Bolivar Council holds reorganization meeting

Bolivar Council holds reorganization meeting

Bolivar Village Council met Jan. 5 when Mayor Tim Lang announced the following committee appointments for 2023:

—Finance: chair Tedd Finlayson, Bruce Lawver and Tim White.

—Safety: chair Lawver, Finlayson and White.

—Street and alley: chair Will Bellinger, Loretta Diveley and Dan Oberlin.

—Parks and recreation: chair Diveley, Bellinger and Oberlin.

Lang also announced the retention of Kyle Porter as street superintendent, Chuck Williams as water operator, Heather Lecce as tax administrator and Matt Judy as village administrator.

Council elected Finlayson as 2023 president pro tem.

Judy distributed an end-of-year report of 2022 revenue, expenditures and balances. He pointed out a balance of $712,604 in the general fund, which he said is an increase of $35,377 over fiscal year 2021.

Judy also reported the overall ending balance of funds as $1,316,000, an increase of $128,518 from fiscal year 2021. However, Judy said revenues were down by more than $35,000.

Other reports and

Safety committee chair Lawver asked for a post-probationary raise of $1 per hour for police officer Eric Minor. Council approved the raise. Lawver said another candidate for the police department is being interviewed.

Street and alley chair Bellinger deferred to Finlayson, former committee chair, for a report on December. Finlayson asked residents to be aware of parking regulations during snow emergencies so the village can plow.

He also said a representative from the Hometown Heroes Banner Project recently contacted Porter about possibly placing banners in the village honoring village military veterans, police, EMTs and firefighters, among others. Lang asked the committee to look into the program further.

Resident Maria App asked Porter to look into two areas she believes road work needs to be conducted.

Diveley reported for parks and recreation with Lang saying a gentleman had contacted him about possibly bringing a blues festival to Bolivar in September. Lang asked Oberlin to reach out to the Bolivar Main Street Association for cooperation in considering the matter.

Law Director Steve Babik said a criminal justice bill passed by the Ohio Senate on Jan. 3 made distracted driving a primary traffic offense, which officers can now use to pull over and cite drivers. According to Babik, law enforcement had to have observed another traffic offense in order to cite drivers prior to the new law.

Public comments

Former Mayor Rebecca Hubble asked that a committee be formed to plan a celebration of the village’s 100th anniversary this year. It was recommended she bring the matter to the next parks and recreation committee meeting for further discussion.

Bolivar Fire Chief Shawn Lynch said the fire department is providing free smoke detectors to all residents of Lawrence Township in light of the recent tragic fire in Newcomerstown. He said the cost of detectors given out so far has been covered by donations from firefighters and EMTs. He said he will begin soliciting local businesses for donations to continue the program and that private donations from residents also are welcome.

Lynch also said free community CPR training is available at the fire department, and interested parties should call the department at 330-874-3113.

It was noted Barb Limbacher, correspondent for the Times Reporter, will no longer be able to cover council meetings for the paper. Limbacher said she was notified in late December the budget for correspondents had been “drastically cut.” Council members expressed their regrets.

Voting and legislation

Council voted to do the following:

—Send $1,500 to the Lawrence Township Board of Trustees for maintenance of public compost bins.

—$850 lift rental for removing village Christmas decorations, with Oberlin voting no.

—Contract with Schneider Computer Technologies in Dover for IT services.

Bolivar Council meetings are held the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Bolivar fire station.