Village of Mantua
Regular Council Meeting
September 16, 2008
Mayor Hawkins called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. and asked Sue to lead the pledge of Allegiance. The Mayor asked everyone to remain standing for a moment of silence for the passing of Richard “Chico” Kocica.
Roll Call: Donna Hawkins, Jim Rogers, Linda Schilling, Marty Hura, Ben Prescott, Roger Hawkins, Giles Seith.
Others Present: Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August, Asst. Clerk Susan Skrovan, Police Chief Harry Buchert, Village Solicitor Tom Reitz, Village Administrator Ed Trego, Rich Iafelice & Brian Rogers with C.T. Consultants.
Public: John & Karen Harper, Dave & Betsy Woolf, John & Linda Clark, Bill & Patsy Gast, Victor Grimm, Marie Stehli, Norm Erickson, Diane Smith with Record Courier.
Minutes: Motion to approve the meeting minutes of August 19, 2008 made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve the emergency meeting minutes of September 8, 2008 made by L. Schilling with a second from B. Prescott. Jim asked, since he was absent from this meeting, whether the minutes were accurate. Council responded yes. All ayes on vote. Tom Reitz explained that since Jim was absent from the proceedings he should abstain from the vote. Jim then abstained.
For the minutes of September 10th, the Mayor asked that the last sentence be taken out; it was not said during this meeting but at the earlier emergency meeting. Motion to approve the emergency meeting minutes of September 10, 2008 as amended made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. J. Rogers & G. Seith abstained, all other ayes on vote.
Mayors Report: Mayor Hawkins reported her recent attendance at a public records class. She met with the Governor’s regional director, Steve Meeks and took him on a tour of our Village. She spoke at the opening ceremony for the Mantua Potato Festival and rode in the parade. University Hospital held their open house, which was well attended. Donna presented a proclamation to TL Express and a Key to the Village to UH & Dr. Chen. The next Northern Portage County Government Counsel meeting is Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at the Fire Station at 8:00 a.m. The Mayor read a letter received from Commissioner, Chuck Keiper, on Portage County’s intent to purchase sanitary service from the Village.
Finance Report: Clerk-Treasurer, Jenny August gave the financial report as of 8/31/08. The Village has been placed on fiscal watch, which is much better than fiscal emergency. Local Government Services will be assisting our office at no charge to the Village.
Motion to approve the financial reports: appropriation status and cash summary by fund made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote.
Bills of Resolution: Motion to approve Bills of Resolution with addendum for September as submitted made by B. Prescott with a second from J. Rogers. All ayes on vote.
Rich Iafelice asked to speak on the stimulus package, which provides available funding for needed projects. The Village was successful in getting funding for a water improvement project. 80% of the project will be funded as a grant; the remaining 20% is local share. There is a 0% loan available to handle the 20% local share for a period of anywhere from 2 to 30 years. An analysis was done back in 1990-91 to move forward with the new water plant. The area around the northeast quadrant (Fernway, Ambler, and Coldbrook) pressure is severely low, especially for any fire protection. The maintained pressure should be 20 psi. The new water plant was erected in 1996. Improvements would need to be made to the high-pressure side, which now covers the new school. The existing 4” pipes are old and breaking and actually now probably only carry about 2” of water service. Small incremental rate increases should have been done every year, as recommended. This did not happen. Before Council tonight is only the approval for the Mayor to submit the request for this project. It does not commit the Village to the project at this time. It would be available January 2009.
Jim estimated the project to cost a total of $229,000. Our loan would be $50,000 over 30 years, which would make an annual payment of $1,700. The first payment is six months after completion of the project. Payments would continue in six-month increments. The project could be stretched out until January 2010, which would put the first payment due July of 2010. Roger asked how many people this low-pressure line affects. Ed Trego stated we have 530 total customers for water; he estimated 20-25% are affected. Brian said he was told by Donna about 75-80 people. Fire protection is 1000 gallons per minute at 20 psi. The northeast quadrant is probably 100 gallons. Linda asked whether the pipes by the high school parking lot are to be used. Ed responded the 6” line went in when they built the school, the 4” does not meet the standards; it is cast iron. Marty asked if the Village would need to obtain an easement from the school for this work. Yes, however, at this time, there are no easements in place with anyone, Ed said. Linda Clark felt all of Council should have copies of what Rich and C.T. have done back before they were on Council. Giles asked has there been any discussion with the school on easements. Ed stated that 3-4 years ago there had been discussion. Giles asked about the Franklin Street project, which had been funded and not completed; now the Village wants to incur more debt with another project. Giles stated everyone in the Village has a rating of six for ISO fire protection. Rich replied the ISO does not measure pressure. Giles said that it does and thought the Village may want to request a letter from the fire department. Tom responded he does not wish to request such a letter. Ed stated the driving force is pressure, 20 psi, which is mandated by the Ohio EPA. John and Karen Harper spoke on having no problems with their pressure. Karen asked Ed Trego what their pressure is for their home. Ed said they are probably at 30-35 psi at the hydrant.
