MOUNT GILEAD- Several Mount Gilead residents came to the August 15 Mount Gilead Council meeting to suggest ideas for village beautification.

Ric Lyle spoke for the group. He said they noticed the recreation area and ball fields especially need attention. They will check all their ideas with Village Administrator Derek Allen. Their first major project was cleaning up tennis courts and weeding around the recreation area with the high school cross country team.

In other business council discussed a raise for the police department. There was concern from the finance committee as to whether this would cause all departments to ask for a raise.

Mayor Jamie Brucker said the police had made the effort to give a proposal and it should be considered.

Police Chief Adam Lakey noted the Mount Gilead police force has the lowest pay schedule in the area. This causes the village to lose officers. This month there was an opening on the force and he was not able to fill it. When positions can’t be filled, they have to hire sheriff’s deputies at a higher cost.

After some discussion the council voted to approve the new pay schedule for the police with five yes votes and one no vote.

The new pay schedule will “top out” at $28 per hour after four years. It had topped out at $22.85 per hour.

Allen reported the storm clean-up is continuing for the village. There are still limbs hanging over streets. They are also working with trees in residents’ yards and on two houses. The cemetery and Whetstone School also have debris from the storm.

Council considered several ordinances. The ordinance for supplemental appropriations was passed for a new light pole, pavement analysis, water department supplies and pipe. A water tax assessment resolution was passed for unpaid taxes.

There will be an increase for speeding tickets in the downtown area, effective September 1.

Two new volunteers were approved for the fire department. They were Joel Plough and Rocky Sword. Fire Chief Chad Swank said the department has completed over 2,000 hours of training, averaging to 70 hours per worker. Swank was pleased with the 5-year rating of 3 given to the fire department.

Brucker reported the plantings on the village square were done by Superior Outdoor Management for $2,000. New black metal benches have been ordered for the square and will arrive September 19.

Police receive raise

By Alberta Stojkovic

For the Sentinel