Village of Mantua
Regular Council Meeting
May 18, 2010
Mayor Hawkins called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. & led the pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call: Donna Hawkins, Linda Clark, Linda Schilling, Marty Hura, Ben Prescott, Roger Hawkins, Giles Seith.
Others Present: Asst. Clerk Susan Skrovan, Attorney Solicitor Michele Stuck, Police Chief Harry Buchert, Village Administrator Ed Trego, Rich Iafelice with C.T. Consultants.
Public: Norm Erickson, Pearl Campbell, John Clark, Bill & Patsi Gast, Laura Landreth, Anita Hanzlik, Gary Haney, Cookie Vanek and others.
Motion to excuse Clerk-Treasurer, Jenny August and welcome Susan Skrovan, our Assistant Clerk filling in for Jenny made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote.
Minutes: Motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of April 20, 2010 made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. M. Hura abstained, all other ayes on vote. Motion to approve the public hearing minutes of April 20, 2010 made by L. Schilling with a second from L. Clark. M. Hura abstained, G. Seith abstained, all other ayes on vote.
Mayors Report: Donna thanked the voters for overwhelming passing Issue 16 for the electric aggregation, 115 votes for it, and 36 votes against it. It will be up to Council to exercise wisdom and good financially strong discretion in the allocation of the one time $50,000 grant. She thanked those involved including the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Committee and Chamber of Commerce who sponsored a Mantua “Spruce Up” day on May 15. Donna wanted to acknowledge Tracy Leva of Prospect Street for her wonderful gardening article in the Akron Beacon Journal. Her outstanding landscape is a benefit and an inspiration to our Village community. The Portage County Soap Box Derby is scheduled for the second Saturday, June 12.
Finance Report: Assistant Clerk, Susan Skrovan gave the financial report as of 4/30/10. First and most important, Jenny wanted her feelings known in the minutes that she is strongly against deferring the semi-annual OWDA payment in June. She felt we would only be postponing our debt at a cost of $28,000. Even though that money has become available thanks to the passage of the electrical aggregation on the ballot, that money could be used for something other than a deferment charge. Jenny projected that the Village will be $50,000 short in the Sewer fund for the debt payment in June. At that rate, it means shortages of $100,000 per year. The Mayor proposes not spending the $186,000 we have set aside for this payment, but rather to leave it in our account to earn interest. (The Mayor said $250,000, but we are short $64,000). If we are not going to use this money, than we can expect to be $50,000 short every six months. In three years, we will be in the same situation only we will not have a deferment to fall back on in the event our bank account cannot fund the payment. Even if we use this “set aside” money towards payment shortages, it will be gone in six or seven payments. We do not have any choice but to make some hard, unpopular changes in the Water-Sewer funds. I hope that this would be only temporary until we gain more customers and funds can support the debt. According to the Mayor, we have some possibilities with the Eaton building on the horizon but we cannot “bank” on that until it actually happens. Jenny, in her opinion, could not think of any sensible reason to defer the OWDA payment in June.
Our checkbook balance at the end of April: $ 417,723.00
Revenues for April: $ 192,624.00
Expenses for April including payroll: $ 100,649.00
The Cash Summary shows that no adjustments were made.
Reconciliation of the Water-Sewer department receipts and the UAN receipts matched. Reconciliation of the Municipal Income Tax receipts and the UAN receipts also matched with no exceptions. The April bank reconciliation went well with no adjusting factors.
Motion to approve the financial reports: bank statements, fund status, reconciliation, revenue & expenses reports, cash summary report, made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote.
Bills of Resolution:
Motion to approve the Bills of Resolution with addendum for May omitting the C.T. bills made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote.
