Village of Mantua
Finance Committee Meeting
June 13, 2009

Call to Order- 8:01 A.M.

Roll Call: Ben Prescott, Roger Hawkins, Jim Rogers

Others: Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August, Councilman Marty Hura, Councilman Giles Seith, and Residents Linda Clark and Norm Erickson.

Minutes from the May meeting: Ben asked if Kotkowski is covered? Jenny said yes. Linda Clark asked if that is a “rider” and when was it put in place.

Motion to approve the Minutes from the May meeting by Jim Rogers, seconded by Roger Hawkins.

Financial Reports. Jenny said that the water & sewer funds will go into the negative after the OWDA payment at the end of this month. Jenny discussed speaking with the Portage County Water Resources regarding the Aurora Meadows project. She was told that the project is in “deep design” stage to be completed in September, and they should break ground by January. We can expect to see some type of revenues in 2011, but not likely something to budget for in 2010. Jim asked Ben if the County got stimulus money to run the water line out to Coit Road. Ben wasn’t sure. Linda asked for a copy of the bill from Christley, Herington and Pierce. The invoice didn’t mention which Trust fund it was regarding. Linda asked if someone could research it? Jenny said she would call them and find out.

Legislation: Ben reviewed the legislation that will be presented at the Council meeting Tuesday.

  1. For 2009-29, Ben said we need to pass the budget as an emergency so it can be turned in to the County before the deadline. Ben said Harry’s budget was left exactly as he submitted it, however, Ed’s budget got dinged and the County will probably ding it some more.

  2. For 2009-31 and 32- Ordinance 2009-31 is including advertising fees, and we do not want to ask the residents to pay that. Jim asked where is “Dish” on this? Why doesn’t it include Dish? Jim suggested that I call other communities and see if they get it. Ben said we need to ensure that they are going to repair the equipment. Jim asked how this came upon us so fast. Ben said we need a board or something to post contracts so we know when they are up for renewal and have more time to prepare. Ben said we will have to suspend the rules and pass one of them.

    Norm asked who pursued this contract with Time Warner? Ben said we have had the contract for a long time. Norm said Finance should have a copy of the contract before passing it at Council. Ben said he would prefer that Michele looks over the contract. Ben thinks we need to ask for an extension and clear some things up. Jim said we should turn this over to Michele.

    Jim asked if the Finance Committee is going to take a position on one of them to recommend to Council? Ben felt that Finance should recommend the 2009-32 which does not pass on advertising fees to the residents. It doesn’t make us rich and it doesn’t make them poor, so why do it? Jim made a motion to recommend 2009-32, Ben seconded it. Roger asked what the advertising fees will do for us. Jim said the net result will be that it will be an increase to the residents. Roger said if it will cause the residents more money, than we shouldn’t do it. Jenny called the question. All ayes on vote. Linda Clark asked how much the Village would benefit. Nobody had a dollar amount.

  3. 2009-33- Contract with the Village of Hiram for dispatching services. Jim asked if the resulting revenue would go into the Police budget. Jenny said that she suggested to Harry that we split the revenues with General Fund (Police budget), and Police Capital to start saving for replacing the Cruisers rather than taking out a loan when we need new ones. We should be able to put $12,000 per year towards the purchase of a cruiser. Harry felt it was a good idea. Jim asked if Hiram is going three readings. Jenny said yes. Jenny said Harry recommended that we go three readings just like Hiram does.

  4. 2009-34 Amend appropriations in order to make Income Tax refunds. Ben explained accidental withholdings by companies. Jim asked how much. Jenny said $2,500.00. She said last year we paid out $17,000 in refunds, so we have whittled it down considerably. She said it is normally someone with a township address that their employer withholds Municipal Income Tax as a courtesy.

Bills of Resolution:

  1. Roger asked about the cement charge for footers. Jenny said it is for the cemetery. Roger asked about the guy who is repairing the storm sewers. Jenny said his bill came yesterday and we will have it on the addendums list.

  2. Linda asked about the Park wages. What are the guys doing? Jenny said it would be an Ed question, because with someone else mowing, she doesn’t know what they are doing. Linda asked who is in charge since Ed is off. Jenny said Donna Maynard is signing off on all of the invoices and the timecards.

  3. Norm asked if we belong to a consortium for buying fuel? Ben said Ed belongs to a Co-op.

  4. Linda asked why the Solicitors nameplate came out of Security. She said John Vechery’s nameplate did not come out of Police. Jenny said there is a small budget for Zoning, but there is not one for Solicitor.

  5. Linda asked about Michele’s pay. Jenny said Michele is on a monthly salary, and after withholdings, the amount on the line is her pay.

  6. Linda asked what are the confidence letters? Jenny said it was something for the EPA. Jim said all residents got this letter for water quality. Roger wondered if all of the residents could get letters like this by e-mail, or anything that requires a stamp. Jenny said it could be EPA mandated similar to his Zoning letters that there could be a requirement that they are sent via US Mail.

