Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

St. Henry passes drone ordinance

People must get permit, inform police about flight plan

By Kathy Thompson
ST. HENRY - People wanting to fly drones within the village must now get a permit and inform police about where and when they'll be flying them.
Village council members Monday approved an ordinance requiring people wanting to fly a drone or an unmanned aircraft up to 400 feet high within village limits to obtain the free permit from administrator Ron Gelhaus and provide proof of insurance.
The only person at the meeting Monday night was resident Alex Fullenkamp, who owns a drone but said he flies it only once a month or so.
"I just want to know what I'm required to do," Fullenkamp said.
Permits will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and leaving a message on the village police phone would suffice for notice, Gelhaus said.
The proposed ordinance also states the operator would be responsible for any damage caused by the drone. Permission could be denied at any time and violators could be fined $150 for each infraction.
Council also gave first reading to an ordinance giving Mayor Jeff Mescher, council members Doug Rindlerle, Bill Bohman, Steve Koesters, Joe Wourms and Terry Uhlenhake and all full-time employees a 50 cent per hour raise.
Mescher would be paid $4,500 per year,a $250 raise for the year, while each member of council would receive $170 per month, a $5 a meeting raise. Gelhaus would receive $60,136 a year, while police chief Bob Garman would be paid $53,394 a year.
Full-time patrol officers would be paid $36,114 a year while part-time patrol officers would be paid $12.22 per hour in their first year and $14.07 per hour after the first year.
Other raises would be for the following: Bob Borgerding, public works superintendent, $48,491 a year; Stan Sutter, public utilities superintendent; $47,203 a year; Josh Link, public utilities operator, $38,138 a year; Ted Woods, public works employee, $34,858 a year; and Darin Lefeld, public works assistant, $33,970 a year.
The positions of village fiscal officer and village tax administrator would combine giving Ruth Miller $22.11 per hour for a minimum of 30 hours a week and a maximum of 40 hours per week. Miller would also receive an additional $1,520 a year to serve as council clerk .
In other action council members,
• heard first reading of a measure to retain Richard M. Delzeith as village solicitor at $750 a month.
• approved an emergency ordinance to vacate an ingress/egress easement in the Walnut Grove Subdivision Section One in the village.
• accepted the final plat for Walnut Grove Subdivision. Gelhaus said 10 of the 13 lots have been sold.
• heard first reading of a resolution allowing the village to spend $1,133,250 until the end of January when the 2015 budget is to be approved.
• reminded residents that next week is the last week for leaf and branch pickup. Branches longer than four feet long will not be picked up, Gelhaus said.
• voted to donate $500 to the Business Enterprise Center at Wright State University Lake Campus.
• reminded residents the village offices will be closed for Thanksgiving Nov. 27 and 28.
Additional online story on this date
CELINA - City officials are alarmed with escalating insurance costs for the city's 98 employees, which this year alone are expected to increase 15 percent to $1.5 million. [More]
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