WJ community center will host health fair and art show


(Posted Feb. 7, 2018)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Activity is picking up at West Jefferson’s Community Center.

At the Feb. 5 village council meeting, Marci Darlington, parks and recreation director, outlined ongoing and upcoming activities and programs at the center, which opened last summer.

Two popular activities are chair exercises and line dancing, Darlington said. The newest program to start is a walking path with stops for exercises along the way. This program will be held open between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Specials shows include a health fair sponsored by Madison Health from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 3. A powerlifter born with two fingers on one hand will be a special guest at the fair. He will be in central Ohio for The Arnold Classic weightlifting and body building extravaganza in Columbus.

Also on the schedule is an art show the last week of March, during Easter break for the schools. Artwork will be displayed throughout the building.

“This coincides with Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday, but the work does not have to be Van Gogh-inspired,” Darlington said. Van Gogh was born March 30, 1853.

In addition to being open to the community for exercise and enrichment programs, the center is available to rent for private functions. The village has received so many inquiries about rentals that council authorized a $2,000 appropriation for rental deposit refunds.

Messenger photo by Sandi Latimer
West Jefferson Mayor Ray Martin (right) administers the oath of office to Billie Leevy, a new part-time officer for the police department.

In other business at the council meeting, Billie Leevy was sworn in as a part-time police officer, bringing the police department’s staffing to 12 full-time and two part-time officers with two positions still open. Mayor Ray Martin said he hopes he will be able to appoint a new police chief by the Feb. 19 council meeting.

An item tabled at the Jan. 15 meeting was taken off the table, discussed, and approved. This concerned the purchase of a zero-turn mower, water meter and radio read endpoints, wood chipper, and furnace and air conditioning units.

The items were included in the village’s 2018 budget, but questions arose over the size of the wood chipper. Public Service Director John Mitchell said the chipper is big enough to take logs. It was priced at a cost not to exceed $32,000. He and Martin said the chipper will pay for itself in the long run, saving rental costs. The industrial sized chipper is built to last 15 to 20 years, Mitchell said.

Mitchell strives to get items at state group costs to save the village money. The mower with a trade-in allowance should not exceed $7,500; the water meter reading equipment will cost $30,000; and furnace and air conditioning units will cost $16,500.

Council also:

– authorized the purchase of a server for the police department for $29,000; a server for village hall for $25,000; and $7,800 in computer upgrades;

– accepted a proposal from Mannik and Smith Group Inc. to perform professional engineering services for the Walnut Street and Fellows Avenue reconstruction project;

– adjusted the years of service for Jon Allen in the public service department to reflect his previous work experience in Dublin, putting him at the 10-year level as a public servant.

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