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ADA — Following the First United Methodist Church fire in Ada, village council members felt it necessary to include an open flame policy in the Historic Railroad Depot rental policy.
Since the previous meeting, when the idea was proposed, some council members’ thoughts have changed on the idea.
The policy was revised for Tuesday night’s regular meeting to include an open flames policy that reads, “Open flames are prohibited within the building and on the patio area. At all times there are to be no open flames. (This includes all types of candles and/or anything which is ignitable.)”
Following the reading of the policy, Councilman Donald Fleming brought to the attention of the council that anything is ignitable and that the last part of policy, that which is included in the parenthesis, should be removed.
Another motion was then brought to the floor by Councilwoman Ruth Roider with the revised policy wording. After having since the last meeting to think about the issue Fleming again addressed the council, stating his concerns for having the policy in place.
“How many of us are not going to burn candles because the church burned down?” Fleming said.
Councilman Jeff Oestreich then proposed the idea of revising the policy to say “unattended open flames.” Because it is believed the church fire started from an unattended candle, he said, this may take care of the issue.
“If you’re going to have a birthday party, you’re going to be standing there when you light the candles, you’re going to blow them out and you’re done,” Oestreich said. “…I think ‘no open flame’ is going to make it difficult to rent out the facility.”
Coucilwoman Cathy Cole agreed with Oestreich, adding that people who rent the depot out for birthday parties will most likely want to use candles for the cake. Her concern, however, was for what the candle could do after it was disposed of.
“People throw the candles in trash and if they don’t remove the trash from building and the building catches fire, that’s a problem,” Cole said.
She raised the idea of possibly including something in the policy that states those renting out the depot must dispose of their trash following the use of the facility. It was also suggested to consider placing a dumpster near the depot to allow for proper disposal of trash.
Following discussion, the revised policy wording which included “no open flames” was voted down by council.
In other action, council:
– Approved the third and final reading of an ordinance to rezone the Marathon gas station property from residential to commercial.
– Approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with Joseph R. Burkard, Esq. and Cook, Troth, Burkard and Gorrell, LTD. for legal representation in the acquisition of additional property necessary for expansion of the wastewater treatment plant.
– Approved the hiring of Angela Dankworth to the position of full-time dispatcher at a rate of $9 per hour with benefits as per union contract.
– Was made aware of Ohio Public Works Commission’s approval of $500,000 to the Village of Ada for phase two of the West Lima Avenue project, completing its needed revenue.
– Learned of the mayor’s appointing of Alisa Armbrecht and Jim Neiswander to the board of zoning appeals and Howard Fenton to the planning commission.
– Was informed that the citizen’s police academy will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. with 18 citizens slated to attend.
– Learned the Ada Police Department received a $2,500 check for its partnership with the crime task force.
By TY THAXTON
Times staff writer