Village of Mantua
Finance Committee Meeting
January 17, 2009
Call to Order- 8:03 A.M.
Roll Call: Ben Prescott, Roger Hawkins, Jim Rogers
Others: Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August, Mayor Donna Hawkins, Councilman Marty Hura, Residents Linda Clark and Kevin Vidmar
Motion to approve Minutes from Dec. 13th Finance meeting with correction showing that Jim was in attendance by Jim Rogers. Seconded by Ben Prescott Roger said if a draft leaves the office, it should be given to Council members first, especially since it is brought up in Council. Jenny said we normally don’t provide copies unless someone specifically requests, and then they are stamped draft. Donna asked if the minutes still show the part discussing longevity and Jenny’s trip to Columbus. Jenny said it is still there on page two. Jenny said the Finance meeting minutes are too detailed and should probably be reduced similar to the other committees. Linda Clark said she thinks the minutes in detail are important and should remain like they are. Linda said since there is discussion on things we vote for at Council. .
- 2008-48 Ben said this needs to pass at Tuesday’s Council meeting in order to make the dates of Feb. 7th or Harry’s books will be messed up. Kevin Vidmar asked how many Police we have. Jenny said we have the Chief and three officers full time, and about a dozen part time. Ben said it was left up to Harry to decide how he would handle the amount of money available to his department; finances, layoffs, etc. Eric asked if we have compared our size force to other communities. Marty suggested that we allow people to speak on the Ordinance before we vote on it. Ben said it would be fine, but it’s up to the Mayor.
- 2008-49- Creating a fund and line item to handle Water Capitol Improvements. Jenny asked it we need to amend this ordinance in case we don’t do the Crestwood project. Ben said we are required to meet debt service first, then the remaining can go towards capitol improvements. Linda Clark questioned the language in the ordinance stating that Council must approve how the remaining money gets spent after the debt payment is met. Ben said “No, Ed just sends up a purchase requisition to replace old meters.” Linda asked if the customers get billed for switching the new ones. Ben said he thought he was charged when his new meter was installed. Linda said they installed their meter themselves, but they had to pay for the meter. Ben said we would ask Ed.
- 2009-1 Adoption of the new 2009 Council Meeting Calendar.
- 2009-2 Sale of Old Village Hall
- 2009-3 and 2009-4 Incorrect wording. Rescinding the original ordinance and creating a new ordinance with corrections.
- 2009-5 Changing easement for Portage Park District
- 2009-6 Agreement with OPWC for Crestwood Water Line giving the Mayor permission to sign the grant. Linda asked if we have the easement from the school. Donna said she met with Joe Iaconno and he said the school board is misunderstanding the whole issue and they are thinking this project will raise the water rates. Donna there is a new school board president.
Bills of Resolution:
- Linda said on line 81 she would like clarification on the CT charge for billing the County. Jenny said she tried to get Rich to take that charge off and he refused. Jenny said she and Karen Garmon from the County actually figured the billing out before CT . Jenny said they are supposed to be getting work authorizations . Jenny felt that is something they should do as part of their monthly retainer.
- Kevin asked how many employees are covered on the Summa payment. He wondered how often this is reviewed. Donna responded that it is reviewed every year. Jenny added that employees are paying 5% and dropped spouses that have other available coverage, so we are doing things to reduce costs. Kevin asked where on the bills list are the costs to repair the sewer plant pumps that Ed said were in need of repair. Ben said it is something that Ed would have to submit a Purchase Requisition for.
- Jim asked about Tom having two charges. Ben said he got his bill in early, so we put both months on the list. Ben said we need to get moving on our search for Solicitor. Jim said the new bill is very close in the “General” area of what the retainer is supposed to be. He said our new contract should give us protection. Ben said we need to look at one year contracts instead of two. Ben directed everyone to look at the ad Jenny prepared for the newspaper. Roger asked if Finance would look at Solicitors or Council. Jim said Finance can recommend, but Council would do interviews in Executive Session. Jim said we would put a sign on the door and elevator that says Council is in Executive Session and just not let anybody in. Ben asked if we need to put the ad in all three papers. Roger asked if the resumes should be sent to President of Council. Jim said that who applies is not confidential.
