Davis sworn in as council member

Jim Davis, left, is sworn in by Mount Sterling mayor Charlie Neff as the council member to take the seat vacated by Heather Rice. He is an experienced village council member, who said he will work to move the village forward.

There is a new face on Mount Sterling Village Council.

Council members voted unanimously Monday to fill the seat vacated by Heather Rice with an experienced former council member, Jim Davis.

He was sworn in by village mayor Charlie Neff.

Davis has previously served on the council and finished just behind Rice in the last election. His experience plus his near-miss finish in the last election were grounds enough to put Davis in the seat, members said.

“I appreciate everyone’s confidence in me,” Davis said prior to the swear-in. “I will do my best to help the village move forward.”

In other business, council moved forward with a resolution to hire a company to refurbish its two water towers, at an estimated cost of $475,000.

Village administrator Joe Johnson said the larger tank — which has a capacity of 200,000 gallons — will be first because it’s leaking. Johnson brought samples of the deteriorated exterior of the tower to show council the need.

It had not been serviced since 1985, when the previously used tank was installed, he said.

The village will be supplied water through its 100,000-gallon tank with the aid of two 24-hour, high-service pumps.

Johnson noted the Keihin plant uses a large quantity of water, thus necessitating the engagement of the high-service pumps from the smaller tank.

Johnson said the refurbishment of each tank will take eight weeks, weather permitting.

Also in his report, Johnson pointed out the improvement dollars spent over the past two years in an effort to make the village a nicer place to live.

In 2014, money spent on village improvement totaled about $7.87 million. This year to date, the amount spent stands at about $6.28 million.

The village has received $2 million in grants and been able to borrow with low-interest loans, he said.

“This town is moving forward and working stronger,” Johnson said. “It’s us working together.”

Council member Diane Spradlin said she wants to see more home ownership within the village.

“As it grows, the village will get more of a face lift,” Spradlin said.

Of the $13,000 charged to residents for mowing of overly tall grass and trash removal, $11,000 has been collected by the Madison County Auditor’s office and forwarded to the village.

“People are paying it,” Johnson said said.

Madison County sheriff’s deputy Jack Dill said three juveniles will be charged with the alleged car break-ins which had been occurring for the past month. Dill said help from citizens aided in their apprehension.

“Thanks to the citizens for paying attention,” Dill said.

He again reminded car owners to remove valuables from the cars and to lock their doors. The thieves were targeting cars which were unlocked and thus easy prey. Their goal was to take loose change from passenger compartments.

Dill, who also served as village parks and recreation director, said the recent rains have again reinforced the need for adequate drainage at Mason Park.

He said the Madison-Plains football team will hold a meet-and-greet event from 6 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, July 22 at Mason Park. The residents are invited to come out and meet the coaches and players.

Johnson also thanks the firefighters of the Tri-County Fire District for fresh paint on the village’s hydrants and curbs in front of them.

Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.