SYCAMORE — Sycamore Police are cracking down on speeding drivers and according to one village resident, the effort is needed.
Sycamore resident Renee Barth complained about speeding near her home in the 100 block of East 10th Street near the park.
“They’re not slowing down,” Barth said during Tuesday night’s village council meeting. “Someone is going to get hurt and I run a day care right there. … It just makes me nervous that someone is going to get hurt.”
“It’s well-known that people don’t pay attention to the 15 mile per hour sign that’s down there,” Councilwoman Darcy Zimmerman added.
Sycamore Police Chief Richard Blankenship said officers will be stepping up patrols in the area.
“We are not a full-time department here, but I will relay the information on to the Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office and we will patrol when we can,” Blankenship said. “I will see what I can do as far as getting a schedule down as far as when the games are being played down there and we will do all that we can.”
According to Blankenship, Sycamore PD has stepped up patrols throughout the village, making 76 traffic stops and writing 14 citations during the last month.
“That only figures out to be about 2 1/2 stops per day,” Councilman Ralph Decker said. “I’ve had people tell me we’re having a wave of police ticketing and stopping. Seventy-six initially might sound like a lot, but think about it. Two and a half stops a day, that’s not too many. To be able to do what needs to be done, and that’s slow people down, that’s what these folks are doing — making people aware that they are out there and if you are doing something that’s breaking the law, they will pull you over.”
After hearing that some village residents thought the stepped up enforcement was excessive, Councilman Anthony Flood reminded council that residents where filling council chambers at the end of 2011 and the beginning of this year asking for a larger police presence. Now, they have it.
“At the beginning of the year, we had a real big push for wanting our police department in force and doing their thing,” Flood said. “Our police is in force and they are doing their job and unfortunately, when they are forced to do their job, it’s looked upon sometimes a little differently. I feel better knowing these gentlemen are doing what they’re doing and I think they’re doing a great job.”
Council President Vicki Weininger said the increased police presence has made a difference on South Sycamore Street, where she lives.
“On my street it has slowed down,” Weininger said. “It used to be drag race central down there and they have slowed down.”
Separately, Blankenship announced the department has added a new auxiliary police officer. Thomas C. Cory III, of Bucyrus, was sworn in Sunday.
“(Cory) has experience,” Blankenship said. “He has worked in Attica, Republic and Crestline.”
Also Tuesday, council approved a 10-year contract with Blue Creek Wind Farm, of Van Wert.
“We thought it would be a great opportunity to be able to get more into green power,” Village Administrator Chuck Clark said. “It puts us where we need to be for the 2016 rules and regulations that the federal government sets that a certain percentage of your power become green.
“The rates look good and I think it’s a good project,” Clark added.
According to Clark, the contract is for 20 kilowatt hours, which will be offered for 3.5 cents per kWh in the beginning of the contract period and max out at 6 cents per kWh.
In other business, Clark updated council on the construction of the new shelterhouse at Veterans Memorial Park.
“It’s all framed up and the concrete is poured,” Clark said. “… We’re going to try to get sheet metal put up on the roof this week. Next week, we’re going to try to stay right at it and get the ceiling put in and the lights.”
Clark also updated council on the project to build a new water plant.
“We have a meeting on Thursday to go over the bid package and finalize any change orders we have,” Clark said. “… Hopefully, we’ll get things finalized here in the next month and be ready to bid the project out.”
Following a 40-minute executive session to discuss personnel, council voted to create a new emergency medical services billing clerk position to be filled by Mayor Matt Boucher and Fire Chief Bryan Clouse. They also voted to remove Joe Atkins from the fire department’s roster, as recommended by Clouse.
“(Atkins) has moved out of the area,” Clouse said.
Lastly, village officials announced the swimming pool will open June 4.
“The swimming pool was filled on Sunday and the pump got started on Monday, so we’re just in the process of getting the chemicals going,” Clark said.
The parks committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss the upcoming festival and car show.
The finance committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. June 6.
By CHANDA NEELY