JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center Council recognized Sandy Shuff for her many years of loyal public service at the regularly scheduled council meeting, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.
From 1994 through 2018, Shuff served on the rescue squads of Jackson, Port Jefferson and Anna for a combined total of 25 years. Before presenting Shuff with a congratulatory plaque bearing the details of her long career, Village Administrator Bruce Metz and Mayor Scott Klopfenstein shared their sentiments and congratulated Shuff on a job well done.
Metz, a former member of the Jackson Center Fire Department, reflected on the years he and Shuff worked together: “Sandy and I go back a long way. We worked side by side in fire and rescue; she was always extremely dedicated and really knew her stuff, and it was a privilege to serve with her. We’re losing a great one here and though she will be truly missed, she has earned the right to a well-deserved retirement.”
Klopfenstein agree, praising Shuff for her standing as one of the best: “Sandy was as reliable as they come. She was always available, answering calls day or nigh, 24-7, working all the crazy hours that go with that position. Sandy took her job seriously and was great at doing what she did. She paid her dues, and it’s getting harder and harder to find replacements for folks like her. She will be missed.”
About a dozen visitors were present in the council chambers to see Shuff get her award, and several people commented on some of the highlights of her long and memorable career. Shuff acknowledged she never knew what would pop up next in the way of rescue calls, with some providing extreme challenges, but shared her regret about one particular need that never arose during her years of service.
“I always wanted to get a call that resulted in me delivering a child. Looking back, that’s the one thing I wish I could have been involved with. I trained for a multitude of situations, including childbirth, but it was never meant to be,” Shuff said.
In considering old business, the council heard a report from Klopfenstein concerning an ordinance permitting the construction of a new apartment complex on the east side of town that was tabled at a previous meeting.
“I talked to Todd Ratermann who told me he is still waiting for a deed to clear on one of the properties where the apartments will be built. There is an issue with some out-of-state paperwork, but it should be finalized soon; until then it will remain tabled.” Klopfenstein said.
Council then gave second reading to Ordinance 2018-036 concerning the 2019 budget.
“We have made some changes since the first reading of the budget and still have a few things missing and some areas that need adjusting. It’s a work in progress, but we’re getting pretty close to having all the details in each department worked out and should wrap things up soon,” said Metz.
Council then heard a progress report by Metz about moving the village income tax revenue to the general fund in preparation for the 2017-18 state audit coming up next spring.
“There are some new regulations coming from the state of Ohio, and we want to have all our ducks in a row in respect to meeting their guidelines. We are getting an early start on this so as not to be playing catch-up later on; the changes were deemed necessary by the state of Ohio to clarify exactly where and how all the funding is used,” Metz said.
In considering new business, council passed an emergency measure extending North Fork Street and South Fork Street into the new Westwood Estates Housing Subdivision. Ordinance 2018-038 will allow these streets to be added to the Shelby County plat map.
“Acceptance of this ordinance will allow for progress in the area of new home construction but will not apply to the sidewalks which will come later. Holding off on sidewalks assures they will not be damaged or broken during construction, which adds additional costs for the village to repair later on,” said Metz. After approving the extension of the streets, council then passed another ordinance allowing the village to provide stop signs, traffic regulations and police enforcement for those streets. The ordinance also allows construction to proceed for those building new homes in the subdivision.
In other new business, council gave first reading to Ordinance 2018-040 to accept the terms, rates and conditions for electric service provided by the village of Jackson Center. Council then gave first reading to a similar ordinance for the water and sewage rates.
“We are playing catch-up concerning covering the costs for water and sewage, so there will be a small increase to help bring us up to where we should be. These increases are necessary to insure that the cost of providing good service and maintaining the system are covered. The last three years have seen us in the red with sewage and water, so now is the time to make corrections. Overall cost increases to consumers won’t be too painful. Based on recent service study report, the increase for the minimum usage of electric, water and sewage will go up about $8.59 per month for all three combined. These increases will help keep us on track with maintenance and preparing for future growth, both of which are crucial in providing good reliable service, and that’s what people want and need,” said Metz.
Lastly, Metz shared a report on the proposed construction of a storm water line from the new Airstream facility on the west side of town.
“Initially we were looking at getting an easement and running the storm line from Airstream along the back side of Lacal leading to the detention pond located near there. After meeting with Lacal, it was determined there may be some new construction in the near future related to expanding the business and the possibility exists that we may have to go back in and dig up the new storm-water lines and reroute them, which is not a reasonable or logical approach. In the end, it would put additional financial burdens on the village, and we don’t want that, so I’m recommending a different approach. It will be a little more involved and cost more due to the nature of how we have to do things, but once it’s done, it’s done, and there will not be any changes made later that would require doing things over again or moving it to another location,” Metz said.
Before adjournment, Metz provided the administrator’s report and noted the electrical department has started running the permanent power lines to the Airstream construction site and that he is waiting for estimates from the contractor for replacing the roof on the salt storage building that was damaged in a recent windstorm.
The next scheduled council meeting will be Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.