Certificate

Pioneer Mayor Ed Kidston, right, reads a certificate honoring Kenzie Hickman for an unassisted triple play in a 10U softball game against West Unity. LUCAS BECHTOL/Staff

PIONEER — The Pioneer Village Council is mulling over the installation of a giant flag at Floral Grove Cemetery.

Village Administrator Al Fiser said a family approached him with “an unusual request” to install a 50-foot flag pole and 10- by 15-foot American flag with it and some sort of monument on a private burial lot.

“It’s for a deceased veteran,” he said. “They’ll pay for it ... and they would do all the maintenance and placing of the flag and all that.”

Mayor Ed Kidston said he spoke to the American Legion, which said the flag doesn’t need to be lit at night, anymore.

“They believe we should allow this to happen,” he said. “We would recommend that we allow this family to do this. They have six lots there.”

In their discussion, the council was overall in favor of the idea, but had some issues with the details, leading council to agree to encourage the family to either place the flag in a more central location — with a plaque of dedication to the veteran — or to downsize the project to be closer to what the American Legion has.

“This is a tough one,” Kidston said. “We’ve got to be respectful of other people in the community.”

They also decided that Fiser, Kidston and village solicitor Tom Thompson would work together to make rules about installing such items.

“If you let somebody do that, what happens when the next person comes and they want to do something other than an American flag? Something more controversial?” Thompson asked.

The council also wanted a provision in case of neglect.

“I would suggest somehow getting something written where if down the road it gets neglected — family members die — then we can continue to maintain it,” Councilman Rod Eckley said.

Fiser said the village should be able to take it down in such a scenario as they can’t fly a tattered flag but the taxpayers shouldn’t be responsible for replacing the flag.

The council also recognized the exploits of a young athlete at the meeting.

Kenzie Hickman is a first baseman for 10U softball team in Pioneer.

“As all of you know, if you watch a lot of baseball or softball, it takes a lot of team members all working together to create a winning event,” Kidston said. “Occasionally during that game, somebody does something that’s so special and so unbelievable the crowd just goes ‘wow.’”

That happened not too long ago in a game against West Unity, he continued.

The score was close, along the lines of 2-1, with West Unity having runners on first and second with no outs.

Hickman caught a pop-up to first base, stepping immediately on first base.

“And then, because her shortstop and second baseman weren’t really paying attention, she ran to second base and got three outs all by herself,” Kidston said to claps from those in attendance. “I was in the crowd and I was wooed and wowed and I thought that was so special.”

He proceeded to give her a certificate for the unassisted triple play.

When asked if Hickman had anything to say, she simply replied: “No.”

Also at the meeting, council:

• Heard an update from Dean Frisbie, who had previously asked for village compensation for tree removal on his property. He said the trees had died because the village put in a dike that flooded his property and killed the trees. He said if the village removed one tree (which an arborist estimated to cost around $1,800) then that would be enough.

If it fell, he said, the tree could damage his property but also destroy the house of another woman, who Frisbie said didn’t have the means to take care of it herself. Eckley said the tree was big enough that it could obstruct the roadway and possibly cause damage to power lines, as well.

The council agreed to the idea.

Council also:

• Passed an annual ordinance accepting amounts and rates, authorizing necessary tax levies and certifying them to the Williams County auditor.

• Heard from Fiser that tractor trailers are not always using the right roads in town because newer roads built for them haven’t been added to GPS systems, yet. He said all the information has been sent to the right authorities, but it’s up to the different services to update the system.

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