Village of Mantua
Regular Council Meeting
June 10, 2010

Mayor Hawkins called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m. & led the pledge of Allegiance. Donna asked everyone to remain standing for a moment of silence for the passing of Dallas Griffin and Andrew Dvorak.

Roll Call: Donna Hawkins, Linda Clark, Linda Schilling, Marty Hura, Ben Prescott, Roger Hawkins, Giles Seith.

Others Present: Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August, Asst. Clerk Susan Skrovan, Attorney Solicitor Michele Stuck, Police Chief Harry Buchert, Village Administrator Ed Trego, Brian Rogers, Engineer with C.T. Consultants.

Public: Dave Woolf, Pearl Campbell, Norm Erickson, Lisa Zamecnik, John Clark, Wes Hawkins, Bill & Patsi Gast, Bill Zoller, Randy & Lauren Weaver, Audrey Baron, Tom Aldrich and many others.

Minutes: Motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of May 18, 2010 made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve the budget hearing minutes of May 13, 2010 made by L. Schilling with a second from L. Clark. All ayes on vote.

Mayors Report: Donna welcomed everyone and announced the Soap Box Derby and First Annual Downhill Regatta was very successful last weekend. The Regatta will be making a donation to the Village. Last Wednesday, she was on her way to Washington D.C. to represent our Village before Congressman LaTourette and his staff and the Appropriations Committee. She started this networking opportunity two weeks into her administration and she has continued with it throughout. This is a constant effort to keep the Village of Mantua in the forefront of their minds and thoughts because she knows we have multiple needs for funding including the roads and sewer debt. She is seeking to tap into and obtain Federal funds.

Before leaving on Wednesday, she found in her mailbox something that alarmed her and she read a flyer that had been circulated. It claimed the Mayor and Village Council were proposing an income tax increase for the 2010 General Election. Donna said she is and always has been completely opposed to the income tax ordinance. She has made available to Council an option, almost a year to date, the option of a deferment of the water and sewer. We have two options, the income tax or her proposal to defer the payment. Donna really does not see any negatives to her option. The $50,000 electric aggregate grant, which we just received, $28,000 of it would be used to skip a payment. OWDA and the Ohio EPA gave us permission to skip a payment. Part of this gift of $50,000 we would use to retain in the Village coffers $315,000. The deferred payment would be put into an interest bearing account at 2 percent earning $6,000 per year. Council knows exactly where she stands on this issue. The Mayor detailed this in an outline to Council last month. They opted not to do it. They voted completely against it, which is their power. Also contained in this flyer was a statement that said the Mayor and Council were considering raising sewer rates again by as much as 16%? Donna said that remark had been made in her first year of administration but not by her! She was appalled when she heard it. This is what caused our Village Administrator, Ed Trego and herself to be proactive to try to find a way to prevent this from happening. The deferment option she presented is what they found. We need to buy some time, for Aurora Meadows to come online. There have been interested parties looking at the old Eaton building as well. She wished the Community Action Group had asked her where she stood on this prior to publishing their flier. The Mayor was told by Congressman LaTourette’s staff that she was the only administrator from this community that has ever reached out to the Federal Government. She has been advocating on our resident’s behalf since day one. She would ask Council to reconsider how the $50,000 is to be allocated; please look at all options.

Finance Report: Jenny thanked Sue for doing an excellent job while she was off. Payroll was done, the bills were paid and she did a great job filling in for her at the May Council meeting. Lisa Zamecnik with the Cemetery Board had asked Jenny to provide an estimate for Council to review of $3,000 for tuck-pointing the Mausoleum.

Jenny could submit this to Kevin Poland, attorney for the Cemetery Trust, for approval. If approved, Kevin may be able to pay Stamm Contracting directly as was done in the past to purchase a mower. The Cemetery Fund is in the negative at this time; our computer accounting system will not let us move forward to pay bills because of it. There is a resolution before Council, 2010-26 authorizing a monthly advance from the General Fund in order to get out of the red and continue to pay for Cemetery upkeep until Council, the Mayor and Ed determines what needs to be done. We discussed recruiting volunteers, retirees or community service workers at the Finance meeting. She was asked to determine the balance of our total debt in the Village; as of January 1, 2010, we have $5,700,000 of debt. Since January, we have made a few payments, but nothing substantial enough to change that figure much until after we make our OWDA payment this month.

