Village council discusses swing set, neglected lawns

By Joshua Keeran -

WOODSTOCK – Village Council on Monday discussed the possibility of installing a swing set at the park and addressed concerns with unkempt lawns on vacant lots.

In an attempt to make Woodstock Ball Park more family-friendly, council member Jody Riegler asked if the swing set frame sitting unused at the park could be put to use.

Village Administrator Bradley Herron said to his knowledge, all the pieces to the swing set, bought by the village some time ago during a school auction, are usable except for one swing.

Herron added that for the swing to be used, a location must be selected and holes dug to anchor the swing set into the ground.

“It’s more a matter of labor than anything,” he said. “It’d be great if we can get that up.”

Riegler agreed to try to find a few volunteers willing to dig the necessary holes to anchor down the swing set, and Herron added the village should be able to provide concrete for the project.

Several village officials expressed concern over placing the swing set too close to the ball diamond due to foul balls potentially hitting those using the swings.

“I’m sure we can pull together something,” Riegler said. “We’ll figure it out.”

Also during the meeting, council member Mike Dixon asked if anything can be done to force owners of vacant lots throughout the village to mow their properties on a timely basis.

Herron, citing the current legislation on the books, said, “You are required to mow to keep your property free from obnoxious weeds and vegetation two times in a year (once between June 1 and July 1, and once between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1). If a property is mowed those two times, it does control the growth.”

Herron added that if a property isn’t mowed at least once during the above-mentioned dates, the village will notify the property owner via a letter that the nuisance must be abated within five days or the village will handle it and assess the expenses to the owner’s property taxes.

Mosquito control addressed

Noting a desire to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in stagnant water, Dixon brought to council’s attention funding offered by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to help control the mosquito population this summer due to concerns over mosquito-borne diseases like the Zika virus.

According to the Ohio EPA website, the agency began offering grant funding on May 6 on a first-come, first-served basis to government entities for mosquito control measures.

“We need to get in on that because of the water we have standing around here,” Dixon said.

Herron agreed to look into the grant and added the village does practice mosquito abatement measures by placing tablets in stagnant water in hopes of controlling the mosquito population.

CHIP Program funding available

Mayor Jackie Hayes informed village residents that grant money is available to help low- to moderate-income homeowners with home repairs.

In December 2015, Champaign County was awarded an $800,000 Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency.

The grant money is available to homeowners in Champaign County who meet various guidelines including income qualifications, and the money must be used toward home repairs or home rehabilitation.

“It includes things like roofs, furnaces, plumbing, electric, foundation, bathrooms, and so on and so forth,” Hayes said.

More information on the CHIP grant is available by contacting the Champaign County CHIP Office at 937-652-5158.

In other business:

•Council passed a motion agreeing to purchase up to three Dumpsters at $425 each from A&J Rolloff Container Service in Milford Center for the village’s annual spring cleanup event set for June 3-5. The Dumpsters will be located at the Woodstock Municipal Building for use by village residents only.

Herron informed council the North Central Ohio Solid Waste District offers grant funding that could potentially pay 50 percent of the cost to rent the Dumpsters. To be eligible for the grant, Herron said, the cleanup event must involve some form of recycling.

“The goal of this program is to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills,” said Herron, adding the village of North Lewisburg meets this yearly criteria by offering a recycling Dumpster for metals.

After discussing the grant criteria, Herron said he would look into whether A&J Rolloff Container Service can provide a Dumpster for the recycling of metals.

By Joshua Keeran

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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