Motion to approve the Bills of Resolution with addendum including C.T. bills made by L. Schilling with a second from L. Clark. Linda Clark said she looks at each bill before the Finance meeting. She had spoke with both Ed and Harry at the beginning of the year asking for a little more detail on the purchase requisitions. They were doing fine the first couple of months, now they have become lax again. She would ask Council to back her up in asking the department heads to be more detailed on purchase requisitions so that we know exactly where the money is going. Linda Schilling asked her to explain what she means by that. Linda Clark said for example, when they pay someone else to dig a grave, the names for which the graves are being dug should be on the requisition. Linda Schilling asked if we could do names. Michele did not see why we could not. Sue said she normally does not put names on the bills of resolution, but they could be on a purchase requisition. Linda Clark said when we buy parts for a truck or cruiser, which vehicle it was purchased. Chief Buchert felt this was micromanaging their departments. Some items they purchase are put on the shelf for stock. We may not even know what vehicle it is going to go to until we use it. Harry did not feel it was important for Council to know whose grave is being dug when it is being done, it is not necessary. Harry added the department heads are given the appropriations and they have to operate within those appropriations. Linda Clark did not feel it was micromanaging; we are in fiscal watch and apparently the budgets and appropriations have not been dealt with tightly enough and we need to know where our money is going. She felt there were still a lot of places we could tighten our belts. Ed Trego spoke on Linda Clark’s question of details on the grave digging; her comment to him was that she wanted to drive by and know that it was a tight spot and necessary for Ed to hire them. He said to Linda that the call was his to make, it isn’t just because we are in tight spots. We were hit with three burials in a week, with two full-time employees, one who is trying to get the meters read. He agreed with Harry, it is more about micromanaging, not accountability. There is enough stress now in their departments in the day-to-day operations without micromanagement. Ed said his department has already lost employees; the other full-timer is looking for another job because of the ongoing continual stress and the considered lack of support from the Council. Ben called to question. B. Prescott abstained, all other ayes on vote.
ORDINANCE 2010-14 AMENDED: AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA, PURSUANT TO OHIO REVISED CODE SECTION 718.01(C), TO PLACE ON THE BALLOT AT THE GENERAL ELECTION ON NOVEMBER 2, 2010, A PROPOSED TAX ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 171.03 OF THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA CODIFIED ORDINANCES, “IMPOSITION OF TAX”, SO AS TO INCREASE THE RATE OF TAXATION ON INCOME TO TWO PER CENT (2%), AMENDING SECTION 171.06 OF THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA CODIFIED ORDINANCES, “COLLECTION AT SOURCE”, SO AS TO INCREASE THE RATE OF WITHHOLDING TO TWO PER CENT (2%), AND AMENDING SECTION 171.14 OF THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA CODIFIED ORDINANCES SO AS TO INCREASE THE CREDIT FOR TAX PAID TO OTHER MUNICIPALITIES TO THREE QUARTERS OF ONE PER CENT (0.75%). 2nd READING. Ben asked if this passes next month, would it be in time to be on the ballot. Linda Schilling said it has to be done by July but added these percentages are not the ones discussed at the Finance meeting or over the last three months. Linda passed out a handout with percentage figures. Actually, the percentage that Jenny had given us last month of $67,000 was off. We would actually be bringing in with this increase $129,087.
The percentages were refigured so that 50 percent would go to “Roads and Sewer” which would be $64,544.00, 25 percent to “Debt and Capital Improvement”, $32,272.00 and the remaining 25 percent would go to “Maintenance”, $32,272.00. What is needed in the ordinance is that after the Debt it paid off, the 25 percent goes to Capital Improvement. Ben felt if it was put in Capital Reserve that it could be moved to any improvements you want. Michele said she would have to check on that to make sure. Ed told Ben he was not sure, but felt it should be specific when talking about capital improvement. If it would be infrastructure, say that because capital improvement could be adding on to this building or it could be park improvement, anything. Harry said it would have to be kept in the General Fund, since that is the only fund that can be moved out of into other funds. Ben said capital reserve would be under the General Fund and you could move it to any fund you want. Linda Schilling said you could do the same with capital improvement so why would you have to make it a reserve. Ben said capital improvement is for different items. Harry said you would want to add a line item for capital reserve. Ben said we already have a line item for capital reserve; this would be the better place to put it. Linda Schilling said that would be fine as long as the percentages stay the same because most of what we need is work to our storm sewers and roads. Sue wanted Council to know that Jenny had a concern with the maintenance item as well. There is a “maintenance” line item for every fund; 25 percent in maintenance is too general. Linda Schilling said this needs to be worded properly. Roger felt this all came about from the storm sewer problems and we are already leading away from that with something like maintenance, which is vague. Linda Schilling said this would be maintenance for anything, even storm sewers or a hole in the road. Ben said there is no maintenance fund; we would have to be more specific. Roger said we have road maintenance, storm sewer maintenance, which first generated all of this. Linda Schilling understands