Milford Center to help fund school resource officer

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Milford Center Village Council unanimously agreed to accept a resolution to enter into a contract with the Union County Sheriff’s Office to help fund a full-time school resource officer.
Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton proposed the idea of a school resource officer to the village council at last night’s meeting. The school resource officer will cost the village about $6,000 a year and will be a deputy who will teach DARE programs in schools like Fairbanks, in light of the heroin and opioid epidemic.
Second and third readings were waived in accordance to the school year starting soon. He said the prosecutor’s office would be drafting up a contract shortly.
Patton said Union Township and Milford Center are the last entities in Union County to voice their participation in the program. He said he’s already talked to schools such as Fairbanks about receive funding. He said, if other towns and villages do not participate in the program, the price per year would increase.
“This would be a new concept, a new idea, and we all have to collectively figure out how we’re going to pay for it,” he said. “We’ll pay for the uniform, the training and the overtime… If Union is on board tonight, we’ll be able to rock and roll.”
The council agreed it would be interested in this idea, with concerns aimed at how the heroin and opioid epidemic is hitting Milford Center. Patton said it’s “very fortunate” that the presence of those drugs isn’t as significant in the village. The village council was very eager to contribute funding for this program.
Also at the meeting, the council unanimously agreed to table any actions regarding its Reed St. paving project until the next meeting.
Councilmember Howard Van Dyke presented estimates from the county on how much it would cost to repair Reed St. The $39,800 price tag includes line-item detail of what services would be involved. Van Dyke said he will not seek out an outside company for other quotes for the project, as he has not reviewed it with the village engineer.
“I’ve got to be honest with you, if I was taking $40,000 out of our budget, I’d put that $40,000 into equipment and maintenance for our streets,” he said. “While Reed St. is bad, it’s not the worst.”
Van Dyke said the county will agree to settle on a deal where, if the village is $5,000 to $10,000 short of the cost estimate, it will cover the rest of it. However, he said this clause wasn’t presented to him in writing, which made the council members uneasy. He also said there is currently $98,000 available in the streets and construction budget.
Mayor Virgil Reisinger III said a concern of his is the cost estimates setting the village back on other projects, such as renovating Center St. He said this “isn’t a good deal,” especially since he said the village has been working on its Center St. project for more than three years now.
Also at the meeting, there were concerns addressed by the audience about how the nuisance of commercial semis in the village, as well as being able to restore the roads. After a suggestion to put up signs restricting trucks, Reisinger said that would be a decision made by the county engineer. There was also a concern about the village not receiving enough funding to be able to keep up repairs.
“I know you’re doing the best you can, and if you tell me to wait two years, then I’ll wait,” said audience member Tracy Mabry. “If the county is coming through, borrow the money to get it done… I need you guys here and I need you to fix these roads.”
The meeting ended with the approval of the second reading of a resolution for the mayor to enter in a contract with the Union County Land Bank to designate it as “the agency for reclamation… of vacant, abandoned and tax foreclosed properties” in the village. The third reading will be conducted in next month’s meeting.



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