By Lance Mihm
NEW BREMEN — After a brief executive session Tuesday, village councilors agreed to purchase 71 acres of land next to the Bunker Hill Industrial Park.
The land, purchased from Komminsk Estates, Inc., will be used for future expansion of the industrial park as officials attempt to lure businesses to town, Village Administrator Larry Durkee said.
“It is the last 71 acres available in the area,” he said. “She (owner Diane Komminsk) wanted to sell it now, and we didn’t want to lose the chance to purchase it.”
The land was purchased for $448,000. The land will allow for plenty of expansion, as companies in the park are generally put into two acre lots, Durkee said.
“We have one business that has already signed the first right of purchase,” Durkee said. A right of purchase gives the prospective business first chance at buying a lot. Durkee said two other businesses from out of state also are in contact with the village about buying land. Information on the businesses could not be released because of negotiations, Durkee said. New Bremen officials plan to attend an April 7 meeting in Columbus concerning a proposed hydroelectric generation project on the Ohio River. The plant on the river would provide another supplier of electricity.
The village would be able to buy into the project on a 30-year loan at a negotiated price per kilowatt and would be at a fixed price for 30 years, councilors were told. Prices are expected to drop after the village becomes part owner in 30 years.
Durkee said the project is only in a discussion phase at this point and other information was not available. Durkee and assistant Village Administrator Wayne York will attend the meeting.
Village officials also announced they are looking for new property insurance.
After experiencing a $30,000 hike in village insurance cost last year, Durkee recommended the village change its deductible from $500 to $1,000 in an attempt to get lower rates.
“If insurance was needed for something, it would be for well over $1,000,” Durkee said. “We are hoping this will help hold down increases.”
Councilors approved second reading of a resolution to advertise for bids for maintenance on the north water tower.
Columbus Consulting, Inc., recently completed an inspection of both towers in the village and found corrosion, bubbling paint, lime deposits and rusting on the inside and outside of both towers. The project was declared a priority at the Jan. 4 council meeting. Cost for work on the north tower will costs about $160,000.
Councilors had planned to do maintenance work on the south water tower also, but delayed it until next year due to lack of funds. Cost to do the work on both towers would have been about $280,000.
Council approved the final reading of an ordinance that will prevent gun owners from carrying their weapons into publicly owned buildings.
Gov. Bob Taft signed House Bill 12 into law Jan. 8, allowing registered gun owners to carry their weapons. However, the law apparently also contains provisions allowing municipalities to restrict some guidelines.
Durkee said workers will be prevented from carrying concealed weapons during working hours. Village solicitor Steve Smith will review the law and make sure the village is in compliance before the final reading is made.
In other business, the council:
¥ Heard a report from police chief Doug Harrod that village liquor permits expire June 1. Harrod said the liquor establishments in town have been cooperative and that no objections were being filed.
¥ Scheduled a spring cleanup beginning at 10 a.m. May 1 behind the library.
¥ Scheduled an Easter egg hunt sponsored by the parks department and the Rotary Club for 1 p.m. April 10.
¥ Approved the final reading of an ordinance allowing for a conditional use variance allowing Glen Whitten to use a residence at 34 S. Herman St. to open a real estate office.
¥ Agreed to seek bids to sell its 1991 GMC digger-derrick truck.