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City Council closer to finalizing law enforcement contract

| November 24, 2015

COSHOCTON – Coshocton City Council is one step closer to finalizing its contract with the sheriff’s office.

During the Nov. 23 meeting city council heard the first reading of ordinance 52-15, which authorizes the mayor or service director to enter into a contract with the Coshocton County Sheriff for law enforcement protection for the City of Coshocton.

“We have reached a tentative settlement that will increase the number of deputies over a three year period and allow us to upgrade and purchase some new vehicles,” said Mayor Steve Mercer.

At meeting time the contract was only in draft form, but Mercer said the council members would soon have an updated version of it in their e-mail to review.

Sheriff Tim Rogers was thankful for the progress on the contract.

“It will allow us to get additional deputies out there on the streets, which is what we pushed to the voters,” he said. “It will be good to be able to fulfill that.”

Rogers also said his department is continuing its war on drugs.

“We’ve done a lot of indictments recently and we have a lot more to go,” he said. “We are going to keep a close eye on that.”

Safety Service Director Jerry Stenner also announced that the city school district is prioritizing the different layers of a safe routes to school project that address the need for things like sidewalks in certain areas.

“They should have a proposal for us in January and we believe there is some grant funding available,” he said.

Stenner also shared that leaf pickup is going well.

“We should be able to go back around after Dec. 5 and get anyone we missed or who didn’t have their leaves together in time,” he said.

Unfortunately at the meeting Stenner didn’t have any answers for how WestRock closing will impact the city’s utilities department.

“We haven’t come to a complete conclusion, but we are working on it,” he said.

Ordinances 53-15 and 54-15, connected to the creation of a property code inspector position, also were discussed.

“It’s clear that a lot of thought was put into what we want to do and I appreciate that,” said Council President Cliff Biggers.

Councilman Jim Baker objected to the need for this position when members of council have been voluntarily keeping their eyes open for violations and reporting them. Mercer, however, believes this position is necessary to take enforcement of property codes to a new level.

“I cannot overstate how much I’ve appreciated what you’ve done over the years, but the scope and amount of work needed to follow up on and enforce property codes is not something we can ask council to do,” Mercer said. “The majority of the funding for this also can come out of the solid waste fund and minimal will be taken from the general fund.”

Both ordinance 53-15 and 54-15 were only given a first reading.

Council also heard from Rev. Elvis Bloom during the public input part of their meeting. Bloom feels he is harassed by members of the community and isn’t able to go out and support the community like a pastor should. He also was concerned about how fast people travel down an alley near his home. Stenner assured him the problem is being addressed and additional speed limit signs will be put up.

The meeting ended with Councilman Tom Grier passing out information books on infrastructure renovation projects Our Town Coshocton has funding for. Our Town Coshocton would like to do a presentation at an upcoming council meeting and give council members the opportunity to ask questions about their proposals.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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