PORT JEFFERSON — A new council member was sworn into office Monday night during the Port Jefferson Village Council meeting. Council also discussed the re-establishment of a police department for the village.
Council approved and appointed Krystal Cox as new council member replacing Vicki Smith. Cox was sworn in by Mayor Steve Butterfield.
A discussion about re-opening the Port Jefferson Police Department was the main topic for the meeting. Council discussed their option to purchase a police cruiser. There is a vehicle they are considering for the village’s needs. After the discussion, council approved a motion to purchase a cruiser at an acceptable purchase price. Butterfield was placed in charge of handling the matter.
Butterfield noted the expense associated with furnishing the auto with the necessary equipment was costly but with a few minor updates and repairs the car could meet their needs. He said he would keep the best interest of the village in mind while trying to reach a deal with the seller.
During an executive session council interviewed Mark Bell who was under consideration to fill the position of village police officer. After returning to the regular meeting, council said Bell met all the requirements to fill the post. Bell was hired as the village’s new officer.
An exact date of when the department will become active will be determined at a future council meeting. Bell’s salary, title and starting date will be determined in the near future.
Deputies from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office currently patrol the village at a cost of $12,000 per year.
Council also discussed and acted upon the following issues:
• The need to get the fire department to cash checks so council could balance the books.
• Need to update council computer
• Approved request by New Life Church to reduce sewage fees based on elimination of septic flow from a house on church property that was demolished.
• Discussed progress on efforts to reconstruct a portion of Spring Street.
• Check on zoning to evaluate the possibility of opening a house for homeless veterans at 438 N. Main at the request of Patty L. Fogt
• Moved to accept bid for handling village legal services by William Zimmerman, of Sidney, Ohio.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.