that but the fact of the matter is that we are broke. In order to get the storm sewers fixed, the roads fixed, or anything else fixed in this Village, we need to do something. Linda felt no one has come up with anything, so she did. Ben felt we could call this maintenance for now and make the change at the next Council meeting but it might be just as well to put all of that in capital reserve too because you can move it to any maintenance line item that you would need. Linda Schilling feared if it were all put in the General Fund, that it would be gone when we need it. We should move on and work on the details of this ordinance when Jenny returns. Linda Clark wondered if it should be sewer maintenance or sewer plant maintenance. Ben said that would be fine; how are we amending this ordinance. Linda Schilling gave her figures out again, roads and storm sewers, 50 percent or $64,544, debt and capital reserve is going to be 25 percent or $32,272 and sewer maintenance at 25 percent or $32,272. Harry reminded Council that these numbers are based on what comes in; the percentages are correct, not necessarily the figures. When the debt is paid off, it would go into Capital Reserve, which is the same line. Ed suggested it be called wastewater maintenance, rather than sewer. This would distinguish it from say storm sewer. Ben and Linda were fine with that. Motion to accept the amendments made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote.
Mayor Hawkins responded to a citizen’s request to be heard and said that Council has asked her to continue with Council and then when we come to citizens, then citizens can speak. She specifically asked.
RESOLUTION 2010-15: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PUBLIC ADVERTISEMENT REQUESTING BIDS FOR PROVISION OF REFUSE COLLECTION SERVICES FOR SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCES WITHIN THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA, OHIO. 2nd READING. Motion to table made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote.
ORDINANCE 2010-16: AN ORDINANCE FORMALIZING THE USE OF A PORTION OF THE GERALD BUCHERT PARK LODGE BY THE AMERICAN LEGION POST 193. 2nd READING. Motion to table made by B. Prescott with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote.
RESOLUTION 2010-17: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CLERK TREASURER TO TRANSFER UP TO $15,000 FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE SEWER OPERATING FUND AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. Motion to suspend the rules made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote.
RESOLUTION 2010-19: A RESOLUTION PERMITTING THE VILLAGE ADMINISTRATOR TO CASH OUT 59.18 HOURS OF VACATION TIME PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 07, SECTION 7.03(B) OF THE PERSONNEL HANDBOOK OF THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. 1st READING. Motion to suspend the rules made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote.
ORDINANCE 2010-20: AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM FOR THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA WITH FIRSTENERGY SOLUTIONS, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. 1st READING. Michele Stuck announced the public hearings have been set for next month, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. and June 15 at 7:00 p.m.
ORDINANCE 2010-21: AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AND ADOPTING A PERMANENT BUDGET FOR 2011 FOR THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA, AFTER PUBLICATION AND PUBLIC BUDGET HEARING PURSUANT TO OHIO REVISED CODE 5705.30, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. 1st READING. Linda Schilling had a question on the budget for the clerk’s office. She knew Sue would not have the answer because she already talked with her about it. In 2009, it was $39,460 and in 2010, it is up to $53,270. Since we are trying to cut, we may have to look at this in the clerk’s office but Linda will talk with Jenny about it to see where it came from. Linda also asked about the Village Hall maintenance costs of $1,800. Sue said anytime repairs and maintenance are done to the building or the grounds, those materials and labor are charged to the hall. Linda Schilling said so anytime they fix something in the building; it comes out of the clerk’s office. Sue said no, we have our administrative fund for our own supplies. Linda Clark asked what distinguishes the difference between the two funds. Sue said if the clerk’s office buys supplies for their office, it is Administrative, if they come up to repair a door that would be Village Hall. Anything to the building or property is Village Hall. Linda Clark asked about only $20.00 being budgeted for Security. Harry addressed this by saying they use that fund very little, most of what they need for security, they take out of police or dispatch operating. Linda Clark asked about what would be listed under leisure time activities, why PERS was not listed as coming out of other funds such as Parks and Tree Service. Sue said the way she understood it from payroll, if an employee is paid out of five different departments, it would have to be set up in his payroll to have the PERS also come out of five departments and she was not sure it could even be done that way. Sue will check with Jenny on it. Ed said it used to be done that way and then recently it has hit heavy on like water and sewer, you need to have a true picture and go back to proportioning it. If you look back, some are high in wages and there is nothing in PERS and worker’s compensation charged to those areas. Linda Clark also wanted to know why the Zoning fund for personal services was increased from $4,800 to $5,000. Ben said it was increased to cover secretarial wages incurred for a hearing. The Mayor said this should not be affected by her wages; the application fee was increased to cover those costs. Sue said the increased revenue will cover those costs, but it also has to be appropriated.