Linda Schilling asked Jenny if the Village had the financing for the project. Jenny stated that unless this is a critical need, we do not have the money. Ed felt the Village has the choice to either do this project at $1800.00 per year, or wait until the EPA mandates the Village to fix the problem at our own expense of $200,000. Roger would like to see a door-to-door assessment of pressures and then assess every person .20 cents per month.
Tom said the Village is fortunate they do not have residents complaining about the pressure problem and do not have a negative ISO rating. The Village, however, must comply with Ohio EPA regulations. If the Village does not bring the plant into compliance, they will lose the ability to operate their own plant. Make your evaluation based on the proper criteria. You are in violation now; you just have not been caught.
Mayor Donna Hawkins spoke on the meeting she attended with Brian Rogers for the grant money. She felt this was by far the best deal we will ever see and highly recommends it. Brian’s firm works with 20 other entities and felt the same way; we will not see this again.
John Clark asked are there any documents on hand, which show this pressure problem. Ed said not on flows and pressures, he does document any complaints, and graphs are available. John is welcome to come down and look at them anytime. Ed is proud of the fact the Village does not add service charges to the bill, what you use is what is billed. Some years ago, an air relief valve was installed up by Fernway to help keep pressure.
RESOLUTION 2008-22 A RESOLUTION DETERMINING THAT FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS DICTATE A REVISION OF THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT CLERK FROM THAT OF A FULL TIME POSITION TO THAT OF A PART TIME POSITION, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. 3rd READING. Tom asked for an effective date. Jenny said the next pay period begins 9/21/08. Motion to pass with a date of 9/21/08 made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. Roger asked should it not take effect 30 days from tonight. Tom said it has the emergency language in it so it will pass and take effect immediately. Jim called to question which stops any more discussion. The vote was taken; R. Hawkins voted no, all other ayes on vote.
ORDINANCE 2008-30 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE VILLAGE OF MANTUA IN ORDER TO CLARIFY THE PROCEDURE FOR APPOINTING PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS. 2nd READING.
RESOLUTION 2008-34 A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A FUND TRANSFER BY THE CLERK-TREASURER DUE TO PROJECT COMPLETION, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. 1st 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. Ben explained this money has been sitting and needs to be moved back to where it came from. Call to vote. All ayes on vote.
RESOLUTION 2008-35 A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CERTAIN ADJUSTMENTS TO THE 2008 APPROPRIATIONS 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. Giles asked for clarity on this. Jenny explained what was being done with this resolution. Call to vote. All ayes on vote.
RESOLUTION 2008-36 A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE OHIO PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION STATE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. 1st READING. Motion to suspend the rules made by J. Rogers with a second from L. Schilling. B. Prescott abstained, all other ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by J. Rogers with a second from M. Hura. Jim spoke on the opportunity available the Village with this program. Call to vote. B. Prescott abstained, all other ayes on vote.
RESOLUTION 2008-37 A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE AMOUNTS AND RATES AS DETERMINED BY THE BUDGET COMMISSION AND AUTHORIZING THE NECESSARY TAX LEVIES AND CERTIFYING THEM TO THE COUNTY AUDITOR. 1st READING. Motion to suspend the rules made by B. Prescott with a second from J. Rogers. All ayes on vote. Motion to approve made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote.
Police Chief, Harry Buchert discussed the idea of having an inspection done on the siren tower, costing approximately $500.00. This would determine whether it is safe to keep. There may be money in scrap to remove it. Someone is interested in restoring the tower but we do not know the cost involved. Giles felt if we ever needed a tower for some kind of warning signal, it would cost more to put another up. Ed felt there might be funding available for restoration. Linda felt we should get an estimate. Harry said the cost of the inspection would tell us if it is restorable. Tom was asked whether it could come out of police capital improvement money. Tom responded it very well could if it is to determine the safety of the tower as it stands now. Marty asked that we check if there is any funding at the County. Ed suggested speaking with Janet Esposito, she would probably know.
