Meeting Minutes (2-6-23)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
February 6, 2023
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on February 6, 2023.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Dale English, Tom Kirkland, Leann Harper, Tiffany Ramsay; Mayor Carol Hehr, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard, Solicitor Ryan Regel and Village Administrator Kevin Brooks.
Absent: Council members Anthony McDaniel and Matt Schaber.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Dale English made a motion to accept the January 16, 2023 meeting minutes as written. Leann Harper second. Anthony McDaniel and Matt Schaber – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
Andy Copley, Street Superintendent – Andy Copley attended the meeting to give the 2022-year re-cap. The street department services approximately 70 miles of roadway in our jurisdiction and operates with a 3-man full-time staff. The street department’s main function is to maintain the roads including state routes within our boundaries. Maintenance encompasses asphalt repair and replacement, snow removal, cindering and salting, street and alley sweeping, catch basin repair, traffic control and signage, line-stripe parking areas, operational and handi-cap areas, ditching for storm run-off, storm water infrastructure design and installation. In 2022 they installed thousands of feet of various size pipe at multiple locations throughout the Village. They also mow the grass along the roads and perform tree maintenance, residential brush and leaf removal. The street department opens and closes the grave sites at the Cemetery and assist in the maintenance of Oaklawn and Pioneer Cemetery’s. They provide interdepartmental assistance to all Woodsfield departments including ODOT, Monroe County Engineers Office, law enforcement agencies, and various contracting firms. Mayor Carol Hehr reminded Andy Copley that they also installed the exercise equipment at the walking trail, she really appreciates it and people have been enjoying it. Kevin Brooks expressed his appreciation for the Street department crew and said they are great to work with. They sometimes get the more undesirable jobs but they do what needs to be done.
IV. Old Business:
DORA – Addressed in Solicitor’s report.
V. Administrator Report:
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks gave the Council members a list of the lifeguards and their payrates for 2023. He said the lifeguards that are returning from previous years get a small increase and the Asst. Pool Manager gets a dollar more per hour than the returning lifeguards. Kevin Brooks asked for a motion from Council to hire Asst. Pool Manager Kirsten Rouse @ $11.35/hr., Lifeguards Kalista Friday, Kynzi Bishop, and Trista Morris @ $10.35/hr., Shaylee Burkhart and Kaleigh Safreed @ $10.10/hr. Leann Harper made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Motion passed 4-0. Kevin Brooks also asked for a motion to hire Kaden Buzzard as summer mowing helper for the park and also for non-compliant mowing at a rate of $10.50/hr. Dale English made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 4-0.
Kevin Brooks said the next item is the new hire for the Cemetery but he will refer this to the Cemetery Committee to make the recommendation.
Kevin Brooks gave all Council members an organizational chart that they had requested. Council was also given the wages and withholdings summary to look over. Mr. Brooks has asked the Fiscal Office to work on getting a total compensation statement done showing each employee and what they are earning with benefits and how much it is costing each department for employees.
Kevin Brooks reported that the year-end re-cap was done with Chris Kerby and there is a $111,000.00 gain in the general fund and we were $81,000.00 under in expenses for 2022. Mr. Brooks said that there were some expenses that should have been incurred in 2022 but were pushed back to 2023. The electric utility mapping for instance was first started in August 2022 but we did not get billed for it until January 2023. Mr. Brooks would like to invest some funds into some safe investments so the Village can
earn a little more on their money. Mr. Brooks would like to have the Finance Committee meet to work through this and get some suggestions. Kevin Brooks said we currently have $1.428 million in the Capital Projects fund, and he would like to talk to the Finance Committee about using $200,000 for street paving. The Village has not done meaningful street paving for about 20 years. A few years ago we established a customer service fee and a portion goes to a paving fund but it is not growing at the rate our Capital Projects Fund is. We would like to look at getting some grant money and may use the $200,000 as match money for a grant. This may delay the street paving for 6-8 months but if we could turn the $200,000 into $500,000 or even $750,000 with a grant it would be worth waiting for and this would maximize the service we could do for our residents.
Kevin Brooks would like to have Council get together around the second or third week of March for a Council work session on the budget. We did this a few years ago, Council would be presented the 2023 budget and they can see where we are going with capital expenditures and what it costs to run each department. He has asked the Fiscal Office to make sure we departmentalized costs so Council can see the total expenses to run each department and see what the total budget is. Mr. Brooks said he would like to get the Finance Committee meeting scheduled soon to talk over some of these issues and ideas and then report back to Council.
Kevin Brooks has a proposal from E. L. Robinson in the amount of $30,000.00 for additional engineering on Green Street to fix a sewer/water issue that is required by the EPA. This is in addition to the Phase 2 storm and sanitary sewer separation project, as well as continue smoke testing and it will become part of the EPA/USDA/OWDA loan and grant application. Leann Harper asked where the money was to come from, and Mr. Brooks replied that he was hoping to get grant funds. Mayor Hehr said that if we don’t get the grant, it will still have to be done because the EPA is requiring it. Mr. Brooks stated that the EPA can say it needs done but unless they are going to come up with money or an avenue for us to be able to afford to do it, it won’t be able to be done. So at some point these agencies need to work with us a little more to secure funding so we can get these jobs done. Mr. Brooks would like to expedite some of the Village’s long-term debt because that was one of the findings on the last audit, the Village has too much debt and that is also why we are trying to get as much grant money as we can. Leann Harper asked if we do not receive the grant does the project move forward and Kevin Brooks replied no, we would try again for more grants. Leann Harper made the motion to add the additional engineering for a sewer/water issue on Green Street to the Phase 2 storm and sanitary sewer separation project in the amount of $30,000.00. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 4-0.