  7. Linda Clark asked why we have a bill for CT Consultants for Mercury Variance. Ben said Ed could not do the required forms, so CT had to do the Mercury variance, which must be done and must be certified. Years back, someone authorized the purchase order, and they were finishing it. Linda asked if Council authorized the work. Ben said it was an open Purchase Order from April 2007. Linda said she thought our debt was free and clear after we settled with them a few months ago. Linda said she thought at that point anything should have been approved by Council. Ben said we were in violation and had to get this done. Jenny said she feels that they should get a Purchase Requisition every time they are going to incur costs. This way we can expect to pay them. Jenny said we have closed all of the open Purchase Orders with them. They know when they are going to be working on something and they should get authorization. Marty said they have to go to Council for approval instead of just Ed. Ben said that was corrected in the contract. Norm said maybe the Village Administrator should request approval from Council. Jim said that is the correct chain of command. Jenny said we are obligated to pay them, but we never know until after the fact. Norm said we really may not be obligated to pay if they are doing work without Council approval. Marty said the contract is not worth the paper it is printed on if we keep allowing them to work without Council authorization. Linda asked if someone could find out how many work authorizations are open. Jim asked if we could find out from Donna Maynard. Jenny said she won’t know without asking Ed. Then Linda Clark asked why we are calling Ed when he is out on sick leave. Why isn’t the Mayor the one being asked.

Motion to recommend the Bills of Resolution to Council by Jim Rogers, seconded by Ben. All ayes.

Other Business:

  1. Ben said there has been some discussion at Regional Planning about the Village applying for a grant. This grant is to rewrite the Zoning for the Village. Ben spoke with Bob Harris at Regional Planning. There is a grant for $5,000, but the Village will have to match about $1500.00. Ben said we can rezone what we please. It is something that must go through Council, have meetings and studies and discussions, and make sure everyone agrees that we want to make these changes. Nobody should just go ahead and try to make zoning changes without talking to Council. If we match that, then people will say we should have done an in kind match with storm sewers. Ben said the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Code work together. Roger asked how many hours is that $1,500.00. Ben said those are TA hours. Technical Assistance hours are just to write the grant and make the application, but that is not the in kind work. Roger thought that the Planning Committee could work so many hours on the Zoning for in Kind hours. Jim said we don’t get paid. Marty said in kind must actually be paid out by the Village, or you can get the material or time donated to get reimbursed. Jim said with everything else going on, do we need to revise our Zoning right now? Ben asked how do we know everyone will agree with the changes. Roger said it should be a recommendation at Planning. Linda asked what the recommendations were, and Roger said he didn’t know. Jim said there are some plans by Advanced Rehab, and some on Charlie English’s property. Ben said Bob Harris is talking about doing a total rezone of the Village. Jenny asked Ben if he said Council has the authority. Ben said yes. Jenny said “Why would we pay someone to do it then?” Roger said there is a lot of studying to do. Ben said we will bring it up at Planning.

  2. Ben said we will need to get into the Personnel handbook and start looking at areas that need revisions. We need rulings on overtime from the Solicitor. Jim asked if we can set Michele on this. Roger asked what Committee should be looking at this. Jim said Finance, and we are also the audit committee. Ben said we need to look at accumulation of leave balances. Norm asked if we have a Personnel Committee. Ben said we are a Statutory Village, not a Charter, which is why a lot falls under Finance. Roger said Michele could take a look at it, and then Finance could look over her recommendations. Marty said the Finance Committee should review the Personnel Handbook and then ask the Solicitor to look over the issues and then recommend changes to Council. Jim said we can all read it.

  3. Norm asked if we have a record retention committee. Ben said Yes, we are required by law, and we are required to have a Public Records Official, but the Chief laid ours off. Ben asked Jenny if she is going to do it. Jenny said she has been to the class, but thought we were going to send Michele for training. Ben said we are working on getting someone trained. Ben thought it cost about $10,000 to train Rodney. Ben said you have to be a certified Public Records Official.

  4. Norm asked how much OT we are paying on the weekends. Jenny said we are paying for 2 hours each day to either Ed or Tom. Norm asked why we don’t have a Tuesday through Saturday shift to avoid such a significant amount. Ben said Ed said we couldn’t do that. Jenny said Local Government Services recommended that we do that also. Ben said we are going to look into it. Ben said snow plowing is a different story. Jenny said our total wages paid out for 2008 were $1,000 higher than in 2007, which is after layoffs, so overtime must have been a factor. Marty said they get paid for two hours for coming in on the weekends, even if it takes 15 minutes. Marty said they recommended that they do some other things like check the Parks while they are here, but it couldn’t be done.


  1. Roger asked if the tower is going out for bids? Ben said no, it’s under the dollar. Council must approve the bid. Jim said if we rebuild the tower, rebuild the platform and put up a flag, then it has to be lighted. Ben said we will wait for the Chiefs update on it, and then discuss it further at the next Finance meeting. It was $3,900 to remove the tower, and more to fix the platform. Roger asked if they would carry the full insurance in case something happens. Ben said we need to have the Solicitor look into who can work for the Village and who can’t. Ben asked why the tree guy has to pay workers comp and prove insurance, but not the grave digger.

  2. Linda Clark questioned what the policy is for employees using Village vehicles for personal use, such as stopping at the bank. Norm said it goes back to a Personnel Committee such as the school board has. Jenny said Ed and Harry have some sort of a yearly contract with the Mayor. Ben said Council is responsible for the Department Heads because they are employees of the Village and they are responsible to the Mayor and Council. Norm said it seems like there is some confusion at times, and it makes it difficult to function. Jim said we will all read the Personnel Handbook, each of us will come up with our issues, give them to Michele, and then Council can make changes. Jim said the Personnel Handbook has not been overhauled in the eight years he has been on Council.

  3. Roger said to Jenny that the Mayor has requested a copy of this meeting since she cold not attend since she was at the Soap Box Derby.

Motion to adjourn at 9:44 A.M. by Jim, seconded by Roger. All ayes.

Ben Prescott, Chair of Finance

Jenny August, Clerk-Treasurer