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Falls adding protection for staff at annex

Council approves $20,000 in relief funds for school district

NEWTON FALLS — Seeking to keep employees safe, Newton Falls Village Council has added additional security at the municipal building and annex.

The village also is helping Newton Falls schools with additional coronavirus funds. The schools have gone to all online remote learning through Thanksgiving.

Council approved creating the position of security guard at the municipal building annex at $16.50 per hour with two officers rotating on duty.

“I know a lot of companies and businesses that I go into and they are all manned with security staffing for the ‘what ifs’ or ‘just in case.’ I think there is nothing wrong with being prepared here in Newton Falls to have security personnel here in the building. We have a lot of staff here working, I think this is a great idea, I don’t want to get up in a situation where something does happen and something comes back on us because we did not have security there.” Councilman-at-Large Tarry Alberini said.

He said does not want the village office staff or citizens in jeopardy should something arise.

First Ward Councilman Adam Zimmerman said the way the world is today a little extra security will not hurt — noting the finance department handles all the money.

“I think any extra security we can provide to our employees is important,” he said.

Third Ward Councilman Lyle Waddell said he has been to many municipal buildings and government offices across the county when he was mayor.

“Today people can’t just walk into a building to the mayor’s office or clerk’s office without some security, or without being announced,” he said.

In other business, village Manager David Lynch said he spoke with Newton Falls interim Superintendent Rocco Adduci and how he deals with hundreds of children and staff that need to be protected from the coronavirus pandemic. The schools do not have all the CARES Act funds they need for making needed safety precautions such as touchless sinks, toilets and water fountains.

Lynch said after review the village is able to provide $20,000 in coronavirus relief funds to help the schools.

“He told me any additional funds will make a great difference for the schools,” Lynch said.

Zimmerman said it is important to assist the schools during these challenging times.

Council also approved Finance Director Anna Musson to certify the costs for removal of weeds and grass for collections. Law Director Joseph Fritz said when people do not cut their lawns and grass and weeds get very high the village sends a letter to the resident. If it is not addressed the village will cut the lawn and assess the cost on property owner’s taxes.

“The methods we use to cover the money for the time spent to get the work done is to have liens placed on the property. We have expenses for doing this for removal of weeds and cutting of grass. This is standard procedure and allowed by law,” Fritz said.

Musson said residents are given 30 days to rectify the problem and if nothing done the village does work on the property and the costs are sent to the county auditor’s office for collection.

“The process does take awhile since it is tied to their property taxes. The collection process helps us get 70 percent of the costs,” she said.

Council also approved participation in the Ohio Public Works Commission program for various projects.

Lynch said OPWC looks to make sure the projects are done on time and are they finished under budget.

“They know if they entrust funds to Newton Falls for infrastructure projects such as the Scott Street project it will get done on time and under budget,” he said.

Council also recognized Mayor Ken Kline for being named pastor of First Christian Church of Newton Falls.

“The church is getting a very fine man,” Alberini said.

Council also recognized Waddell for his service on council and as mayor. He was defeated in his bid for the 3rd Ward seat in the general election by Tessa Spletzer, who will take office in January.

Alberini said Waddell laid the groundwork for many projects that were completed in the community.

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