West Jeff applying for grant for skateboard park


(Posted March 18, 2015)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

John Mitchell, West Jefferson’s public service director, told village council on March 16 that a skateboard park could be installed by the time school lets out for the summer.

Mitchell is applying for a grant whereby the village would pay only 25 percent of the cost. He estimates the cost at $51,540, which puts the village’s share at $12,885.

If a grant is secured, the skateboard facility would go in at Converse Park where a pad already exists.

Mitchell said he looked at two other potential sites—the municipal pool and the former Galbreath Hall property—before settling on Converse Park.

The pool has plenty of parking and accessibility, but comes with safety concerns.

“I feared the kids would skateboard into the street,” Mitchell said.

As for the Galbreath Hall site, he said it is too small and too close to residences.

The village began looking into the idea in January after 14-year-old resident Andrew Weber appeared before council, suggesting that a skateboard park would be one way West Jefferson could offer more activities for youths.

Shred Smart Day and food drive 

The village is hosting a Shred Smart Day and food drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 25 at the village gazebo on Main Street. Residents are invited to bring their confidential paper documents for shredding by Fireproof of Grove City.

At the same time, residents can donate non-perishable food items for West Jefferson’s Good Samaritan Food Pantry.

Compensatory Hours

Council is considering increasing the number hours village employees can accumulate in compensatory time and adding a stipulation that they can cash it out only in June and December.

Currently, employees can accumulate as many as 80 hours and take that time at anytime during the year. After they reach 80 hours compensatory time, they are paid time and a half for overtime hours.

Under the proposed amendment, employees could accumulate 120 hours in compensatory time before being paid time and a half for overtime hours, and they could only cash it in twice a year.

“It makes it easier on Debbie,” said councilman Cory Coburn of the work that Finance Director Debbie DiLeo faces when making out payroll.

The ordinance will come before council at its April 6 meeting at which time a vote could be taken.

Bricker and Eckler contract 

Council will continue its contract with the Columbus law firm of Bricker and Eckler for assistance regarding tax increment financing (TIF) and community reinvestment areas (CRA) as they relate to business development. The cost is not to exceed $15,000.

The village first entered into an agree-ment with the law firm in November.

“They’ve helped us a lot,” said Mayor Darlene Steele.

“They’re developing guidelines for us to follow in the future,” said Ron Garver, council president.

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