In noting that 2016 was Sunbury’s Bicentennial year, Mayor Tommy Hatfield said the older he becomes the more he appreciates the history, the tradition, and the uniqueness of the village.
“We are blessed to live in a great community,” Hatfield said on Jan. 4. “We have something special in Sunbury, something to be proud of. As our slogan says: Small Town, Big Ideas, a Perfect Balance. Sunbury is just that.
“Sunbury still feels like a small town,” Hatfield continued. “We have a sense of community, belongingness, and pride. These are values that are instilled in the residents of Sunbury and could easily be seen throughout the yearlong Bicentennial Celebration.”
Hatfield delivered a State of the Village address last Wednesday evening as he does each year during the annual Reorganization meeting.
Hatfield also noted that 2016 was a year full of unprecedented change and challenges.
“But in the end, Sunbury continues to move forward and embrace progress and change,” Hatfield added. “Financially, Sunbury is in great shape. While this is a constant balancing act for the village, our goal continues to maintain our low tax rate while providing the best services possible. The village has continued to reduce our indebtedness while maintaining a conservative approach to incurring additional expenses. We continue to prepare, plan, and execute our plans to keep the village on track for our future.”
During the reorganization portion of the meeting, Dave Miller was selected to serve as council’s 2017 President Pro Tempore (for the present time).
Miller recommended that council’s committee responsibilities remain relatively unchanged.
Sunbury Village Council’s Finance Committee, a committee of the whole of council, will continue to meet at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month in Sunbury Town Hall, third floor council chambers.
Council’s Services Committee, responsible for building maintenance, streets, and sanitary and storm sewers, meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month in third floor council chambers. Tom Zalewski, Len Weatherby, and Miller will sit on Services.
Council’s Parks & Safety Committee (a.k.a. Parks & Recreation) is responsible for parks, village activities, safety, and the village cemetery. Parks will continue to meet at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month on the second floor of Town Hall. Council members Scott Weatherby, Joe Gochenour, and Tim Gose will sit on Parks.
Gochenour, Scott Weatherby, and Gose sit on council’s Technology Committee. The Technology Committee is responsible for village website policies and procedures and village technology recommendations. Council’s Tech Committee meets as needed.
Miller will serve as Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education liaison, with Gose and Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield serving as alternates. The board of education meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Big Walnut Administration Building, 110 Tippett Court in Sunbury, unless an alternate time or location is announced.
Zalewski will continue to serve as Sunbury’s representative on the BST&G Fire District Board of Trustees, with Scott Weatherby serving as alternate.
One change for 2017 is the village representative attending Delaware County Regional Planning Commission (DCRPC) meetings at 6:30 p.m. on the last Thursday of every month at the Willis Building in Delaware. This year’s representatives will be Gose, Gochenour, and Scott Weatherby.
Miller, the village clerk, Myers Inn Museum Curator Polly Horn, and Village Solicitor David Brehm will continue to sit on the Village Records Committee. Records meets at least two times each year, meeting dates to be determined.
Len Weatherby will continue to serve as council’s representative on the Village of Sunbury Planning & Zoning Commission. Gochenour serves as an at-large zoning commission member. As mayor, Hatfield also serves as a voting member of Zoning. The Zoning Commission meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month in Town Hall Council Chambers.
Council’s ad hoc 139 Committee that oversees employee and employment issues will meet as needed and is a committee of the whole of council.
Scott Weatherby, Gose, and Miller sit on council’s Insurance Committee. The Insurance Committee meets as needed to review village employee health insurance plans and the village’s accident and liability insurance coverage.
The ad hoc Council Rules Committee, tasked with updating the rules of council during 2017, is a committee of the whole of council and will meet as needed during regular council meetings.
Gochenour takes over from Miller as the village representative on the Village of Sunbury/Big Walnut Local School District Joint Venture Board that meets, if needed, on the third Thursday of the month prior to the school board meeting. Hatfield will serve as alternate.
Hatfield and Len Weatherby will represent Sunbury at Delaware County Local Government Association bimonthly meetings.
Sunbury Village Administrator Allen Rothermel, Hatfield, and Scott Weatherby will represent Sunbury at Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) meetings at 1:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month at 111 Liberty Street in Columbus.
Len Weatherby, Miller, and Hatfield sit on the Income Tax Review Committee that meets as needed.
Sunbury Village Council will continue to meet at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month in third floor council chambers, Sunbury Town Hall.
During months with five Wednesdays on the calendar council members will hold a meeting on the fifth Wednesday, unless formally cancelled by a motion and a vote at a previous council session.
In other business, it was announced that Preservation Parks of Delaware County would hold an open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the second floor of Town Hall immediately preceding the Wednesday, January 18, council meeting.
Preservation Parks representatives will then make a formal presentation at council, seeking partnership with the village in a Nature Works grant request to pave the 0.7-mile-long Sandel Legacy Trail that runs from behind Big Walnut Elementary School to Sunbury’s old railroad depot.
“Their previous grant request was denied and they would get more points if they collaborate with other entities,” Brehm said. “They want to amend their grant application to include the spur behind the old Nestlé property that’s now being developed by Pulte Homes, continue down towards the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial site, through Sunbury Memorial Park, and on to the village’s two up-ground reservoirs.”
Brehm said Preservation Parks would amend their application to include the space within their ownership, if the village could coordinate with Pulte Homes to continue through the Sunbury Meadows development property.
“It would be a way to show more collaboration by getting Pulte involved,” Brehm said. “There would be some village contribution required – $1,000 or $1,500 – but they want the route to go outside of public right-of-way.”
Council members also approved spending $6,460 to make sanitary sewer line repairs at 240 North Vernon Street.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor Dale Wampler said following a sewer backup, 400 feet of the sewer main line was examined with a camera by Fee Corp.
“We need to replace 20 feet of 8-inch main line that’s deteriorating, and we have a plugged six-inch lateral that’s under the street and in our right-of-way, so it’s our responsibility,” Wampler said. “The main line is full of mud and gravel. It may last a few years; it may last five minutes.”
Wampler said the repair estimate submitted by M. Zimmerman includes digging, pipe, pipe installation, gravel, and back-fill. The village would be responsible for about eight feet of sidewalk repairs.
All Sunbury Village Council and council committee meetings are open to the public.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.