Funds to be Given to Bluffton Community Sportsmen’s Club Discussed at Council Meeting

by Sarah Beechboard   The second regularly scheduled Bluffton Council meeting of March took place at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 27 at Town Hall. The meeting began as they do, with the pledge of allegiance and the approval of bills. Councilmen Ralph Miller and Sean Burrell were not in attendance, so there were a few issues that needed to be pushed to future meetings, including Resolution No. 08-17.
   There was quite a bit of discussion concerning this resolution. It reads “A resolution approving an expenditure of village funds to be paid to Bluffton Community Sportsmen’s Club, Inc., for use in purchasing tables and other items used in the club.” A dollar amount has not yet been decided.
   Councilman Roger Warren wanted to clarify that the money would also be used to stock the quarry with fish. He argued that these funds would go to good use and should be seen as village development. He also mentioned that this donation would be a “one-time thing.”
Councilman Phill Talavinia voiced his concern over the resolution then. He mentioned that he thinks the Sportsmen’s Club is a “great organization,” but that the council needs to set up a method of evaluation for situations like the one at hand. He felt this method would be necessary in the future if this resolution were to pass because it would lead to more organizations asking for money.
   Mr. Bob Amstutz interjected at this time from the audience, saying that the Sportsmen’s Club “deserves cooperation” from council and that the money would help the Bluffton community as a whole.
   In the end, Resolution No. 08-17 was pushed to a future meeting for a first reading.
   After this discussion, the council moved on to the next topic: the Shannon Cemetery Memorial Park update. Mayor Judy Augsburger informed all in attendance that she had some “very, very good” meetings regarding the memorial in the past two weeks, and that there had been a pledged donation of $25,000 made by someone for the project.
   With regard to the Shannon Cemetery update, Sue Cramer had asked to be put on the agenda. She said she had been in some meetings with Mayor Augsburger as a resident of the village and that she had come away from these meetings feeling “shut out.” She was under the impression that she, and the other volunteers, were not going to be involved. She addressed council again, during public comment, to reiterate these feelings. She mentioned that her group had been researching this project for two years. At this time, she asked the council if the volunteers she represented would be involved in the project. Mayor Augsburger responded, “you will be included.”
   The Administrator’s Report was given next by the mayor. She covered issues about a new golf cart, a Bentley Road pathway update, some water line leaks, and a new police cruiser. She also mentioned that if anyone would want to receive the council packets via e-mail, she would be “more than happy to add you to the list.”
   During public comment, there was only one citizen to address council after Cramer. Ben Stall had a few questions about some issues in the Administrator’s Report. His questions were answered in only a few minutes, which led to the Village of Bluffton Council Meeting adjournment at 9 p.m. sharp.