West Jeff news: Pool opens to non-residents, council member resigns

(Posted July 7, 2020)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

West Jefferson’s municipal pool is now open to non-residents.

Village council members amended guidelines for pool use at their regularly scheduled meeting on July 6.

The pool was originally closed to non-residents this summer to prioritize resident use under restricted occupancy as dictated by COVID-19 safety regulations. However, pool use has been low. Although the capacity limit was set at 50 guests at a time, the pool has typically only had 16 to 20 guests at any given time since opening.

“This way we can get more people in (to the pool) and hopefully get more money,” said Steven Johnston, council president, about lifting the restriction on non-residents.

Prior to lifting the restriction, the pool had turned away a few non-residents, but not a considerable amount, said Mayor Ray Martin.

The village also is raising the pool’s occupancy limit from 50 guests to 75 guests.

“It’s been going well the way it has (been). The gals have done a great job up there–the lifeguards and the managers. We’re just taking it to the next level,” Martin said.

Council president resigning

Steven Johnston, council president, is resigning from council due to health complications. His last meeting as a council member will be on July 20. Johnston is the village’s Ward 1 representative. The seat’s term expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

Anyone who lives in Ward 1 who is interested in filling the seat should send a letter of interest by July 20 to Debbie DiLeo, clerk of council, at ddileo@westjeffersonohio.gov or 28 E. Main St., West Jefferson OH 43162.

The remaining council members will interview candidates and choose someone to fill the vacancy. The person they choose will serve the remainder of the unexpired term. The seat must be filled within 30 days of Johnston’s resignation date of July 20.

As vice president of council, Jen Warner will conduct meetings in Johnston’s absence. Once Johnston’s seat is filled, council will need to elect a new president. If Warner is named president, council also will need to elect a new vice president.

CARES funding

The village plans to use federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) money to pay wages of safety service employees, retroactive to January. Safety service employees include police officers and the public service director.

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