Kevin Brooks asked for an Executive Session at the end of the meeting regarding Personnel/Compensation and action may or may not be taken at this time.
VII. Fiscal Officer Report:
Fiscal Officer, Lori Cunard said the Fiscal Office will be meeting with Chris Kerby, traveling clerk on Thursday to work on 2023 Permanent Budget. She is working on a debt schedule and payroll for the budget. Kevin Brooks spoke up to say that he is working with the Fiscal Office to get the total compensation that each employee gets paid including their benefits, he feels this is important for the employees to see what they actually make per hour. Each job within the Village has a significant amount of compensation attached to it.
Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard presented Ordinance #01-2023 to Council for approval. Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to pass Ordinance #01-2023, An Ordinance to Approve Current Replacement Pages to the Woodsfield Codified Ordinances and Declaring an Emergency. Leann Harper made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Dale English – yes, Tom Kirkland – yes. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to suspend the rules and pass Ordinance #01-2023 by its second reading, Declaring it an Emergency. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Leann Harper second. Dale English – yes, Tiffany Ramsay – yes. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to suspend the rules and pass Ordinance #01-2023 by its third reading, Declaring it an Emergency and adopt. Dale English made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Tom Kirkland – yes, Leann Harper – yes. Motion passed 4-0. Ordinance #01-2023 adopted.
VIII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Dale English – Dale English reported that the Cemetery Committee has interviewed 6 candidates for the Cemetery position. The Committee has hired Eric Preston for the position at an hourly rate of $13.00/hr. and his employment agreement states he will get a 3% raise after 6 months based on performance and 3% after 1 year based on performance. He is to start on March 6th. Mayor Hehr asked for a motion from Council to hire Eric Preston effective March 6th at a rate of $13.00/hr. for the Cemetery position. Leann Harper made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Motion passed 4-0. Kevin Brooks stated that the hire date was pushed back to March 6th because there is not a lot going on at the Cemetery now but he wanted him to start before mowing season so he could get acclimated to the computer system and equipment and move forward from there. Dale English said there is some brush that needs cleaned up too.
Tom Kirkland – Tom Kirkland asked when a good time for the Finance Committee meeting would be. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 13th @ 11:00 a.m.
Anthony McDaniel – absent
Leann Harper – Nothing to report.
Tiffany Ramsay –Nothing to report.
Matt Schaber –absent
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks reported that he was notified by AMP and they got the go ahead to submit the full application for the U. S. Government grant for the electric department. We had expressed interest in the grant, it is for the AMI meters. We will be sitting in on a webinar Friday and will have to pass Legislation if we want to participate in the grant that will replace the current electric meters with the AMI Meters. We had just agreed a few weeks ago to go with the Itron, but that is for the billing system. If we are successful and go with the AMP program, we would replace 1,700+ electric meters to the AMI meters and we would not have to read them but would still have to read the 1,254 meters for water on a monthly basis. This grant would give us all the electric meters replaced and 50% reduction in costs. Mr. Brooks says he feels we should see what they have to say, we may or may not go forward, but regardless we will still have to read some meters. He said anyone is welcome to sit in on the Webinar on Friday.
IX: Solicitor’s Report:
Solicitor Ryan Regel said he has been looking into the DORA District for the Village. He is also working on the BMV contract and the issue with the Dearth Trust which we will talk about during Executive Session. Ryan Regel has also been in contact with Mr. Bob Allen, E. L. Robinson, in connection with the grant for the wastewater project. Kevin Brooks asked about a contract he had gotten from the county regarding some shared roadways and Ryan Regel said he looked at it before the meeting and did not see any issues with it. He also said he has an application regarding the acquisition of the property across from Riesbeck’s that the State signed over to the Village. The application is to be submitted to make sure there are no taxes due on the property which he submitted with the Monroe County Auditor.
X: Mayor’s Report:
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion for the payment of bills. Leann Harper made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 4-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court Report, January 2023. Dale English made the motion. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 4-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the Income Tax Report, January 2023. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Motion passed 4-0.
Mayor Hehr included in Council packets the notice for the Health Department DAC Annual Meeting to be held on Monday, March 13th @ 6:30 p.m. She asked Council President Dale English if he could go to represent the Village. Dale English said a far as he knew now, he would be able to attend.
The Property Maintenance Committee meeting that was to be held this evening before the Council meeting has been postponed until February 20th at 4:30 p.m.
Mayor Hehr reported that she would be holding Mayor’s Court on February 13th at 4:00 p.m.
XI. Un-Registered Visitors:
Mayor Heher asked for a motion to go into Executive Session regarding Personnel/Compensation. Dale English made the motion. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 4-0. Executive Session entered at 6:10 p.m.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to go back into Regular Session. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 4-0. Regular Session entered at 6:20 p.m.
The Mayor asked for a motion to increase hourly wages for Tim Lude, Water/Wastewater Department, from $14.58/hr. to 15.65/hr. effective January 30, 2023. Tiffany Ramsay made the motion. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Leann Harper made the motion to adjourn. Tiffany Ramsay second. Motion passed 4-0. The meeting was adjourned at 6:31 p.m.
Carol Hehr, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer