PAULDING – Paulding Village Council narrowly rejected a committee recommendation to hire a full-time EMT during the regular meeting Monday, Nov. 7.

However, council members said some more work needs to be done as they consider whether to move forward.

The EMS was brought up at three different times on the agenda: in committee reports, in the mayor’s report and in citizens’ comments.

Mayor Greg White announced Sue Crossland is acting as interim EMS coordinator until a replacement is hired. Officials said Dave Foltz had resigned as coordinator, effective at the end of October.

Councilman Dan Workman reported on the Oct. 24 safety committee meeting. They discussed job duties of a potential full-time EMT (emergency medical technician) and for the coordinator.

The committee recommended that council proceed with hiring one full-time EMT for 60 hours per week; 35 hours at the station and 25 hours on call. No pay scale was decided.

A motion to accept the committee report would have approved the hiring recommendation. Council defeated the motion with Councilmen Barb Rife, Randy Daeger and Lois Beamer voting no, Tim Boss and David Burtch voting yes and Workman abstaining.

“We will keep moving forward with the hiring, or non-hiring,” Mayor White said.

“If you want to continue on, we can still flesh out [details] until we’re all satisfied, and then we can revote again,” said Rife.

Paulding EMTs Andrea Schad, Kara Hart and Thomas Shrider were present Monday. Schad said all three originally supported the idea of adding a full-time EMT, but now urge council to look into the issue further.

“It really does need to be really looked at, more than just saying, ‘okay go ahead and hire somebody,’ she told council. “There’s just going to be no way that we can afford almost $50,000 a year for more than a couple of years. … We’re not going have anything left in our budget.”

The $50,000 figure apparently is estimated salary and benefit costs for a full-time EMT.

“I’m not saying don’t take applications and start looking into full-time, but … it’s not gonna be feasible for more than a couple of years. That is why the three of us came again tonight,” Schad continued.

“I just think there’s other avenues we can go down before we push for full-time,” said Shrider.

Boss said council had been told it’s difficult to find volunteers to cover the weekday shift from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. because most people are working, and a full-time EMT would help solve that problem. Schad responded that if council looks at the schedule, weekends are problematic, too, because no one wants to make runs on weekends, especially in the summer. She contends that even if someone is hired, they still would miss some calls.

Several other EMS topics were briefly discussed, but at the end of the conversation Schad told council: “The biggest thing is looking at the full-time.” Council thanked the trio for their input.

Council asked Finance Director Cheryl Halter to look at the tax rate for the EMS levy and if it should be renewed as a replacement levy.

Residents are reminded that bagged leaf pick-up is continuing on Mondays and Thursdays until further notice. The bags must be tied and placed at the curb for pick-up.

Halter reported the utility billing software is finally up and running. If residents notice any mistakes on this month’s bill or have any problems, they should contact the village office.

Some additional services may become available, such as setting up automatic payments. Halter will look into options after the first of the year.

Halter has started working on the village’s budget for 2023. She and administrator Jason Vance have meet with the water department to review budgetary needs, and still need to meet with the street and police departments. A finance committee meeting was set for Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Vance has been working on revising the 2023 cemetery mowing and park mowing contracts, which will need to go out for bids.

Councilman asked Vance for a spreadsheet on vacant building registration program status. Vance noted that a couple more notices have been sent to building owners.

Mayor White offered thanks to Shawn Brewer and students from Paulding High School for helping to clean up the downtown. He said they worked hard and did a great job.

Barb Rife asked for a building and grounds committee meeting to discuss alleviating drainage issues at Live Oak Cemetery. Rife said engineer Scott Strahley has an action plan ready.

The police department during October responded to 213 service requests and five traffic accidents; issued one traffic citation; wrote no parking tickets; completed 294 security checks; sent 10 junk notice letters; and issued no junk ordinance citations.

In October, Paulding EMS had 105 calls and 87 patients for a year-to-date total of 757 calls and 690 patients. The squad missed eight calls due to lack of personnel and provided mutual aid once for Oakwood EMS.

The public is reminded the annual Merry & Bright parade is set for Nov. 28. Groups and nonprofit organizations interested in entering a parade float can obtain an application on the Community Revitalizing Paulding (CoRP) Facebook page.

Council committee meetings scheduled were:

• Buildings and grounds committee at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, regarding cemetery drainage.

• Ordinance committee at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, regarding proposed zoning code updates.

• Finance committee Nov. 15 following the ordinance committee meeting.

The next regular council meeting is 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21. The public may watch live via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4451352151. The meeting ID number is 445 135 2151.