By DAVID GREEN
Fayette has a third full-time police officer on duty, with hesitation voiced by only one council member.
Council members voted last week to hire David Richmond at a rate of $13 an hour. Richmond has served in Fayette as a part-time officer and he received a strong recommendation from Fayette chief Jason Simon.
Richmond had been pursuing a job elsewhere, Simon said at a committee meeting last month, but stated that he felt some loyalty to the Fayette department and looked forward to moving to a small town.
Council member Rodney Kessler said he wasn't completely in favor of hiring another officer.
"There are several reasons I'm against a third full-time officer," he said, "but I don't want to lose Officer Richmond."
Earlier in the meeting, mayor Ruth Marlatt stated that when council members agreed in the past to employ three full-time officers, there was an understanding there would be no more overtime hours. About $5,000 in overtime was spent last year, she said.
"If David Richmond is hired," Marlatt said, "I would like to return to the principle of no overtime."
That would be possible with additional part-time staff, Chief Simon said, but the department is losing another part-time officer.
Simon spoke to council last month about the difficulty of finding and keeping part-time officers. Later in the meeting, council members voted to accept the resignation of part-time officer Alanna Langenderfer.
PARKING—Council voted to extend an agreement with DH Holdings, the company that owns the former school property near the park. As long as the village takes care of the property, the parking lot and grassy area may be used by community members. Acceptance is still needed by Fayette board of education.
CELL PHONE—Council voted to reimburse park director Nick Ramos for up to $250 worth of cell phone use for the current year to cover costs he incurs through park business.
APPLICATIONS—The village received 24 applications for the new part-time utility and tax clerk position and 20 applications for the streets and grounds positions. Blue and village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver will review them and recommend to council which candidates to interview. An interview committee will need to be appointed.
PARK—The Methodist church youth group does not want to operate the park concession stand this year and park director Nick Ramos is seeking a group interested in using the stand for a fund-raising project.
The board hasn't yet determined the cost of closing all entrances to the park in order to create a dog run inside the track. Blue said his research shows that the area might not meet the standards for a dog run. If it were designated as such, children under 10 years of age would not be allowed inside due to feces and the possibility of dog bites.
WATER—Utilities supervisor Jeff Merillat reported a 20 percent increase in water usage in the last month and he suspects a leak. He urges residents to call the village office if standing water is spotted.
Tom Rupp said that due to a health condition, he would no longer serve as the lead operator for the sewer plant and he would turn that over to Merillat. As a backup operator, he would require $20 an hour plus a retainer fee of $25 a month to pay the cost of keeping his licenses current.
Marlatt thanked Rupp for his service to the village and asked the Finance committee to consider his request.
EMERGENCY—Fulton County Emergency Management Agency director Heather Kost told council her agency is planning training programs, starting with a "Weather Observer and Storm Spotter Training" event April 4.
Disaster planning is on-going, Kost said, including comprehensive county-wide planning with school districts.