Botkins council renames section of Sycamore Street

By Heather Willard -

BOTKINS — Botkins Village Council renamed a section of Sycamore Street to honor retired Navy Seal Steve Van Horn during its meeting, May 30.

The section of Sycamore Street between East Walnut and East South streets will be renamed “Dutch” Van Horn Way in honor of the Botkins native, and the sign will be unveiled during the Carousel Parade, at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, June 11. Van Horn will be the grand marshal of the parade.

Botkins Village Administrator Randy Purdy discussed an ordinance to establish new “tap-in” fees immediately due to the increasing economic development in the village.

The issue was explored in the framework of when the fees would be created if the ordinance passes. Originally, Purdy wrote the proposed change in such a way that the council could waive the three-readings rule and establish the fees as soon as possible. However, council feared that such a move would dishonest, and all three readings will be given. The earliest the fees could enacted is in six weeks.

The council continued a discussion from the previous council meeting determining the status of a contract between the village’s fire department and Auglaize County’s Pusheta Township. Purdy reported that he had reviewed an audio recording of a 2016 meeting and found the audio to be as ambiguous as the written record. The council moved to not pursue the 3 percent increase this year, but to negotiate for an increase when next year’s contract with Pusheta is arranged.

Councilman Lance Symonds updated the committee on the Fire and Safety committee meeting, starting with the news that the village’s police cruisers now have printers installed, allowing tickets to be printed in the field. The police department also issued 11 parking tickets recently, but whether warnings associated with the new ticketing procedure occurred was not known.

“My understanding is that parking was so horrendous, especially during graduation at the school, that tickets had to be issued,” Symonds said.

Botkins’ Fire department received the MARCS radio grant in March in an amount of $32,920, and the radios are being programmed but have not been received yet. Additionally, Fire Chief Pat Fullenkamp looked at the wrong budget when ordering hose and over-ordered about $200 worth of hose. No action was taken concerning the effect on the budget.

Botkins Fire Department received the State Fire Marshal grant for $10,000. This was used to purchase five sets of personal protective equipment.

Purdy discussed sending a letter to five families who will be affected by sidewalk renovations. They will be delivered letters asking them to attend the service committee meeting next week, June 6, with some details on what their responsibilities will be for this project.

In other business, United Way has offered approximately 50 man-hours to the village for work at the park. Possible projects discussed included weeding and tilling the volleyball court, sealing the basketball court and tree trimming or removal. No decisions were made.

A number of other matters were also topics of discussion:

• An extension of 370 feet to Commerce Drive in the Industrial park was discussed. This would double the length of the road and encourage industrial growth in the village.

• One firefighter completed NIMS 300 training, and two completed the NIMS 400 training.

• Neither grant received by the fire department will cover the washing machine the department needs, but council expects to see quotes on washers within the next few council meetings.

• The city engineers are almost ready with plans for the water treatment plant, but will not be ready to start work in July. They are hoping to start work in August.

• Street analysis is complete, and the report will give some idea of the quality of the village’s roads concerning what needs to be replaced or repaired.

• The Woodland subdivision developer is sending site plans to Purdy for him to submit for tax abatements. The developer will loop the water main, hook up street lights on same meter and complete compression testing soon.

• A resolution authorizing the Ohio attorney general to collect delinquent income taxes was given a first reading, as was the ordinance to establish tap-in fees.

• The council is preparing for their breakfast during Carousel, which will be served by council members from 8 to 11 a.m., Sunday, June 11.

By Heather Willard

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.