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Loudonville Village Council on Monday, May 1, approved use of a portion of Central Park near Loudonville Public Library as the site of a food service program for youth this summer.
Approval was sought by the children's department of the library, and the Community Health Mission, respectively represented by Kristin Wilson and Karen Motz.
"Last summer, we provided service on two days a week, serving meals to about 80 youngsters a day once we were up and running," Wilson said. "This year, based on the need determined based on family incomes in the community, we have been given approval to increase this to four days a week."
Council unanimously approved the request, with Mayor Steve Stricklen noting "my understanding is this is an extension of the breakfast and lunch programs for low-income students conducted in the local schools."
Wilson said figures she had received indicated that with 80 meals a day served, they are still only reaching about 12 percent of the eligible population, according to county income figures.
In other business, Stricklen administered the oath of office to Joe Kiefer, new assistant chief of the Loudonville Fire Department.
Stricklen said with the appointment of Kiefer and of new fire chief Mike Carey in March, "I am confident the fire department will run smoothly from this point."
After the oath, an emotional moment took place when Kiefer's father, retired Loudonville Fire Department Capt. Ron Kiefer, pinned the assistant chief's badge on his son.
Carey advised council that at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 7 a major mock disaster program will be conducted at the Agrimart facility on Ohio 3 just east of the village.
"This will be a huge program, involving county disaster and emergency management programs, the sheriff's department, state patrol, the railroad and other agencies," Carey said.
Stricklen urged Carey and others to "get the word out about this event ahead of time, because when people see it going on, they are going to call us with questions about it."
Council approved an amendment to its salary ordinances, increasing hourly rates for swimming pool employees for the upcoming summer season.
It also discussed and urged village maintenance crews to look into correcting a situation at the community dog park on Wally Road, where the chain link fence there is curling up allowing dogs to get under it and escape the confines of the park.
It approved use of ball fields in Riverside Park by the Loudonville Youth Association from May 1 through Aug. 31; use of the park for the Mohican Community Fund's Fun, Fabulous Friday program July 15; and a street closure and banner request for the Mohican MTB 100 Saturday morning, June 3.
It also agreed to donate four Ohio Theatre passes to the Cancer Crusaders Program in Hayesville.
It also accepted a $2,000 gift from American Legion Post 257, Loudonville, to conduct Tuesday night community swims at the village pool this summer.
Council Safety Committee Chairman Bill Welsh announced that he and fellow safety committee members, Roy Wilson and Tom Young, are reviewing regulations regarding the fire department. He encouraged anyone with questions on this process to contact him or other committee members.
Young asked village staff to consider making a right turn on red available at the Main-Water Street intersection in the downtown to east traffic congestion. Law Director Thom Gilman said that the Ohio Department of Transportation may have ultimate jurisdiction on traffic decisions on that intersection since it carries Ohio 39 traffic.
Councilman Michael Robinson asked that a missing sign on Burwell Avenue be replaced.
Stricklen reaffirmed praise on fiscal office staff members Elaine Van Horn and Jane Hollinger, and tree commission members, "for hitting the ball out of the park in hosting the Tree City USA gathering last week. We set the bar to a new high for Ashland, which will host the event next year."
Also regarding the tree commission, council confirmed the mayor's appointment of Nicole Shearer as a new commission member, replacing Joyce Chipner, who has retired.