Delaware News

Gochenour back to fill Sunbury council's empty seat

By MARY POSANI
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Though he did not run for re-election in November and his term ended last month, Joe Gochenour is back on Sunbury Village Council for another four years.

Council voted 5-0 at its meeting Wednesday, Jan. 8, to appoint Gochenour to another term.

Four council members' terms ended at the end of 2013, but only three ran for re-election in November. Council accepted applications for the vacant seat.

Gochenour, who has been on council since November 2011, said he had not planned to run for re-election. At the Dec. 18 council meeting, he announced he would like to apply for the position.

"I hope to continue serve the community the best way that I can," Gochenour said.

Residents Brandon Clay, Benjamin Hoyar and James Kahrl also applied to fill the vacant seat.

Councilmen Thomas Zalewski, Scott Weatherby and Dave Miller ran unopposed for re-election in November and were sworn in at this week's meeting.

Prior to Gochenour's reinstatement, a 4-0 vote appointed Councilman Len Weatherby as council president. Weatherby's son, fellow Councilman Scott Weatherby, abstained from voting.

Battling winter

After the snow and sub-zero temperatures of the last week, village administrators are taking extra precautions to handle more winter weather.

Council this week approved the purchase of 100 tons of salt at a cost of $5,113. It's the second purchase of salt this winter, Village Administrator Dave Martin said.

Martin said an employee on-call rotation for the street department also was established to properly prepare for clearing icy and snowy roads.

"One of the issues we've had with the street department is coverage on weekends through the winters," Martin said. "We now have a schedule of workers on the street department that are on call on given weekends, so we have somebody available if we have weather issues."

Unlike various parts of Columbus and neighboring cities, the village had no reports of burst pipes or water-main breaks during last week's below-zero cold.

Village updates

Council also voted this week to purchase and install a new computer server for the village, allowing quicker access and fewer system glitches.

Sunbury is switching its IT support to Edge Technology Services. Miller said the current system does not fulfill the city's needs.

"Going into this year, we are going to get the server for the size of this village," Miller said. "The server we had was way overblown for what we needed. It was set up wrong, had hardware problems, had hard-drive problems and everything."

The new server's cost and installation is about $5,500.

Council also discussed the possibility of updating Town Hall's first-floor banquet room in phases, a renovation that would include new floors, cabinets and tables.

Town Hall's second floor currently is being updated. The updates, though minor, consist of removing cubicle walls to create open space for community use. The total cost for the second-floor updates is less than $500, Martin said.

Zalewski added he hopes this is the year a playground will be built on the former water plant property.

The village's water treatment plant closed in 2005. Since Sunbury has few outdoor play areas for children, council several times has discussed the possibility of using the property to provide a safe, outdoor space.

"My goal is a playground for the kids in Sunbury," Zalewski said. "We're going to lower one of the ponds and create a beach up there, put a lot of sliding boards in -- whatever it takes to make a nice park out of it, so they don't have to go to the Frisbee golf course."

Council has yet to decide a timeline for the project.

Village Council will meet next at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at Town Hall, 9 E. Granville St.

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