Fire contract in question in Botkins

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

BOTKINS — Botkins Village Administrator Randy Purdy will listen to audio tapes of 2016 village council meetings to determine the status of a contract between the village’s fire department and Auglaize County’s Pusheta Township.

During the Botkins Village Council meeting, May 9, Pusheta Township trustees discussed the annual renewal of the contract, which covers the fire department’s services to the township fire district. According to Purdy, the contract calls for an automatic 3 percent per year increase in remuneration by the township to the department.

Purdy told the Sidney Daily News that in 2016, the Pusheta fire district asked if it could forego the increase for a year, pending a ballot issue, and the village agreed.

“The question is whether they owe the 3 percent for last year and whether to add the 3 percent this year based on including the 3 percent for last year or based on no increase last year,” Purdy said. Because the record of the discussion in the written minutes of the 2016 meeting is ambiguous, council asked Purdy to listen to the audio record that is made of each meeting to find an answer. He will do so before the next regular meeting of council, May 30.

In other business, former councilman Josh Meyer said he wants to purchase land from the village in the industrial park to construct a spec building. He had questions about price, right of first refusal for the purchase of adjacent lots and tax abatements. No action was taken.

In an unrelated matter, Meyer asked about the possibility of acquiring ownership of a 50-foot alleyway between his father’s restaurant, Meyer’s Tavern, and his father’s house. The village owns the alleyway, but the Meyers have been maintaining it for more than 30 years. He was told that the council can vacate the alleyway and transfer ownership. No action was taken.

Marcus Counts was sworn in as a councilman to fill the unexpired term of Meyer, who resigned from the council in April. The council waived the three-reading rule and passed a resolution of appreciation to Meyer for outstanding service to the village of Botkins. Meyer was presented with a plaque.

Two other resolutions were passed after the council waived the three-reading rule for each of them: One increased appropriations in the current sewer fund by $15,000 to pay for bi-annual sewer treatment; the other increased appropriations by $22,000 in the capital improvement fund and by $11,000 in the street fund to start Phase II of the street portion of the Woodland Subdivision project, which will begin along Sycamore Street as soon as specifications have been amended.

Purdy updated the council on a number of ongoing matters:

• He reported that a permit to Jim Pohlman for a lime sludge lagoon had been denied (see story, Page 1).

• The village received a designation for current agricultural use valuation (CAUV) of property the village had purchased from the Hagemans. The CAUV lowers estimated property value and therefore property taxes.

• Some Botkins residents have been wrongfully charged by Republic Services for waste bin delivery. Purdy told the council that anyone who has been wrongfully charged should contact the village office, which will then contact Republic Services to have the fees removed.

• The village has received estimates for planned sidewalk improvements. Purdy will schedule a meeting within the next month with the affected homeowners.

• Village garage sales will be today and Saturday. Maps and information are available at the village office and on a Village of Botkins Garage Sales Facebook page.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.