Mount Gilead Councilwoman Kay Hines reported on the work of the Long-Range Planning Committee during the May 15 Village Council meeting. The committee is looking at ways to improve the village and increase funds.

Hines said they are asking both committee and council members to each recommend a few goals for the committee to work on for the future of the village. The committee is also looking at what purpose can be found for the HPM property at the edge of the village.

In other business, Village Administrator Derek Allen reported on progress at the village pool and recreation area. The concrete deck on the village pool is completed, but the fence contractor has been slow in getting the work done. Astropool is scheduled to do the caulking and will do it free of charge since it was done too soon last year.

Allen said painting inside the pool house is completed, and the showers have been rebuilt and new lights have been installed. “The inside of the pool house almost looks brand new,” he said, noting it’s been more than three years since the pool was in use.

The pool has been painted and will take 10 days to cure before water is put in. The state will complete its inspection only after everything is completed and operational.

The date of the pool opening will be after school is dismissed, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 3, although much will depend on the scheduling of the state inspection. Pool membership applications are available at the municipal building and online at

Police Chief Adam Lakey said Jessie Brady started working on May 8. He is in the first phase of field training and will still need to take the state certification test. Capt. Thomas Cronenwett completed a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT). Five officers are now CIT trained.

Fire Chief Chad Swank said the trainees passing rate for this spring class was 100%. Rocky Ford had the highest score. Council approved the hire of Brian Burkhart for employment with the Mt. Gilead Fire Department.

Swank checked on the cost of tornado sirens after Adam Floro requested information at the April 17 board meeting. The cost of two sirens would be $98,000. The village would need at least three, and it would be best to have four for complete coverage.

Councilman Chris Sherbourne said safety is the priority, but the cost has to be considered. He will be looking into possible grant funding for sirens along with Swank.

Council approved the hire of a utility/mayor’s court clerk by Village Fiscal Officer Cathy Davis.

Allen said the electric company is working on replacing 21 burned-out street lights. He submitted the report for these lights on March 10 and will inventory street lights again in July. Allen gave council a report on shopping around for better rates for street lights, which now have a total cost of about $70,000 per year.

Council decided the deadline to file Tucker Award nominations will be June 30. Applications will be online and at the village municipal building.

Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for the Morrow County Sentinel.