RESOLUTION 2010-22: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE VILLAGE CLERK-TREASURER TO REIMBURSE RALPH W. ZOLLER, AND MAKE PAYMENTS TO CONTRACTORS, FOR EXPENSES INCURRED RELATING TO REPAIR OF SEWER LINES SERVING BARKY MART, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
Motion to suspend the rules made by L. Schilling with a second from L. Clark. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by L. Schilling with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote.
Mayor Hawkins was approached by Ross Kotkowski, part owner of Lakeside Sand & Gravel requesting to host a “Downhill Regatta”. This would piggyback off the Soap Box Derby but for adults. It would consist of two-person teams, $75.00 maximum expenditure and a 200-pound weight limit for the vehicle. They are strictly gravity powered and helmets would be required. Both team members must finish the race on the vehicle. They are asking permission from the Mayor, the Chief of Police and Village Council to hold the rally after the Soap Box on June 12. They have secured event insurance of $1,000,000 through Dunlavy Insurance Agency. The Village, its holding, employees or volunteers would not be held liable in the remote chance of an accident. They plan to hold a rally on June 5, to test all of the vehicles for braking, steering and general safety. As a way of showing their gratitude toward Mantua, the entry fees charged would be used, as Donna had discussed with him, to restore the fountain out front. They are figuring a two-hour maximum timeframe after the Soap Box Derby. Ross also agreed to clean up after the Soap Box and their Regatta. Harry said the Police Department has no problem with it; his only concern was where the rally on June 5 would be held? The Mayor said she believed it would not be here. Michele Stuck has reviewed their policy and checked with Love Insurance, our insurance carrier, who was happy to see the Village being named as an additional insured. Marty asked if anyone checked with the Soap Box Derby to see if they are willing to put off their cleaning until after this event. The Mayor said yes, Ross plans to do the entire cleanup even for the Soap Box and has coordinated this with Dean Olsen.
Motion to allow Ross Kotkowski to hold the “Downhill Regatta” made by L. Schilling with a second from G. Seith. All ayes on vote.
The Mayor had an additional resolution to be discussed tonight. This would be for the $50,000 from the electrical aggregation passage on May 4. She asked Council to air their ideas on how this money would be spent. Donna had a handout of her suggestions and she read it. The Mayor suggests deferring the sewer payment, which would pay off the sewer loan in 2024 versus 2023. The current interest on the OWDA loan is only .68 percent. The cost to defer the payment would be between $25 -28K, a one-time charge. This would allow us to maintain within our funds approximately $315,000. The use of some of the grant monies could be repaid by placing $250K in a business account that would pay 2 percent, repaying back the 28K by approximately 5K per year. If the 250K were invested for the remainder of the loan, we would receive 62K, less the 28K to defer payment, leaving 34K as pure profit. This enables Council to use approximately 65K for maintenance of the plant, new pumps, etc and rainy day funds for sewer line breaks such as the recent one at Barky Mart.
This would also keep the General Fund safer by not pulling out the approximately 100K yearly to subsidize the OWDA payment. (Note: Jenny’s report to the Finance committee this last Thursday was that 50K dollars of the 156K sewer debt due in June would need to come from the General Fund. She also stated that the December payment would easily be that much or more. Our use of General Fund to support this debt prevents services to our citizens from being maintained and prevents some from being re-established such as 24/7 police protection).
This buys the Village time to regain from the economic climate our citizens and businesses are suffering from and potentially places a business in Eaton and allows Aurora Meadows time to come online.
