Hiram – At the start of the meeting, Mayor Lou Bertrand called for nominations for an appointment to fill Alan Donley’s seat on Village Council. Mr. Donley gave up his seat in December 2013. Council approved the nomination of Mr. Tom Wadkins to fulfill the remainder of Mr. Donley’s term, and during the same meeting, elected Mr. Wadkins to the position of Council President.  Mr. Chris Cobb took his seat on council, as well.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Mr. William Steiner, Director of Portage County Solid Waste Management, was present to answer questions about a proposed contract for recycling services between his organization and the Village. Mr. Steiner shared that the Ohio EPA is in the process of writing a new plan for the entire county, and noted that the EPA’s plan is “somewhat restrictive.” Among Council’s questions was the ability to schedule weekly recycling pick-ups within the Village, as opposed to bi-weekly, as is the current practice. It was noted that recycling pick-up within Hiram Township occurs on a weekly basis. The resolution authorizing a contract with Portage County Solid Waste has been tabled.

In his monthly report, Police Chief Ed Samec informed Council that the Police Department has received a 2005 ATV, which was part of a seizure made by the Portage County Task Force, of which Hiram Village is a member. The ATV will be used to aid in the department’s policing efforts during student move-in days on campus, July fourth events, and other activities. In his year-end report, Fire Chief Bill Byers noted that his department responded to over 400 calls, which was down slightly from 2012. Chief Byers noted that his EMS crew would be participating in more physician-led training in 2014.

Later, Village Administrator Bob Wood reported that water usage in the Village was down, while wastewater processing was up. The reduction in water usage was speculated to be due to a reduction in the number of students, coupled with the College’s installation of a more-efficient all-weather field.  Mr. Wood also reported that the wastewater pump had been replaced, and repairs had been made to two of the Village’s dump trucks. In addition, Mr. Wood was asked to provide a report of the loan balances currently owed by the Village. That information would be used in planning future projects like paving and infrastructure repairs.

In his State of the Village Report, Mayor Bertrand shared that the night’s meeting was the 108th annual meeting of Village Council. He went on to share that last year, council considered 56 ordinances and 43 resolutions. Highlights of 2013 included the Type I Annexation of nearly 89 acres into the village lands, owned by Hiram College north of the Village’s corporate limit, and purchase of the 5.1 acre former Hiram School property, and the establishment of a Park Board. He also noted that Hiram joined the Portage County Drug Task Force in May, to combat the effects of illegal drugs in the community. In addition the Village hired RITA as the administrator and collector of Hiram’s Municipal Income Tax beginning July 1, 2014. In other news, Council approved a resolution to retain Squire Sanders LLP as Bond Council for 2014.

The next regular meeting of the Hiram Village Council will be held on February 11th at 7 pm.