Motion to allow the Police Chief to spend $500.00 or locate a grant made by B. Prescott with a second from L. Schilling. All ayes on vote.
Motion to approve the $100.00 donation for a marriage performed by the Mayor made by B. Prescott with a second from M. Hura. All ayes on vote.
Harry congratulated the Potato Festival Committee and Linda Schilling on this year’s festival. Halloween will be Friday, October 31st from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The next safety meeting is September 25th at 6:30 a.m. The extended warranties for the cruisers have come through. Jenny plans to meet with Middlefield Bank to finalize the paperwork.
Village Administrator, Ed Trego, conveyed the same sentiment to the Potato Festival Committee. The recent water break is completed and looks good. There was a second water break by Buckeye that needed addressed. Our Village was lucky with the recent windstorm, there was minimal damage. Ed asked to have the brush pickup put on the TV. The service department will be picking up brush as soon as possible, not just on the second and fourth Mondays. Ed thanked Rich and Brian on all the work they have done.
Planning: Jim announced the planning meeting is tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m.
Service: Linda announced the service meeting is the first Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. She thanked Ed, the police department and service department for helping with the Potato Festival. She also wanted to address a comment made a few months back regarding her and the Ethics Commission investigation, she called them, Tom gave her the number of the person he talked with. This person told Linda there was absolutely nothing that was going to be done, no fines she would have to pay, she would not have to pay the money back. He would be sending this in writing and emailing it to Tom Reitz.
Parks: Marty also complimented Linda on the very fine Potato Festival. He thanked Brian Rogers on facilitating plans for the observation deck. As chairman of parks board and in charge of cleaning the Park Lodge, he would like permission from Council to get rid of the carpet. Council members agreed with Marty to remove it.
Finance: Ben said they received the certificate of estimated resources back and are going to start working on the appropriations as soon as possible.
Safety: Giles said the Chief covered it. We have a new form to fill out for pre-grants.
Marty noted all of the recent activity behind the McDonalds regarding the Headwaters Trail & public parking lot. Charlie English donated time and equipment, Tom Aldrich supplied all the seed and the Park District is supplying all the materials for the parking lot.
Mayor Hawkins thanked Linda and her team for a wonderful Potato Festival. She thanked Brian and Rich for their work on the trail and deck. She extended an invitation to anyone who could help rake and seed. Marty said Charlie has done it all already.
Public: Linda Clark asked with regard to Resolution 2008-36, that Council please research the paperwork. She wondered why the Mayor was authorized to do this when we have a Village Administrator. Brian Rogers said OPWC regulates the Chief Executive Officer is the required person to submit the application. Linda also asked about the sign for Hilltop Church placed in front of Village property, does this now set a precedent for others. Tom said it does not set a precedent based on the Ohio Supreme Court.
Bill Gast asked how many C.T. Consultant projects have been done this year. If the Village only does one project a year, why do we need an engineer on monthly retainer?
John Harper has been in contact with his attorney over the last price increase for water and sewer. He researched this and found ORC 743.13 states that rates charged thereafter cannot exceed those within the municipal corporation by more than 110. His attorney, Dan, contacted Tom Reitz. John hopes by the next meeting there can be more discussion on the issue. Tom spoke with Dan today and said he would get back to him this week.
Ed commented about C.T. that over the years, many items have been handled by them because of the administration not stepping up in certain areas either due to lack of qualifications or time constraints. They have been a very valuable asset to the operations. Mayor Hawkins also spoke on behalf of the work C.T. performs for the Village from the Shalersville Industrial Park project to various grants and projects. Donna has no idea where we would be now without Rich or Brian’s help. She feels $3,000 is a very small amount to pay. Tom echoed the feelings about C.T. Consultants. We are in the midst of substantial negotiations with Portage County. If it were not for the foresight C.T. has shown, they would not be talking with us. $3,000 a year is a bargain for their services.
Bill Gast asked before we pushed water up to Mantua Corners, did we have a pressure drop in the northeast area. Ed said yes we did, however, water was not run to the Corners, just to the new schools. The system is capable in the future to push water to the Corners.
Motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:43 p.m. made by B. Prescott with a second from G. Seith. All ayes on vote.
Mayor Donna Hawkins
Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August