Meeting Minutes (11-15-21)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
November 15, 2021
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on November 15, 2021.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Dale English, Tom Kirkland, Anthony McDaniel, Jamie Hill, Carol Hehr, D. Ray Hughes; Mayor Mike Ricer, Village Administrator Kevin Brooks, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Councilwoman Carol Hehr made a motion to accept the November 1, 2021 meeting minutes. Dale English second. Motion passed 6-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
Bob Allen, E. L. Robinson – Mr. Allen distributed the rate analysis that he had completed to Council, he completed the analysis in three different sections on an excel spreadsheet that goes out to the year 2030. His suggestion is to only look at the next 3 years and he recommends the rate analysis be reviewed semi-annually just to make sure there hasn’t been any extraordinary expenditures or revenues. Mr. Allen does a trend analysis by looking at various types of information over a 3–5-year period such as, quantity of water produced, quantity of water billed, and water used but not billed. In 2020 the calculation of water used but not billed was 49% and for 2021 year to date it has dropped down to 26% so this tells him that we had some leaks that have been repaired so there has been improvement. Mr. Allen also spoke with Paul Robison and found that most of our meters are over 10 years old and as they get older they slow down and the Village is not getting the full revenue stream we are entitled to. Also, if water is losing revenues because of slow read meters it will affect sewer revenues because sewer rates are based on water usage. Replacing meters is a big cost, Mr. Allen highly recommends the radio read meters because they are much more accurate and the goal is to charge adequate and accurate rates to generate enough revenue to meet expenses. Mr. Allen included in his report rate comparisons from OEPA’S website, he also stated that it is becoming a struggle to find licensed water and sewer operators. Mr. Allen said that the EPA is going to start requiring Asset Management Plans for sewer departments, he recommends the Village start working on this. He stated that basically a utility is a business. You need to generate enough revenue to cover your operating costs, replacement costs, reserve costs, and debt reserve costs therefore, based on his analysis, he is recommending a rate increase. Village Administrator Kevin Brooks asked Council if they would consider appointing a Utility Committee to look at the proposed rates and come up with a recommendation. The Mayor replied that he thought it would be a good idea. Councilman Ray Hughes volunteered, and Anthony McDaniel, Carol Hehr, and Mayor Mike Ricer with Ray Hughes as Committee chairperson. Mr. Brooks would like to meet in the next week to discuss the rates and options. Councilman Jamie Hill asked if we could set up a public meeting once rates are decided on. Mr. Brooks stated that there is time, rates will not increase until the first of 2022 and he strongly suggests doing an Ordinance over 3 readings so that it doesn’t look like we are just trying to push a rate increase through without public knowledge and there will be 3 Council meetings to give the public opportunity to voice their opinions. Jamie Hill would still like to make it known that there will be public meetings taking place, he said he is concerned about raising water/sewer rates because of lower income families in the Village. Councilman Ray Hughes spoke up to say that he sees other opportunities for other improvements to help reduce the load we would have to pass on to consumers. The Utility Committee will be meeting in the next week.
Chris Kerby – Mr. Kerby, traveling clerk and Fiscal Officer of South Zanesville, has been working with Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard and Deputy Fiscal Officer Brenda Mauck on 2022 Temporary Appropriation’s. He gave Council a copy of 2022 Temporary Appropriations for Council review. Mr. Kerby wanted Council to know that South Zanesville does a 3% water increase every year. The Appropriation’s include a 3% pay increase for all employees in 2022 except Police and they will receive a 6% pay increase. He also stressed that this is the Temporary Appropriation budget for 2022, the final budget will be due in March 2022.
IV. Old Business:
V. Administrator Report:
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks announced that Mark Hoke, employee at the light plant, is retiring as of December 31, 2021. Mr. Brooks asked for a motion to accept the resignation/retirement of Mark Hoke as of December 31, 2021. Jamie Hill made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 6-0. Kevin Brooks stated that he has run ads in the Monroe County Beacon for the position at the light plant and the water plant.
Mr. Brooks asked for Executive Session regarding employee compensation at the end of the meeting.
VI. Fiscal Officer Report:
Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard stated that the October bank reconciliation is completed.
Lori Cunard will be attending year-end UAN training in Columbus November 30-December 1.
