Progress Editor

PAULDING – Chickens and goats shared the spotlight with cockroaches at Paulding Village Council’s regular meeting Monday, Aug. 5.

Council also heard a positive report about summer pool attendance.

At the last meeting July 15, the main discussion centered on a cockroach problem in two buildings on West Perry Street, which caused a restaurant to close temporarily.

Village solicitor Harvey Hyman told council one of the buildings was inspected last Tuesday, July 30. Among those present were the inspector, Bruce Essex, plus building owner Hacker Combs and one of Combs’ employees. Hyman said the property had received two extermination treatments since the last council meeting.

Hyman had received the inspector’s report Monday and some progress has been made in addressing the infestation. Essex examined the building’s six apartments and a commercial storefront and found live and dead cockroaches.

Essex also found a few building code violations.

Additional treatments are recommended. The village will send Combs a copy of the inspection report and notice to have additional extermination treatments, which must occur within 10 days of receiving the notice.

The building code violations must be corrected within 45 days.

If there’s no improvement in the roach problem after the next waiting period, “then abatement is the next step,” Hyman said. The village would have the option to step in for enforcement.

Hyman noted Combs has repaired a broken window in the storefront.

The Past Time Café, located next to Combs’ building, has been closed since early July due to cockroaches coming through the fire wall into his building. Owner Mike Iler was present at the meeting to hear council’s update. He hopes to reopen as soon as possible.

The building inspection report noted garbage facilities are “inadequate for six dwellings plus storefront property. Noted overrun containers, which poses a health risk by attracting pests.” Iler and others said the trash containers behind the building are typically packed full.

Since council passed the building maintenance code and pest prohibition code at its last meeting, the village has received some complaints from apartment tenants in other locations in town. “The tenants feel they have a voice now,” remarked one resident attending the meeting.

Also during the meeting, pool manager Mark Hurd reported on attendance this season. Despite opening a month later than planned, attendance totaled 7,652 between July 2 and Aug. 4. That represents a 340 percent increase over last year.

The largest single-day attendance was 413 on July 3. Average daily attendance was 225.

The dramatic increase is likely due to free admission on those days due to a number of business, individual and anonymous donors. The usual cost to swim is $3 per person.

Hurd, who is a teacher, noted he has seen a lot of families and children coming to the pool who, under normal circumstances, couldn’t afford the admission price.

The concession stand also has experience a dramatic increase in sales compared to 2018.

The council and mayor expressed appreciation to all who donated this summer.

Hurd said the pool will remain open through Aug. 18 if he can get enough lifeguards. Several have quit because of other commitments or because they have moved.

Village administrator Dale Goebel commended Hurd on the job he has done this season. Hurd anticipates returning as manager next summer and already has worked on preliminary planning. He hopes to acquire sponsors to allow free admission the entire season. He also hopes to begin the hiring process earlier in the spring.

One of the donors this year, Clint Vance, was among the individuals attending Monday’s meeting. He believes the number of people taking advantage of free swimming shows “how poverty stricken the county is.” While regular admission is only $3, if a parent is taking four kids that’s $15 to get in, which not everyone can afford.

Michael Schweinsberg, OSU Extension educator, 4-H youth development, approached council about a proposed ordinance banning “farm animals” within the village. He expressed concern about how this could impact 4-H members and potential members and their projects.

Many FFA members also have animal projects.

The ordinance, which council later tabled before its first reading, states “Farm animals includes horses, ponies, goats, pigs and cows, fowl as well as any animals listed in a particular category of permitted animals with respect to impacts on nearby properties, including noise, odors, safety hazards or other nuisances.”

Schweinsberg said not every animal is considered livestock, such as rabbits and chickens.

4-H kids residing in town have kept pygmy goats, market goats, sheep, ducks, turkeys, chickens, exhibition birds and rabbits. Schweinsberg said 4-Hers learn good management practices, including manure management, and typically keep their animals very clean because they will be shown at the fair.

Council agreed to have the ordinance committee meet with Schweinsberg and possibly some 4-H members or parents to further discuss the proposed legislation. The meeting was set for 5 p.m. Aug. 15.

Recreation board member Andrea Schlueter said some skatepark features need repaired or upgraded. Some items could be safety issues. The park will be 15 years old next year. Council referred the matter to its recreation committee.

Goebel announced the Garfield Avenue culvert replacement project has started. The new culvert should arrive in September.

Goebel also said a set of filters has been replaced at the water treatment plant. Another set will need to be replaced in the near future.

The safety committee met to discuss EMS runs in the Oakwood area when the Oakwood squad is unavailable. The committee had no recommendation. It was decided the mayor, village administrator, council president, EMS director and safety committee chairman would meet with Oakwood officials for further discussion. The meeting was set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6.

The safety committee also recommended starting advertising in September for an additional police officer. Council accepted the committee’s report, which allows the recommendation to proceed.

Councilman Dave Burtch reminded council that the Paulding Chamber is hosting a Tunes, Brews and BBQ event this Friday evening, Aug. 9. Included will be live music, food and a car show.

In other business, council:

• approved noxious weed and water/sewer assessments against 15 properties.

• approved fund transfers of $4,140 from the Income Tax Fund to the PCFA Fund for work on the fire station; $96,487.17 from Income Tax Fund to General Fund; and $32,162.39 from Income Tax Fund to Capital Improvement Fund.

• heard the utility committee will look into a possible rate study and rules change on the utilities policies. A meeting with a consultant may be set up in September.

• heard the Nazarene church youth group pulled weeds and cleaned up LaFountain Park.

• learned Mayor’s Court collected $882 in July.

• heard the police department in July received 267 service requests, handled eight traffic accidents, wrote three traffic citations into Mayor’s Court, completed 482 security checks, sent seven junk notice letters and issued zero junk ordinance citations.

• heard that in July, the police department received $25 in parking fines.