- Linda Clark asked about wages; she said at Service meeting it was stated that ED, Donna and Tom are full time, and there are three part time; Mike, Louie, and Dennis Taylor. Linda said to save cost, she would recommend that we check into the hours being scheduled to keep from paying over time on the weekends. Ben said we will be looking into the Personnel handbook soon and maybe make some changes. Jim asked if they have to have a license to check on the weekends. Marty said no. Donna said Ed said it sounds like a good idea, but at this time it would not work. Ben said Ed takes directions from Council and will be addressed. Ben said there are requirements for lisencing and that is why we have Dennis Taylor. He has a Class 4 license.
- Kevin asked about the salt. He asked if we have looked into a purchasing consortium. Ben said Ed is in a co-op. Cargill. Donna said Ed gets the best price around.
Motion to approve by Jim, seconded by Roger. All ayes.
Ben said we need to make an ordinance to stop Purchase Orders after Dec. 1st so we can close the books. He stated that every other Village and township closes them down on Dec. 1st. If it is an emergency, we would issue a PO. Roger asked what kind of Purchases Ed was asking for. Jenny said at 2:30 P.M. on Dec. 31st, Ed was trying to get a P.O. for uniforms to buy new vests. Roger said we should do uniforms on a quarterly basis since they are so predictable. Ben said these guys have been here long enough that they know what they need and the Chief did real well by not ordering in December, and Ed should be able to order in advance. Roger asked if we could give him one week in December, and Jenny said we did give him extra time since Donna was off. Ben said we need to have an ordinance in February.
Jenny said the books are closed and we rolled into 2009 in good shape. We made the OWDA payment in Dec., bank reconciliation went well with no adjusting factors. Ben said next year we will get roughly 106,000 less than last year. With more people being laid off, we will have a really tough time not going towards the red in 2009. With the Auditor coming next month, there are issues that still need addressed. Ben said he has a copy of the tax return Nita Hendrix gave us showing that we still owe $95,000 to St. Gobain, and we still owe CT. We still have two finding not cleared up from prior audits.
Jenny said the old income tax debts collected this year were $2,784.56, but she added 67 new people to the list of tax payers. Jenny said there are two people she may ask Tom to collect from. Jenny is hoping to dedicate more time on the taxes this year.
Jim said Council can’t vote on anything that affects them in this term, so we are beating a dead horse. Council can vote on it, but it won’t come into effect until the next term or any new members. Jenny said if we increased to $50 per month, it would be the same as three extra meetings.
Roger asked if the money from selling the old Village Hall is 2008 or 2009. Jenny said she brought the check on the 31st, but the banks closed at noon, so it went on 2009.
Marty suggested we reduce the amount that Ed can spend without Council approval. Ben agreed and said it will be on the agenda for the next Finance meeting.
Kevin said we had discussed legislation to increase sewer rates at the last Finance meeting by 16%. He wondered if that passed. Jenny said a multiplier was used and it ended up being more like 5%. Kevin felt 5% was reasonable.
Linda asked if the stamps on the water bill had to be placed where they are, because they are blocking the information about the bill. Linda also said during a previous meeting, her husband asked if the charge would be on a separate line. Someone said yes. Now nobody knows who said yes. Then at Service, when this was discussed, it was said that their program only has room for four lines and they couldn’t separate it. Ben thought they could. Jim said it may take a new program. Ben said there is another program that most people use that would cut down on time spent on billing. Donna said she would check on a grant that may pay for new software. Linda questioned when the $5.00 charge would go into affect.
Kevin questioned the difference between Revenues and Expenses between Nov. & Dec. since the winter months are so expensive. Ben explained some points of Governmental accounting and what funds can be used for certain things. Jim explained that using the “checkbook accounting” theory, we got in trouble with the previous administration. Marty added in that we have to set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars from water & sewer for the semi annual payment.
Donna said she looked on line at the Portage County Building Department fee’s for Portage County. Jim said there is old legislation setting fees for the Village to have a building department. Donna said we should revisit it. Marty said there would be costs for inspections. Ben said the inspector would have to be licensed.
Kevin asked about property tax increases. Jenny said it was done two years ago by the County. Kevin asked about an Income Tax increase. Jim said a Police Levy would work better. Kevin suggested an increase in Income Taxes would be better to make money, and Donna said we have tried but it gets voted down.
Move to go into Executive Session at 9:30 A.M by Jim Rogers, seconded by Ben. Move to come out of Executive Session at 9:51 A.M. by Jim Rogers, seconded by Roger Hawkins.
Ben said to put $16,731 of the CT bills on the February Bills of Resolution.
Motion to adjourn at 9:54 A.M. by Jim, seconded by Roger. All ayes.
Ben Prescott, Chair of Finance
Jenny August, Clerk-Treasurer