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NBPD receives certification ... Apr 2, 2017

NB_CertificationThe New Boston Police Department has adopted and implemented state standards established by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen community and police relations.

“It helps show our community here that their police department is trying to do the right thing,” New Boston Police Captain Steve Goins said. “We have policies and procedures that are in place for our officers to follow and we have demonstrated that our officers follow those policies and procedures.”

Gov. John R. Kasich established the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory board to oversee implementation of recommendations from the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations. The community-law enforcement advisory panel developed – for the first time in Ohio history – state standards on use of force, including deadly force, and agency recruitment and hiring on Aug. 28, 2015.

“In particular, what this certification details is use of force and deadly force policies and the hiring and recruiting policies that we have,” Goins said. “It shows that we implement these things and we follow them.”

More than 500 agencies employing over 27,000 officers (in all 88 counties, representing 79 percent of all law enforcement officers in Ohio and most of Ohio’s metropolitan departments) are either certified or in the process of becoming certified by meeting standards for the use of force, including deadly force, and agency recruitment and hiring.

The state has partnered with the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to help certify Ohio’s nearly 960 law enforcement agencies on a process to ensure that they are in compliance with Ohio’s new standards.

“Our officers are good officers. They try to do the best they can every day and it’s demonstrated,” Goins said. “I just think it’s a good thing for our department to be able to be certified in those things.”

For more information on the Ohio Collaborative, the certification process for law enforcement and the complete list of agencies who have been certified, please visit: httD://www.ocis.ohio.aov/ohiocollaborative/

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

New Shake Shoppe Ownership ... Apr 1, 2017

New Boston is happy to welcome Thom and Kathy Davis as new owners of the Shake Shoppe.  Small businesses are the backbone of the American Dream and the village is proud to have the Shake Shoppe continue in our business family.

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Davis is new chief in town ... Apr 1, 2017

The Village of New Boston has a new fire chief, Chris Davis who has been with the department for 22 years. Davis moved into the position after the retirement of former Chief John Williams. Williams retired on March 24 after 30 years of service with the Village.

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As chief, Davis says he hopes to see the department improve to become the best it can possibly be.

“In the past three years, we’ve gotten a whole new department,” Davis explained. “I’ve got some good guys, but they’re young guys.”

Davis says that he hopes to see the department gain more training and education and new equipment, he explained. He also hopes to continue to grow better relationships with other departments. The new chief explained that New Boston Fire Department (NBFD) works closely with the Portsmouth Fire Department as well as area police.

“We all work together and help each other out,” he commented.

Davis has lived his entire life in New Boston, is a veteran and is married with two adult children. He began his firefighting career on the edge of a major life change. He was getting laid off from his other job, and the fire chief at that time approached him, asking him directly to come join the department.

“I’ll give it a go,” Davis remembers answering.

He then went on to join the NBFD with no prior thoughts of being a firefighter. However, once on the job, he found that he could not be happier anywhere else. Apparently, life knew the right path for him.

“I like the guys. I like the job,” Davis commented as to what has kept him on the department for so much of his life.

Even after all those years, Davis says he never planned to become chief.

“It just kind of happened all of a sudden,” he stated.

With all the recent staffing changes within the NBFD and the announcement of William’s retirement, the position presented itself as an option for Davis. Before making any decisions, Davis said he went and talked to the mayor about the position. After gaining a clear understanding of the requirements, Davis decided moving into the chief position would be the best fit for his currently lifestyle.

“We are a small department,” Davis explained.

Being small, there are only two guys on duty at one time. The guys are on duty for long hours, and do a physically demanding job.

“I’m getting older. It gets me out of the hard work,” Davis stated about the transition.

He added that, of course, he will miss the work.

“It’s a rush to go to a fire,” Davis said, but he added that the 40 hour, five day work week has its appeal.

Davis also has much to offer to his new role. With more than two decades of experience, he has a clear understanding of how the department works and needs while also being able to mentor the younger men on the force. Though he says that he is still adjusting to the role, he is confident in the future of the department and his abilities as chief.

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

New Boston updates ordinances ... Mar 30, 2017

The Village of New Boston is overhauling Village ordinances, many of which are laws that have been outdated for several years.

Mike Payton, Village councilman and chairman of the New Boston’s Laws and Claim Committee, explained that he has been on Council for close to 10 years and has never seen the ordinances reviewed fully. Though some change regularly, those that do not have gone overlooked.

Last year, New Boston found out that several ordinances would need immediate changes as a result of changes to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). The recent code cleanup project started as way of eliminating as many future issues as possible.

“This year we decided to get a head start by reviewing all Village ordinances, starting with Chapter 1,” Payton explained.

The Laws and Claims Committee is charged with the huge task of both reviewing and than making recommended changes to Council, who can decide to make the changes, amend the recommendations or reject them entirely. Recommended changes thus far have focused on ensuring the ordinances and ordinance language is accurate and up-to-date, reflecting current operations, hiring practices, pay, positions and needs. Some have even become obsolete.

“Right now, the goal is to go through the whole thing and make sure it is updated as much as we can. Then, the project will change a bit, and we will start reviewing it on a year-by-year basis,” Payton stated.

Though Payton says this is a project he would like to complete within the year, he is more focused on insuring the project is done correctly.

“Those are the laws of our village,” he stressed. “I would like to have it done that quickly, but I’m not sure that’s possible.”

Payton added that some of the ordinances are complicated and must comply with state and federal legislation, requiring some research. All changes must also be passed through Council only after three readings.

“It is important all changes go three readings so the public is aware of the changes and can provide input,” the Councilman explained. “I want it done right, and I want a quality product at the end.”

After Village ordinances have been reviewed, they will be posted online as a public resource on the Village’s website www.newbostonvillage.com.

Like New Boston, Portsmouth City Council has been working to update their codified ordinances, a process that has been ongoing since 2015.

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

New Boston continues sewer upgrades ... Mar 27, 2017

New Boston has frustrated commuters for years, Village Administrator Steve Hamilton says that as the Village continues to upgrade their sewer system delays on main roads should decrease.

“Most of the work now is going to be on side streets, so there shouldn’t be no real long delays at all on Rhodes or Gallia St.,” he confirmed.

Sewer upgrades started in 2013 as a result of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance order, requiring New Boston to complete work on the combined sewer system (system that handles both waste water and storm run off) so that more storm water is taken out of the system. The EPA allows for four combined sewer overflows per year. Prior to upgrades, the Village was experiencing as many as 15 overflows in a rainy month. During this time, storm water would flow into the sewage lines mixing with sewage filling the system and overflowing into the Ohio River.

The Village is now in phase four of the project with a deadline for completion of June.

New Boston’s sewer project started with phase one – the installation of a 24 inch sanitary pipe that went down Rhodes Avenue, a 72 inch storm line that went down Rhodes Avenue and 72 inch storm lines at Peebles and Manning. Phase two of the project then included the installation of lines at Finney and Stewart, resulting in a total of 80 million gallons of storm water being taken out of the sanitary lines and being diverted to Munns Run Creek and the Ohio River.

Phase three of the project continued with the addition of a 60 inch boring incased in concrete pipe that went past the curve of the school and tied into a 48 inch pipe that was already in place. That phase of the project moved the storm water so that it travels down Rhodes Ave. into Munns Run Creek, separating the storm and sanitary lines in that area. Phase three construction is currently 99 percent complete with plans to close out by the end of April/beginning of May. Glenwood Ave. will be milled and repaved at that time.

Phase four is currently ongoing and continues to effort of separating sanitary and storm waters. At this time the Village is planning a possible eight phases of the project.

“These projects benefits the community because it is upgrading the infrastructure of the main sanitary and storm lines,” Hamilton explained. “The lines we are replacing are over 80 years old the new storm lines will help with some of the wet weather street flooding.”

He added that water going to the river will not be combined with sewage. It will be storm water only.

“It’s better for the Ohio River and it’s habitat. Keeping our rivers clean is very important,” Hamilton commented.

Though New Boston is making great progress on sewer upgrades, Hamilton confirmed that there is still plenty of work that needs done.

“It’s not just the sewer lines that needs upgraded,” he stated. “Our infrastructure in the United States needs a big makeover from flood systems to water lines roads, sidewalks etc. We are losing in the infrastructure battle. I hope the Federal government would all work together and allocate some monies for infrastructure.”

New Boston has been able to complete current progress on their sewer project due to funding from the Corps of Engineers and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) Principal Forgiveness program.

“None of this could have not happen without the great relationship with U.S EPA, OEPA, DEFA, OWDA (Ohio Water Development Authority), the Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP), U.S. CorpsStrand Inc. and Village council and Mayor. The Village is working hard to keep the Storm water in its lines and the sanitary in its lines all going to where they need to go,” Hamilton concluded. “I’m also real happy with all the contractors we have used in the past.”

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

Fire Chief Announces Retirement ... Mar 24, 2017

John Williams, New Boston Fire Chief retired March 24 after 30 years service with the Village of New Boston.  Mayor Junior Williams proclaimed March 24 as John Williams Day in New Boston.

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