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Wintersville Village Council passes fee increase, pay raises

NEW ADDITIONS — Wintersville Village Council approved the hirings of Jacob McGinnis, left, and George Anderson as auxiliary police officers during Thursday’s meeting. Welcoming them was Police Chief Art Fowler. (Photo by Warren Scott)

WINTERSVILLE — Wintersville Council Thursday approved the final readings of ordinances raising building code fees and paying for the village’s 26 full-time employees in 2020.

Council agreed to raise from $75 to $100 the zoning fee paid by residents and other property owners for construction, reconstruction, alteration, improvement, enlargement or relocation of any structure or related excavation and raise the fee paid by contractors or subcontractors for such work from $50 to $75.

An application fee for building permits also will increase from $15 to $25.

Mayor Bob Gale said earlier the fees haven’t been raised in 20 years and will allow the village to break even on costs for its building enforcement officer and his inspections.

In a move intended to reward all employees for their service, council approved 2 percent raises for those who had received raises earlier this year and 5 percent raises for those who did not.

Also on Thursday, Justine Vanderpool, a resident of Meadow Drive, complained about vehicles being parked on both sides of the road that, coupled with a large pothole in the road, makes it difficult for her to find a place to park.

Councilman Jason Mattern, who also lives on the road, echoed concerns about the hole.

Gale asked Village Administrator Walter Ziemba to see that it was filled using a machine owned by the village that can make effective patches in all weather.

He also asked Village Police Chief Art Fowler to ensure vehicles there are being parked only on the designated side.

Gale said since this week’s snowfall, an old problem has recurred — people leaving their vehicles in the streets when they should be moving them to accommodate the village’s snow plows.

The mayor said doing so not only hinders street crews’ efforts, it creates a safety hazard for them.

Fowler confirmed owners of vehicles who don’t move them during heavy snowfall will be cited. He said the penalty is a $50 fine for the first offense, with higher fines and the possibility of the vehicle being towed established for subsequent offenses.

In other business:

¯ Council approved the hiring of two auxiliary officers, Jacob McGinnis and George Anderson, at Fowler’s recommendation.

A 2007 graduate of Indian Creek High School, McGinnis completed training through the Ohio State Police Academy last year and has been employed by the Bellaire Police Department. A 2014 graduate of Wellsville High School, Anderson completed training from the academy earlier this year and is employed part-time by the Salineville Police Department.

Fowler said the officers will work part-time only but no less than 16 hours per week and could be considered for permanent positions in his department.

¯ Councilman Brad Degenkolb bid farewell to council, Thursday’s being his last meeting, saying he had enjoyed working with council and village officials. He wished good luck to Gael Damron — who defeated him in the village’s election this year.

Degenkolb had been appointed three years ago to serve the unexpired term of Tom Bottorf, who moved out of the village.

Damron and all newly elected and re-elected village officials will be administered oaths at noon Dec. 31 at the Municipal Building.

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