Village appoints fire chief, plans raises

By Nikki Blankenship - [email protected]

The Village of New Boston is exploring several ways to best serve both Village employees and community members.

During Tuesday night’s meeting of the New Boston Village Council, Mayor William “Junior” Williams appointed Chris Davis as the new Fire Chief to replace retiring Chief John Williams. The appointment will take effect March 25. Davis has worked for the New Boston Fire Department for 22 years.

“He has served as a trainee, firefighter, driver and lieutenant,” Williams stated to Council. “I am confident his vast knowledge of firefighting, as well as being a long time resident and member of our community will serve the people of New Boston well.”

Williams’ will end his nearly 30-year career with the department on Friday. Davis will take his oath of office next week.

Employees of the Village of New Boston could see a pay raise coming soon. During legislative session, Council amended and gave second reading to a master pay ordinance (and repealing of current pay ordinance) that will increase pay for all employees by $1.25 (amended from $1.50). The only Village employees that would be excluded from the pay increase would be police and fire chiefs, solicitor, village administrator and all elected officials. The pay increase is a recommendation from the Village’s finance committee, which is also recommending increased retirement compensation of 10 percent for all Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) employees and 12.25 percent for police and fire retirement.

Council also gave first reading to an ordinance that will establish a $5 vehicle registration fee. Mayor William “Junior” Williams explained that the State of Ohio allows up to a $20 fee. In comparison to surrounding communities, he added that Portsmouth charges $15 and South Webster charges $5. The fee is expected to bring in an annual revenue of $7,500, which could only be used for road repair and improvement. Williams added that New Boston has lost a total of $450,000 in local government funding from the State and have not had to look to the community to make up for such loss.

“We have not raised taxes in 29 years,” Williams confirmed.

Any tax increases charged to the residents of New Boston have come through other entities such as the New Boston Local Schools. Though the Village does not foresee any financial difficulty in the near future, such fees are beneficial in maintaining infrastructure within New Boston.

The Village also passed two resolutions and gave reading to another. Council passed two resolutions that will allow the Mayor to enter into a loan/grant agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency. The USDA will provide New Boston with a $40,000 loan and $45,000 grant to be used for the purchase of two police cruisers. Williams asked that Council pass both as an emergency in order to meet the agreement deadlines.

A reading was given to an ordinance recognizing Ali Hamilton as River Days Queen contestant for Glenwood High School.-

New Boston Village Council will meet again in regular session at 6:30 p.m. on April 4 at the New Boston Community Center located on Rhodes Ave.

By Nikki Blankenship

[email protected]

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930.