Meeting Minutes (10-16-23)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
October 16, 2023
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on October 16, 2023.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Dale English, Tom Kirkland, Anthony McDaniel, Leann Harper, Tiffany Ramsay, Matt Schaber, Mayor Carol Hehr, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard, Solicitor Ryan Regel and Village Administrator Kevin Brooks.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Anthony McDaniel made the motion to accept the October 2, 2023 meeting minutes. Matt Schaber second. Motion passed 6-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
IV. Old Business:
DORA – Solicitor Ryan Regel stated that he needs signatures of the Mayor, Fiscal Officer, and President of Council to get the paperwork submitted and once submitted it will be a waiting game.
POLICE LEVY – Mayor Hehr stated that under old business she would like to talk about the Police Levy.
She invited Chief Corey Jones to the Council meeting to answer any questions Council may have. Mayor Hehr said that we need to pass the Necessity Resolution for the Levy tonight. Anthony McDaniel asked if this Levy is the same as the last one, just some re-wording on the Levy. Solicitor Ryan Regel stated that the numbers are the same on this Levy but there has been more clarity on the language to make sure residents understand that the funds will be used for Police expenditures only. As it is worded now it states it will be used for Police protection and Police capital expenditures. The word “Police” was added before the words “capital expenditures”. Matt Schaber asked if “Police” could be added in the header of the Levy so that it specifically states, “Police Levy”. Solicitor Ryan Regel said that on the ballot it will not have a header. Village Administrator Kevin Brooks said the Levy would be assigned a number. Solicitor Ryan Regel asked if Council was now happy with the language that is on the Levy. Council agrees to the language, so Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to pass Resolution #2023-11, A Resolution Declaring the Necessity to Levy a Tax in Excess of the Ten-Mill Limitation. Council said they did not have a copy of the Resolution in their Council Packet. Solicitor Regel said he has a copy on his computer that he can circulate to Council but he wanted to make sure the language was agreed on before he sent a copy to everyone. He stated that it specifies Police protection and Police capital expenditures and everything else is the same as the last time. Mayor Hehr asked if anyone had any questions for Chief Jones or if there was anything he wanted to add. Chief Jones stated that as he had said before he and the rest of the Police Department appreciate the opportunity, and he feels the Levy is crucial for the future of the Police Department. Tiffany Ramsay made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Motion passed 6-0.
Kevin Brooks stated that he had a talk with Kreg Robison, MC Beacon. Mr. Robison had a good idea to advertise in the Business & Industry Guide. Mr. Brooks suggested that Chief Jones put an ad in the guide that explains the function of the Police Department with a report of their number of calls and activity log. Council agreed it would be a good idea. Dale English made a motion for Chief Corey Jones to work with Kreg Robison, MC Beacon to do an informational ad for the Police Department to be published in the Business & Industry Guide. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 6-0.
V. Administrator Report:
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks said he had updated Council on the situation at the Water Treatment Plant regarding the SCADA System. Mr. Brooks met with Brian Harrigan and Tyler Spence today and just so Council knows the hard drive crashed and we did not have a backup or spare parts. The SCADA rep was called and part of the reason they did not respond is that they are on the other side of Indianapolis, so it is a 6-hour drive for them to get here. They did trouble shoot online and they were here on the second day of the issue. There is a valve station on St. Rt. 800 that was put in 3 years ago, it
has never been used. The purpose of the valve station is so we can share water back and forth with Switzer, if they had an emergency or we had an emergency we can open the valve and share water. Since it had not been used no one knew how to use it so Brian Harrigan and Tyler Spence went out and figured out how to operate it. The other issue that we had was that we have manual overrides at the Plant, but the valve was stuck, and we could not get it open when we had the issue. Brian Harrigan and Gary Piatt went out and got the valve open, and the valve is now going to be exercised on a regular basis. We are going to purchase an extra hard drive for the computer system and we may go as far as purchasing a backup computer for the Water Plant. We still have around $34,000 of our COVID funds and have talked about a whole building generator for the Water Plant and also getting a hard line for internet through MCTV because service at the Plant is terrible. But the main issue is that we want to make sure we have multiple people trained on operating the shared valve and all the fail safes at the plant for when another problem comes up.
