Gratis Village council discuss lien on collapsed building


GRATIS —Gratis Village Council met on Thursday, June 6, and approved a motion to add an assessment to the property of the old town hall building which collapsed earlier this spring during a storm.

The council weighed different options for the lien on the building while on the phone with Ian Stegmaier who informed council the property owed around $17,000 worth of taxes which was more than the value of the property.

Stegmaier told council adding an assessment would be the best and cheapest method to pursue. Informing council seeking a judgment to be able to file a lawsuit on the property owner would not be a cost effective.

Council approved a motion allowing each department to make a yearly budget giving the head of departments like the EMS, Fire, Utility and Street Departments the right to spend money on everyday items needed to perform job functions instead of waiting for council approval.

There will be a set dollar amount for which the head of departments will still need council approval before purchasing.

The board also approved auxiliary officer Mike Myers to begin working for the village once a week on average. Myers graduated from the academy this month.

Myers will help fill the void left by part time officer Eric Stevens who stepped down to an auxiliary position. Council also approved Jennifer Riley to become a part time officer. Currently Riley serves as the department’s property room officer.

Council approved a motion to send Riley to OPOTA training at a cost of $150 from the $500 council sets aside for police training each year.

Police Chief Jeff King informed council the department received another radar unit from the state at no cost to the department or village.

The department also had the brakes and air conditioning fixed on car 292, free of charge, from an anonymous donor.

Another donation was received for electronic door locks. The department has already begun replacing the police department locks.

King also reported an officer was stuck with a sharp stick (needle) while performing a pat down and was required to go to the emergency room.

Council met with Susan Laux of Mote & Associates, who informed council the county commissioners will be voting to place an ad for bids to be made for the Mack Street water line project at their June 10 meeting.

She also encouraged the council to seek advice from county engineer employee Rick Keener on his advice for drainage problems occurring at the location.

Gratis Eagles will be hosting their annual cornhole tournament on Aug. 29. Part of Harrison Street will be close from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the event.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Alzheimer’s and the Crossroads Hospice center.

All music for the Gratis Summer Fest will be held in Gratis. The possibility of using the amphitheater at the Historical Society was discussed but it was determined it would be too expensive to host music there.

Gratis Village Council meets the first and third Thursday of every month at the village offices. Meetings start at 7 p.m.

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