Our checkbook balance at the end of May: $ 452,314.00
Revenues for May: $ 149,170.00
Expenses for May including payroll: $ 117,851.00

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. The May 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 June including C.T. made by L. Schilling with a second from M. Hura. B. Prescott abstained, all other ayes on vote.

Motion to approve the Bills of Resolution with addendum omitting C.T. bills made by L. Schilling with a second from M Hura. All ayes on vote.

Motion to approve made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. Michele asked that Council address this before voting on it by amending it to reflect the most recent consensus as to the allocation of the additional revenue. She felt there was some disagreement in the ability to allocate it as it currently states. Jenny said Council discussed at the last meeting to have 50% go to Roads and Storm Sewers; no such fund exists. Also 25% to Wastewater Maintenance, that falls into a fund that also does payroll and everything else. Linda Schilling thought at the last meeting Ben said it should be put into a Capital Improvement or Reserve fund. Jenny felt Capital Reserve would be the best choice. Ben said they had decided 25% would go to debt and 75% to Capital Reserve. Motion to amend as outlined made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. R. Hawkins voted no, all other ayes on vote.

The Mayor said at this time, if the public would like to speak, they could do so now; this ordinance is on third reading and will be passed by Council.

Roger Hawkins made a statement that he is opposed to this legislation and opposed to it being passed on emergency. The Mayor said this is not emergency legislation. Sheila Majors asked if it would be placed on the ballot to be voted on by the residents. Council members and the Mayor said absolutely. Sheila felt they are being taxed enough between the water and paying tax where they work. It is getting out of hand and chasing people out of Mantua. She felt the Village should take money elsewhere. Giles said there is no money elsewhere, we are locked out of the system and cannot make payroll now. Most communities around here have gone to 2% or more. Part of this agreement is a credit of .75%. Giles said we have one full-time police officer! Service has two full-time in the field plus Donna Maynard. Giles said when Eaton left they took out of the community $300,000 directly in income tax payments and water and sewer payments. This gives the community the opportunity to vote on this increase. Linda Schilling said there would be a letter going out on all the cuts Council has already made and what would happen if this does pass. Ben said Council is only sending it to put on the ballot. Kelly Barnard asked Council when they spend the money to put it on the ballot and it fails, then what is the next step of action. Giles said there would be more cuts. Another resident said our sewer rates are higher than almost everyone around us and probably the highest in the State. Linda Schilling said Council does not plan to raise water and sewer rates, if we cannot pay our bills, the State will come in and do that for us and we will have no control. They will take over the Village. Roger felt raising taxes is the easy way out for Council when there are other alternatives. Linda Schilling wanted to state that she lives in this Village; so the tax increase will affect her and her house. It is not something Linda wants but we are broke. Linda felt Roger has never once brought anything to this table on where we could cut or get money. Ben said again that Council is not raising the tax rate; it is only going to the ballot. Stephanie Martin asked what percentage of people is delinquent on their income taxes. Jenny said it is very low; most are on a payment plan. There are just a handful of people that do not comply. We send a letter and then go to court. Jeff Wiesnewski asked to what degree the State would actually do for the Village; has anyone talked with the State to see if they can do us some good. Ben said they can sell the water and sewer plants and dissolve our police department. Linda Schilling said that is when the rates would go up. Jeff said we do not know if it is going to be worse, give them the burden. Ben said we would still have the same debt. Ben said we actually can control the rates unless we cannot pay our debt then they can come in and tell us to raise the rates. This flyer states that Council is considering a proposal to raise rates again, which is not true. Council talked about that in 2008. At that time, the rates were raised 5 percent, but since then no one on Council has talked about raising the rates. The Mayor said it. Linda Clark said at the last meeting, when the Mayor was discussing new business, she said, “it has been suggested by a Council member that we might need to raise the sewer rates by 16 percent”. Ben said nobody but the Mayor said it. Donna Hawkins said she said it but was only repeating what was documented in Finance Committee minutes from 2008. Donna added that we have been pulling out of the General Fund to subsidize the sewer debt. Lauren Weaver asked to clarify who would raise our rates, the State or Council. Giles said the State, if they come in, would make the payment by raising rates and we would have no control. Lauren added that once this goes to the ballot and if it does not pass, what cuts are being made to reverse the course of this financial disaster. Lois Summerlin asked if Aurora Meadows was going to cost the Village to get them online. Donna said no, it will not cost us money and we will be getting money in 2011. Ed said we could see tap-in fees if they come in and revenue from 80+ homes for servicing the line. Ed said it may not be a lot, but every dollar helps. Our Village took on the turnpike and it gave us $35-40,000 a year. The tap-in fees depend on whether the County exercises what they already have. The County gave us a huge tap-in amount for the sewer plant when we made the improvements plus they took on some of our debt. They still have some of that volume left; if they choose to use it, then we would not see any additional tap-in money. Anita Hanzlik asked the Mayor to clarify her desire to use part of the $50,000 grant to defer the payment and to buy a pump. Where would you get the money to buy the pump? Mayor Hawkins explained that by deferring the payment, we would bring $315,000 into our coffers, which we could then purchase the new pump. An audience member asked Jenny why she was against the deferment. Jenny said because we are not fixing our problem; it is just going on the back burner; we are not changing our spending.