Anthony McDaniel asked about fire hydrants around the Village. Kevin Brooks said he and the Mayor just discussed the hydrants today. He said that the Volunteer Fire Department has little to no resources and they don’t get paid to come out and flush hydrants. Mr. Brooks feels it is the water/sewer department’s responsibility to flush the fire hydrants and we have the resources to do so. He is going to talk with Brian Harrigan about it and his suggestion is to do a different quadrant of town each quarter, there are approximately 25 hydrants in each quad, and it would take probably 2 evenings to get it done. Mr. Brooks said we have replaced a significant number of fire hydrants around town and have yet to implement a hydrant flush program and that is a problem.
Kevin Brooks asked for Executive Session regarding property acquisition and Personnel Compensation at the end of the meeting.
Mr. Brooks asked Council to approve the purchase of Christmas decorations, up to $7,500.00, for the 4 curb islands and the 2 center islands in the downtown area. The money will come from the Capital Projects fund. He stated that the Electric Department has started to energize the curb islands this week. Anthony McDaniel made a motion to approve the purchase of Christmas decorations, up to $7,500.00, for the center and curb islands downtown to come from the Capital Projects Fund. Matt Schaber second. Motion passed 6-0.
VI. Fiscal Officer Report:
Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard reminded Council that they approved the renewal of the health insurance with United Health at the last meeting. She wants to know if there will be any changes to the employee contribution for the monthly premiums. Kevin Brooks said he was planning on bringing this up in Executive, so he would like to defer this discussion to Executive Session.
Lori Cunard said the September bank reconciliation is completed and she reminded everyone that the Fiscal Office along with the Mayor, Village Administrator, and a few Council members will be at the OML Conference in Columbus from Wednesday through Friday.
VII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Dale English – Nothing to report.
Tom Kirkland – Tom Kirkland would like to set up a Finance Committee before the next Council meeting to discuss employee compensation for the year 2024. After some discussion, the meeting was scheduled for Monday, October 23rd @ 8:30 a.m.
Anthony McDaniel – Nothing to report.
Leann Harper – Nothing to report.
Tiffany Ramsay – Nothing to report.
Matt Schaber – Nothing to report.
VIII: Solicitor’s Report:
Nothing to report.
IX: Mayor’s Report:
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the payment of bills. Dale English made the motion. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 6-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court report, mid-October 2023. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 6-0.
Mayor Hehr reported that Andy Copley and Tim Lude are back to work after being off on sick leave and they are both doing well. Kevin Brooks said that Andy Copley is scheduled for his first surgery on November 9th which is also the same day that Dan Haralson is scheduled for his second surgery and neither of them anticipate being off for the balance of the year.
Mayor Hehr reported that the Community Strong Committee received a donation from the Eagles and the Brown Center had a steak dinner on Sunday where the Committee was asked to come down and sell raffle tickets and they were able to keep 50% of the money. The Committee appreciates the donations. The Fall Festival was held on Saturday, October 14th. Despite the weather it was well attended, and they felt it was a success.
Mayor Hehr reported that Trick or Treat will be held on October 26th from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. in the downtown square will be the old-fashioned Halloween Parade led by the Monroe Central High School Band. The Police Officers will judge the parade and the Fire Department gave a nice donation to get candy to do treat bags for the kids. St. Paul’s Church will be there to do activities for the kids after the parade also.
Kreg Robison, MC Beacon asked how much the Police Levy is for and the total. Solicitor Regel stated it is 3 mil for 5 years and $105 per $100,000 according to the Auditor’s appraised value. If approved, it will be for the March 2024 election.
Mr. Robison also questioned the curb islands and the landscaping. Kevin Brooks stated that Ponzani’s is supposed to come back and re-do the landscaping because what they originally planted is not what the Village had wanted. So, at no charge to the Village, they are coming back to re-do the curb islands. The plants in the middle will be replaced with small shrubs but the plants on the outer edge of the islands will stay the same.
X. Un-registered Visitors:
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to go into Executive Session regarding property acquisition and Personnel Compensation. Matt Schaber made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Motion passed 6-0. Executive Session entered at 6:00 p.m.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to go back into Regular Session. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Matt Schaber second. Motion passed 6-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion that the Village will pay the 12% increase in health insurance premiums and there will be no change to employee contribution for the year 2024. Dale English made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 6-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Leann Harper made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Motion passed 6-0. The meeting was adjourned at 6:05 p.m.
Carol Hehr, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer