Amelia welcomes police officer home from Iraq

March 14th, 2009    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

Amelia officials welcomed one of their police officers back to the village at the council meeting Monday, March 2.

Officer Matthew Braden recently returned from a seven-month deployment to Iraq with the Marine Corps Reserves. Braden served with a military police task force in Al Asad, Iraq. While there, his job duties included guarding and transporting prisoners suspected of terrorist activity.

“The prisoners would be held in the Al Asad detention area for interrogation for up to 14 days and it was my job to transport them either to another facility or back to where they were picked up,” said Braden.

Amelia Police Officer Matthew Braden, left, was welcomed back by officials after serving a tour of duty in Iraq as a Marine Corps reservist. He is shown with Amelia Mayor Leroy Ellington, right.
Braden is an Amelia High School graduate and has served as a police officer for the Amelia Police Department for four years.

"We gave Matt Braden a very nice send off when he left for Iraq and we supported him while he was gone," said Amelia Mayor Leroy Ellington. "Today we welcome him home."

The mayor read a proclamation thanking Braden for his service and presented him with the yellow ribbon, which had been displayed under his photo while he was deployed.

Village Administrator Mark Menz gave council an update with regard to the Rumpke contract and offered several options about future billing of residents for trash pick up. Rumpke could bill the residents directly and would report to the village any customers who were in arrears. A third-party contractor could do the billing, but they would not have the option of terminating service or notifying the village if the customer failed to pay. The village could also hire a part-time billing clerk to handle the billing of 1,400 customers.

After discussing the options, council voted to let Rumpke handle the billing and notify the village if bills were not current.

"In regard to the town homes, there could be a problem with each resident having curb side trash pick up," said Menz. "Rumpke said that with 130 plus units they could possibly issue one bill to the property owner. They will contact the property owner about the possibility of placing a dumpster at the complex to make pickup easier. There could also be a problem with placing large bins along the curb as they may end up in the street creating a safety issue."

Menz also reminded council that a trash ordinance should be in affect in the village when Rumpke begins the billing service.

There is currently a "carry over" balance from the expired waste levy and residents will not be billed from Rumpke until council determines what services the village will fund beyond regular trash pickup.

"We anticipate that waste levy money may last until Oct. 2009," said Menz. "Our current cost per unit is $10.34 per month, but if Rumpke begins doing the billing in the fall, that cost will include an 8 percent collection fee."

The contract with Rumpke is up for renewal in January and according to Menz the contract has a 3-7 percent cost adjustment clause in it.

In other business:

• Council voted to keep yard waste pick up as it has been in the past. According to Menz, the cost to the village is two employees working two to three hours a week for the pickup and can be done in one day. The yard waste pickup is expected to begin sometime in April.

• The recreation commission will discuss the possibility of placing recycling bins in Shank Park at their next meeting and report their findings to council.

• Mayor Ellington reported that he attended the Blue and Gold event at Amelia Elementary School on Feb. 21.

• Menz reported that the village had enough salt supply to weather two more storms.

• The Amelia Elementary Planning Commission had a meeting scheduled for March 3 with the contractor about clearing the building site. After the meeting, construction of the $15 million facility was expected to begin. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete.
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