JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center Council approved several new handicapped parking spots in the village at its meeting Monday.
Council approved the emergency measure to insure handicapped accessibility to Huffer Chiropractic at 315 S. Main St. and The Family Life Center at 310 Davis St. Village Administrator Bruce Metz said the additional parking designations will insure reasonable access to both facilities and are part of an on-going effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for all citizens living in and visiting the village.
In other new business council approved the appropriation of funds to purchase a new dump truck with a snow plow for the village. Council had already approved ordering truck in March of this year; it is now ready for delivery. The 2019 Freightliner plow truck is being purchased from Stoops Freightliner of Lima, Ohio.
“We are replacing a truck we purchased in 1979. The replacement will insure we are able to keep up with ever increasing demands and that we have reliable equipment to get the job done when the time comes. Though the truck costs about ten thousand dollars more than the last one purchased, it features a stainless-steel bed that will provide a lot more years of service than conventional steel beds making it more cost-effective in the long run and a better deal for the village overall,” Metz said.
Council approved an emergency resolution to authorize the funds necessary for covering expenditures for the roadwork turn-lane project at the new Airstream facility on the village’s west side. The $112,000 advanced from the general fund will eventually be reimbursed back to that account in the form of grant monies the village will receive in the near future.
Two issues were discussed by council. The first concerned upgrades to the village tennis courts. Metz said he is looking into options to make some much needed maintenance improvements to the existing courts as well as the possibility of changing one side into four smaller Pickleball courts.
Pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a Whiffle Ball, over a net. The sport shares features of other racquet sports, the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules somewhat similar to tennis, with several modifications.
“Pickleball really seems to be gaining in popularity, I have seen the courts in larger communities and they were packed with people waiting to line to play, we are considering designation half the court space we now have available for tennis to pickleball but we need some input from our community to see if it is a move in the right direction. Regardless, if we go that way or not the courts need to be resurfaced to repair cracks and general maintenance. Our village fiscal officer Bev Wren will be putting a survey up on the JC Facebook page to see what people think about the changes; I will report on the findings and what we plan to do in a future meeting,” said Metz.
Next Metz discussed a long-term plan looking into designing and constructing a new water plant.
“We are looking way down the road here but we need to start the process now as it will take several years to see the project through fruition. The first step will be determining a qualified engineer to do the planning; tonight I am seeking council’s permission to proceed with that process. After getting an engineer it will take quite a while to determine our future needs and draw up proposed plans on how to meet those needs so we’ll probably be looking at 2021 before that portion is finished. Next we’ll apply for grant funding to help pay for the project; our current water plant will be paid off in 2023 and we will not begin any construction process until after that so as not to have over-lapping debt,” Metz said. Council approved Metz’s request to get things started.
Council heard a report from David Klopfenstein with Anna Rescue on plans to order a new rescue truck. Klopfenstein said they are looking into what type of vehicle would best fit the future demands of the department and will inform council about their decision once a determination is made. At present Anna rescue works alongside Airstream in providing emergency services for Jackson Center and several other surrounding communities.
“The new truck or van will probably cost around $200,000 or more fully equipped,” Klopfenstein said.
Before adjournment Metz reported on a number of ongoing season preparations around town as well as working with Police Chief Wirick and ODOT on future plans to extend the school traffic zones for safety’s sake. Metz also shared some info on electricity generated by the village solar field and the Shelby 33 Smart Corridor project now under study by ODOT and other local entities. Metz also thanked Water/Wastewater Superintendent Braden Lotz and plant operator Drew Sosby for a short tour of the Wastewater Sewage Plant prior to the regular council meeting.
Council went into executive session for the purpose of discussing employment of a public employee and pending litigation.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.