It would keep Council from raising the sewer rates to our citizens. We must be realistic, there can be no doubt that the current path leads to increases in our rates. It has been suggested by a Council member that they might need to be raised by as much as 16%.
In the meantime with the current economic climate and at the current rate of utilizing the General Fund to pay the sewer debt, there is little doubt that the General Fund will soon be broke and the Village in a state of fiscal emergency.
The Mayor would simply ask Council to consider what the citizens of the Village of Mantua would want us to do with the 50K grant that would most benefit them, as always I welcome any suggestions. The only negative Donna could find and she did not consider this a negative, was the cost to do this which would be 25K to 28K to extend our loan one year, however, that would be offset by the benefit because that money would be placed in a 2 percent business account. Therefore, there really is no negative.
Ben said Ed needs his chopper pumps at a cost of $7,400 and the $9,000 already approved. If we have to defer the payment, we can do it in December. We do not need to do this right now. Michele Stuck informed Council if they come to a consensus tonight; she could fill in the blanks on this resolution and it would be on 1st reading, if not, it goes back to Finance.
Mayor Hawkins asked that what she read be inserted in the minutes because of what Jenny read and asked to be inserted in the minutes as well. Donna wanted to say that Jenny and she have agreed to disagree on this. It is a friendly disagreement as it is with Ben and her. They simply do not see eye to eye on this issue at all and we have not been able to but it is a friendly disagreement.
Motion to insert the language of $42,600 to go to sewer debt and $7,400 to wastewater made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. Roger felt it should go back to Finance. Ben said no. Roger asked Council if they wanted the opinions of their citizens. Ben said not now and called to question. R. Hawkins voted no, all other ayes on vote. This is at 1st reading.
Linda Clark wanted to discuss the overtime. At Service meetings and meetings with Linda Schilling, herself and Ed down at his office, we have made suggestions and discussed alternating employees’ schedules to prevent overtime on the weekend such as with the spring cleanup this past weekend. It always seems to fall on deaf ears. As a committee, we cannot order Ed Trego to do anything. Linda would like to make a motion.
Motion for Council to stop all overtime and comp time in the Service Department while in fiscal watch made by Linda Clark.
Roger said this causes our people, who we have trained for years, to look for jobs elsewhere. Ben said there is a certain amount of overtime that will have to be cut. Linda Schilling suggested to Ed regarding overtime for himself or Tom, to plan to go home another day to prevent overtime. Tom has five hours of overtime on his timesheet from Saturday. She did not think we would lose any employee if we did this given the money problems we are having; however, she was not sure we could do that. Marty felt this would have to be their option, not our option if they can work out taking comp time during the week. Marty does not think Council can order them to do it. Linda said she was not talking comp time, but rather the overtime, can we freeze it. Michele suggested, if the Village wants to enact that policy, it be discussed and then go into the personnel policy ordinance. The draft of the new personnel handbook has eliminated comp time, it has not eliminated overtime. Ben thought there might be an issue with juggling employees’ schedules because sometimes with the service department, they have to come in; there is no way around it. Ben said you would not be able to eliminate overtime, but it seemed reasonable to him that the department heads could, if they know something is coming up, to let someone off say on Thursday or Friday. Linda Schilling felt it might be difficult for the police department to do. In addition, she thought there was to be someone from the company at the spring cleanup on Saturday. When she went down there, she saw Tom was there but no one from that company. Ed said they come to set it up and that is all. At service committee, Linda Schilling had indicated she was advised after a phone call that someone would be there.
