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Falls tones bell, tower for schools

Council also considering donating to athletic facility

NEWTON FALLS — Village council has approved donating a bell and bell tower to the Newton Falls school district and also is reviewing what funds are available to make a donation for the district’s new athletic complex.

Council voted Monday to donate the bell tower at the municipal building, which is a former church. It was scheduled to be removed from the courtyard.

Interim village manager Pamela Priddy said the cost to remove the bell tower and deliver it to the school is $3,700. The work will be done by the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office.

She said the tower and the concrete below it in the courtyard has some damage, and repairs are planned.

Councilman-at-Large Brian Kropp suggested seeing if the schools would share in the bell tower’s removal cost.

Mayor Ken Kine said he attended a recent school board meeting, where they reviewed companies interested in doing the project.

“I am amazed at what the schools are planning. This complex will benefit the entire community and bring people here. It’s a win-win situation for the schools and the community. I am 100 percent for this,” he said.

Second-Ward Councilman John Baryak said he is all for helping the schools, but what the village can donate must be reviewed first.

“The schools and our children are our future. We need to work together,” he said.

Fourth-Ward Councilman Chris Granchie said it is important to find a donation amount that will not be detrimental to village finances.

Resident Catie Karl said council should review the finances before making a donation to the sports complex using taxpayers’ money. She requested a public meeting occur.

Resident Rick Kerlin said Superintendent Rocco Adduci and school board members came to council with their plan for the sports complex.

“They have done their homework on this project. I can see how much good this complex will do for the community. The schools want to work with the city,” Kerlin said.

Priddy said she would like to let Adduci know a donation amount by early October.

In other business, council plans to discuss the smart meter program and rate at its Oct. 4 meeting after members gather more information.

Kerlin said the smart meter ordinance is on the Nov. 2 ballot as a referendum issue with voters to decide to either get rid of it or accept it. He said he supports repealing the smart meter ordinance.

Kropp said information is being gathered to make a presentation to the public next month.

“We will be able to better answer the public’s questions next month as far as meters are concerned. We will gather information on service costs and fees and how we are going to move forward. I know there has been a lot of questions from people,” he said.

In other business, council:

• Heard from Priddy financial reports have been completed through June with work being done on July and August. She said as of June, the village is “financially stable” and the numbers are looking good for the past two months;

• Approved paying $3 more per hour for employees who are asked to fill in for supervisors who are off for a day or two.

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