*This story first appeared in The Budget’s June 20, 2018, Local Edition
By Beverly Keller
In the near future, downtown Sugarcreek will be under surveillance 24/7 thanks to new security cameras that were approved for purchase and installation by Sugarcreek Council during their June 18 meeting.
A quote from Schneider Computer Technologies of Dover was shared by Mayor Clayton Weller. The quote of $3,800 includes four cameras. Data recorded by the units will be sent to the Sugarcreek Police Department via a microwave system that will be installed by Blue Shift Wireless of Millersburg. Mayor Weller explained that most of the work to install the cameras and backbone used to transmit the signal will be done by Blueshift. They will utilize a tower at Sugarcreek Fire and Rescue to help with the microwave transmission.
Sugarcreek Police Chief Kevin Kaser noted that the cameras, if they are the same as the ones already in use for surveillance at the department, are good quality. “They are motion-activated and are easy to work with,” he said. “They will feed right into our system where the data is kept for 45 days.”
Councilman Jason Hamsher asked if the cameras were an actual need for the Village of Sugarcreek. Chief Kaser explained that increased security in the wake of recent vandalism at the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock is not a bad thing. He also noted, that if it was possible, cameras on the bathrooms at Adel Ladrach Park would be a good investment as well. It was noted that because microwave technology requires line of sight communication, it may be complicated to access Ladrach Park because of its physical location.
Councilman Lloyd Crilow asked for more information and wanted to know just how big the microwave antennas would be. “I like the idea,” he said. “But I want to know more.”
Chief Kaser shared that the installation of cameras will make his job easier in the event of a crime. “We can go to a certain point in time and look at what is there on the hard drive,” he said.
It was also noted that installation of a microwave system could save the Village of Sugarcreek over $500 per month in internet fees as the feed could come directly to Village Hall and be beamed to needed users through the use of microwave technology.
A motion to purchase the cameras was made by Paul Alderfer with a second by Mick Fanning. The motion passed by a vote of 3 – 2 with Hamsher and Crilow casting the no votes. Council Jeff Schrock abstained from the vote as he is related to the owners of Schneider Computer Technologies.
In other action, council:
APPROVED the appointment of Justin Johnson as Street Superintendent at a rate of $22 per hour and Fred German as Assistant Street Superintendent at a rate of $20 per hour effective immediately.
ACCEPTED a bid from nüCamp RV in the amount $28,100 per acre for a 3.5-acre plot on Belden Parkway in Sugarcreek at the recommendation of the Lands, Buildings and Sidewall Committee.