Donna agreed with Jenny to a point but believed this would buy us some time until Aurora Meadows comes online and hopefully put someone in the Eaton building. To exercise our options first to defer the payment and buy some time. Patsi Gast asked what specific things Council is doing to cut costs. Linda Schilling said we cut three officers, two dispatchers, the Spring Clean-up, Sue was put to part-time, and Ed has lost four full-time employees. There are cuts we could still make. We are considering putting the Village Administrator’s assistant clerk to part-time and moving her. We do now have dispatch service to Hiram and have received the $50,000 grant money. Anna Lee Heinl asked if other Villages have the same problem. The Mayor said many have gone under fiscal emergency, however, the State has not really stepped in to take over. John Heinl asked Jenny about the sewer fund. Jenny said we are spending more than we bring in. This has been just since Eaton has left and we have had to struggle. The water fund may be short for their payment as well. Bill Zoller asked if Mantaline closing their Aurora operation has helped the Village. Jenny said yes, it helped. Wes Hawkins asked if the increase would be a permanent adjustment or for only a period of time. The Mayor said it would be permanent. Wes asked if it could be written to last for a two-year period and then revert to what it was. Michele said Council could write it any way they wish. John Clark asked what the increase would generate for the Village. The Mayor said the Chief calculated it out at about $129,000; Jenny calculated it out but felt safe at about $90,000. Jenny said she is comfortable with $90,000. What will that do for us annually, will it get us out of trouble? Ben said it would pay the debt bill. There was more general discussion on what would happen if the payment was deferred and if it was not. Ben said Aurora Meadows is coming in 2011 and possibly something coming into Eaton, why defer the payment if you do not have to. Linda Schilling spoke on the income tax increase, if you make $25,000; it would cost you $10.20 per month. If you make $50,000, it would cost $10.40 per month. There would be no cost to put it on the general election; primary is $4-500. Randy Weaver read from the last meeting minutes on the remark made about the rate increase of 16%. Linda Schilling said she knows no one on Council made that statement, that remark originated from a Finance Committee meeting in 2008. Jenny explained that in 2008 the Finance Committee discussed raising the rates by 16%. In December of that year, it came before Council and they raised it by 5%. It was done and resolved and probably should not have been put out there again. The Mayor said that was the catalyst that threw her over the edge that said we need to do something and that is when they found the opportunity to defer the payment. Giles spoke on what he remembered from the discussion in 2008. The question was raised, what percentage would have us break even and that is where the 16% figure came from. Randy asked how we got that far out of control that would cause Council to raise the rates by 16%. Giles said it is very simple; Eaton left with over $200,000 worth of income tax and $100,000 worth of water and sewer use. In addition, the ripple effect of Eaton leaving our Village. Marty said when we first built the facility, our Engineers said we should raise rates; Council did not want to do that at the time. When the turnpike arrived, the Engineers told us maybe we would not have to raise rates. We probably should have raised them then and this happened two or three more times. By the time we did have to raise rates, it was up to a percentage that we were not happy about. We knew we could not raise them 16% so we raised them the maximum we thought we could to survive and it was 5%. When you lose the biggest employer you have in the Village, it puts us in a serious bind. Sheila wanted to know how Council could decide to raise rates without having to go to a vote. Ben said that is determined by the ORC, we did not have to go to a vote on the rates; the income tax increase has to go to a vote. Council was elected to make those decisions. Ben felt we need to stop this and move on, he called to question.

