Jackson Center roars 2022 to a close

By Megan Lewis - For the Sidney Daily News

JACKSON CENTER — As the 2022 year comes to a close, members of the Jackson Center Village Ckuncikl welcomed a new firefighter to the village.

During its Monday, Dec. 19 meeting, council approved Spencer Yinger as a probationary firefighter at the request of Fire Chief Jerry Davis.

Village Administrator Bruce Metz explained the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and how he calculated it. He added a provision to the budget should a financial emergency arise again after a brief mess-up occurred when a check from April 2021 was cashed recently. The budget was passed, but left open should any more unexpected issues occur.

Metz asked council to approve the upcoming construction of a new water treatment plant at cost of $390,000 and should be completed by 2024. Metz is currently looking for grants to help lessen the financial burden on the village.

Council discussed whether they should make Farmers and Merchants State Bank their primary bank for all their governmental accounts. Farmers and Merchants recently merged with People Federal Savings and Loan and now occupy their former buildings. A representative of the bank sat down with Treasurer Bev Wren and Metz to explain why they are the best people for the job. Solicitor Michael Burton suggested if they wish to make the change, they should draft and pass a resolution to that effect.

Councilwoman Leisha Elchert wondered why they should end their relationship with their current primary bank, US Bank. Wren said the change will be better because Farmers and Merchants have a better customer service response than what they’ve been recently getting from US Bank. They also provide easier services on banking tasks, such as wire transfers.

Wren said Farmers and Merchants would be the “best option for the village’s money.”

Council decided to put together a resolution to be ready for approval in January 2023 to begin transferring accounts over at the beginning of February.

Once the banking issue is settled, Elchert went over the emergency call log for the year. The 15 firefighters of Jackson Center responded to 75 calls for the year 2022, most of which were mutual fire response calls.

Police Chief Chuck Wirick explained the grant program he is working with through Vested Interest K9s to get K-9 Tyson, the safety vest he’ll need now that he is finished growing. The vest will be given to the village in loving memory of K-9 Corey.

Zoning Enforcement Officer and Economic Development Director Ed Maxwell reminded the council that he needed them to review and pass the rules and regulations for the upcoming cemetery project that they now have the registration for sometime early of next year. He also stated that they had four new houses start sets that went up this year, making it a total of 111 in the last five years.

The AMI project is currently on hold by CMI. To get the water meter information into the AMI system, CMI has to put in a new program for the water meters to do that task. Currently, they are requesting a quote from CMI for that work to be completed.

The solar field and its substation produced 2,830-megawatt hours of power this year. Though this is 40 megawatt hours less than what it produced last year, Bruce contributes this to cloudy winter weather. While on the subject of winter weather Street Superintendent Jim Butler wanted to let everyone know that they are well prepared for the upcoming snowstorm predicted to hit the state on Friday.

Other community projects discussed at the meeting were the new storm line on Hudson Street and the construction of a new Wastewater Management Plant set to begin construction in January.

Metz and Wirick gave an update on the Radio Policy and Procedure Committee where they discuss putting up new communication towers. They are working with Motorola on the project as they have guaranteed 95% coverage in town including inside 41 buildings they consider critical points at no cost to the building owners.

The trailer park in Jackson Center has been sold to an attorney out of Columbus. As of right now, he is fixing things up the best he can, upgrading the electricity for the residents, filling up the potholes with gravel while he looks into paving the roads and providing each trailer with its own individual water meter. Residents claim he has done more for them in the last month than the previous owners ever did for them in 20 years. He is currently living in one of the trailers to get a more personal understanding of the property and the work that needs to be done. He is discussing replacing the old trailers with new models three or four at a time within the next seven years.

The meeting ended on a festive note as they announced the winner of the Annual Christmas Decoration Contest. Congratulations to Todd Seitz and James Miller at 105 Village Parkway. For winning the contest their electric bill will be paid (up to $250) for December. In second place, and with half their electric bill paid is Dave and Misty Shields of 207 James St. Third place and a quarter of their electric bill paid are Tina and Terry Brown 212 Davis St. While on the subject of Christmas lights the village agreed it was time to update their own, and decided to invest $50,000 toward the project. A committee will meet in January to discuss the issue further.

By Megan Lewis

For the Sidney Daily News