New Middletown fire chief to retire
By Mary Grzebieniak
Longtime New Middletown Village Fire Chief William Opsitnik is retiring.
Village council accepted his resignation Monday. Opsitnik, 64, was ill and did not attend. The resignation is effective Dec. 31.
Opsitnik has been fire chief for 23 years and a village firefighter since 1981. Council named Lt. Curt Brown to serve as interim fire chief in January and February.
Council also learned that round-the-clock police coverage will continue in 2011 thanks to a grant from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Police Chief Vince D’Egidio said that the $25,000 stimulus grant was one of only seven in Ohio awarded through the Ohio Criminal Justice Services. It will allow the village to keep Patrolman Paul Frazzini on the night shift. Frazzini’s hours were increased from part to full time when the village received a similar grant for this year.
D’Egidio said, however, that the village had asked for more than $30,000 and will have to make up the difference to cover Frazzini’s wages and benefits. The village also has to pay a 25 percent match for the grant.
Council also unanimously extended a 2 percent wage increase for 2011 for all part-time employees which include six part-time police officers, two clerical employees and one street department worker.
It approved longtime clerk Janet Smith’s reducing her hours to one day per week and Kathy Foster, who has been working one day per week, to now work four days. The switch will begin Jan. 1.
Council also received word that the village will receive an Ohio Public Works grant to replace the water line on Middletown Road next year.
Prior to the meeting, the second of two public hearings on electrical aggregation was held. Council then passed a resolution acknowledging establishment of a government aggregation in the program with an opt-out provision. Voters approved the aggregation in November. A provider will be chosen next year.
D’Egidio announced he has been accepted as an Advocacy Fellow for 2011 for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio. In this capacity, he is one of 20 people in Ohio chosen to undergo training to do public speaking and give presentations to the Ohio Legislature.