Many help in Amsterdam

To the editor:

In Amsterdam, like many other small communities, the mayor and council constantly work together to maintain our budget and provide basic services out citizens expect and deserve. Government at the state and federal levels has cut much of our funding and, quite frankly, make it quite difficult to maintain these basic services our citizens deserve, but through the efforts of our council members and the help of our trustees and county officials, we have been able to keep providing these services. Our budget allows very little funding for extra projects that improve our village.

Recently, our veterans memorial was vandalized. The monument was built through private donations and the labor of volunteers from the surrounding area, and our citizens were quite upset. Hopefully, the person or persons responsible for this hideous act will come forward, but, like most misguided people, they will hide behind the freedom the men and women represented on this memorial fought for and, in some cases, died for.

One young man who attends my church saw the damage to our memorial and suggested that we install video surveillance to protect this memorial. This man, Buddy Davis, along with Fred Jones, Paul Mantos and Marc Hauk, spent an entire weekend of their valuable time installing state-of-the-art equipment. Tom Stone, co-chairman of the veterans memorial, built a building to house the necessary equipment to operate this equipment. All this work was done at no cost to anyone. What a great act of patriotism and love of country these men did to protect and preserve our memorial.

Another young man with family ties to this area called and asked what he could do to help. Jeremiah Johnson, community service chairman of Beaver Excavating Co. of Canton, and I discussed putting a new walking track in our Rogers Park. We had a gravel path that surrounded that park that many people use every day. Johnson called me a few months later and told me he was ready to proceed. Mike Ferguson, representing Beaver Excavating, estimated the cost as well as the material necessary to complete the project. We now have an asphalt track that our citizens can enjoy all year.

The Ohio Contractors Association and its member companies that made this possible include Beaver Excavating; Stateline Paving, a Lindy Co., of North Lima; the James White Construction Co. of Weirton; Shelly and Sands Inc. of Zanesville; and Ohio CAT of Cadiz.

And, a very special thanks to Mark Haverty of Shelly and Sands, chairman of the Eastern Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Valley Contractors Association, and Johnson.

God bless these great citizens who sacrifice their time and labor to improve our village. It is unselfish acts like you have demonstrated that make this village, and most of our country, the greatest nation in the world.

God bless America.

Gary Pepperling

Mayor of Amsterdam