MASON — The Town of Mason will soon be receiving $390,000 in COVID-19 relief funds, it was announced at the most recent town council meeting.
Present were Mayor Donna Dennis, and council members Sharon Kearns, Steve Ohlinger, Sarah Stover, and Becky Pearson. Absent were Councilman Marty Yeager and Recorder Harley Stewart.
The mayor said half of the money, $195,000, is set to be received within 60 days. The remaining half will be received in 12 months, she added.
Several ideas were presented for the use of the funds, including street resurfacing, paying off the police cruiser, the design phase of the Clifton water extension project, and a COVID-19 pay incentive for employees. No action was taken.
Treasurer Darlene Roach presented the council members with the general town budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The $568,350 budget was approved.
There were few changes in the budget line items, with the highest being an increase for the police department. The department raised from $260,400 to $280,400. Roach said tax rates to the citizens were raised from 9.16 percent to 9.62 percent, the highest possible without a public hearing being required. The tax hike will generate an additional $4,084 for the town.
Recreation was also a meeting topic, including the Fourth of July and Easter egg hunt.
The council agreed to once again provide $5,000 toward the fireworks display on July 4. The remaining funds for the display will come from the Middleport Business Association and donations.
A parade will be held on that day in Mason at noon, starting in the parking lot at Faith Baptist Church and going to the fire station. At this time, no activities are planned for the park.
The Easter egg hunt will be March 27, noon, at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park. There will be four age groups up to 12 years. Eggs will contain candy, and 100 in each group will contain dollar bills. The rain date is April 3.
In other action, the council:
Heard reports of potholes by Kearns and resident Larry Daniels;
Declined the request for a donation from the Wahama Athletic Boosters;
Reminded residents of the spring clean-up May 3-7, with the cost being $25 per pick-up truck load, and a $25 minimum;
Approved a resolution for the treasurer’s position;
Added the cost of living wage increase to the employee handbook;
Hired Leah Roach as part-time seasonal park attendant at $150 per week;
Accepted the resignation of Patrolman Clayton Gibbs; and,
Promoted part-time Patrolman River Griffith to full-time status at the uncertified pay rate of $10 per hour.
The next meeting will be April 8, 6:30 p.m.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.