Village officials close to choosing Sister City
Johnstown village officials narrowed down their list of potential sister city candidates to three Ohio towns: Canal Winchester, Chardon and Waynesville.
Village Manager Jim Lenner said council ranked the top nine towns during its All Committee meeting June 11.
"A couple members were looking for somebody similar to what Johnstown is in terms of demographics, the number of residents, city status with us becoming a city in the near future," Lenner said.
"A few people thought it'd be best to maybe partner with a city that has gone through the growing pains of becoming a city, to kind of piggyback on what they've learned over the years," he added.
Councilman David Keck will contact the top three towns to see if they are still committed to being Johnstown's sister city, Lenner said, then council will approve the final town.
In other All Committee news:
* The Finance Committee narrowed down the field of candidates for the new village finance director position from 42 to eight.
Lenner said the committee is looking for someone with government financing and economic experience.
He said the Finance Committee started interviewing the potential candidates on June 12 and will continue interviews on June 19 and 22.
"The committee will make a recommendation to council for the top two or three (candidates) to have a final interview," Lenner said.
Lenner said the list of eight doesn't include the two previous finance director candidates that interviewed with the Finance Committee last month. He said they are still being considered for the position.
Lenner said the village would like the new finance director to start July 2.
* The Safety and Service Committee discussed residents' concerns over an ash borer problem in the Concord Crossing neighborhood.
"At Central Station Place, 16 out of 16 trees were affected and then Central Station Drive had 28 out of 35 affected," Lenner said.
Even though the two streets were hit hard, the committee decided that it was the property owners' problem to address the bug issue.
"Ultimately, the tree maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner," Lenner said. "If we looked to take all those trees down then everyone else would want that same treatment. ... So the liability is just too great for the village to get involved with taking those trees down."
* The Planning and Zoning Commission is looking into getting rid of garage sale permits due to the difficulty of monitoring who bought them.
Currently, Johnstown residents must obtain a $5 permit through the village and can only have three garage sales a year.
"Years ago they put it on the books because people were just having a garage sale weekend after weekend and it just became a business," Lenner said.
He said the committee wants more information about how to regulate garage sales before getting rid of permits permanently.
* Johnstown held a special Village Council meeting June 13 to authorize the payment of $10,370 toward construction of the "Safe Routes to School" project.
The project will create a sidewalk along West Coshocton Street to help students walk from the Rolling Meadows neighborhood to Oregon and Searfoss Elementary and Willis C. Adams Middle schools.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is spending $250,000 for construction and the village was required to pay any costs over that amount.
The village already spent an additional $30,000 throughout 2010 and 2011 for engineering and service acquisitions of property for the project.