Clark County Health Commissioner Dr. Charles Patterson addressed the New Carlisle City Council at their Monday meeting on his department’s preparations should a case of Zika virus be reported in Clark County.

Zika virus is spread by a specific type of mosquito and most people who are infected do not have any symptoms. Those who do experience symptoms are usually mild and include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. The Zika virus, however, has been linked to severe fetal brain defects.

Patterson stressed that no cases have been reported in Ohio, nor has the mosquito that carries the virus been reported in Ohio.

He said that should a case be reported in Clark County, his staff would canvass the area around the infected person’s home and warn people that the virus is in the area. Health Department workers would also search for locations where mosquitos might breed and use larvicides in those locations.

Council also passed an ordinance allowing City Manager Randy Bridge to enter into a contract to purchase a used sewer jetting/vacuum truck and sewer camera. Bridge said the price of the 1995 truck is around $100,000 and the camera would be an additional $20,000 to $25,000.

Bridge said the city’s current equipment is nearly 50 years old and is not in very good condition. “Most of the time we can’t even get it started,” he said, “so we have to rent equipment.”

He told council that the purchase of the truck would mean a savings in man hours in finding sewer problems.

Council member Bill Lindsey expressed concern that we might get into another situation like the Sheriff cruiser purchased from Moorefield Township. “That was a fluke accident,” said Bridge. He assured council that Public Service Director Howie Kitko has done his due diligence and he believes the truck would serve the city well.

In response to a question by resident Rick Brest, Bridge said that the jetting/vacuum truck is not needed very often. Brest then asked if a study had been done to compare the costs of renting a truck as opposed to purchasing a truck, and Bridge said that no study had been done.

Council passed the ordinance by a vote of 5-2, with members Ethan Reynolds and William Lindsey voting against it.

Police Administrator Sgt. Ralph Underwood stated that the city could use one more Sheriff cruiser. “I don’t want to see us running the new car so much that we’re putting 100,000 miles on it before the end of the year.”

Underwood also said that his department has quite a bit of old equipment that needs updated. As an example, Deputy Rachel Allender showed her unlock tool that is used to assist someone who has locked their keys in their vehicle. Underwood said that the tool was over seven years old and was bent in several places. “This is supposed to be straight,” he said. “The condition of this tool could cause some damage to a vehicle that we try to unlock.”

Bridge asked the price of a new unlock tool, and Underwood said that they were under $100 each.

City Clerk Gene Collier informed council that he had received a letter from city resident Kelly Bartlett informing the city of her intention to circulate petitions to give tax credits to residents who are employed and taxed in another city.

“This would put a financial burden on the city because most of our residents work elsewhere,” said Bridge.

Fire Chief Steve Trusty informed council that hydrant flushing throughout the city would begin after the July 4 holiday. “This is annual maintenance that needs to be done,” said Trusty. He said that the community would be informed of the areas where flushing would be done and when.

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