It was discussed at Service Committee and Ed had indicated he was not going to permit us not having someone down there to prevent us from finding something in the dumpsters that we would inherit. We could inherit a $100,000 asbestos problem in a heartbeat. We did our job as supervisors for the project. Ed felt what Council is trying to do and have been trying to do is to coerce our employees into not so good Fair Labor acts. It was his understanding from previous solicitors, that comp time was something that is either mutually agreed on or is not going to happen on our hourly employees. Our employees have given up thousands of dollars in income over the last three years in wage freezes. Ed responded to Linda Clark’s comment earlier that everything falls on deaf ears, which it has not. There are some who continue to ratchet on the backs of the employees in the Service Department, which are only two full-time, until you break them. This is not a threat, but if you think you already have financial problems, this is insidious, it is wrong. This is the employees call regarding comp time, you cannot cash comp time at the store, you can with a fair wage. Ed is baffled and more and more is embarrassed to sit at this table. Roger felt our employees give a lot to this Village. Ben felt it was reasonable to try to keep an eye on the overtime. Ed said there was no disagreement from his department. Linda Schilling added that she gets the time sheets every two weeks and have gone over them ever since she has been chair of Service. Roger asked Linda if she has found any unjustified overtime. Linda said she has not found any recently because Ed has been going home early. Ed said you would not find any unjustified overtime, you might find overtime that people feel could have been shorter. Ed challenges Council to bring that to his attention, there never has been. Ed spoke on special events and emergencies that come up. They do not want the overtime; they want to do their work and go home. However, when they are paged, or things are held on weekends, it cannot be helped. Linda Schilling added there are times when service has to be called like when she did the rentals and they had problems with a fuse box at a pavilion, it has to be limited.
Police Chief, Harry Buchert announced there would not be a Safety meeting for May. Our next meeting will be June 24. Harry asked the Mayor if the Regatta people were aware of the rain date for the Soap Box Derby, which would be the following Saturday. The Mayor said yes. Sue questioned the rain date; she thought they had not set a rain date with their office on the park lodge schedule. She would check into it.
Village Administrator, Ed Trego said their primary focus through Memorial Day is the cemetery. The weather has not been cooperative, which has held off finishing the footers. Ed thanked Council for moving forward on repairs to the pumps. Volunteers have been working on the trails and park areas and have cleaned the park lodge to Marty’s approval.
Rich Iafelice, Engineer with C.T. Consultants reported that they have produced a master plan for the Franklin/Regan storm sewer project at no cost to the Village for their time. Rich gave an overview of his plan. There is a deadline for the storm sewer project, it is critical. There would be $10,000 in cash from the Village and $30,000 of in-kind labor, materials and equipment. Retention is critical. Rich has concerns as Ed does on the Aurora pumps. The plant is only seeing half the flow it was designed to handle. As a result, it creates these hardships and problems with the equipment. Ed noted the efforts of C.T. at no charge are very commendable. The Mayor reiterated Ed’s comments and gave her appreciation for their efforts.
Shade Tree: Linda Clark reported not having a meeting last month. They did do the Arbor Day poster contest. First place winner was Amelia Wysong. Linda announced that Marty Hura had attended the Tree City USA conference and received a new flag.
Service: Linda reported their next Service meeting would be Tuesday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m. Service talked about the pumps a lot and about the spring cleanup.
Parks: Marty reported that work is proceeding slowly on the western trail. The equipment that was donated and being utilized has broken. The material may be able to be buried or hauled away. Marty thanked Ed for getting the gravel up there for the glacial trail. Work will start on the decks after school is out.
Planning: Mayor Donna Hawkins reported there was nothing for Planning.
Finance: Ben said there was nothing more to say for finance. The next Finance meeting will be the Thursday before Council at 6:30 p.m.
BZA: Roger had nothing to report for the BZA.
Safety: Giles said he would report for Safety and give a report for the Fireboard. Safety is working on the siren tower. The Fire Department has their new squad and is working on some of the phone line problems.
Linda Schilling asked to speak on the sign for the scouts. What is going on with it? Donna Hawkins said Barky Zoller was kind enough to weld the frame; he is waiting for two more pieces of stainless steel to finish it. The Signtist is working on the nameplates. They are waiting for the donation from Linda by the Potato Festival and are still looking for other donations. Jason Sage is the Eagle Scout doing the project. His birthday is June 14; they must be done with the project by that time.
Public: Laura Landreth representing the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Committee announced they plan to have their walk through Mantua’s past again this year. She was confused on some of the procedures of Council. When motions are made, could we have some more conversation so that the public understands what is being voted on such as with the grant money.
