DESHLER — Village council Monday discussed the new K-9 unit.
Mayor Steve Gibson reported the new K-9 unit for the village has been purchased and the training procedures are underway. He said progress is being made with the K-9 in its training sessions held in Wapakoneta.
“It’s making some ‘A+’ progress on (identifying) drugs,” Gibson said, which has been said to be one of the village’s key needs in obtaining the new unit. “It’s a little hyper, but it’s still a puppy. They’re working on the obedience now.”
During Monday’s regular session, council approved an intrafund transfer within the general fund to appropriate more funding for the K-9 account. Fiscal Officer Lisa Sugg said this was strictly an appropriation of funds to account for the purchase of the dog and its training. These purchases were made possible through a savings account fund established at the local bank.
Council Member Teresa Lederer also noted the village’s new K-9 unit has already visited the school, and suggested it not return until it has been fully trained. The other members of council agreed in order to reduce liabilities.
Council Monday received residential concerns about the police chief not being available for contact, including during a reported emergency incident on Saturday.
Gibson noted the chief’s unavailability is due to the ongoing training for the K-9 unit. He said this is expected to continue for a couple of weeks, and in these instances, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office handles the dispatching.
Council Member Richard McCance said the village’s budget only allows for limited coverage, and this results in times when matters will be handled by the sheriff’s office. He said more full-time officers would be needed at a higher budget to cover the village 24 hours a day.
Gibson offered to arrange a time for the residents to speak with Police Chief Brian Robinson about their concerns.
In other business, it was noted the former church structure that was declared a nuisance property has been demolished. Lederer suggested the site for the relocation of the village caboose, but it was noted that property is now owned by the county land bank as part of the process to receive funding for the demolition.
Deshler Community Development Coordinator DonL Parsons said the land bank will pay the village to cut grass at the property, but it is unable to utilize the land for such purposes. It was noted the property was seeded, and that area is still being reviewed for a potential project to make it easier for truck traffic to make turns at the intersection at this property and library property/Pirate Park.
Sewer Superintendent Brad Kitchen reported to council a water storage tank in the village has remained empty, and it would cost $1,620 for a full inspection that would indicate its condition and timeline for repairs and future inspections. Parsons said this tank was deeded to the village with the reservoir.
McCance suggested tearing down the tank as a way to relocate the caboose to this area, but it was noted the tank is a key part of the railroad viewing area that attracts people to the village and these visitors take photos of the tank.
Kitchen said a bridge in the village was inspected last week, and a member of this firm took a look at the tank. No immediate issues were found with the tank, but Kitchen said a verbal review would not protect the village from liability if it were to collapse.
Kitchen said there would be no immediate need to act on the tank, but said he has observed that bolts are rusting, roofing is starting to dip and concrete is shifting.
“I want to see it stay, but we need to make sure it is safe,” Kitchen said.
Council took no actions on the tank Monday, but the members said they would like to look into the tank and review other options it may have.
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