(Posted June 21, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The village of Mount Sterling is on the hunt for a full-time village administrator.
The position has been vacant for sometime now. Courtney Bricker, Mount Sterling’s fiscal officer and council clerk, has been fulfilling the duties of the village administrator during the vacancy.
Bricker recently announced she wanted to move to part-time and handle only the fiscal officer and council clerk duties. On June 13, council approved the employment agreement with a unanimous vote. Bricker made that transition to part-time on June 21.
The village is advertising for candidates for the full-time village administrator position. As part of the hiring process, they must present their search results to the state’s financial commission oversight board. The village’s next meeting with the board is July 12. With the board’s approval, the village could hire a new village administrator as early as July 13.
Bulk Water Rates
Council approved a rate increase for bulk water sales. Previously, the cost was $6.35 per 1,000 gallons. The new rate is $13.50 per 1,000 gallons. Examples of customers who buy bulk water are those filling tankers or swimming pools.
Becky Martin, chair of council’s water and wastewater committee, said Mount Sterling’s rates are well below those of other municipalities in the area. The committee took a hard look at the cost to produce the water, she said. Those two factors led to the committee’s recommendation to raise the rate.
Council passed the legislation as an emergency so that the rate could go into effect immediately. This time of year is peak time for bulk water sales. The measure passed 6-0.
Council’s safety and block watch committee is recommending a couple of safety-related changes. The first has to do with fireworks.
The state of Ohio recently made it legal for private citizens to set off fireworks on the following holidays: July 3-5 and the weekends immediately before and after; Labor Day weekend, Diwali, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day weekend, and Juneteenth. Citizens can set off fireworks on their own property or on another person’s property with the property owner’s permission.
Local municipalities can set parameters related to this new law. Mount Sterling’s safety committee is recommending the village allow residents to set off fireworks until 11 p.m. on all of the holidays listed above with the exception of New Year’s Eve/Day for which they are recommending a cutoff of 1 a.m.
In response to another change in state law, the committee is recommending the village allow concealed carry of guns at town hall. Currently, town hall is a gun-free zone.
Council has made no decisions on these recommendations at this time.
With council’s unanimous vote, the village will be designating parking spaces on London Street from Church and Houston streets to Columbus Street. Currently, parking spaces are not marked. The markings should be completed by the end of June.
Additionally, the no-parking zone at Market Street and West Columbus Street will be extended by one car length to eliminate a blind spot and improve safety at the intersection.
Rob Longcoy, council’s liaison with the Sterling Joint Ambulance District, reported that the district has hired two part-time basic emergency medical technicians (EMT). One of the new hirees was already serving as a volunteer for the department.
“With hiring those two, it really alleviates a lot of the staffing stress we’ve had,” Longcoy said.
He also reported that the district raised its pay rate for volunteers in an attempt to attract and retain volunteers. Previously, the volunteer pay rate was $60 per six-hour time block. Now, that block rate is $72 for basic EMTs, $78 for intermediate EMTs, and $84 for full EMTs.
Honoring Jimmy Gossard
Council passed a memorial proclamation in honor of the late Jimmy Gossard who passed away on April 7. Gossard had been a member of the former Mount Sterling Police Department for 26 years. During his tenure, he served as police chief. He retired in 1989.
He also had been a Mount Sterling fire fighter for two years and served as a cook in the U.S. Army. He was a member of Masonic Lodge 269 and American Legion Post 417.
The proclamation recognized Gossard’s contributions to the community and the country, thanking him for his volunteerism, dedication and heroism.