PANDORA - Safety issues near the St. John Mennonite Church was a topic for the final meeting of the year for members of the Pandora Village Council. For four members, it was the last one of their careers.

During the Dec. 10 council meeting, church member Dave Lee was present to ask Council for their consideration regarding the pedestrian crossing on the east side of the church on County Road 4. The church is located on the west side of the road and people crossing that area have to deal with oncoming cars which is presenting a safety issue. Changing the speed limit and putting up signs in the area was discussed with council members. The area has been annexed into the village so the church could receive municipal utilities.

Road 4 is a county road so the Putnam County Engineer's office would have to become involved if new signs would be needed. Lee did not believe pedestrian crossing signs would be that expensive, but he is planning to speak with Troy Recker of the county engineer's office to get his professional opinion on the matter. Lee told council they would be willing to lose a parking spot if needed. Lowering the speed in the area to 25 mile-per-hour would be one plan.

"That would be one option to get people to slow down," Lee said. "People fly by and semi's fly by. They're going too fast."

Council President Kevin Vance said a stop sign will slow traffic down in that area. Mayor John Schlumbohm said the village could put up a "stop" sign and maybe a "stop ahead" sign, but Vance did not think that both signs would be necessary. But, he supported council take action in the matter.

"I agree that's a hazard out there, it really is," Vance said.

Meanwhile, the mayor updated council members about a proposed bin to store stone materials off Basinger Road. The village recently sold the former maintenance building on Krohn Street so they no longer have that facility available. Schlumbohm also plans to ask Village Administrator Stan Schneck to get the area surveyed.

Council also had a discussion regarding water rates in planning for a new water tower sometime in the future. Fiscal Officer Lana Burry told council there is some flexibility in depositing the water bill payments. She could put more in the water fund and less in the sewer fund if that would be desired. Council also discussed the possibility of raising water rates, something that has not been done in more than 10 years. The mayor noted council last passed an increase in water rates in 2003 which went into effect in 2005.

"We're going to have to do something with the water tower," Councilman Rick Fricke said.

Schlumbohm also thanked the retiring council members for their service to the community. The meeting was the last one for Kevin Vance, Mark Painter, Jon Hall and Rick Fricke.

"It was a pleasure to have served the community," Vance said.

In other business, council:

Approved the final reading of a measure changing the way council members will be paid. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, council members will be paid a salary of $1,800 per year.

Was informed the mayor hopes to swear-in the new council members on Jan. 1, 2014, in the event any decisions are needed to be made prior to the next meeting on Jan. 14.

Was informed a resident requested council not remove a tree in front of her home. AEP is removing the tree because of its condition and council cannot stop it. It was noted the village no longer has an active tree commission, but Council will be willing to plant a new tree for this resident.
story created on Tuesday 12/17/2013 at 11:44:46 am by Anne Coburn-Griffis
story modified on Tuesday 12/17/2013 at 6:29:33 pm by Kirk Dougal