Plymouth Hears Update On Theft

Special to the Times-Junction

Plymouth Police Chief Charlie Doan updated council regarding the recent theft at Community Market at the Oct. 14 village council meeting.

The investigation is still pending, but there has been progress made, he said. Following the robbery, officers went to Mickey Mart to ask to see security tape footage of the premises and found the suspects tried to rob the gas station as well, he stated.

"When we went to look at their tapes, the female distracts the clerk and the male goes right into their office and tries to open drawers and the safe," he said.

The suspects have been spotted all across Northeast Ohio, so this is not an isolated incident he insisted. The male suspect stole a hat from Community Market. A video airedon a Cleveland news channel showed a similar looking male involved with another robbery.

"The same female was in the scene with him," he said. "They now have a baby with them that they use to distract the clerk."

According to Doan, areas that have been affected by the crime spree include Medina, Oak Harbor, Strongsville, and Port Clinton. He said the Plymouth Police Department has been working with the Criminal Investigation Unit by using facial recognition software to try and identify the suspects. Doan reiterated it is only a matter of time before the suspects are apprehended.

In other news, village administrator Bill Sexton updated council in regards to the salt shortage dilemma for the upcoming winter. He said he has been trying to get in contact with Richland County, and received a message the county has received bids on their second re-bid.

"My understanding from the message (is) they came back even lower than what everybody lowered their salt quantities to," he noted. "So now they have to figure out how they are going to disperse (salt) to everybody and do it fairly."

As a result, Sexton said the county wants the village to lower its request from 150 tons of salt, like it had the previous winter, to around 100 tons of salt for this winter.

"So we are going to pay more and have less?," asked councilman Lee Walker.

"Yes," replied Sexton. "And I think what Richland County will want to do is probably make it go further, so they will take their salt and mix the grit with it."

Due to the Willard Reservoir algae situation, chlorine levels have been an area of concern, Sexton said. He and Scott Pifer worked for two hours on Sunday, Oct. 12 running water to maintain proper chlorine levels.

"We're still running water off underground seven days a week to keep us where we're at," he said

"Wow, that's a lot of money," said Walker.

"I got a pretty good figure on that. It was around $1,400 for last month," noted council member Keith Hebble

"Have you had any more discussions or any more thoughts about an injector system?" asked Walker.

"Yes," Sexton told him. "We talked to the engineer, and the engineers also had discussion with Willard to see if they could boost their chlorine injectors up to see if anything would happen."

"We're spending so much on water," noted Walker. "Pretty soon it's going to be a no brainer to put an injector system in."

"Well, that's what we're looking at," Sexton said. "We're looking at putting a loaner system in right before the heat of next summer, and we're going to test it and see how it works out."

Continuing with council news, Walker informed members the rebuilding of one of the SBR tanks at the water plant is complete. At this time the project is considered complete until the second SBR tank begins to malfunction. he said.

Everything is in balance at the sewer plant following a sediment build-up caused by camera jetting of sewer lines, Walker said. Sexton is in the process of developing a plan to catch sediment so the jetting project can continue.

"Our contractor has admitted it was their first job and they're learning. They didn't know that this effect could occur and that the sewer plant could be affected the way it was," Walker explained. "They are going to work with us, and we're going to try and take small bites. When we have a plan, I will report that, but right now we are going to nibble at it."

 Hebble said village balances are reasonable, except for cemetery funds which are always low.

"I feel that we should be dealing with that in committee meetings,"he pointed out. "I will present some options at the finance committee meeting to see if they want to make a recommendation or do nothing."

Hebble advised council the village tree ordinance needs to be updated because it is 30 years old.

"The original ordinance was ok, but things have transpired in the almost 30 years since then. So, we need to bring it up to date," he explained.

Councilman Joe Runkle presented fire and police reports for the month of September. He said there were 25 squad runs for the fire department, none involving motor vehicle accidents or fires.

The police department responded to 274 calls in September, as compared to 297 in July and 278 in August he noted.

Council member Joan Felver inquired about a progress report regarding the search for a police dog.

Officer Montel Gordon said the department is still searching for a K-9 to assist with drug searches in the village. Funding for the police dog will cost between $5,000 and $7,000, and it will cover expenses for the dog and its training, he said.

A motion was made to wave the 24 hour rule concerning changes made to the annual appropriations ordinance No. 22 followed by a motion to amend ordinance No. 23 suspending the rules and declaring it an emergency.

Council Member Dwayne Cassidy made a motion to set a date for a public hearing about the architectural district for Nov. 25 at 6:55 p.m. at the council chambers.

Trick or treat will be Thursday Oct. 30 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The next Plymouth council meeting will be Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and a Plymouth Improvement Committee meeting will be Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the historical society.

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