LAKEMORE  Village council members read a resolution authorizing Mayor Rick Justice to apply for 2018 Community Development Block Grant Funding to afford a water treatment feasibility study due to recent changes the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made to its standards, causing the village to make expensive changes to its water system.

"Our water has not changed, but the standards of the EPA have changed," Justice said. "We treat our water with a couple of chemicals and there are always naturally occurring iron and magnesium in our system. For years, we have had that.

He pointed out that there are two kinds of contaminants; one are primary contaminants, which would be something like lead or arsenic; and secondary contaminants such as iron or magnesium.

"The EPA is lowing tolerances on magnesium," Justice said. "We had a couple of tests that were above their new level, we have had a couple of tests that were under their new level. They are requiring us to put in a filtration system.

The village has 120 days to come up with a plan then have 60 days to install whatever needs to be done.

"There is a lot of work to be done," Justice said. "Our goal is to work along with them and get the work done and comply. In the long run, our system will be a better system."

Rezoning hearing

- Council members held first reads of two ordinances that would rezone areas of the village.

"We all know the retail industry is changing quite a bit and this land is basically the plaza and a little to the north and south of the plaza on Canton Road," said Justice.

There are properties behind the plaza that need to be in the B-2 district. It will give the village more opportunity to commercialize that area.

"It will be read and discussed quite a bit and publicly before there is a vote we will have a public hearing," Justic said.

A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. March 5 before the council meeting.

Raises approved

- Resolutions authorizing the salary increases of 8 percent for Fiscal Officer Tracy Fast and Fire Chief Brett Reinbolt were approved. Councilman Chad Lance abstained from the vote and said although he is in support of the raises that they deserve, he requested that they take a look at capping the health insurance for the employees. The cost has almost doubled during the last five years from about $65,000 to $116,000.

Council President Rich Cole said until they get the salaries of the employees to where other communities are, he is not in favor of capping.

Councilman Tracy Douglas commended Fast and Reinbolt for going the extra step in their duties. He said not only does Fast do her duties as fiscal officer but substitutes as an administrator during the day.

"She doubles sometimes as a janitor and the chief in our fire department, one day I caught him changing the oil on the fire truck. That justifies that they care more about our village and I want to keep them here," said Douglas.

He said the cost of hiring a full time administrator would be around $65,000.

"I don’t want these people to leave," Douglas said.

He said neither department has an immediate substitute as a backup and jobs in those positions pay anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000 more than they are receiving.

In other business:

- A resolution was approved authorizing Reinbolt and Justice to hire Dave Goodspeed as a probationary, volunteer firefighter EMT for the Lakemore Department. Also for the department, the hire of Douglas Dunwald as a non-technical support member was approved.

- Council authorized Justic and Fast to apply for a Meet Me At the Park 2018 Play Spaces Grant from the National Recreation and Park Association in cooperation with the Walt Disney Company to enhance Dodds Lakefront Park. The funds would be used for equipment and improvements to the park.

- Resolutions and ordinances read for the first time and will be read again at the Feb. 20 and March 5 meetings were:

A resolution for the village to join the Bureau of Workers Compensation Wellness Program "Better You, Better Ohio".

A resolution amending a prior resolution to promote Brett Reinbolt to full time status with the fire department.

An ordinance to change the zoning map for addresses on Canton Road and Main Street currently zoned B-1 will be rezoned to B-2. Also properties on Canton Road, Springfield Lake Drive, Calvin Street, Chelsea Drive and Michaels Drive from R-2 residential district to B-1 retail business district. It will be required for a built in buffer zone to be built between future commercial buildings and existing residential properties.

An ordinance requiring a vote of the people of Lakemore to authorize the proposed sale, transfer or encumbrance of any land owned by the village used as park land or community gardens.

- Councilwoman Anne Snyder reported that she attended the Cable Board meeting and she thanked Frank Chenoweth and Angella Fausset for their hard work to bring the information to the public. Alongside coverage of Springfield and Lakemore meetings, they have covered many events at the Springfield Local Schools, public events such as tree lightings and egg hunts for both communities and have provided events such as the George Erwin Art Show, Gardening programs and Provisio Connection with a variety of charitable organizations. The channel for the cable has changed and now is 1023 for Spectrum subscribers.

- With thoughts of spring around the corner, Councilman Chad Lance reported that the cleanup day will be in April and applications for the community garden and the boat dock rentals will be taken beginning April 1.

- SpringLake clothing closet operates the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Shady Brook Baptist Church in the Sawyerwood area of Springfield. 

- The food pantry operates at 5:30 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month at Lakemore United Methodist Church.

- Feb. 17 is the Swiss Steak Dinner at Lakemore United Methodist Church from 4 to 6 p.m.

- Feb. 19 is S.U.P.E.R. Learning Center’s roller skating party held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Springfield Roller Rink. Admission is free and skate rental is $3. It is open to everyone.

- The new library opens at the plaza with a ribbon cutting Feb. 17 at 1:45 p.m. and a reception to follow. The library will open Feb. 19.

The next meeting is at 7 p.m., Feb. 20 at the Municipal Building.