Councilman Ed Trumbull, sworn in last week for his second elected term in office, is the new mayor of Grove.

His election came at the beginning of the Tuesday, April 18 meeting, at the Grove Community Center.

Initially, Councilman Don Nielsen (Ward III) moved to nominate Councilman Ivan Devitt (At-Large) for the role of mayor. When his nomination did not receive a second, Councilman Marty Dyer (Ward IV) moved to nominate Trumbull (Ward I). 

Trumbull's nomination received a second from the newest member of the council, Councilman Josh McElhaney (Ward II). He was elected unanimously by his colleagues.

In his first actions as mayor, Trumbull opened the floor for public comments.

Beverly and Dave Helms and Pete Norwood addressed the council, excitedly telling council members the city's request for a McDonnell-Douglas F-4C Phantom II fighter plane was accepted.

Beverly Helms presented Grove City Manager Bill Keefer with a check for $2,500, which the city will use to pay the administrative fees associated with getting the plane from the U.S. Government.

The plane, which is currently housed at Holloman Air Force Base in Otero County, New Mexico, will eventually be placed on display at the Grove Regional Airport.

Beverly Helms said the plane was slated to become a practice target for drones until city officials expressed an interest.

She said Grove beat out numerous other municipalities, because of the excitement generated by city leaders and volunteers, during a letter writing campaign.

Norwood said the plane is in a "pristine condition" and will come to Grove minus only the engines, injector seats, radar and 20mm gatling gun.

Helms and Norwood anticipate it will cost at least $75,000 to have the plane shipped to Grove. They plan to spearhead a fundraising campaign to raise at least $100,000 for its eventual move and to establish an ongoing maintenance fund.

Keefer said the city plans to donate "in-kind" services, such as site preparation and signage work, but the funding to bring the plane to Grove will be raised by private individuals.

Once city officials submit the $2,500 payment, the Grove F-4 Phantom Squadron has one year to raise the needed funds to transport the plane to Grove.

Keefer said if the plane's relocation to Grove is a success, it may mean other planes are added to the airport, making it an aviation tourism destination. 

The newly established Grove Community Foundation, led by members of the Grow with Grove committee, assisted the phantom squadron by allowing donations for the plane to be routed through its organization.

Helms said the check for the administration fees was the first issued by the foundation. She said all donations for the plane will be made to the foundation, so that monies exist for its care in perpetuity. 

Public Hearings

During the meeting, the council conducted seven public hearings concerning properties on the city's "dilapidated structure" list.

Those locations include:

• 116 South Main Street and 17 West O'Daniel - the structure known locally as the Village Barn, owned by the Brush and Palette Club and Richard Schriber.

Council members approved giving the Brush and Palette Club a 60 day extension, until June 20, to see if the structure can exist if the second half, owned by Schriber is demolished.

Schriber came before the council asking for an extension to the demolition order, saying he has 27 years worth of items in his half of the building - which operated until last fall as an antique store - that he needs to move to another location.

While he said it would take at least four months to complete the project, the council moved to give him the same 60 day extension, asking him to return on June 20 to see what progress is being made. 

Both measures passed. In the first vote, Devitt abstained from the decision. In the second, he voted in favor. 

• Lot 3, Block 6, South Broadway - a location with an open cellar in disrepair, which is not repairable. The owners, listed as Brent Sanders and Delaine and Lance Sanders, were not present for the hearing. Council members approved the staff's recommendation to require the Sanders to obtain a demolition permit within 10 days and to have the open cellar filled in and level ground work completed within 30 days.

• 131 South Cherokee - the property has two outbuildings which are in disrepair. Valerie Vitro, approached the council about obtaining an extension to make repairs to one of the structures.

Vitro was given 30 days to remove the wooden structure and 60 days to make repairs to the metal building. She was also tasked with removing a trailer, illegally parked on the property, immediately. 

• 200 East Fourth Street - the property, owned by Jimmy Claude Williams, contains a house and garage in disrepair, along with an unsecured open cellar.

Williams spoke at length with the council, asking for additional time to do something with the property. He said the structure had been in his family since 1939, and dated back to the early 1900s.

The council voted to have Williams fill in the cellar within 10 days and secure the house and garage within 30 days. He was told to return on May 16, to provide the council with an update concerning his progress with the property. 

• 115 East Sixth Street - the Village Apartments. City officials said units 206 and 208 are in disrepair and units 105, 107, 108, 205 and 207 are unsecured, with broken windows and open doors. 

No one attended the hearing to address the issues with the property. The council voted unanimously to approve the administrative order issued by city staff. This means owners were required to secure all units with 48 hours, obtain permits from the city within 10 days, repair or remove units 206 and 208 within 30 days and repair or remove units 105, 107, 108, 205 and 207, within 120 days.

• 1513 98th Street NW - the property, owned by Nollie and Tommy Barker, has two mobile homes on it in disrepair. Tommy Barker asked for an additional 60 days to remove both structures. His request was granted by an unanimous vote.

In other business the council:

• appointed Mark Lee to the Grove Municipal Airport Managing Authority to fill the unexpired term of Dave Claggett.  

• approved the bid from Mike Reed to hay the city own properties for a bid of $101.  

• approved two bids submitted by Joe Brown Company: one for $40 per hour for the mowing of code violation properties, the other for $75 per hour for demolition and cleanup of dilapidated structures within the city.

• awarded the bid of $1,500 for a purchase of a 1992 36-foot Fleetwood Bounder Motor Home, declared surplus property, to the Delaware County Children's Advocacy Center in Jay. 

• entered into a preliminary geotechnical engineering service agreement with Terracon Consultants, Inc., to study the geotechnical considerations on the 21.2 acres of property the city is considering purchasing for the new civic center. The agreement is for $5,700, will be funded through the current budget. 

• set a meeting at 4 p.m., on Thursday, May 25, to serve as a budget work session and review of the 2017-18 fiscal year budget.