Belmont levy goes to voters in Nov.

BELMONT — Village officials recently announced plans to put a 3-mill police levy before voters in November.

Council President Derek Cain informed those present for a council meeting held Feb. 7 that the Finance Committee had met after funding issues for the small village’s police department were discussed during the January meeting.

He said the proposed 3-mill levy would generate about $21,400 annually and that council members planned to leave the current police levy, which brings in $8,600 each year, in place.

During the initial discussion, Fiscal Officer Ricky Burkhead had proposed placing the levy on the March 19 primary election ballot, but he backed off from that idea during the February meeting.

“There is a special election coming up, but I don’t think we can put anything on that without sharing in the cost of that election,” Burkhead said, noting that he was still waiting for confirmation of that fact.

Cain said that during the Finance Committee meeting, members had also discussed doing away with the village’s camera at the entrance to the village overlooking Bridge Street.

“It’s working, but it’s old and fuzzy. You honestly can’t see anything but objects and colors. You can’t see license plates. It’s really not advantageous for us,” Cain said, noting that the village would save $150 per month by eliminating the internet service required for that one camera.

Council voted in favor of doing away with the camera.

Meanwhile, the Menefee family, who own and operate Little Annie’s Sweets on Market Street, addressed council, requesting use of the village ball field to hold a Community Day on July 6 with a variety of activities leading up to fireworks at dusk.

The Menefees, along with some other residents, for a few years have set off fireworks to celebrate Independence Day on Market Street. Mayor Ron Woods said he thought it would be a good thing to have an event at the park, which would get the fireworks display away from people’s homes.

Inflatables, face painting and food vendors were mentioned as possibilities for the event.

After council approved the proposal, it was suggested that organizers could collect money at the gathering to benefit the village’s park fund. The need to address safety and liability issues was also discussed.

Cain also said they would also have to discuss the matter with Village Solicitor T.J. Schultz, who was absent from the meeting.

Fire Chief Bob Mills reported that his department had answered six fire calls and 45 EMS calls during the month of January. He also said that firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatuses had been serviced and passed inspection.

Mills added that Fire Lt. Kaye Hall had been busy applying for grants, and that she was seeking to fund the purchase of a new emergency squad through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with two new SCBA’s through the Ohio Fire Marshal’s office and two intubation scopes through the Belmont Community Foundation.

Mills also said he had been giving out up to two free smoke detectors per household courtesy of the American Heart Association. He said he had just received another batch of 12 but did not indicate how many would be available overall.

Board of Public Affairs President Ken Davis expressed his appreciation to Hall for obtaining a new battery for the automatic external defibrillator located in the Belmont Gymnasium.

Councilwoman Peggy Patterson asked that something be done to address people accumulating garbage in their yards. Woods said either he or Police Chief Adrew Miller would send the needed letters.

Cain said people are good about starting to clean up their properties after receiving letters, but they develop “amnesia” soon thereafter, requiring the process to be repeated.

Councilwoman Lorie Grob and council discussed the village’s annual Easter egg hunt and breakfast, eventually deciding to hold the event on March 23 with breakfast at 9 a.m. and the egg hunt at 10 a.m.

Grob said organizers need candy and prizes for the event and that donations can be dropped off at the village offices on Brown Street. Council approving a budget of $400 to help cover any additional expenses.

Meanwhile, candidate for Belmont County commissioner Shaun Moran addressed council, saying recent issues at the Belmont County Animal Shelter and conversations with a variety of people regarding those issues had inspired him to run for office.

Ashley Barto, founder and president of Belmont County PAWSitive Placements, a new animal advocacy nonprofit, addressed council in support of both Moran and Vince Gianangeli in their Belmont County Commission candidacies.

Belmont Village Council meets at 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month in the Stanley Sobel Village Offices on Brown Street.


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