Linda Clark wanted to voice her opinion regarding the increase. She cannot with a clear conscience vote for this at this time because she does not feel the Village has reduced and cut all the costs that they possibly can. They have reduced some. She felt if Council could show the residents between now and November that they have cut to the bare bones. Her suggestions have not been looked at seriously. She did feel that she has been maligned by a department head. She believes Council needs to treat this Village as a business; there are some hard decisions to make and unpopular decisions to make to keep this business afloat.

Roger Hawkins agreed with an audience member that there are alternatives at the State level and he plans to approach the State on some things he recently learned about.

Vote: L. Clark – no, R. Hawkins – no, all other ayes on vote.

Motion to go into executive session on pending litigation at 8:23 p.m. made by L. Schilling with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote.

Motion to reconvene at 8:52 p.m. made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote.

Michele asked for a motion. Motion to have this Council agree to participate in mediation regarding the Schultz/Vyhnal case made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote.

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. TABLED AT 2nd READING. Motion to take off the table made by L. Schilling with a second from L. Clark. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by L. Schilling with a second form L. Clark. Giles asked why this only covers residential, what about our businesses. Linda Clark said we are going to get quotes for businesses as well; it would be an opt-in option for them. She went on to explain the benefit of having only one carrier for trash pickup in the Village and some of the options available. This would include bulk items at times like one a month. They are asking for a snowbird option to help save for those seasonal people. Prepaid bags, brush pickup and yard waste. Hopefully it would be less wear and tear on our roads. This would save money for residents along with free service for the Village buildings and sewer plant plus the park receptacles and along Main Street. There is a savings figured of $3,000 to the Village. The billing would come from the service provider. Motion to amend to include one bulk item per month and to include businesses made by B. Prescott with a second from R. Hawkins. All ayes on vote. 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 B. Prescott. All ayes on vote. Michele asked Council to appoint either the Village Administrator or a designee to oversee this program. Ed would like to designate the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer. ORDINANCE 2010-16: AN ORDINANCE FORMALIZING THE USE OF A PORTION OF THE GERALD BUCHERT PARK LODGE BY THE AMERICAN LEGION POST 193. TABLED AT 2nd READING. 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. 2nd READING. Motion to suspend the rules made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by L. Schilling with a second from L. Clark. All ayes on vote. 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. 2nd READING. Motion to suspend the rules made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. Jenny said this has been amended since last month to add $1,500 for the Parks budget to pay the cost of mowing. Motion to amend made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve as amended made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote. RESOLUTION 2010-23: A RESOLUTION DESIGNATING THE USE OF THE $50,000.00 “POWERING OUR COMMUNITIES” GRANT, WHICH HAS BEEN PLEDGED BY FIRST ENERGY SOLUTIONS, INC., SUBSEQUENT TO THE PASSAGE OF THE MANTUA VILLAGE ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION BALLOT ISSUE. 2nd READING. Motion to suspend the rules made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Clark. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote. ORDINANCE 2010-24: AN ORDINANCE REPEALING EXISTING CHAPTER 151 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA, REPEALING ORDINANCE NUMBER 2001-49 BY WHICH WAS ENACTED THE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE “VILLAGE OF MANTUA PERSONNEL HANDBOOK”, AND ALL SUBSEQUENT ORDINANCES AMENDING THAT DOCUMENT, AND ADOPTING THE DOCUMENT ENTITLED “VILLAGE OF MANTUA, PORTAGE COUNTY, OHIO EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK”. 1st READING. Ben said Council needs to make an amendment to this ordinance as the Chief had suggested. Motion to amend Sections: 4.7 Uniform Allowance, 5.2 Vacation and strike out 5.2A made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. Ed asked for clarification on the vacation. When you have five or six weeks earned in that year, any previous accumulated time you do not have to use it all up in that year correct. Linda Schilling said exactly, if you already have so many hours, you do not have to use those up. Starting with the passage of the new handbook, you have to use the hours in that year or you lose them. All ayes on vote. This is at 1st reading. RESOLUTION 2010-25: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CERTAIN ADJUSTMENTS TO THE 2010 APPROPRIATIONS 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 M. Hura. All ayes on vote. RESOLUTION 2010-26: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CLERK-TREASURER TO ADVANCE FUNDS FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE CEMETERY FUND AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. Motion to suspend the rules made by L. Schilling with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by L. Schilling with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote.

