Council to form ethics committee

Several members of the community addressed the Berea City Council during the public comments portion of a bi-monthly meeting Tuesday night and at least one of those concerns will be addressed in the future.

City council member Emily LaDouceur proposed an ad hoc ethics committee to review and update the city’s code of ethics. The committee will include the city attorney, three council members and a one member of the ethics board. The measure passed 5-3 with councilmen David Rowlette, Jerry Little and Ronnie Terrill voting against the proposal.

LeDouceur also proposed scheduling a work session to discuss committee structure, but was voted down 6-2. John Payne joined LeDouceur voting yes on the proposal.

During the business session, the council approved four resolutions in order to secure grant funding for the Walnut Meadow Pump Station and South Middletown Trunk Sewer Improvement Project. The project is expected to cost approximately $2.1 million, but will only cost the city $600,000 after the grant monies have been applied.

City Administrator Randy Stone said the project will improve sewer lines along Menelaus Road and includes the areas of Brooklyn Boulevard and Central Park. He added the city will begin moving utility poles in preparation for Phase II of the bypass project.

Berea College President Lyle Roelofs gave an update on current and future plans and joint projects the college plans to include with the City of Berea and Berea Community School. Roelofs said there is a “special relationship” between the college and the city.

“(Mayor Bruce Fraley) and I agree that should be a priority for us in the next four years,” he said.

Among the future possibilities include the construction of a retirement complex “that will benefit the entire community” along with the improvement of ongoing trails. The efforts, he said, will benefit the citizens, the college and attract visitors and students to Berea.

“Any efforts to improve livability in our town is a win-win-win,” Roelofs said, adding he also wants to improve relations with the Berea Community School.

The council also heard first reading of an ordinance on an amended budget for the current fiscal year.

In other business:

• Jackson Napier gave an update on the “Room In The Inn” program. He said five churches and a business have participated this winter. He said 28 people have participated in the program, which will run through March 15 and will resume Nov. 15. He said the patrons have been provided with a place to stay and hot meal. The program has featured 144 volunteers. He said RITI appreciates a working relationship with Berea Police Department to help secure a safe environment.

• Fraley appointed Althea Webb to fill the unexpired term of Betty Olinger on the board of the Berea Housing Authority. He also appointed Beverly Harkleroad and Heather Resor to the Industrial Development Board.

• Berea Municipal Utilities Director Kevin Howard recommended the council accept a bid D&B Electric and Communications, LLC to install emergency generators from for $205,548. Howard also recommended the council accept a bid o from Parkers Absolute Best Carpet Cleaners for janitorial services at the BMU/Public Works Building for $2,175 per month.

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