Gentile delivers flag to Barnesville

BARNESVILLE-State Senator Lou Gentile stopped by Monday night’s Barnesville Village Council meeting to deliver a flag of the State of Ohio for council chambers. Members of American Legion Post 168 presented a flagpole to Mayor Ron Bischof and council to display the flag.

“I appreciate all of your efforts [in Barnesville,” Gentile said. “I’m always glad to be here.”

He commended examples of public and private sectors working together as in the Joint Economic Development District 2 on the east side of town and with Barnesville’s accommodation of the gas and oil industry. Gentile added that he has been working hard on the gas and oil severance tax issue pushing for a greater share of that revenue for this area and thanked everyone again for their support.

Members of the Park Board updated council on developments with the ball fields at Memorial Park. Antero Resources will be redoing the outfields this spring and re-seeding them in the fall. Members said Antero also offered to provide gravel for the parking lot. Denise Stephen expressed appreciation to Antero on the board’s behalf.

Richie Wells, head of the Park Department, gave council a quote of $13,000 to fix the large infield and $6,900 each to fix the smaller infields. Councilman Tim McKelvey said that he agreed with fixing the large field and added that the school district would contribute one-third of that cost and one-third of yearly maintenance costs. However, he was not for completely redoing the smaller fields.

Park Board members insisted that all the fields should be done at the same time, and Wells said yearly maintenance would amount to between $1,200 and $1,500 if they were all done at once. He added that board members have asked him to compose a “rules” sheet for teams and clubs playing on any of the fields. Rules would specify procedures and clean-up notes to keep the fields in good condition. Councilmen Les Tickhill and Dale Bunting were concerned that the park fields wouldn’t be accessible to the general public, but Wells said that wouldn’t be the case, that anyone would still be able to use them.

After more discussion about whether to fix the large field or all three, Councilman John Jefferis made a motion to fix all three fields with the condition that the school district would contribute one-third of the renovation cost of the large field and one-third of its annual maintenance costs. Jefferis, Tickhill and Scott Gallagher voted in support of the motion; McKelvey, Bunting and McCort voted against. Mayor Bischof became the deciding vote in favor, and the motion passed.

Roger Deal reported on the sidewalk repair program. Two more sidewalks have been repaired this year, and three are waiting to be poured. There are three applications pending approval currently. The Village has loaned out $30,000 for the program and has received $1,800 in payments, which go back into the sidewalk loan fund.

Council passed Resolution 3654 supporting State Issue 1 on the Ohio ballot May 6, 2014. The Ohio State Capital Improvements Program has funded 11,500 infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and sewers since 1987, and has supported an average of one project per year for Barnesville. Deal noted voting yes on Issue 1 will provide $1.875 billion in capital improvements bonds for the next 10 years without raising any taxes.

Deal says the number of large load vehicles is already decreasing downtown after another incident two weeks ago at the State Route 800 and State Route 147 intersection. He called ODOT immediately when another truck had to be towed after getting stuck there. ODOT responded right away, taking photos at the scene and contacting their permitting office to reroute large rigs and loads. Deal commended District 11’s Dave Schafer for his assistance.

A utilities software program has to be updated before water customers can use the new automatic electronic payment option, according to Fiscal Officer Darla Fuller. The new program will also take credit cards. She expects it to be available by the end of April.

Council approved Ordinance #3655 amending appropriations Ordinance #3647 to the amount of $454,700.09. They also approved Pay Ordinance #6 in the amount of $78,772.68.

There will be a personnel committee meeting on Monday, March 31 at 6 p.m. in council chambers.

Barnesville businessman and resident Jimmy Grear reminded council that this year’s “BARK at the Park” will take place Saturday, April 26 beginning at 10 a.m. Volunteers will be planting trees and doing general clean-up. The first 200 participants will receive a BARK t-shirt, and the Barnesville Kiwanis will be providing lunch. Donations are still being accepted for the day’s activities. For more information call (740) 238-0956.

Barnesville village council meets every other Monday at 7 p.m.

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