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April 16, 2014

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Bluffton Council/School Board

May 6 school levy renewal crucial to maintaining our educational system

By Greg Denecker
Superintendent Bluffton Exempted Village Schools

On May 6, the Bluffton Exempted Village School District asks for your continued support of the renewal of the existing levy with an increase to the same millage rate as 1999. Below is a quick overview of the renewal levy and its purpose:

We are asking for your vote of support on May 6, 2014, for the same millage rate that was passed in 1999 at 4.9 mills. 

Facts:
   · The levy was originally passed in November, 1999, at 4.9 mills generating $466,000.

"Amended" sidewalk ordinance passes first reading by 3-2 count

A proposed “amended” sidewalk ordinance passed the first of three readings on Monday by a 3 to 2 vote of Bluffton council members.

Voting for the amendment were Sean Burrell, Roger Warren and Joe Sehlhorst. Voting against the amendment were Judy Augsburger and Everett Collier. Mitch Kingsley was absent during the vote.

The amended ordinance proposes that repair of current sidewalks in the village continue at the expense of the property owner. It also proposes that the village create a fund to pay for the installation of new sidewalks where it deems new sidewalks necessary.

Council amends sidewalk ordinance; entire text in attachment to this story

It’s clear that spring arrived in Bluffton as indicated by reports in Monday’s Bluffton’s council agenda.

Consider:

   • Go Green is scheduled to begin grinding brush in the Spring Street brush dump.

   • The village service department will turn on water at the village parks this week.

   • Bluffton’s spring clean up is set for May 17-26. Dumpsters will be placed in the Spring Street brush dump.

   • On March 31 the last of the previously frozen service lines in the village finally thawed.

Bluffton schools accepting open enrollment applications for 2014-15

The Bluffton Exempted Village School District is currently accepting applications from students interested in attending the school district through open enrollment for the 2014 –2015 school year.

Students from any school district in Ohio may apply and enroll in Bluffton Schools tuition free.  Students are admitted on a full-time basis only.

Applications are approved annually on a first come, first served basis and are subject to grade level enrollment and educational programs.

Several spring supplemental coaching assignments on Monday's agenda

Several spring supplemental coaching assignments are on the Monday Bluffton school board agenda.

A copy of the complete agenda is in an attachment at the bottom of this story.

Bluffton council to consider "grandfathering in" brick sidewalks

Bluffton council will act to amend its sidewalk ordinance on Monday. The amendment affects “existing sidewalks” in the village.

The amendment states that all existing sidewalks in the village will be reviewed by the village administrator to determine if the sidewalk in question is in need of repair or replacement.

It also states that it is the consensus of council that any brick sidewalk in the village that exists as of Jan. 1, 2014, will be grandfathered in provided that is can be maintained and repaired by the property owner.

Village will pay Sportmen's Club $13,174 in sewer backup damages

Bluffton council on Monday agreed to pay the Bluffton Sportsmen’s Club $13,174 for damages caused on Dec. 22 when sewage backed up and overflowed into the club’s depot on Spring Street.

Tom Augsburger, club president, asked council for financial help in the matter, after the village’s insurance carrier refused to pay for an insurance claim on the overflow. Augsburger said that the club did not carry sewer back up insurance at the time, “but we do now.”

The overflow, which Augsburger said, was “class 3 water,” or raw sewage.

Village gets $113,100 grant for Kibler water main project; Garmatter project still a possiblity

The Village of Bluffton has received a $113,100 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, Columbus, to assist in the cost of the Kibler Street water main replacement project. Funding will be available on July 1.

Another possible grant has yet to be decided upon. The village hopes to receive a grant for financial assistance for a Garmatter water main replacement project.
That grant is through the Small Community Program.

Jamie Mehaffie, village administrator, will explain the grants at Monday’s Bluffton council meting.

Council accepts three resignations following Monday executive session

Following a 30-minute Monday night executive session to discuss personnel matters, Bluffton council accepted resignation from three village employees.

Council accepted resignations from:
• Jerry Cupples, village zoning inspector
• Chad Cupples, police officer
• Drew Probst, auxiliary police officer

Rick Skilliter, police chief, spoke following the vote to accept the resignations: “The two police resignations are unrelated to each other.”

Bluffton council anticipates joining ODOT's bridge inspection program

Bluffton council meets Monday at 8 p.m. The village anticipates entering into a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation for a bridge inspection program.

The council agenda is in an attachment at the bottom of this story.

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