Village employees must test for drugs

Revisions have been made to the drug testing policies for village of Urbancrest employees. Now, not only will current employees have to undergo testing, but federal and state law mandates that prospective ones do as well.

The measure was discussed at the Dec. 2 village council monthly meeting.

During the application process, they will be given the drug test, as well as an option to back out if it.

If the applicant fails, but feels that their test was faulty, they will be given the opportunity to take another test. If they fail the second test, the new revisions require them to reimburse the village for those costs.

If the applicant passes their drug test, they will be made aware that during their tenure with the village, they will be subject to either mandatory or random testing, depending on their employer.

"There needed to be a specific procedure in place so the employers do not feel singled out," said attorney Linda Lawrence.

The subject of prescription medication was brought up during the discussion, as they could possibly give false positives for drug tests, but Lawrence said there are separate waiver forms on site for that specific type of testing.

Plant news

It has been almost a year since the Tropical Nut and Fruit Company announced their intentions to build a production center in Urbancrest and the grand opening is getting closer to becoming a reality.

"We see the light at the end of the tunnel," joked Alicia Lehota, president of the Tropical Nut and Fruit Columbus branch.

Ideally, the manufacturing center will be open for business by the middle of January, but Lehota said there is still work to be done regarding the installation of desks for the offices, the carpets and a few walls.

"We should know within the next 30 days where we stand," she said.

She noted that they would also know if the center needs additional employees within that time frame.

The production plant will bring with it hundreds of jobs, but most of those positions are already filled as they maintained most of their employees during the relocation to Urbancrest from Worthington.

A question on if the company would consider hiring residents who have limited English speaking abilities was posed to Lehota, and she said it is something they would definitely be willing to do.

"We don’t necessarily need someone who can speak English, but they do need to be able to read basic English," she said.

Additional development news

Council passed a resolution authorizing the mayor and the fiscal officer to enter into negotiations with the Pagura Company to develop an agreement on a proposed commercial development site in the area.

At the Nov. 4 meeting, Steve Pagura came to the board to discuss the possibility of constructing a Columbia Gas building on Lewis Center Way, located north of the Merry Milk Maid site.

The proposed building would be developed on a five-acre site at a cost of $550,000 for both the construction and the land use. It would also feature a 120-foot communication guide tower (not to be confused with a cell phone tower) that would cost $1 million to construct.

At the meeting, Pagura stated that the company has a $1.5 million payroll, which would be a boom for the economy of Urbancrest and would even hire local workers to their staff, providing they are able to drive two-ton trucks and have a Commercial Drivers License.

Public meeting

The next block watch meeting has been scheduled for Dec. 12 at 6:15 p.m. The discussion will be held at the Southwest Community Center YMCA, 3500 First Ave. Council encourages all residents to attend the informational session.

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