Council approves salary increase for fiscal officer

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

MINSTER – Minster Council agreed to raise the salary for their temporary fiscal officer and heard reports from committee members at their Tuesday night meeting.

John Stechschulte, who has been serving as an interim fiscal officer for the village, was given an increase in annual salary from $12,500 to $60,000, which was passed by emergency ordinance. Rather than retiring a few months ago, Stechschulte had stepped into the role of fiscal officer when an another person decided against taking over the role.

Village Administrator Don Harrod said Stechschulte’s work hours are in the mid-30’s in order to avoid full-time status which kicks in requirements for benefits such as health insurance, said Harrod. They were in the process of interviewing some promising candidates for a full time fiscal officer and it was hoped that the village would be hiring a permanent employee within the next few months. At that time, he said, Stechschulte would be able to train the new employee, then go into retirement as previously planned. Harrod noted this was the first time the village would have a full time fiscal officer. In the past, two part-time employees handled the village’s finances.

In committee reports, Nicole Clune, council’s safety committee chair, reported that in the first quarter of the new year, Minster-Jackson Township emergency department had a total of 85 runs. She there were 73 runs were in Minster, 7 in Jackson township, 3 in Van Buren township and 2 in McLean township.

Clune also mentioned that the Ohio Department of Transportation District 7 had approached her about the possibility of creating a new bike path connecting the canal paths in Minster and Fort Loramie. She said she was told that it would be up to the village to reach out to the other political subdivisions as to whether they would be interested in participating.

Another council member, Craig Sherman, who chairs council’s branding committee, said last week Miami University sent out the first round of the needs assessment surveys to households within the village. Harrod said the village will follow up with a reminder card.

Sherman said all households are asked to complete the survey either on-line or in the paper format. The survey is designed to obtain feedback from residents regarding the village’s operations and future projects. There will be no cost to the village other than postage and paper costs. It is hoped to complete the Minster survey in first half of 2022.

Finally, council member Tom Herkenhoff reminded dog walkers they are expected to pick up their dog’s refuse. He said he had received several complaints from the public.

Harrod also reviewed of a variety of village projects.

He said CDM Smith has been responding to a number of questions from potential bidders regarding the new water tower project. Harrod said based upon the number of questions the new bid due date may be moved to May 20.

Harrod said Brumbaugh Construction the reconstruction of Seventh Street continues, currently completing the installation of the storm sewer along east Seventh Street and finishing the sanitary work. Once completed, the contractor will begin removing the old water line and wrapping up the installation of utilities.

AES/DP&L have indicated that they will start work the second or third week of April on rerouting their dual transmission line that lie along North Ohio Street, Harrod said. AES/DP&L has an easement from the village along Seventh Street and the access drive to the compost area in order to reroute one of the dual feeds from Ohio Street. The steel poles for this project have been dropped off at the site. Once they are finished with this project, said Harrod, they will begin to work on the rebuilding of the transmission line between the village and the Amsterdam substation.

He said the village is currently accepting applications for part time summer employees at both the swimming pool and for the park’s department. Applications can be obtained at the village offices and should be returned to the village by the end of April.

The Water Department has completed the annual Consumer Confidence Drinking Water Report that is required by the Ohio EPA. This report will be sent to all residents and businesses within the village and details the testing and the make up of the village’s water system, he said.

The cold storage building at the Waste Water Treatment Facility has been completely renovated. Work was completed by Baumer Construction and Buschur Electric, he said.

Harrod reported the Public Works Department is preparing to cut in and build a new parking area for those who want to use the bike path between Minster and New Bremen. This new parking area will be built on the north side of State Route 119 at the canal and will give those who park there a place to safely pull off of the road.

The village administrator said Brian Brothers Painting of Piqua will be in the village to sandblast and repaint all of the steel dugouts at the Four Seasons Park. Over the years, these have started to show some rust and will be sandblasted and repainted. In addition, they will also sandblast and repaint the diving board towers at the pool while they are in the village.

National Water Service will be in the village to begin the preliminary work for drilling some new test wells near the waste water treatment facility. These test wells will be used to determine if a viable source of water can be located that could be used for dilution of the village’s total dissolve solids coming from the water treatment facility.

In other action, council approved moving employee Luke Lazier from an introductory to full time status after a sx-month probation period. He receives a 32 cent raise on his current hourly rate of $16.75.

Council also approved paying for new skid loaders for the electric and public works departments, a zero turn mower and a gator for the parks department.

Additionally, they paid for an inflatable rescue boat for the fire department, and two couplings for the water department. Harrod said the fire department would reimburse the village for the boat.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.