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Leetonia council asked to reinstate police detective classification

LEETONIA– Village council is considering whether to reinstate the detective classification for the police department.

During a police committee meeting this week, Chief Allen Haueter ask council to consider reinstating the classification since Officer Alan Shaffer, the school resource officer at Leetonia schools, is currently completing the detective duties. Council eliminated the detective classification approximately five years ago.

Haueter said Shaffer is spending a couple hours overtime each week to work on cases as needed and has been doing an excellent job. However, there is not enough work to have a full-time detective and full-time school resource officer, he said.

Village Solicitor Walter Newton noted to reinstate the detective classification, council would have to change the wage ordinance since the wage for detective is less than what Shaffer is making as school resource officer.

Council asked Haueter for break down of hours for Shaffer as school resource officer, detective and patrolman to determine his pay structure and agreed to consider a change after the first of the year.

In other business, authorized Village Solicitor Walter Newton to draw up legislation for a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) Program, a incentive tax exemption program benefiting property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings.

Mayor Kevin Siembida reported a housing survey has been completed and said the next step is submitting legislation to the state.

Siembida said he appreciates the cooperation of residents in making the CRA happen.

The board also approved the third and final readings of resolutions adjusting cemetery rates and rules.

The first resolution increases Oakdale Cemetery rates for grave opening by $100 and burials for cremations and infants by $50. Cemetery Clerk Heather Rae Kelm said last month the increases are needed due to increased costs for the gravedigger.

The second one amends the cemetery’s rules and regulations, suspending grave sales in section 1 through 12 due to inconsistent historical records, making it hard to determine where bodies are buried; limiting the time frame for use and number of people allowed in the chapel due to seating capacity and lengthy services requiring personnel on hand; and requiring review proofs of monuments for appropriate content.

Additionally, council approved an emergency resolution sell village owned personal property that is no longer in use through Internet auction within the 2020 calendar year; and an emergency ordinance to sell a truck and wooden playground equipment through Baer Auction.

Council also agreed to order truck route signs for the new business at the former former Advantage Trucking location on the south side of town establishing a route using Mill Street for access instead of Pearl Street, which many residents complained about under the former property owners. The company will pay for the signs and their installation.

Also at the meeting, Siembida reported village hall offices will be restricted to appointment only with the police department open for emergencies only until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Siembida also reported Light Up Night is scheduled to continue with reduced activities and Christmas tree light up at around 5:30 or 6 p.m. Nov. 28 at the downtown pocket park. The event will be pending orders on public gatherings from Gov. Mike DeWine.

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