EMA officials talk to Bridgeport council about mitigation plan

BRIDGEPORT – David Ivan of the Emergency Management Agency spoke before village council Tuesday about the 2013 Hazard Mitigation plan.

Several municipalities in Belmont County have adopted this plan.

According to Ivan, the communities that adopt this plan will be eligible for the mitigation money if there is ever a disaster.

Council passed a resolution giving Mayor John Callarik permission to sign papers with Bel-O-Mar Regional Planning Authority. With this, four houses in Bridgeport are expected to demolished. Those houses are located at 114 Ohio St., 200 Scotts Lane, 28 Old Cadiz Road and 4th and Chase Street.

Police Chief Andrew Klotz announced that the police department has received $20,725 in donations that will go towards its K-9 Unit. Bridgeport obtained the canine a little more than three weeks ago. He is a 15-month-old Dutch Shepherd named Santos.

Klotz is thankful for the overwhelming support he has received from the community and local businesses.

Klotz also announced that their will be a Boots versus Badges Blood Drive on Dec. 19. It will be police officers versus firefighters. It will be a the Church of God from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Ed Stachyra from American Legion Post 227 and Veterans of Vietnam War Post 1asked that for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the village would mow the grass around the monument because they could not find their brass after shots were fired.

A pre-trial conference has been set for next week in the case involving two Bridgeport Village Council members accused of making votes on council that financially benefited them.

Councilmen David Smith and Ben Lenz both were re-elected in the Nov. 5 general election despite being suspended from their elected offices since mid-August by Belmont County Common Pleas Court Judge J. Mark Costine.

In a court filing Tuesday, Costine set their pre-trial conference for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Smith and Lenz had previously been scheduled for trial in probate court on Oct. 1, but Costine canceled all legal proceeding involving the pair pending the outcome of an investigation of the case by the Ohio Ethics Commission. The court did not indicate Tuesday whether the investigative report was received.

Greg Beck, a North Canton, Ohio attorney who is representing Smith and Lenz, did not immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

Smith and Lenz were suspended from council in August by Costine after a group of 11 Bridgeport residents filed a lawsuit against them. The suit alleged the two men – also both members of the Bridgeport Fire and Emergency Squad – have repeatedly voted, as members of council, on matters pertaining to the emergency squad, including voting to hire themselves as EMTs.

Bridgeport Village Council, meanwhile, conducted regular business at their monthly meetings Tuesday night with the four remaining council members – Marvin Husarik, Howard Porter, Richard Riley and Carole Lyle.

Van Dyne ,ay be reached at vandyne@timesleaderonline.com