CRESTON – The village council got an update at the Nov. 4 meeting on a devastating fire the previous week that totaled one of the service department trucks and the tools it was carrying.
There were no injuries.
“We were able to unhook the tar bucket so it’s OK,” Superintendent Jason Flory said. “We hit it with three fire extinguishers but couldn’t get it out.”
The cause of the fire, which destroyed a former military 1993 Chevrolet, was not discussed. The truck was towed back to the service garage to await the insurance adjuster.
Having earlier gotten a new dump truck to replace the 1978 model, the service garage has run out of room, Flory said. He asked for and received permission to sell off the old one on GovDeals.com.
Flory also said $4,500 in money already appropriated would be spent for street barricades and safety signs and new hand tools.
Council voted 4-2 to close the Creston Community Center until the fire doors could be repaired and the building inspected. Councilman Marlin Hostettler said an architect had told him the doors, which hang at an angle and do not close properly, could feed a fire and make it worse.
“If we can’t close the fire doors we can’t have people in there,” Mayor William Armentrout said.
Hostettler and Councilman Lyle Kalina voted against the measure.
“You can’t say ‘no one can go in there,’” Hostettler told The Post later. “The inspector has to be allowed in and Jason and his crew to do the work. That’s why we voted against it.”
The council consensus was that the work should be expedited because the annual Santa’s Workshop event is scheduled for the building Dec. 16 from 6-8 p.m. In that, children are invited to come in and make crafts as a Christmas gift and visit with Santa Claus.
Hostettler announced that the new tornado warning siren was up and working, having been tested at noon that day.
“It’ll be tested at noon the first Monday of every month,” Hostettler said. “But we won’t test if the weather is bad so as not to put off and confuse people.”
“Finally, after six years, maybe seven,” Councilwoman Gerry Mills said.
Rev. Alice Phillips, pastor of the Creston Presbyterian Church, asked that the village reduce the speed limit at the curve on Route 3 near her parsonage.
“There have been so many accidents there,” she said. “I literally take my life into my hands when I go out to get my mail.”
Village solicitor Allan Michelson informed her that since it’s a state route, there are procedures the village must follow to petition the state for a change, which would include a traffic study. Council sent the request to the Safety Committee to begin the process.
Council announced that it was beginning the process of selecting a replacement for Kalina, who is not seeking re-election and had no candidate file for his seat. Notification is being published in the newspapers and will have five postings.
The police department’s brand new cruiser has been recalled for a steering problem. It is going to a dealership for repair.
“We’ve been told they may not have enough parts for the recall,” Chief Bryon Meshew said. “They have a temporary fix and may have to have us back for the permanent so we may be coming back to you with this.”
Council voted to close two alleys on Burbank Street, half of one near 113 and all of one at 125, changing them to utility access only.
“They are not being used,” Councilman Keith Studer said. “Most people really won’t notice the change.”
Council voted to change the rental rules for park facilities, making them clearer. They now state that the park closes at dusk and the buildings, if rented, at 11 p.m. The police will be given copies of all rental agreements so officers are aware when facilities are rented.
A request from Petro Pipeline to approve extending an oil transfer pipe through part of the village was sent back to committee for further review.
Council’s next meeting will be 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the village hall.