar General into the village.” Rieger stated.
Rieger explained to the residents that the only action that has been taken by council in regard to the property in question was the approval of the property owner to tap into the sewer line.
“Nothing more has come before council,” he said.
Rieger then advised residents who wanted to address council about the rumor they would have 10 minutes each. He also said there would be no further discussion or action taken.
Ottoville Superintendent Scott Mangus spoke first and said that Ottoville has no problem with new business.
“It’s a safety concern, students crossing 224 day and night,” Mangus said.
Mangus said to keep students off the road, they are required to use the walk bridge from the school property and cross the Little Auglaize River over to the park.
Chamber of Commerce President Adam Schnipke said his personal concern was about the rumors and he wanted to know what was going on.
“I do not think it (a Dollar General Store) looks nice, some of them are very run down,” Schnipke said. “They are not franchises and run by local owners who give back to the community.”
Schnipke suggested that a Dollar General would not provide the community with groceries.
“It’s frozen and canned foods,” he detailed.
Schnipke referred to the loss of their local grocery store, The Village Market, in August 2012.
“If the community needs a grocery store, why not look at that building (Village Market)?” Schnipke questioned
Additionally, Schnipke discussed the village’s entrance signs which were installed over this past year, which costs were to be split by council and the chamber.
“We ran into more expense than we anticipated,” he said. “The Lock 16 sign needs completed; flags, lights and gravel.”
Schnipke also said in addition to the electrical hookup for the LED lights, they incurred extra costs with the flagpoles.
“We chose to do those and we’ve depleted our checking account,” he said. “Many of us volunteered a lot of time on this project.”
Council received notice that a final settlement for the petroleum spill has been made in the sum of $31,853, which will be forthcoming in January and will need signed off on. The sum is what the village spent, less the grants, to clean up the spill.
An estimate of close to $5,000 to repair heaved manholes in the village roadways was received. Street Supervisor Barry Koester said he has only been able to secure on estimate and could not get a return phone call from another business that does the same types of repairs.
Council member Tony Langhals asked Koester how soon the work needed to be done.
“We can do it in the summer,” Koester said.
Fiscal Officer Jeanne Wannemacher asked for the approval of temporary appropriations, which passed unanimously. The resolution allows Wannemacher to set temporary appropriations for the first three months of 2014 and permanent appropriations for the year will be set in April.
Council also approved two change orders — one which increased the cost of the Auglaize Street project by $9,566 and one that decreased the project by $11,033 — for a final cost of $574,467 which was $13,466 over the bid. Wannemacher then asked council to approve transferring the overage from the general fund to make the final payment to Miller Contracting Group, which was unanimously approved.
Delphos resident and Buckeye Trail member Sam Bonifas returned to address council concerning developing a hiking trail on the towpath portion of the canal the village owns. He explained the towpath on 500 feet of the old canal bank the village owns would become part of the continuous looping hiking trail of 1,444 miles encircling the state.
Buckeye Trail Director Andrew Bashaw spoke with council members and explained the crew of volunteers would work on the trail Sept. 27, 28 and 29 and clear small trees and brush to create an footpath approximately three feet wide.
“Moving the trail off road will create user safety from the Mill to Road 25P,” he said. “It will promote better recreational use.”
Previously there have been questions about the liability of use for the village.
“If the landowner provides recreation on land without charge, the owner is not liable,” Bashaw stated.
Wannemacher said that Ottoville High School student Ryan Kemper has offered to design a new web page for the village at a cost of $100 and charge $20 per month to maintain it. Council members approved the terms.
Langhals suggested to council that agendas for the council meetings be emailed out in advance — before the day of the meeting.
“I’d like to know what we are going to talk about when we get here,” he said.
The next council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Jan. 27 in council chambers.