Committee Reports: Police Chief, Harry Buchert announced the next Safety meeting would be Thursday, June 24 at 6:30 a.m. The Soap Box Derby went off without any problems. Art on the Hill is set for July 10 and will be on E. Prospect from Main Street to the bike path. Harry is in the process of filling out the 2010 grant application for hiring police officers. After reviewing the application and the financial status of the Village of Mantua, Harry felt the Village could not guarantee employment for one year following the three-year period for the grant program. Harry would request that we pass on this round. Ben asked if Council made a motion to have him do the grant application. Members said yes. Ben said then we need to move to rescind that request.

Motion to rescind Council’s request for the Chief to do the grant application made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote.

Harry also reported the siren tower will be done, weather permitting, at 4:30 p.m. today.

Village Administrator, Ed Trego reported on the letter for the northeast quadrant water test. The water pressure was tested in three locations between May 4 and May 27. The area static pressure falls within EPA standards, however, when the pumps come on, it drops. He would ask that our Engineer look into the costs to have slow opening and slow closing water valves installed. Leslie from the EPA has asked to be kept in the loop. Linda Clark asked what the high service pumps do. Ed said we have three water wells, as the reservoir drops; the pumps pump water through the system. The Mayor asked if it would be covered under C.T.’s retainer.

Ed said he was not sure, Rich would be the one to answer that question and he is out of town right now. Ed also reported that a company contacted him who wishes to work on our historic sign as a project to use for their brochure. This would be at no cost to us. The chopper pumps are being ordered, well, at least one. The baskets will be fabricated.

Brian Rogers, Engineer with C.T. Consultants forwarded a memo to their hydrologist to review; that would be covered under their monthly retainer.

Shade Tree: Linda Clark reported Arbor Day doing well and thanked all those who helped. With Jenny’s assistance, the Village is now registered with Council members still all need to sign up on the website.

Service: Linda Schilling reported at last month’s Service Committee meeting they talked about doing some projects, however, there would not be many since we have no money. Linda said that she is attending the Downtown Revitalization meetings to report back to Council.

Parks: Marty reported they are waiting on Charlie to repair his bucket. There is a little less water at the worksite and Marty is waiting to hear from Dick Krzys.

Reporting for the Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department, Marty said like the Village, they are watching every penny. They have been hammered by 2 to 3 calls at a time requiring multiple squads to go out, costing more money.

Planning: Mayor Donna Hawkins reported they had a good Planning meeting. The items they discussed will be coming before Council.

Finance: Ben said the Finance meeting would be Thursday before Council at 6:30 p.m.

BZA: Roger said it has been quiet; however, a hearing will probably be coming up soon.

Safety: Giles said they did not have a Safety meeting because the Chief was out of town.

Marty reminded everyone that the deadline for Mantua Matters is July 26.

Linda Schilling asked for clarification. At last month’s meeting, Donna had said the funds raised by the Regatta would be donated to the Village to go toward the repair of the fountain. Donna said that is correct. Linda had heard at the revitalization meeting, they had talked to the same person as Donna had and were told that everything after the insurance was paid was going to the downtown revitalization. Linda felt there was some cross communication. The Mayor said she just received an email from Ross at 6:00 p.m. this evening wanting to meet with her to hand her their check. Donna spoke with Ross regarding this and he does not understand where the revitalization got that impression.


John Heinl said the waste removal agreement sounds too good to be true. Linda Clark said that what was passed out tonight to Council allows it to go out for bids.

Wes Hawkins asked about getting brochures made regarding the income tax and water/sewer rates to inform the citizens and get everyone on the same page.

Motion to have Service and the Village Administrator clean the backfill out of the drains in the mausoleum made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. Ed said he filled in the drain temporarily for safety reasons until after Memorial Day. All ayes on vote.

Motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 p.m. made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. All ayes on vote.

Mayor Donna Hawkins

Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August