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Hiram Village News

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Hiram – In his report, Mayor Lou Bertrand shared results from the November 3rd election. He reported that State Issue #1, the selection of an Ohio State Legislative District, passed with 86% of voters, but that State Issue #2 regarding amending the Ohio Constitution received 55% of Villagers ‘no’ vote. He also reported that State Issue #3 — Marajuana legalization — was defeated by 65% of Village voters as well as by voters state-wide. Lastly, he shared that although the County Library District levy passed by a 90% majority in the Village, it failed by a 53% majority with voters across Portage County. Mayor Bertrand congratulated council members Frank Hemphill and Paul Spencer on their reelection for four-year-terms. Mayor Bertrand was also reelected in the November election.

Mayor Bertrand also noted that the Fire/Police/EMS contract was currently under discussions with Hiram College. Chief of Staff at the College, Cristine Boyd, was present to discuss the matter with council, Police Chief Ed Samec and Fire Chief Bill Byers. Ms. Boyd was optimistic that an agreement would be reached prior to year’s end.

Fire Chief Bill Byers thanked council for the significant investment they made in helping his Department purchase the Lund Hospital Cardiac Arrest System (LUCAS®) Chest Compression System. With the unit, which performs at least 100 compressions per minute with a depth of 2”, emergency responders can help dramatically improve outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest victims. Chief Byers reported that his staff has been trained, the device is currently in service, and can be deployed quickly with minimal interruption to patient care. He noted that the purchase was made possible through EMS grant money and budget savings.

Later, Council mentioned a potential 8% rate increase for water, based on information shared at the last Finance meeting. After much discussion, Paul Spencer noted the need for more accurate metering and better detection of leaks in order to ascertain the amount of water lost from the system, but acknowledged that this would require additional funding to complete. Council President Tom Wadkins asked Village Administrator Bob Wood if the GIS mapping project currently being completed would help in this matter. According to Mr. Wood, the mapping project would help “in a round-about way,” in that it would identify the nearest shut-off valves, should a break occur in the underground lines.

In similar news, Mr. Wood reported that the project to repair the sewer line from the village to the Couch property on State Route 82 has an estimated completion date of June 2016. Lastly, Assistant Village Administrator James McGee announced that Adam Vanek has been hired in the Service Department team.

The next regularly scheduled village council meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 8th at 7 pm.