Village of Thurston

Council Meeting Minutes

August 8, 2002



Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm by Mayor Hite.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Roll call:  Robert Ortman – Present; Nona Buskirk – Present; Mary Barber – Present; Roger Aubery – Present; Warren Simpson – Present; JT Hilliard – Present; Jo-Ann Hite – Present; Aaron Reedy – Present.


Guests introduced themselves.  Sheriff Phalen and Deputy Dixon were present from the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office.  Asst. Post Commander Tom Dean was present from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.


Several residents from the Village were also present.  JT opened the discussion by welcoming the guests.  He said there is a lot of speeding through town; also some homes and cars being broken into.  He has discussed patrol options in the past with the Sheriff’s office.  He said one part of the county shouldn’t get favored over any other part.  JT said he doesn’t see the Sheriff’s presence much in town.


Several residents expressed their concerns about speeders, passing inside the corporation limit, safety for children, and appreciation for the work the Sheriff does.   Some residents expressed concerns about children staying out all night causing trouble.  More parents need to take control of their children.  Vicki asked if there was a curfew.  JoAnn said there was.  Vicki said she sees them out at all hours drinking, puking and urinating.  She also said that when we had a village police officer, we were known as a speed trap, but at least the speed was down.


Someone asked about funding for local police.  JT explained the current police levy.  Mike Jackson asked if we could pay for additional patrol time from the Sheriff’s office.  Sheriff Phalen said that Bremen and Pleasantville pay the County for the time of County cruisers, which is about $15 - $20 per hour.  They would enforce local ordinances.


Mr. Pickens asked about overweight trucks, if there were scales available to weigh them.  He said anytime between 6am and 6pm they go down High St.  Officer Dean said there were portable scales that could be used, but the offenders would just top the overweight problem for one day, and then resume another day.


Tammy Prather said local police has been a dilemma in Thurston.  Business helps build the Village.  It used to be that the old Village police was ineffective.  She said she’d be behind it 100% if we use County resources.  She asked that Council and the Mayor investigate this option, but “don’t hurt us.”


Sheriff Phalen said if we get police, allot the hours through the week and vary them.  He currently has 6 cars that cover Fairfield County.  He’s been putting the speed trailer in Thurston, which has been helping some.  He said he would contact the duty officer and try to give some special attention to Thurston.  He will do some monitoring and come back and discuss where we are at the October Council meeting.  He understands our concerns and will do some more enforcement.  He said he would try to spend time at the feed mill with scales.  He may possibly put a deputy in place for so many hours per week.


Someone mentioned a Neighborhood Watch, and that people should take personal responsibility.  Sheriff Phalen said he would provide Crime Watch material to the Village.  He also announced that on September 7th at 10am and 2:pm at the YMCA gym in Lancaster, there will be a “How to be Safe” program for kids and their parents put on by the Sheriff’s office.

Council thanked the guests for coming.  At 8:20pm, a break was taken while guests left.  The meeting resumed at 8:27pm.


Keith Dall from M&E was present.  He said OPWC applications were coming up for Issue II money (state grants for public infrastructure improvements).  Thurston has received funds for 2 phases of the storm sewer improvements project.  Last year’s application was not approved.  Keith wants to know if we want to resubmit the application.


JoAnn wanted to know if we could add to it.  Keith said if the addition is connected to the project in some way.  He said the minimum local share is 10%.  Lynn Anders, Terry Prather and Tammy Prather were present to discuss a different issue.  Lynn asked about a storm sewer for Long Street.  Tammy Prather said it should be done; they are taxpayers, too.  She believes field tiles are blocked.  In heavy rain you can see the water shooting up.  She said it’s been going on for too long.  Lynn asked Keith if it would be better chance of getting funding for a project installing new storm sewers than one that would repair them.  Keith said it the Village would have to pay a higher percentage of the job for a new storm sewer.


Tammy said that the residents on the east side of the railroad tracks could sign a petition to no longer be a part of the Village.  The Village would lose their tax money.


