BARNESVILLE – Village officials expressed gratitude on Monday to everyone who helped make the 2021 Barnesville Pumpkin Festival a success after the 2020 event was canceled due to concerns surrounding the cronovirus pandemic.
Mayor Dale Bunting opened a scheduled council meeting praising the community of Barnesville, saying: “We have a lot of great people here who are doing amazing things.”
Bunting then thanked resident Scott Baker, who worked to bring the Eyes of Freedom military service memorial to Barnesville, where it was on display at college over the weekend. Bunting noted the contributions of many who assisted Baker in his endeavors.
Bunting also thanked Police Chief Rocky Sirianni and Fire Chief Tim Hall for all they did over the weekend and for helping coordinate the large motorcade that escorted the Eyes of Freedom to town on Wednesday. last night.
“The pumpkin festival committee is doing everything to bring people to our city, and our city is growing,” Bunting added before thanking the village workers for helping with the cleanup after the festivities ended.
Baker then spoke, thanking his wife, Lisa, for encouraging him in his efforts to bring the Eyes of Freedom to Barnesville. He cited the outpouring of support from the many visitors who came to see the memorial in person and thanked the Barnesville Shamrocks football team and coaches for helping to dismantle and load the memorial on Sunday.
Village administrator Roger Deal also thanked the village workers, noting that the water service, cemetery and park teams all helped the street service clean up after the festival.
Sirianni said, “I want to thank my officers for doing their job and doing it extremely well. “
The chief said he was pleased with the way his officers handled the few incidents that required their intervention over the weekend.
Councilor Tim McKelvey also praised the police department, saying: “When I was downtown a few times, I noticed two policemen walking together in the crowd. I think that’s a great way to police. It makes people in the crowd feel comfortable, and it also allows some people to behave when they might not. “
Clay Bethel of the Bethel Insurance Agency was at Monday’s meeting to discuss the village property and liability insurance policies with the council. Bethel explained that Westfield Insurance, which through its agency has been the village’s carrier of choice for about 55 years, is exiting the public entity insurance market. He did market research to find the best options for replacing municipal coverage.
Bethel presented two proposals, one being the Zurich Insurance Group and the other the Public Entity Program of Ohio. Bethel said Zurich is a large international corporation with $ 440 billion in assets which “Has an appetite for the insurance of public entities” which only recently became available for him to offer. He said the Public Entity Program of Ohio is a risk-shared insurance pool.
Bethel explained that the village will see significant savings compared to what it pays through Westfield regardless of the coverage chosen, but he strongly recommended Zurich. Bethel said that although Zurich is more expensive than PEP, the annual premium is still $ 25,000 less than what the village paid for its Westfield policy.
He went on to say he had reservations about insurance pools.
“It’s almost impossible to get out of it. You have to stay there so long and pay money for future claims that you haven’t even incurred to quit the program ”, he said.
He added that with a standard insurance company like Zurich or Westfield, there are regulations and protections through the Ohio Department of Insurance.
After a short discussion, city councilor Les Tickhill offered to join Zurich based on Bethel’s recommendation. The rest of the council voted okay.
Meanwhile, McKelvey referred to a proposal he made at a previous meeting for the fire department to purchase a specialized air compressor so that he no longer had to carry air tanks for self-contained breathing apparatus in Bethesda or St. Clairsville to be refilled. After a brief discussion, the matter was postponed again after City Councilors Tony Johnson and Scott Gallagher said they wanted to make sure the department had an acceptable plan for housing the equipment, with regards to safety. and noise.
In other cases, the council authorized the payment of bills in the amount of $ 94,681.56, passed an ordinance authorizing the recoding of village ordinances, and approved a building permit for Dennis Shawn Thompson to demolish a garage at 208 W. Main Street.
Due to the Columbus Day holiday, the next Barnesville Village Council meeting will be held on October 12 at 7:00 p.m. – a Tuesday instead of the usual Monday – in the Municipal Building on Arch Street.