In addition, what is the difference between micromanaging and specifics or wanting to know exactly what is happening? Ben said we did a first reading on the $50,000 of which $42,600 would go toward the sewer debt that we have to pay and $7,400 would be put toward a new chopper pump that Ed needs down at the sewer plant. Laura asked where the money would come from for the roads. Ben said if the tax levy passes, a percentage of the monies would go into different funds such as the streets. Marty explained suspending the rules, which means if we are going to go three readings, we do not have to suspend the rules. If we are going to pass something on emergency, we have to suspend the rules and pass it tonight. Michele clarified that suspending relates to the requirement of having three readings. In order to dispense with that requirement, ¾ of Council must agree to suspend the rules. For emergency legislation, which can go hand in hand with suspending the rules but it does not have to, if passed by 2/3, it goes into effect immediately. If not passed by 2/3, it takes 30 days to go into effect. Laura asked when it is decided if it is an emergency or just a suspending of the rules. Ben said it depends on how badly it needs to be done. Laura asked whether it was done to prevent discussion by the public. Members of Council said no, not at all. Marty said most of the time, the emergency is the transfer of funds, which are absolutely needed now and we cannot wait. The Mayor added that a lot of the time it has already been discussed in committee. Ben said the committee meetings is where she needs to come to, most everything Council does has been talked over in a committee. Linda Schilling said actually, if Council is talking about an ordinance that someone in the public wishes to speak on, the rules allow the public to speak during legislation. Ben said no they do not, that is not what the Rules of Council, Section 121.03 says. Ben said it is to allow Council to conduct their business and then have public comment. Harry asked Laura if the history walk was set for October 9. Laura said yes, either from 4-9 or 4-8 p.m.
Patsi Gast had some personal questions for Council. She agreed with Laura, there needs to be more discussion on legislation before it passes and the public should be considered for may be five minutes. Ben said we are planning to redo the rules of Council. Patsi also agreed with Linda Clark 100 percent that we have to watch our money and everything should be accountable. On 2010-14, the percentages were based on $129,000 being brought in; how much is the Village in debt. Are we talking 100 years, 50 years or 10 years, what amount of money are we talking. Giles believed the debt was close to 6 million. Patsi asked how long do you think it is going to take to chip away at our debt with a percentage from the $129,000. Ben said some of our debt is 20 years loans with fixed rates that cannot be paid off early.
Patsi asked Council is our debt that much, 6 million? Giles felt that was a close figure. Ben said it is right there give or take a little. Ed told Patsi she would be best served to confirm facts with the Clerk-Treasurer. Many of the problems are generated from speculating or guessing and are not factual. Marty said the main debt is our sewer loan, which right now our sewer fund is not producing enough money to pay off that loan. Linda Schilling pointed out that Ed had just said it is nowhere near 6 million. Harry said you have several loans: patrol cars, trucks, backhoe, water plant, sewer plant, this building. Harry said it was his understanding that this would give Council the right to look at each debt and pay those off with the highest interest first. Linda Schilling said there is going to be a flier either distributed by mail, which Ben agreed to donate the postage, or taken door to door to explain exactly what is being done.
Ben said every six months we have to make a payment on the OWDA loan and the issue was we were coming up short of receipts to be able to make that payment. The main payment is for sewer. Patsi asked for clarification on resolution 2010-19 of the cashing out of 59.18 hours by the Village Administrator. Michele said this stems from a finding for recovery with the state auditor’s office. Rather than try to explain it here, it is all on record in the audit report at the Clerk’s office.
Norm Erickson asked pertaining to resolution 2010-19, when was section 07-03(b) in the personnel handbook revised by Council. Michele said last month. Norm asked if it was approved by Council last month. Giles said yes. Norm said when a person asks for a copy out of the handbook, it would be nice that they receive the current one. It should be readily available down at the Clerk’s office. Harry said it is not. Norm asked if that portion of the handbook was revised to take care of this transaction. Members of Council said yes. Norm asked if it would stay in the handbook or be revised again. Michele said we are not going to undo that section; Council will reserve the right to continue to have the option to exercise that if they chose. Michele added there is a new handbook in process and whether that policy continues to be in the new handbook is largely up to the Finance Committee. Linda Schilling stated that everyone has received a copy of the new handbook for review to be done next month at Finance. Ed said he requested a copy at Finance and emailed the Clerk and has not been given a final copy yet. The Mayor has not received one either and she requested one. Michele said she would be happy to email a copy to Ed and the Mayor; she has the final copy on her computer. Norm asked if in the new handbook, it allows the department heads to determine whether this would be available to employees or would Council determine this and who will oversee it. Michele said Council has to vote on each individual circumstance. Harry said the most current copy of the personnel handbook is in the Police Department. It has been the Police Department’s responsibility to keep that book up to date. Council has made several changes over the last few months; Harry has made those changes in the master copy. He has advised the Clerk’s office that the master copy is in his office for anyone who would request a copy of it. It is the understanding that in the very near future we are going to have a new handbook, which would be published then. Norm felt when you open the door; it allows abuse into the system.