Aaron explained that appropriations had already been made and there was no money available at this point.  Even if we changed appropriations, we just don’t have the cash.


Keith suggested that Thurston should have an engineering contract with M&E.  This would allow them to look at the current issues/needs and report to the Village what needs to be done.  Several Council members expressed interest.  Discussion continued on the issue of applying for money for the Third St. storm sewer project and the possible new installation at Long St.


Keith said the re-application for Third St. would cost $450.  New applications cost $1200.  Roger made a motion to not submit the Third St. project in lieu of looking into the Long St. storm sewer issue.  JT second.  Roll Call vote:  Bob, yea; Nona, yea; Mary, yea; Roger, yea; Warren, yea; JT, yea.  Motion passed.


JoAnn thanked Keith for coming and staying through the long meeting to present this to council.


The floor was opened to the folks from Long St.: Lynn Anders, and Terry & Tammy Prather.  Terry said they did not know, and were never asked if they wanted Long St. paved or widened.  He said the flow of water has changed.  The road is now 5 – 8” higher than it was.  He said it looks like a drunk laid the street; it’s crooked.  He said they were told the project would take 4 days.  They came out on a Thursday and dug a 3” hole by Wilson Ave.  They didn’t come back until the following week.  He called to complain and they never called back.  He still feels the road isn’t done.


Lynn said she just put in new carpeting.  She knows it will flood and be ruined the next time it rains or snows.  The three continued to explain their frustration with the roadwork.


Mary said she heard that it was her fault for going with Heiberger.  She wanted it understood that though she raised several issues about the bids submitted, Council made the final decision.  She was told that Heiberger tried to tell Lowell it was too high, but Lowell said to do it according to Council’s wishes.  Lowell said they never told him that, and he wasn’t even around when they did the job.


Since the gentleman representing Heiberger couldn’t stay at the Council meeting due to the long meeting time, it was suggested that we have a special meeting to meet with Long St. residents, Council, and Heiberger.  That was agreeable.  Aaron will setup a meeting as soon as possible and contact the residents of Long St.  Lynn gave Aaron all the phone numbers.


Nona had to leave at this point.


JT made a motion to approve the July 2002 minutes.  Mary second.  All yea.


Mary made a motion to approve the July 2002 financial statement.  JT second.  All yea.


Aaron read the third reading of Ordinance 2002-06-13-2, An Ordinance Amending the Traffic Control Map (No Parking On a Portion of the Parking Lot Located at the Municipal Building).  JT made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2002-06-13-2.  Roger second.  All yea.


Roger made the motion to adopt Resolution 2002-08-08-1, A Resolution Authorizing the Transfer of Funds and the Declaration of an Emergency.  JT second.  All yea.


JoAnn said a person is interested in buying land for a business.  But we haven’t heard anything else.


JoAnn said that Spires paving came and did Keller’s paving on Long St.  She also said Heiberger paved Long St.


JoAnn said they sprayed for mosquitoes on July 26.


JoAnn asked if there was any new business.  Lowell said there was a revised Sewer Contract to sign for the Walnut Creek Sewer District.  They changed the rates for operator breaks.  Mary made a motion to approve the revised contract.  JT second.  All yea.


Aaron told Council he went to the County Budget hearing last Monday.  They suggested Thurston repeal the Policy Levy.  With the current discussions for police needs, we’ll hold off on that.  Aaron also said the Village will get approximately $17,100 next year for Local Government distribution.


Mary asked about the $2000 that is being collected on our behalf.  Aaron said they have submitted the appropriate paperwork to the State, but it will take a while to process.


JT said we should do something because Mike’s trucks are out of service.  They need to be fixed.  The only vehicles in service are the Rescue, Engine & Squad.  Everyone agreed that he should get these in service.  Council directed Aaron to write a letter to Jeff, Village Solicitor, about what disciplinary action could be taken.


Since there was no other business to address, Roger made a motion to pay bills and adjourn.  Warren second.  All yea.  The time is 10:25 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,



Aaron L. Reedy, Clerk