Mayor Rich Miles announced at the Monday (July 3) meeting of Perrysville Village Council that the village had been approved for a $75,000 grant to fund a recreational trail connecting Weltmer Park, on the north side of the village, with the Bridge Street bridge over the Black Fork, on the west side.
Receipt of the grant was expected, and village officials and volunteer workers have been busy clearing trees and debris off the trail route for several months.
Much of Monday's discussion revolved around the condition of the village sewer fund, which is down to 51 percent of the total annual appropriation at the midway point of the year.
Fiscal officer Jackie Holland said the department has been plagued by unexpected expenses, including higher costs for sludge hauling, tripled costs for treatment testing and a number of expenses inherited with an aging system.
One possible solution to the issue is the way the sewer operation is funded.
"Right now, our water department gets 51 percent of our water/sewer bill revenues, and the sewer plant 49 percent," Holland said. "We could change those percentages to give the sewer fund more revenues."
"We could also ask the Board of Public Affairs (the board that oversees water and sewer plant operations) to sharpen their pencils and watch costs more closely." Council member Kerry Rich said.
Toward that end, Council member Jonas Bush suggested and eventually arranged scheduling a special council meeting to discuss cost concerns with the Board of Public Affairs for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, after the board's regular meeting.
Council member Dale Lepp, council's liaison with the Green-Perrysville Fire Department, said the department had decided to put off running a tax levy to fund a 24-hour, full-time operation until at least May 2018. "We are just not ready to run such a levy," Lepp said.
Miles and Council member Duane Holland voiced concerns that the Ashland County Sheriff's deputy patrolling in Perrysville hasn't issued many tickets lately.
In other business council:
■ left up to Miles scheduling an employment handbook review committee meeting to work on updating the handbook;
■ were advised work on storm drain installation on First Street has been completed;
■ increased coverage on several items in the village inventory, resulting in an increase in lands and building insurance, purchased through the Whitaker Myers Agency in Wooster, from $8,611 to $9,226;
■ learned bids are being sought to replace a broken water line on Second Street;
■ scheduled a Finance Committee meeting to finalize the 2018 budget for 7 p.m. Monday, July 10.
■ accepted a bid from Shaklee Heating, Ashland, to replace the furnace and air-conditioning systems in the Perrysville Community Center at a cost of $10,200;
■ increased the life insurance coverage provided village employees from $20,000 to $50,000, while dropping dental insurance coverage. The cost of the increased life insurance was offset by savings gained by dropping the dental insurance, which, fiscal officer Holland said, "our employees have never used."; and
■ hired Mike Disbennett as new village zoning inspector, replacing Deb Brecheisen, who resigned.
Jackie Holland reminded four council members, Rich, Heather Mullinnex, Holland and Naomi Smart, that their council terms expire this year, and deadline to file petitions for the Nov. 7 election is Aug. 9.