Continental village water tower.

CONTINENTAL— During its regular meeting on July 14, the Continental Village Council approved the village’s budget for the next fiscal year and agreed to send two firefighters for additional certification.

Prior to the council meeting, the finance committee met to discuss the village’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021. Mayor Matt Miller described the budget as “a conservative financial plan, because with COVID, we do not know what the outlook is.” Council unanimously approved the budget.

Council readily approved Fire Chief Dean Williamson’s request to send two firefighters to a training in Indianapolis to become certified for water rescue. Miller said the Department’s two already-certified firefighters were a vital part of the search a couple months ago for a young child in Fort Jennings.

“Certifying a couple more guys would allow us more flexibility,” the mayor declared. “The county (office of public safety) was complimentary of how we handled ourselves with the water efforts. We want to build on that.” Mayor Miller stated there were six projects presented at the county level to vie for the Community Development Block Grant Critical Infrastructure Program funding. Continental’s application was to pave Sugar Street between First and Second Streets. The grant is extremely competitive; only two projects will be forwarded to the next round of judging.

“There are no guarantees that we will get anything,” Miller communicated. “I’m not surprised, with people’s concerns over revenue at this time.”

The village hopes to hear the status of their project by the next council meeting.

Miller also provided an update of the status of the village’s water tower loan application.

“Senate Bill 4, which is to help fund the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) projects, has officially made its way through the House and the Senate and should be on Governor DeWine’s desk,” Miller explained.

Miller anticipates the bill will get signed soon, but again, there are no guarantees.

“The village’s official score on its application is 72, which in a normal year is a good score,” he explained, but cautioned “this is not a normal year.”

Poggemeyer Design Group, the civil engineering company in charge of the water tower project, has the job ready to go out for bidding. The mayor hopes to have positive news by the next council meeting.

Fiscal Officer Susan Darby informed council the village’s contract with its electricity supplier would expire August 1. Aspen Energy explored other suppliers and determined the lowest cost was through Three Point Energy. Council discussed the benefits and pitfalls of locking in rates for periods of time for periods of time ranging from twelve months to forty-eight months. Councilman Todd Bartley suggested locking in rates for eighteen months. Council voted to enter into an 18-month contract at a cost of 4.197 cents per KwH, pending aggregate numbers to be more economically feasible.

Village maintenance employee, Tylor Thompson, reported his department will need to change out the master water meter. The estimated time service would be disrupted is unknown at this time. A letter will be sent to all residents prior to the job.

The village’s review board met earlier in the evening to discuss the property that is located at the far end of West Oak and North Third Streets. Miller reported no one attended the meeting, including the property owner. Council will now proceed with the condemning process on this property.

Council went into executive session to discuss the purchase or sale of property. No action was taken during the session.

In other business, council approved:

• three building permits: home renovations at 202 East Elm Street; steps renovation/replacement at 208 West Rice Street; and a porch roof installation on Circle Drive, Lot 3.

• the renewal of the village’s liability insurance policy, which included an increase of approximately $1,300 for the new fire trucks, and the pirate ship and the restrooms at Sparling Park.

• the final reading for a resolution to put a two-mill renewal tax levy for current expenses on the November ballot.

The next regular meeting of the Continental Village Council is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, July 28, at 7 p.m. at the fire department.