VII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Dale English – Nothing to report
Tom Kirkland – Councilman Tom Kirkland stated that there was a Finance Committee Meeting on November 5th. Representatives from Wesbanco attended to go over what they could offer the Village as far as checking accounts. Mr. Brooks spoke up to say that Citizens National is no longer able to meet the needs of the Village, so we have been looking into other alternatives. Wesbanco offered 2 options for business checking accounts and we are prepared to move forward with them after the first of the year 2022. Mr. Brooks stated that Wesbanco can offer a level of service that is needed for the Village.
Mr. Kirkland said they also discussed pay increases for 2022. Kevin Brooks stated that there will be a pay Ordinance presented to Council on December 6th with a list of positions, and the pay rates moving forward.
Anthony McDaniel – Mayor Mike Ricer asked about the improvements at the EMS building. Anthony McDaniel replied that new lighting has been put in, the stove plug has been relocated, new shelving has been put in, some renovations to sleeping quarters upstairs, and the only project left is the shower. Village Administrator Kevin Brooks spoke up to say that it was done under budget.
Jamie Hill – Nothing to report
Carol Hehr – Councilwoman Carol Hehr received a letter from ODNR. The letter was informing her that the Village is awarded $18,640.00 for the walking trail exercise equipment through the NatureWorks Grant. Carol Hehr also said she had talked to Taylor Abbott regarding the land bank. She said that there is a list of 10 property’s that we need to find out if they are abandoned or not.
Ray Hughes – Nothing to report
VIII: Solicitor’s Report:
IX: Mayor’s Report:
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve Ordinance #1304-2021, Providing for Amending and Revising Specific Line-Items in the Appropriations of Expenditures for the Village of Woodsfield for the Calendar Year 2021 (as an emergency). Ray Hughes made the motion. Dale English second. Motion passed 6-0. Ray Hughes – Yes, Dale English – Yes, Tom Kirkland – Yes, Anthony McDaniel – Yes, Jamie Hill – Yes, Carol Hehr – Yes. The Mayor then asked for a motion to suspend the rules and pass Ordinance # 1304-2021 by its second reading (as an emergency). Jamie Hill made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Motion passed 6-0. Jamie Hill – Yes, Carol Hehr – Yes, Dale English – Yes, Tom Kirkland – Yes, Anthony McDaniel – Yes, Ray Hughes – Yes. The Mayor asked for a motion to suspend the rules and pass Ordinance #1304-2021 by its third reading (as an emergency) and adopt. Ray Hughes made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Motion passed 6-0. Ray Hughes – Yes, Anthony McDaniel – Yes, Dale English – Yes, Tom Kirkland – Yes, Jamie Hill – Yes, Carol Hehr – Yes. Ordinance # 1304-2021 adopted.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Ray Hughes second the motion. Motion passed 6-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court Report, October, 2021. Dale English made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second the motion. Motion passed 6-0.
X. Un-Registered Visitors:
Dale English made the motion to go into Executive Session regarding Employee Compensation. Carol Hehr second. Motion passed 6-0. Executive Session entered at 7:09 p. m.
The Mayor asked for a motion to return to Regular Session. Jamie Hill made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Motion passed 6-0. Regular Session entered at 7:20 p.m.
The motion was made for a 3% pay increase for full-time employees except Police Department who will get a 6% increase effective the first pay period of 2022. Dale English made the motion. Jamie Hill second. Motion passed 6-0.
Councilwoman Carol Hehr would like for the Village to decorate the tree at the corner of the Courthouse. The Village had said last year that it would be the last year we would do it because the Village is doing our own tree and Christmas display. She feels that since we have always done it we should be good neighbors and do it for the County. Carol Hehr made a motion to decorate the tree at the Courthouse for County and its residents. Jamie Hill second. However, after some discussion Council felt this was not a Council decision but an administrative decision so the motions were rescinded. Village Administrator Kevin Brooks stated that we will do the decorations on the tree again this year but it will be our last year. After more discussion it was decided that in future years if the County Commissioners would still like the Village to do the tree they will need to ask and not assume the Village will do it.
Councilman Anthony McDaniel made the motion to Adjourn from Session. Carol Hehr second the motion. Motion passed 6-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Michael E. Ricer, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer