MURRAY CITY — After making a motion to move the Murray City Village Council meetings to once a month, the meetings have been more packed with a list of “To Dos” and complaints.

During the meeting on Thursday, roll call was taken, the minutes were read, a motion was made to pay the bills and then Mayor Mike Dupler brought up the concern of X-Press Underground Inc., the construction company working on the sewer project.

Dupler said he ceased work being performed by X-Press on Thursday, May 30, due to a combination of events, and handed them a letter of explanation. The company was back to work by that following Monday, June 3.

One of those events was when semi-trucks and dump trucks began to use the alleys and roadways instead of the main road, state Route 78, like they’re supposed to. This brought up conversation of turning the state route back over to the Ohio Department of Transportation to maintain.

“Murray City evidently, back I don’t know when, but accepted that we would do something with that road to maintain it,” explained Councilwoman Sharon Koon.

The Village doesn’t have the funds to maintain the state route anymore, especially with the construction in the area ruining or worsening the road conditions. Instead of repaving the entire road, X-Press was looking to patch the roadway because it’s cheaper.

Ron Cook, Village Administrator, also brought up the amount it would cost the Village to put in water connections to roughly six more homes. It would cost the Village at least $1,200 to hook residents up to running water; $807 for parts, plus $0.40 cents per foot per pipe, plus labor. Council approved the price for the installation and purchase of materials.

Regarding water, Cook also stated residents have been getting abnormally high bills and he doesn’t know who read the meters. Earlier this year, the Village had trouble with their water meter reader and he eventually quit. Council then hired Jon Griffin, who also works at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail. According to councilwoman Charmia Berwanger, the Regional Jail has been extremely short staffed lately.

Therefore, since Griffin couldn’t read all of the water meters in town Berwanger, councilman Roger Berwanger, and water clerk Sabrina Bishop, all pitched in to help read and re-read the rest of the meters. This caused some confusion for Cook when it came to a resident having a bill that had doubled since last month.

Griffin’s wife, Kayla, spoke on behalf of Jon at the council meeting and stated he had been working double shifts at the jail and also is dealing with some health issues.

“Now wait, here’s what’s aggravating me. We went to the people and begged the people when Jake (Sheritt, the old water meter reader) screwed up. People paid their water bills, no shut offs or anything; we dropped the ball that time. So we assured people this isn’t going to happen again, but now we’ve got three or four different people in the water pit,” explained Cook.

This caused a small ruckus before fiscal officer Susan Baker spoke up and asked how the Village wanted to pay him since he technically didn’t work the whole time on his own.

“I need the people who are in charge of the budget, I need the Village Administrator basically, to tell me — or council, or whoever — does he get a month’s salary when he didn’t do his job?” questioned Baker.

Dupler said Griffin should be paid his regular salary but this couldn’t happen every month.

Resident Steve England discussed two possible donations to fireworks and wanted to know where he can have people donate. He mentioned two groups that wanted to donate to the cause — Murray City and Glouster Eagles.

The community cookout will be hosted July 6, beginning at 11 a.m. with food, drinks, inflatable bounce houses and more.

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