allocates VMP more funds
Village Council agreed last week to give additional funding to the Village
Mediation Program to help the program pay for what people associated with
VMP consider one of its most critical functions.
Facing a tight budget and a long list of capital needs, the Village will
not fund a program coordinator for VMP. Members of the programs
Steering Committee, however, said that while volunteers could handle many
of the coordinators responsibilities, the program needed additional
funds to support the intake process, the point at which those
needing mediation make first contact with the program.
During Councils meeting Feb. 3, Len Kramer, chairman of the Steering
Committee, said that the intake process must be handled in a consistent
and professional manner and would not be as effective if it was managed
by a rotating group of volunteers.
Kramer said that several volunteers agreed to help oversee the process
through April and the Steering Committee could squeeze $900
out of the programs budget to pay someone to cover the process for
part of the year. But the program still needs more funding for part of
the year, he said.
Kramer said that the Steering Committee would pursue grant money to fund
the intake process next year.
Without taking a vote, Council agreed to the Steering Committees
request, saying that it would provide the program with an additional $1,100
for this year. The move increases the mediation programs funding
Council member George Pitstick said that the additional funding is
not a big price to pay to keep the mediation program running through
This year, the Village has eliminated the paid contract positions for
both the VMP and channel 13, the local public access station. The cuts
will save the Village $25,000 a year. The reduction in personnel costs
is part of a series of cost-cutting actions the Village has taken as a
result of decreasing revenue and the need to implement several capital
In addition to the VMP Steering Committee, the Village Cable Advisory
Panel was invited to Councils meeting last week to discuss the impact
the budget cuts will have on channel 13. Robert Walker, the station manager
of channel 13 and a member of the cable panel, said that this year the
panel wants to purchase a second camera to improve the quality of meeting
broadcasts and start covering the meetings of the Miami Township trustees
and Village Planning Commission. In addition, panel members will write
descriptions to help new volunteers run channel 13s equipment.
The panel has said volunteers should run channel 13.
Walker, however, spent most of his floor time last week presenting a report
on the stations 2002 activities.
* * *
In other Council business:
Council approved 40 a resolution awarding a three-year lease
on Village farmland to Flatter Hereford farm. Council member Joan Horn
Flatter Hereford made a high bid of $111, outbidding John S. Grimes by
99 cents. Flatter Hereford, which leased the Villages 87 acres of
farmland last year, will pay the Village $9,657 a year.
Village Manager Rob Hillard presented the results of a traffic
study on Dayton Street. Hillard and Police Chief Jim Miller said that
a stop sign was not needed near Wright Street. In December, a Dayton Street
resident told Council she was concerned about speeding on the street.
Miller said that the study shows there is not an excessive number
of speeding violations on Dayton near Wright.
Council asked Hillard to consider placing signage or other signals to
alert drivers that the area is a high pedestrian area.