Residents concerned over brick project

By Michael Williamson -

Village residents are concerned about the selection process of the Bicentennial Brick fundraising project.

Shannon and Richard Weigand voiced their concerns at Monday’s village council meeting saying that the group behind the fundraiser rejected their money. According to the couple, a message was left on their answering machine which said the committee “did not consider our family name to have sufficient Plain City historical connotations.”

“Imagine our surprise to receive a message basically saying that your money and your support aren’t wanted,” Shannon Weigand said. “We want to make sure that this council knows how this unofficial Plain City committee is operating.”

The group, which is sponsored by the Abundant Life Fellowship, previously visited council in March to announce the fundraiser which offered village residents the chance to buy and engrave bricks that will be used to restore Bicentennial Park ahead of the village’s 200th anniversary celebration in July. For $150, residents could engrave three lines of text on a brick that would then be added to the historic location.

Village officials said the treatment of the Weigands was inappropriate.

“We heard of it and I personally was disgusted by it,” said mayor Darrin Lane. “That’s not how the village operates.”

Bicentennial Park is village property so any work that could be done on it has to be approved by the village.

“At this point, we’ve never given our approval for this. There’s been no approval given by council or by anyone because none of the prerequisites have been met,” said village solicitor Paul-Michael LaFayette. “Nothing’s going to happen there until all the prerequisites are met and as long as they have an understanding of it. One of the prerequisites is that this is for the entire village not for any one person or not to the exclusion of others.”

Representatives for the brick committee were not available for comment. The window of time to buy a brick also closed on May 5.

In other council news, village administrator Kevin Vaughn said that the village received their funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission for the Maple Street road reconstruction that will take place this summer.

The grant was for $242,000 and will allow the village to replace water mains, sewer and drainage systems and curb-stops among other things. The project is the first of multi-step process which will also see the reconstruction of similar issues on Gay Street next year.

By Michael Williamson

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.