By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

CAREY — Carey Council approved an emergency ordinance Monday to replace the police department’s K-9 vehicle with a larger vehicle, to provide additional space to transport an arrested individual, rather than call another police cruiser for the transport.

The approval will allow Village Administrator Roy Johnson to enter into a purchase agreement for a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe sport utility vehicle with the police pursuit package for $37,874, which is about $1,600 below the state bid price.

It will cost nearly $14,000 to outfit it with police lights, sirens and other equipment and the kennel for the dog. It will be purchased from Bauman Auto Group, Tiffin, and take about two months for delivery.

Johnson said it will replace a 2013 Taurus that has 120,000 miles and has some mechanical issues with the suspension. “The problem is that the repairs would require removal and reinstallation of the rear kennel assembly, adding a large amount of labor and therefore dollars to the base project,” Johnson said.

Carey Police Chief Rich Kesler has funds available from drug arrests and forfeitures to cover a portion of the additional expenses.

Separately, council gave a second reading to an ordinance to contract with the lowest and best bidder for an automated system to read electric and water meters. It will be about mid-May before council can take action on the bids.

The project is estimated at about $800,000 for new meters, computer software and installation.

Also, council gave a second reading to an ordinance to increase the per diem food allowance for employees who attend meetings, training or seminars which are related to their employment and require travel.

The last adjustment was in 1997, Johnson has said, and the rates will increase from $7 to $15 for breakfast; from $10 to $20 for lunch; and from $20 to $30 for dinner.

Carey officials and the village’s consultant from Jones and Henry, of Toledo, will meet with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials on March 19 to review proposed changes and plans for the village’s wastewater system as the process continues to upgrade the village plant to meet EPA mandates.

The estimated $9.5 million upgrade will be bid this fall with construction beginning next year. It will take about two years to complete.

Also, quotes will be sought and a contract awarded soon to tuckpoint, seal and caulk the municipal building, Johnson said.

There was also some discussion about Memorial Park Boulevard improvements, part of the Safe Routes to Schools grant, which will widen the road for two-way traffic. The remainder of the road will be a 10-foot-wide multi-use paved trail through the park. A grass median will separate the two areas.

During the discussion, it was mentioned that consideration should be given to reversing Worrello Street, which is one-way off South Patterson toward South Vance Street. Any traffic pattern change would be after the current school year ends to give residents time to get used to it.

Residents on the street previously voiced opposition to such a change during a council meeting.

Kesler said school administrators have said they would be in favor of the change.

The issue will be on the agenda for the March 19 council meeting, and school Superintendent Mike Wank will be invited to discuss the matter.

School officials, village personnel and Kesler also met recently to discuss an increase in the school resource officer program so Our Lady of Consolation School can also have an officer in its building.

The matter is in the early discussion stage, Mayor Jenn Rathburn said, and is a “culmination of what has happened elsewhere” with school violence.

“We’re starting talks to keep students safe in school,” she said.

Separately, at least 18 individuals filed applications/resumes for the assistant village administrator position. The administration hopes to have someone hired by March 20, to be on the payroll before April 1.

The annual spring cleanup at Spring Grove Cemetery will be held March 23. Items not removed will be discarded by village employees after that date.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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