PORT JEFFERSON — The village of Port Jefferson held a public hearing before the regularly scheduled council meeting to allow for any public input or questions concerning the possibility of proposed zoning changes to allow for the construction of a new fire station.
The Port Jefferson Fire Company recently put a down payment on approximately three acres of land north of the community center but did not want move forward with the project until a conditional use permit request was approved. Mayor Steve Butterfield opened the floor to the public for any questions, or comments. Keith Schelly, attorney for the fire department, was present and provided a brief overview of the history of the project and the current status of the land purchase and asked if there were any questions; there were none.
Butterfield noted the conditional use permit would be in force only as long as the fire department owns the land and that if the land is ever sold or used for another purpose the permit would no longer be in effect and zoning would revert back to the original status. Butterfield then closed the hearing and proceeded to open the regularly scheduled meeting.
Butterfield announced the appointment of a new council member.
“As you have all probably noticed we have a full council tonight and would like to welcome our newest council member Bob Bollinger. Thank you for your interest Bob, we look forward to working with you,” said Butterfield.
Butterfield said the fire department had requested using the community center on Sept. 23, 2018, for a chicken fry fundrasier. Council agreed to let the fire department use the facilty free of charge on the condition they clean up the hall after the event.
Next council heard a report from Andrew Shuman from Choice One Engineering in Sidney concerning repaving a portion of North Lane Street between Broad and Walnut and also a portion of Canal Street. Shuman reported bids for the project opened on July 30 and he had received two bids; one from Buehler Asphalt Paving of St. Marys, for $39,504.50, and another from Wagner Paving of Laura, for $39,277. Shuman pointed out that both bids were higher than the OPWC grant allocation of $37,000.
It was noted council had a choice on whether to accept the lower bid and let the village pay the difference above the grant provision or compromise on a portion of the street repair required on Canal Street.
“A portion of the street needs to be dug up and the base rebuilt around a surface water basin that is currently washed out. You could just pave over it but it won’t be long until the problem returns; In order for it to last it must be reconstructed,” Shuman said.
Butterfield asked council how they felt and councilman Tim Smith suggested “doing it right.” The rest of council agreed and Butterfield said there should be just enough funding in the village license fund to cover the difference in cost of reconstruction. Port Jefferson will still have to pay 10 percent of the $37,000 plus engineering costs.
Next council heard the reading of an ordinance and declared an emergency to suspend the three reading rule in order to move ahead with the land sale for the fire department. Council passed the ordinance for the conditional permit request which satisfies the admendment of zoning requlations necessary for construction approval. The fire department now has the green light to proceed with purchase of the land.
“It’s nice to get this finalized, but we have a lot of fund rasing to do before we will be ready to start construction,” said Port Jefferson Fire Chief Tom Fitzpatrick. The sale will be finalized soon.
Butterfield then reported an income of $1,265 from traffic fines and $1,215 from the state of Ohio Liquor Control for the village’s percentage of fees collected for liquor permits; this money will go to the village’s general fund.
Council then passed a resolution approving the amounts and rates set by the Shelby County Auditor for the 2018 property tax and funds collected from a 2.7 mil tax levy for the fire department.
Smith reported he had an estimate from JDB Tree Service of Lima for $800 to remove two trees in the village. The price includes removing stumps and clean up; council approved the project. Smith then asked Butterfield if plans had been finalized on how to proceed with the village clean-up project.
Butterfield said ordinances were in placed and asked if council wanted to proceed with the process of notifying the residents in writing and then follow through with the necessary steps required to complete the project. Council agreed the process should begin. Butterfield said he would talk to the police department about delivering the notifications and get the project underway.
Before closing the meeting, Butterfield thanked those in attendance for coming and said since the first Monday in September fell on Labor Day that the next meeting would be moved to Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.