Bethesda work session proves beneficial

BETHESDA – The date for a work session to discuss village issues was set recently by Bethesda Village Council, which also took action regarding an ambulance for the Emergency Medical Services.

Councilman Dirk Davis requested the work session, which is planned to discuss the issues and to brainstorm in order to come up with answers regarding village matters.

It was emphasized that the meeting will be open to the public.

Fire Chief Neil Hunt told council that EMS was ready to purchase an ambulance from Burgess Ambulance. He said it should cost no more than $120,000, and $43,000 for the vehicle is being provided through a Community Development Block Grant.

Hunt asked if the village had a state purchasing certificate, and Fiscal Officer Ricky Burkhead Jr. indicated he would get a copy of the village’s certificate or file for one if needed.

Council authorized Hunt to start the process of ordering the ambulance.

Plans are to keep the old ambulance for use.

Councilman Chuck Little reported the fire department has agreed to do house inspections related to the proposed property maintenance code. Noting the code isn’t meant to pinpoint and nitpick in regard to certain people, Little said it is to pick out properties in seriously bad shape and in need of repair.

He asked council to review the code and to report any possible changes by the next council meeting.

In other matters, Councilman Marty Lucas was selected as council president pro-tem by acclamation. Solicitor Marlin Harper had suggested that the vote be done by acclamation.

Councilman Brad Mason told of plans for him and a village employee to go to the Union Township garage to look at the township’s dump truck. He said other officials who wished could accompany them.

Lucas reported the U.S. Census Bureau papers have been completed and submitted.

The village’s housekeeping ordinance concerning wages, benefits and other employee-related issues had been reviewed by council’s finance committee, and Burkhead presented it at the meeting. He said it would need to be revised in March to reflect health insurance changes.

It was approved under suspension of rules.

The finance committee also had studied the village’s 2009 budget, which was presented by Burkhead to council. A resolution concerning the budget was approved.

Also OK’d was the transfer of $2,500 of mayor’s court revenues from the general fund to the police fund.

Burkhead reported he and the finance committee would like to use between $15,000 and $18,000 from the general fund to pay toward the village loan, and this was given approval.

Village Administrator Tim Zdanski reported village officials had been congratulated by a legislator because of the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant awarded for a village truck. He said the process of bidding for the vehicle had been undertaken.

Zdanski also said the water department will provide a report of costs and revenue for 2008 at the next meeting of council. Beginning in February, such reports will be given on a monthly basis.

Councilman Brian Bee said he was very happy about the turnout for the Christmas parade, and he appreciated the help provided.

A letter has been received from Gov. Ted Strickland concerning money cuts to be made, according to Mayor Chuck Lyons.

The mayor also said someone still needs to take over the car show or it won’t be taking place. This matter also was discussed at the November meeting.

Lyons said he would like to have a personnel committee meeting in February.

The mayor also thanked everyone for the help they provided to him during 2008.

Council’s next regular meeting will be Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.