PORT JEFFERSON — Tim Smith was elected to serve on the Port Jefferson Village Council at the regularly scheduled meeting, Monday, July 2.
Smith, a long-time resident of Port Jefferson, received unanimous approval and will serve alongside Krystal Cox, Loretta Cook, Sharon Whitehead and David Clem. Mayor Steve Butterfield reported there is at least one other person interested in becoming a council member in the near future, which should bring the total up to the desired number of six if all goes well.
After the swearing-in ceremony for Smith, council approved the minutes from the last meeting, then heard and approved a financial report from village Fiscal Officer Judy Fair. Butterfield also reported there was an income of $400 from mayor’s court with $364 going to the village general fund, $24 to the police department and $12 to the computer fund.
Butterfield reported the village received notification from the Ohio Department of Transportation that it will smooth and re-seal the portion of state Route 47 within the city limits of Port Jefferson sometime in 2021. He also reported the Ohio Public Works Commission granted the village $33,470 to resurface portions of East Lane Street and Canal Street. The village will be required to pay 10 percent of the cost plus $3,000 to Choice One Engineering for overseeing the project.
Next, Butterfield reported that the village had received a Community Development Block Grant for $20,471 to refurbish the village community center. Updates include resurfacing the floor with a vinyl-epoxy finish, new flooring in the restrooms, installation of a new water softener and repainting the inside walls. Butterfield said the village will advertise for bids to do the project sometime in the early fall and with plans to complete the project in the spring of 2019.
In other business, the council heard and approved a request from the Port Jefferson Fire Co. to change the zoning for the land it recently purchased from the village to construct a new firehouse. Council suspended the three reading rule to initiate the process of changing the property from R-1 residential and allow for a conditional use permit to satisfy zoning classifications. There will be a public hearing, Aug. 6 right before the regularly scheduled council meeting to allow residents to ask questions or voice any concerns they have about the proposed construction.
“Only those owning property within 100 feet of the said property will be allowed voice at the hearing,” Butterfield said. After the hearing, council will vote on the request.
Butterfield then reported that the mayor’s office/council building west of the community center has developed a substantial leak in the roof which has caused damage to the inside ceiling and the office area.
“The leak just started recently but, all things considered, the best thing we can do is replace the roof, seeing it has not been updated since about 1980,” Butterfield said. He then asked council for their input.
Cook said, “We need to get this fixed as soon as possible. I suggest the mayor find out what needs to be done and then we can take the appropriate action to fix the problem.” Smith suggested getting multiple estimates and Butterfield then noted that he would check on the availability of loans to pay for the project and remedy the problem as soon as possible.
The mayor then opened the floor to council and Smith asked where things stood on the village clean-up and if the letters of intent concerning village protocol had been sent out yet.
“This needs to be done now while the weather is good. A lot of it is just yard work like cutting weeds; but there is also a need for some general cleanup and trash removal,” he said.
Butterfield said the letters had not been sent out and asked Smith if he would help deliver them. Smith said he would do so very soon.
Butterfield then spoke to those in attendance about the house demolition on Canal Street that was completed last week by the Shelby County Land Bank. Butterfield noted the property will probably be turned over to the village unless someone is interested in buying it.
“It is only a half lot, so I’m not sure who would be interested in buying it. If acquired by the village, we will maintain lawn care as necessary until such a time it is used for something else,” Butterfield said, noting that there were some other properties in the village that really needed attention, but the village had done all it could to enforce ordinances pertaining to lawn mowing, cleanups and overdue septic bills and added the costs incurred to the real estate taxes of the owners. “Now it’s up to the Shelby County Treasurer’s Office to collect back taxes. One of these situations started in 2001, and I hate to think how much money is owed for sewage bills alone,” Butterfield said.
Before adjournment, Butterfield thanked everyone in attendance for coming. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be Aug. 6.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.