Town hall can serve as warming center

(Posted Jan. 11, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

When severe winter weather knocks out power, Mount Sterling town hall, 1 S. London St., is open to residents as a warming station.

Madison County Sheriff Deputy Jack Dill shared this information at the Jan. 9 village council meeting during discussion about the winter storm that hit the area the weekend of Dec. 23.

“A lot of people don’t know that town hall is a warming station,” Dill said. “There is power here when the power is out in town. There’s heat.”

A few people nearly took advantage of the service during the recent storm, he said, but their power returned before they had to make the trip.

Dill also reported that sheriff’s deputies conducted a few well checks on residents who were without power during the storm.

Tom Byrne, village administrator, said the village fared well during the storm.

“We had no waterline breaks,” he said. “Many residents had some issues, and we usually got called out on those. I want to thank the first responders because they went in and helped out a lot on those.”

Byrne also thanked council for approving the purchase of new salt spreading equipment last year. It came in handy, he said. While temperatures were too cold for salt to work early on in the storm, the salt did make a difference in clearing the roads quickly as temperatures warmed. The new equipment does a better job of spreading the salt, he added.

Regarding response to the storm, council member Andy Drake, chair of the street committee, added, “It went about as well as it could, considering the circumstances. And we have adequate salt for the rest of the year.”

With winter and heating needs in mind, Drake noted that residents who are struggling to pay their energy bills can apply for assistance through Madison County. Residents can call village hall for more information, (740) 869-2040.

In other action and discussion:
• Council re-elected Drake as council president pro temp for 2023.

• Council accepted the following donations to the parks and recreation fund: $400 from Mayor Marci Darlington’s fundraiser during Christmas in the Village; $140 from HammerTime’s chili cookoff during Christmas in the Village; and $250 from Mount Sterling’s law director, Stephen Smith.

• Byrne reported that the village’s new tree and beautification committee had their first meeting and is exploring ideas for 2023 projects, including an Arbor Day celebration. He said he hopes to have young students from Madison-Plains take part to learn about the importance of trees and how to plant them.

• Kristie West, a building and zoning official with the village of West Jefferson, provided a rundown of building and zoning activity for Mount Sterling for 2022. Mount Sterling contracts with West Jefferson for those services.

Last year, West’s office issued a total of 234 permits on behalf of the village. Of those, 25 were for new dwellings. The others ranged from permits for residential projects like fences and sheds to zoning variances and commercial permits.

• The Sheriff’s Office has utilized one of its new mobile speed detection devices on Main Street in Mount Sterling. Dill said he will share the data collected as soon as it is retrieved. The next time the device is used in Mount Sterling, it will be placed on West Columbus Street.

• Darlington said she is looking forward to what’s in store for the village in 2023.

“There are good things coming to Mount Sterling this year. We really need to be ready for it. It’s going to be an exciting year,” she said.

“We’re going to do our due diligence and put Mount Sterling back on the map for all the good things we are and have been.”

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