NEW BREMEN – Work on the new state Route 274 left turn lane at the Crown Equipment entrance will move forward now with the approval of the New Bremen Village Council at their meeting Monday night.
Council passed by emergency an ordinance to award Tom’s Construction a $583,690 contact to widen and add a left turn lane on state Route 274 at the Crown Equipment plant entrance. The contractor had asked to dispense with the third reading in early May so that the company could jump-start preparing for construction. It is expected that work will begin in late May or early June.
Parks and poop was also on the agenda last night. Village Administrator Chris Dicke said she has received complaints about dog owners not picking up after their pets at the dog park and that the village’s maintenance crews had also noted a large uptick in leavings left in the grass. Mayor Bob Parker reminded everyone that there is an ordinance requiring such clean up to protect the health of their pets and that the village has provided bags at the dog park.
Council also approved a first reading of an ordinance updating the shelter house rental fees and terms after clarifying changes as to how far ahead shelter houses can be reserved. The new rental agreement allows shelter houses to be reserved 12 months in advance. There had been a period when the shelter houses could be reserved 18 months in advance. However, administrator Dicke said the village had found that allowing 18 months in advance was seriously interfering with the village being able to set aside time for village events, particularly at The Pavilion.
Councilman Jacob Larger, as chair of the council finance committee, reported that the April expenses for the Village were 2,407,651.25 and that March income was $2,389,194.48. He noted that the expenses were higher than normal because of payments toward the new electrical substation and the Franklin/Ash streets renovation projects.
Although no decisions were made, council also discussed what would happen to village events and the pool opening as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause events to be canceled. Councilman Don Kuck said that in May there were two events, a food truck rally planned for May 12 and a village-sponsored concert planned for later in the month. Kuck noted food trucks were being allowed to sell food at rest areas so perhaps this event might go on. Mayor Bob Parker told council they would follow the guidelines of Gov. Mike Dewine’s office and the local health department as to whether an event would be canceled or not.
Also approved by council was the second reading of the ordinance for the village’s medical insurance premium cost. The measure has the village paying 90% of the cost with employees covering 10%.
Parker also noted this week is National Police Week, and although events planned had been canceled due to corona-19, he thanked the police department for their service to the community.
Council than adjourned to executive session to discuss the 2020 wage ordinance. No action was taken when they returned to session.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.