Four newly-elected officials take their oaths, following certification of April 4 election results.

Newly-elected officials took their oaths during the Palmyra City Council meeting on Thursday, April 13, following approval of the city's budget for Fiscal Year 2017.

Mayor Loren Graham and council members Pam Behring, Third Ward; Nathan Miller, Second Ward; and Ken Sheputis, First Ward took their oaths of office after the April 4 election results were officially approved. The council hosted a public hearing for the new budget, which includes General Revenue, Board of Public Works and Parks & Recreation projects. City officials also discussed the next steps toward hiring a new Municipal Court Clerk.

City Clerk Deena Parsons said she would send a copy of the job description to each council member, and the notice of seeking an applicant will be posted in-house and in the Palmyra Spectator. The new position is the result of a recent Supreme Court ruling that the clerk must operate independently of the police department.

Mayor Loren Graham discussed specific items from the budget, including $20,000 for concrete work to complete the parking lot at the Palmyra Police Department. A used dump truck and concrete forms for the Street Department were also budgeted, and crews will focus on culvert and bridge replacements to combat storm water issues in place of extensive street resurfacing. Graham said the city had a surplus of about $76,000 in its Contingency Fund.

In other business:

Members of the city council re-elected Ken Sheputis as Mayor Pro Tem for his new term.

Council member Miller shared an update on the upcoming Palmyra Fire Protection District. Miller and four fellow board members were preparing bylaws and a budget for when the district becomes an independent entity on Jan. 1, 2018.

Board of Public Works line upgrades and work to pipe fresh water to the wastewater treatment plant and its new screw press are moving forward, said Sheputis. Bids will also be advertised for a chipper and a fresh coat of paint for a water tank and tower.

Council member Behring said members of Palmyra Area Community Betterment requested assistance from the City regarding potential tiny homes. She also discussed the city's Bicentennial celebration, which Graham noted was just two years away.

Council member Jeff Merkel received reports of a large brown dog running loose. Police Chief Eddie Bogue confirmed that the dog had previously been restrained and the owner received a dog at large summons. Merkel said the dog attempted to attack people, and Bogue said that the city's vicious dog ordinance could be utilized.

Bogue said he planned to hire a police officer, following the resignation of Patrolman Jared Crawford. He said the department went 18 months without a vacancy.

The Palmyra City Council will gather for their next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 20.

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