Port Washington Council president

Port Washington Council president

Image Credit: Submitted

At the Jan. 3 meeting of Port Washington Village Council, Joe Bourne was appointed council president for 2023. Bourne has been a council member since 2005 and has served on the street, park, fire and audit committees. He is a former firefighter with the Delaware Volunteer Fire Department.

Council reviewed the 2022 year-end report for the police department, which showed a total of 52 traffic stops being made and 194 complaints received. The fire department report showed a total of eight calls for the month of December.

Council also reviewed the mayor’s court report for 2022. The report noted a total of $323 received, with three traffic violations processed through the Port Washington Mayor’s Court. All other violations were directed to Tuscarawas County Southern District Court.

Council heard Mayor Tom Gardner has renewed his certification to hold mayor’s court in 2023. However, at this time all matters that would come before the court will be sent to the TCSDC. The reason given was the time-consuming nature of maintaining a mayor’s court with little revenue generation. The village reserves the option to hold court at any time if the mayor continues to maintain his certification and register annually with the Ohio Supreme Court.

2022 accomplishment reviewed

Council conducted a review of 2022 village accomplishments including the following:

—Paving of Memorial Lane, Union Cemetery Lane, and Cornet, Camby, First and Second streets.

—Purchase of a new sound system for the village.

—Repainting two canons on the village square.

—Hiring of Police Chief Rocky Duesenbury, officer Kyle Lawver and officer Tristan Lambert.

—Employment of DJ Meek as the mayor’s administrative assistant. He will assist the mayor with various duties such as grant funding, handling public records requests and the financial budget.

—Acquisition of property at 113 N. High at a sheriff’s sale. The home has been demolished and the property cleaned up. The property is expected to be sold in 2023.

—Installation of new lights and a camera security system at Belden Park.

—Construction of a bathroom at the street department garage.

—Installation of a new furnace and central air system in village hall, along with an ADA-compliant sidewalk entry.

—Installation of electric at Union Cemetery.

Garner’s proposed wish list also was reviewed and includes the following:

—Cleanup of the old cemetery area and resetting of stones.

—Paving streets as recommended by the street committee totaling approximately $50,000.

—Purchasing a utility-type vehicle for the street department.

—Increasing police coverage.

—Placing a 1/2 percent municipal income tax increase on the May 2023 ballot to be used for paving of streets.

Public meeting on
sidewalk project

Representatives of the Thrasher Group attended a public meeting on Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. prior to the regular council meeting. The purpose was to answer questions from the public regarding the sidewalk project. The meeting took place in council chambers at the village hall.

In other business

Council approved purchasing a lock-out kit to allow the police department to assist with members of the public who have become locked out of their vehicles.

Council also approved the annual agreement with the Tuscarawas County commissioners and county sheriff’s department for the housing of inmates related to the village of Port Washington at a cost of $80 per day.

An ordinance was passed and adopted defining the rules of operation and procedures for village council. The ordinance also outlines the responsibilities of committee members, rules for public participation at council meetings and establishing council meeting dates as the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

The next regular meeting took place Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. and was preceded by the public meeting with Thrasher Group at 6:30 p.m.