HARTVILLE  Village Council unanimously approved, and Mayor Cynthia Billings swore in, Councilman Jeff Kozy at its March 7 regular meeting.

Kozy will take the seat vacated by Sheila Stewart, when she resigned from Council on Feb. 7

Councilwoman and Personnel Committee Chair Kelly Ries said Kozy’s appointment was at the most recent committee meeting Feb. 28. Kozy was the only applicant to fill the vacant council seat, Ries said, and the personnel committee unanimously recommended his appointment to council.

A village resident since 2012, Kozy was sworn in with his wife, Christina, and daughter, Lucy, in attendance. 

"We enjoy the village very much and I look forward to serving the next nine months," Kozy said.

New police cruiser coming

Council authorized the purchase of a new police cruiser and accessories at a cost of $36,380. Police Chief Larry Dordea said the cruiser has been budgeted for 2017 and the cost is at or below the current Ohio procurement pricing

New salaries in streets department

Council authorized Solicitor Ron Starkey to draft a salary ordinance based upon a council approved personnel committee recommendation that two additional steps be added to the position of seasonal laborer in the streets department, based upon experience.

The current $10.82 per hour rate will remain and the salary for two additional steps will be $11.50 per hour and $12.50 per hour respectively.

Parcel in Industrial Park is sold

Council members passed a resolution declaring that a 1.5 acre parcel of land in the village Industrial Park is no longer needed for public purpose and authorizing the Stark County Community Improvement Corporation to sell the land. 

Starkey said a company has made an offer on the parcel, upon which construction is limited based upon less than optimal soil conditions, for $2,480. He added that the sale price is less than a typical per-acre price in the Industrial Park, but is understandable considering the soil condition.

The Stark County Commissioners must approve the sale and Starkey said the village will attempt to have the Stark CIC’s $1,000 fee to the village reduced, again due to the soil conditions on the property.

Governor’s budget opposed

Passed a resolution opposing Ohio Governor John Kasich’s 2017-18 state budget, which proposes centralized collection of net-profit tax returns and other provisions related to municipal income tax, which "will cause a substantial loss of revenue needed to support … the village," the legislation states.

Gas aggregation update

Billings reported that the village is now in the second year of its two-year gas aggregation agreement with Constellation Energy. The mayor said that residents will soon be receiving notice that rates have increased from $2.89 mcf to $3.78 mcf.

New website considered

Billings also reported that the village website may soon need a complete overhaul.

"It’s not compatible, it can’t be supported; it’s outdated," Billings said, noting that some parts of the site cannot be updated and certain documents are becoming difficult to access.

The village’s web development company verbally quoted a $3,700 to $4,750 estimate to rebuild the site, with an expected two-month time frame to complete the work. Billings said rebuilding costs are typically between $4,000 and $6,000.

She added that it is possible to update the current site, but some functions may still not be compatible with some newer operating systems.