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Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Resident gets info, no compensation

By Shelley Grieshop
St. Henry village council members will provide information but not compensation to a resident who claims the town is responsible for ongoing water problems on his property.
A committee chosen to investigate the issue recommended to councilors last week that Mark Wenning, 242 Spring St., be instructed where the storm sewer is located on nearby Washington Street and in front of his home, so he can check the tiles on his property to make sure they are clear and connected to the village lines.
The committee reportedly met with Wenning in December to explain their recommendation.
Wenning attended the council's regular meeting in December and accused the village of procrastinating for three years to fix a stormwater drainage problem that has caused his yard to flood and damage the foundation of his home. He said a dam built by a neighbor also contributed to the problem.
Before leaving last month's meeting, Wenning threatened a lawsuit if the matter was not resolved to his satisfaction.
The committee said it is Wenning's responsibility to make sure his tiles are clear and properly tied into the village's storm sewer. They also stated that Wenning has the option of adding tiles in his yard to improve the drainage - all at his own expense.
Also, councilors last week unanimously approved sending a letter to residents Pat and Gloria Hemmelgarn, 2816 state Route 118, with an offer to purchase 0.19 acres of their land for $3,800. The Hemmelgarns, who attended a November meeting of the council, asked the village to buy the portion of their property because it continues to be used as an easement by utility crews and others accessing Cooper Drive.
The amount was proposed by the Hemmelgarns based on a $20,000 per acre market price.
In other business last week, councilors:
• Approved a third and final reading for an ordinance setting compensation for the mayor, council, fiscal officer, village tax administrator and village administrator, chief of police, department heads and other salaried and hourly employees, effective Jan. 1. The ordinance includes a 3 percent raise for all village employees; this does not include elected officials (mayor and councilors).
• Learned village Solicitor Michael Gilb continues to work with Village Administrator Don Hess on a lease agreement for 3.254 acres of land behind the village garage. Adjacent landowners have been using and caring for the property for years. The lease will be a yearly renewable lease giving the village the ability to terminate with a 30-day written notice if desired.
• Approved a motion to change the village insurance to a higher deductible with a Health Savings Account (HSA), at the recommendation of the personnel committee. The new deductible will be $2,700/single and $5,450/family. However, the committee also recommended - and councilors approved - a contribution by the village of $2,000/single and $4,000/family to each employees' HSA to help defray deductible amounts.
• Approved a third and final reading of a resolution to pick up the mandatory contribution to the police and fireman's disability and pension fund of the state of Ohio, effective Jan. 1.
• Approved a third and final reading of a resolution to pick up the mandatory contribution to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System for village workers, effective Jan. 1.
• Approved a third and final reading for the appointment of attorney Gilb as continuing village solicitor and setting compensation, effective Jan. 1.
• Approved a first reading to make appropriations for current expenses and other expenditures during the fiscal year ending Dec. 31.
• Held an executive session to discuss land acquisition but took no action.
Additional online story on this date
ST. MARYS - Six men have been arrested in the last 12 months - including one from St. Henry - after allegedly seeking sex with a teen they met online, who turned out to be an undercover police officer. [More]
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