Dover Council learns turf project a go, considers tornado shelter

Dover Council learns turf project a go, considers tornado shelter

Image Credit: Teri Stein

Never underestimate a group of baseball dads. When funding fell short on a project to add turf to the baseball field used by Dover High School at Dover Park, resident Jody Stoldt led a grassroots fundraising effort to collect the extra money needed to complete the project.

Stoldt thanked council for allowing him to become involved.

“We had a meeting, and they said if you think you can do it, then go do it,” Stoldt said. “Quite frankly, it was a bunch of baseball dads who said, ‘Let’s go do this.’”

In addition to council, Stoldt thanked the community.

“They got behind me,” Stoldt said. “I think probably most important is this is a great place to live and that we were able to raise our goal is representative of that fact.”

The group raised more than $133,000 in three weeks from about 28-29 donors. The total project will cost about $330,000, and funds the city had in the budget for repairs that were already needed in addition to two grants will complete the funding efforts.

There will be some work to the bullpen areas, backstops and new fencing.

“The plan is to do all the site work this year,” said Scott Jerles, director of parks. “We’re going to have the sod put down in early spring to mid-spring, and it should be ready for the first baseball game, weather pending.”

Councilman Justin Perkowski made a recommendation that a resolution thanking the donors be considered at the next meeting.

Fire Chief Russell Volkert spoke at the safety committee meeting on a project to place a tornado shelter adjoining the fire station. The bulk of the engineering for the shelter has been done for the project, and Volkert urged council that now is the time to put the project out for bid.

“It’s a standalone building, but it’s attached to the other building,” Volkert said. “The building will be constructed of reinforced concrete, and the outer walls will be 12 inches thick, 10 inches thick on the inner walls, and the roof is 14 inches thick to meet certain standards.”

The shelter is permitted to have a secondary use in addition to being a place of safety for city staff and administration members, people visiting the downtown or those attending services at the area churches. It will have space to shelter approximately 102 people.

“The secondary use for the fire department is that we’ll be able to put our turnout gear in this area,” Volkert said. “It’s recommended best practice for fire stations that are staffed and have people living in them to keep the gear away from the living quarters and where the gear is cleaned. They’re finding that after a fire, even after (the turnout gear has) been laundered and cleaned, it will off gas for up to several days. We need to keep it in a completely enclosed area that has a built-in air filtration system, which is what we also did in the north end station.”

The project is supposed to be completed by Jan. 7, but an extension could be filed if it’s not projected to be completed on time. The total cost of the project is $239,912, with the cost to the city estimated to be about $17,000 after an additional reimbursement grant is received.

Council suspended the rules and passed emergency ordinance 39-21, which incorporates the Ohio Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and an electronic records procedure into the process whereby the city will post council rules, ordinances and resolutions on the city website presently known as Doverohio.com.

“We have been getting a lot of record requests, and this would be a simple procedure where we can have them posted on the website. It creates greater transparency; it creates greater accessibility,” law director Doug O’Meara said. “This will give people direct access to the ordinances and the resolutions. I think it’s a good idea, and we can just point people to the website to look there when they ask for documents. They can look them up themselves.”

Documents would not be posted they were signed and official ordinances. Council President Shane Gunnoe was in favor of ordinance 39-21 too.

“This year we’ve tried to use technology to increase transparency and accessibility for the members of the public,” Gunnoe said. “Although public comment isn’t allowed (unless it is in person), we have our meetings online and make sure the public can see them. We’ve requested the auditor put up the city’s finances on the Ohio checkbook, and this would be another good step, posting not only the codified ordinances, but everything that has been passed, as well as council rules online. I don’t see any downside to it at all. It’s a positive thing for everyone.”

Councilman Bob Mueller said residents are not to rake leaves into the street. Leaves must be placed on the curb strip. No signs of any kind should be on the curb strip but may be placed in yards.

Justin Perkowski told of his experience with the 311 program that is on the city website.

“I used it a couple weeks ago. It’s a great program. I put in for some yard pickup. I got a text message back confirming that they got my ticket, and about three hours later, I got another text message saying that the waste was picked up. If you haven’t taken advantage of it, it’s a nice program,” Perkowski said.

Mayor Richard Homrighausen reminded council that Dover City Trick-or-Treat is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30 from 6-8 p.m. The annual Dover Lions Club Halloween Parade will be Wednesday, Oct. 27. The parade will line up on Walnut Street in front of the high school beginning at 5:30 p.m., and the parade will begin at 6:45 p.m. Registration is available on the city website or in the mayor’s office.

The mayor reported that the city gas aggregation program prices will remain at $3.05 per mcf until the end of October 2022. Contact his office for any questions regarding the program. The city began hydrant flushing on Oct. 4, and it will continue for approximately three weeks. The hydrants will be flushed Monday through Friday from midnight until 6 a.m.

It also was announced that the Fire Prevention Month open house at the Dover Fire Department has been canceled due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

Council went into executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss pending litigation. The next council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 18.