- May 6, 2020
- Posted by: Kris Carico
Public Message from Mayor Branson
Because it has been a couple weeks since I last updated the village on the state of where are, as we began to re-open Liberty Center, I felt it was best to update everyone on the plans going forward. Please keep in mind as we begin to re-open businesses and village operations, the Governors mandate on social distancing and recommendation on protective wear remains in effect.
As of Monday May 4th, I re-opened the recycle center for village residents. Considering the entity, which picks up the material is operating again, and the recycle building tends to not have several people visiting at once, we feel it is safe enough to go ahead and open it to the village. The village has decided to move forward with unlimited drop off at the Creager location. Drop off has been scheduled for Friday, June 5 from 9am-5pmm Saturday, June 6 from 9am-5pm, and Sunday, June 7 from 12pm-5pm.
As of May 12th, the Governor has given permission for 90% of businesses to begin to re-opening. This means mostly retail. I am hoping to see the businesses in Liberty Center effected by the COVID-19 pandemic begin to open as well. With this said, the stay at home order is still in effect till May 29th, and unfortunately there is no timeline on hair salons for re-opening. Lets’ hope that order comes soon since we have a couple in town that I am sure have suffered financially from the shutdown.
As far as the parks in the village, we must keep the playgrounds and basketball courts closed until the Governor takes us to Phase II, which allows a social gathering of more than 50 people. The Baseball fields will have to remain closed until we go into Phase III, which allows for social gatherings with no maximum number of people. We are hoping the Governor will get us to Phase III allowing kids to be able to have a baseball/softball season. As of May 12th, we will re-open the municipal building to the public under certain restrictions. We will continue to suspend water utility shut offs or charge a late fee on those that have had a hard time paying due to the economic conditions until the Board of Public Affairs can re-evaluate the policy in their June meeting. We do implore the citizens to pay what you can when you can as the bill will continue to mount. Since we purchase water from another municipality, the village cannot afford to absorb the water bill for the residents, therefore we cannot forgive amounts outstanding on residents’ bills. If you are having an issue paying the water bill, please contact the village office to make arrangements on payments.
After speaking to the local VFW, the annual Memorial Day chicken BBQ has been canceled as well as the Memorial Day parade. A gathering may still take place in the cemetery, but we are waiting on word from the Legion and VFW after they meet again next week. The Liberty Center School has also canceled all classes and activities for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. The School is in the process of contacting parents on what their plans are going forward. The village will also be working with a few parents who are helping represent the senior class of 2020 to make sure they get a proper send off.
I am sure everyone is aware in the last council meeting we voted to pursue the option with Northwestern Water and Sewer District and have Bowling Green water wheeled to us. We have a meeting with NWD later in the week to begin the plans to lay the pipe needed, and I will continue to address the public as those plans moves forward.
This has been a long 2 months and even though we are not completely out of this, I believe we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If we continue to be responsible and practice social distancing when we are out and about, I am hoping Liberty Center can escape the COVID-19 pandemic without a case in the village. We have all done a great job watching each other’s backs. Let us continue to get through this as a community. Again, I ask everyone to visit local businesses as much as possible. We are not only your local business; we are your neighbors. Thank you, Liberty Center! Still, a small town but the big heart is beating strong.