Norm also asked what the status was for the contract with C.T. Consultants. Linda Schilling said no one has brought it up except her back in February or March.
Norm wanted to know if there was anything going to be done on S.R. 44 in front of the high school. Ed said his department is maintaining it as is and will bring it forward at the next Service Committee meeting for their recommendation to Council and for the budget to the Finance Committee to see how they wish to proceed.
Anita Hanzlik representing the Mantua Village Community Action Group had a few questions to ask. First, how is C.T. Consultants being paid now if their contract expired? Linda Schilling said there was no deadline in their contract; it was open ended. Her notes said it was supposed to come back to Council in March of this year. Marty said there is no expiration date on their contract; they are still under contract right now. They have been instructed to stay within their monthly allotment of $250.00. Laura Landreth felt an open contract would be sweet.
Giles said it is not open; there is a clause to cancel within 30-60 days by either party. Anita felt the Village has been paying for him and wasting that money. Giles said there are several projects in the works right now that need to be continued. Linda Schilling added that what C.T. has done on the storm sewers was not under their retainer, they did it all at no charge to the Village. They have done many things for us under their retainer. Roger asked if Rich could go back to see what C.T. has done over the years at no charge. Rich said he would have to go back 22 years. Norm felt if you go back, you should also look at all the cost overruns on projects to make it equal.
Anita asked if there are plans to resurface any Village roads. Linda Schilling said there is no plan because we have no money to do anything. That is why she hopes the income tax passes. Just so everyone knows if you make $25,000; your payment is $5.40 per month. If you make $50,000, your payment is $10.80 per month. This is what you would be paying with the income tax raise. Giles said if the tax increase passes, 50 percent of it would go to roads and storm sewers. If it does not pass, then nothing will happen. Patsi felt the Village will not be able to pass anything in this community until everything that could possibly be cut has been cut and that has not happened. Patsi said she would bring it up one time and not say it again; this still goes back on Donna getting her hospitalization. If you are going to cut, you cut to bare bones and then I would pass it. The fact is, we are in dire straits, it is nothing personal with Donna. If you want people to back you on these things, you have to start somewhere and Patsi felt that would be a real big plus. Donna said, “To be perfectly frank with you, well I’m, we will see what the citizens decide to do on the income tax, that is all I have to say about that.” Linda Schilling thanked Donna for not answering that one the way she wanted to answer that.
Gary Haney asked if the Mayor was the only one who has the insurance. Donna said no. Giles and Linda Schilling said she is the only elected official. Marty said that is not correct. The Mayor said Jenny August, our Clerk-Treasurer, also has the insurance. Marty said Roger has it as well. The reason he wanted to bring this up was that starting in 2011 with the health insurance, they will take all of the hours put in by any part time employees, combine them and that percentage of how many full time employees those hours add up to and you will pay a percentage to the health care. Gary’s second concern was with an annoying resident that calls on them all the time about the noise at the bar. We have no noise ordinance in this town. Our Police Department is called out constantly and they try to keep it down. People need to go outside to smoke, it is the law and when they do, they talk. Michele said we do have a noise ordinance for nuisances.
Laura Landreth asked each Council member how long they have been on Council. Giles is in his second term as well as Ben and Linda Schilling. Roger and Linda Clark are in their first terms as well as the Mayor. Marty is in his third term of office.
Motion to enter into Executive Session on eminent litigation at 9:02 p.m. made by L. Schilling with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote.
Motion to reconvene into Regular Session at 9:24 p.m. made by L. Schilling with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote.
Motion to enter into Executive Session on personnel at 9:25 p.m. made by B. Prescott with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote.
Motion to reconvene into Regular Session at 9:38 p.m. made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote.
Motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:38 p.m. made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote.
Mayor Donna Hawkins
Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August