By BRIAN LESTER
BLUFFTON — Weather was a hot topic during the final Bluffton Village Council meeting of the year Monday night.
Total rainfall in Bluffton last weekend measured three inches, and while that did not lead to major flooding issues, village Administrator James Mehaffie said the problems that did arise were handled well.
“It wasn’t as bad as it has been in the past. I think we are getting a lot better with our response to the flooding,” Mehaffie said. “Everyone stepped up and was out there doing what they needed to be doing.”
Mehaffie said part of that credit goes to the NIXLE system that provides alerts to residents via text message or email about issues that arise from flooding such as road closings. Residents can contact the village hall to sign up for the alerts.
Also, with the first significant snowfall of the winter hitting the area last week, Village Council discussed the snow emergency policy.
A snow emergency is declared when freezing rain or two or more inches of snow has fallen. The village asks that residents do not shovel snow from their sidewalks or driveways in the roadways as it can create driving hazards.
Separately, Monday’s meeting was the final one for council members Richard McGarrity and David Steiner.
McGarrity has served on council since 2004, while Steiner has been on the council since 2010. From 1988-2006, Steiner was the clerk-treasurer.
McGarrity and Steiner were presented with plaques and recognized for their years of service prior to the close of the meeting.
Separately, the fire department will host a two-day HazMat Ops training class on Jan. 18-19. Fire department members are currently on an awareness level only, but the training will allow members to be at the operations level and take measures to stop the spread of a chemical spill or assist in isolating an area until a HazMat team can arrive.
The first council meeting of 2014 will be at 8 p.m. on Jan. 6.