Markleville settles with ex-marshal


MARKLEVILLE — Markleville town attorney John Reeder told the town council all pending lawsuits from former marshal Sam Weist have been settled.

Reeder reported during the Nov. 14 meeting that there had been three pending lawsuits two other potential lawsuits related to Weist’s employment, which ended Dec. 29, 2014.

An 18-year town employee, Weist alleged wrongful termination when the town opted not to renew his contract in 2014. He also alleged wrongful action when then-town council members Landis Harper, Bob Fesler and the late Sally Gustin accepted his verbal resignation in September 2014.

Neither Weist nor his attorney could be reached for comment; however, Reeder said the settlement involves no payment from the town but a win for Weist on his related Workers Compensation claim.

The council vote not to renew Weist’s contract came two days after Weist said he suffered injury when two youths assaulted him while he was responding to a police call. Weist was hospitalized briefly following the assault and was deemed unable to return to work at the time his contract was terminated, according to the first lawsuit filed Dec. 29, 2014.

The Workers Compensation claim came from that incident, according to earlier reports from Weist’s attorney John Wilson.

In other business, the council:

• Heard from Town Marshal Tim Basey, who introduced the newest volunteer officers. Among the new officers was Patrolman Frank Beatrice, who asked the council to approve the addition of a K-9 unit to assist in drug arrests.

Beatrice said he would seek donations on a gofundme online fundraising page and look for grant resources to help purchase and train a dog.

Council President Daniel Roseberry and members Matt Gustin and Bob Fesmire asked for more information regarding insurance costs, veterinary expenses and special equipment before taking a vote on the request.

• Heard an update on the bridges on Home Avenue and State Street. Roseberry said he has applied for two grants to replace or repair the structures at an estimated cost of $200,000. The bridge on Home Avenue has been closed for safety issues since September.

• Gave the OK to Fesmire when he said he would oversee work with a firm hired to repair potholes in the town. Earlier estimates came in at $3,000; however, Fesmire said a recent tour with the firm indicated the work is likely to come in at $850.

• Delayed action when Basey asked the council to consider speed humps on State Street. He said the humps would be removable and not as high as the traditional speed bumps. The humps would cost $4,500 and have a 15-year warranty. When resident Linda Fesmire asked if installing the humps would damage the roadway, Basey said it would be minimal. The council asked for additional information before making a decision.

• Lauded the report from Park Board President Wayne Fox when he said the “Trunk-N-Treat” at the park was a great success with many new faces turning out for the event this year. “The sorority gave away about 300 hot dogs,” Fox said. Now the park is ready to be shut down for the winter, he added.

• Approved a report from sewer engineer Doug Tupling regarding recent repairs and maintenance on the system. Tupling said he responded to seven service calls and three calls on lift stations in October. He also reported 19 calls to locate sewer lines. He also estimated a $50,000 expenditure in the future to continue maintenance and upgrade on the long-term plan to keep Markleville’s sewer utility in compliance with environmental regulations.

• Rejected a proposal to raise sewer bills $15 per month. Markleville customers pay $41 per month to the local utility. Councilmen approved payment of up to $10,000 to complete a rate study, but Gustin and Roseberry rejected Fesmire’s suggestion to raise sewer rates before the study is complete.