Fayette hires a new utility/tax clerk 2013.05.01

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette has a pair of new part-time employees following the regular April village council meeting.

After a 15-minute closed session, council returned to the table to unanimously hire Becky Thatcher to serve as utility/tax clerk to replace Dee (Potter) Lawrence who retired earlier this year. Lawrence was initially going to be replaced by employees already on staff, but that proved to be too much to handle in addition to their regular jobs.

Thatcher is formerly from Wauseon and now lives south of Fayette. She has bookkeeping experience and will be paid $11.50 an hour to start, followed by a 50 cent increase at the end of a probationary period. Thatcher is expected to work 20 hours a week, and more if needed.

Kevin Howard, Jr., of Oregon, Ohio, was hired to serve as a part-time police officer. One other part-time officer was recommended by a hiring committee, but did not attend the council meeting.

ZONING—Village administrator Steve Blue told council that he knows of several locations where residents have begun building projects without first obtaining a zoning permit.

"We want to remind citizens that a permit is required first," he said, "and that the cost of the permit doubles if not obtained first."

Blue wants to meet with the zoning board to propose a change in the regulation pertaining to storage buildings. He knows of at least one situation in which a prefabricated building is considered "movable" by the owner simply because it wasn't placed on a foundation.

Blue also wants the board to address an issue in which residents are bringing in multiple sheds and placing them along their property line.

TREE—Sewer work will proceed near a tree that a resident doesn't want cut. The resident is parking his truck underneath the tree to interfere with cutting, and he's vowed to stand under it himself if cutting begins. The trench for the sewer will run about two feet from the trunk, Blue said, and cut through the root mass. He said this could result in the eventual death of the tree. The effort to obtain an easement to cut the tree continues.

SEWER WORK—Projected construction costs of the sewer project shows it costing about $400,000 below budget, however, engineering costs are about $56,000 higher than budgeted.

Because of wet conditions on Trevor Hibbard's property east of the village where construction dirt is stored, loads of fill dirt are being taken to Armstrong Excavation property. Blue said it's rumored that the village will be charged for the work at the Armstrongs, but he said that isn't the case.

In another issue with soil, the dirt showing some contamination from the former Fayette Tubular property was removed from plastic sheeting and taken to the Hibbard property where it was mixed with some other soil. Gleason told Blue it would cost about $2,500 to remove approximately 35 truckloads of the soil.

"I don't see where the village should pay for that mistake," councilor Dave Wheeler said.

Other issues are likely to arise during the project, said village solicitor Tom Thompson, and costs may "net out" at the end.

Council member Diane Brubaker wondered if the dirt could be used to create a raised walking path to keep the creek from overflowing onto the running track. The projected cost doesn't make it look feasible, Blue said, because Gleason wouldn't be able to fit its large equipment in the narrow strip of land.

The dirt was originally intended to create a sledding hill, but there may not be enough leftover dirt overall for that project, Blue said. He said ODOT would remove it if it's piled together and use it for ditch work.

PARK—Blue said the high school sophomore class has agreed to operate the park concession stand as a fund-raiser and the park board is working on an agreement. If the class pays for a license and is charged for electrical usage, said village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver, the profit may not be as high as expected.

CELL PHONES—Council took no action on a bid from Verizon to provide service for six cell phones at a cost of $217 monthly, plus $29.95 for chargers. The current contract with Nextel expires in June.

ALLEY—James Crawford and Ron Merillat, representing Fayette Christian Church, received council's permission to apply blacktop to a village alley adjacent to the church parking lot. The lot will be paved when the village streets received new blacktop.

The alley is crowned, Crawford said, and the goal would be to flatten that and create one flat surface. The lot will be striped up to the alley, which will remain for public use.

Council voted unanimously in favor of the project, with Mayor Ruth Marlatt and council member Julia Ruger absent.

DEVELOPMENT—Fulton County Economic Development Director Lisa Arens told council that the commissioners want community development teams to work with her to help with development issues. Two local representatives will be chosen to inform the county what Fayette is looking for in its future and how it expects the county office to assist.

Fayette has a good aquifer, she said, and some businesses require ample water supplies.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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