Meeting Minutes (3-21-22)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
March 21, 2022
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on March 21, 2022.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Dale English, Tom Kirkland, Anthony McDaniel, Jamie Hill, Carol Hehr, and D. Ray Hughes; Mayor Mike Ricer, Village Administrator Kevin Brooks, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Councilman Ray Hughes made a motion to accept the March 7, 2022 meeting minutes. Carol Hehr second. Anthony McDaniel – abstain. Motion passed 5-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
IV. Old Business:
Mayor Ricer stated that he would be contacting the gentleman regarding the locomotives. The Village will donate the locomotives for restoration. Councilman Ray Hughes asked to be sure that once restored they will bring them back to the Village annually for special events on a date of our choosing as talked about previously. The Mayor replied that he would remind the gentleman of this.
V. Administrator Report:
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks stated that he has the latest rendition of the building plans for the new Municipal Building which he had sent to Council members but if anyone wanted to see the hard copy he has it this evening. Mr. Brooks said there were a few changes of moving some things around, but these plans are the general idea of the new building.
Mr. Brooks is going to pass around to Council a user agreement and release of liability. He has been working with Solicitor Kristy Rothenbuhler regarding the islands and bulb-outs in the downtown area. Once the ODOT Project is completed downtown, we will be documenting any organization or individual that would like to maintain or plant in the islands or bulb-outs and they will be required to sign the user agreement and release of liability.
The contract for the ODOT downtown project has been awarded to Shelly and Sands in the amount of $1,436,083.43. They will have 30 days to sign and send back the bid at which point we will have a pre-construction meeting and the project will start shortly thereafter. We do intend on taking a lot of before, during, and after pictures and posting them on the Village facebook and website, which has been updated and redesigned, so people can see the progress and the changes that will be taking place.
Mr. Brooks stated that the ladies in the Utility Office had asked if they could keep the office open an extra hour Monday – Thursday and then close at noon on Friday. Mr. Brooks said he or the Mayor have no issues with this and Council agreed this will not be an issue so starting immediately the Municipal Building will be open Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Kevin Brooks stated that on State Rt. 78 across from Riesbeck’s there is a garage that sit’s up off the highway. This is actually ODOT property which was verified by deed research. There was a “handshake” agreement approximately 20 -25 years ago that the Village can store equipment in the garage and Mr. Brooks has been working with Amy Zwick, Engineers Office, about replacing some steps that go up to the apartments above the garage. ODOT did not realize that they even owned it until a couple of weeks ago and have no interest in it so they have agreed to deed it over to the Village at no cost.
Councilman Jamie Hill asked when Tim Buckalew, street department, is retiring. Kevin Brooks replied that he is not sure of the exact date but he will check with the Payroll office, he believes it is March 31, 2022.
They are going to start interviews for the Street department next week but before hiring, Mr. Brooks wants to check to see what Mr. Buckalew’s pay-out is going to amount to. He would like some of that pay-out to roll off before hiring someone. Until we can safely take on the payroll of a new employee, we will be having Steve Eikleberry and John Anderson helping out in the Street department. The position is an entry level position unless someone is hired that has exceptional background skills. Jamie Hill then asked if we are going to be doing anything for Mr. Buckalew’s retirement and Mr. Brooks replied that
once he knows his exact retirement date we could invite Mr. Buckalew to a Council meeting and recognize him for his 30 years of service. Jamie Hill suggested inviting other’s who have recently retired also.
VI. Fiscal Officer Report:
Lori Cunard has Ordinance #02-2022 that the Mayor will be bringing up during Mayor’s report.
VII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Dale English – Nothing to report
Tom Kirkland – Councilman Tom Kirkland asked if Street Superintendent, Andy Copley had gotten a list of the alleys that are candidates to be closed. Kevin Brooks replied that he talked to Andy today and they do have an idea of the 3 they would like to go with. Mr. Brooks stated that there will have to be survey work done and then schedule a public forum. The alleys are one on Eastern Avenue, the second on Cherry Street, and there was one on Marietta Street but it has been excluded because there is a Dominion utility easement on it. They are talking about some other alleys but Paul Robison, Water/Sewer Superintendent will have to clear them to make sure there are no utilities running through them before a decision can be made. Jamie Hill asked if we have to survey each one of them and Kevin Brooks replied yes, the reason is that by law when vacating the alleys all property on the alleys is shared equally among the adjoining property owners. Mr. Brooks said that it is about $1,000.00 per alley to vacate them. Jamie Hill asked if it is more costly for the Village to get rid of them than to keep them?? Mr. Brooks replied that in the case of one of the alleys there has been a request by a property owner to vacate it.
Anthony McDaniel – Nothing to report
Jamie Hill – Jamie Hill asked if the Village is going to do clean-up day again this year. Kevin Brooks replied yes, the dumpsters are ordered for the end of April, first of May. Mayor Ricer stated that the Village will not be doing the mowing for property maintenance this summer because we are not getting anything from it. There are a few that pay which we will continue to mow but the majority will be discontinued.
Carol Hehr – Councilwoman Carol Hehr stated that she went to the Landbank meeting today. There was a bid opening for the asbestos survey. There was only one bid that came in and it was from Raze, Inc., they are out of Shadyside, in the amount of $24,300.00. That is for inspection only, not removal. The bid was accepted and the next meeting is April 11th. Mayor Ricer asked if this was for all the properties and Carol Hehr replied yes for all 27 properties.
D. Ray Hughes – Councilman Ray Hughes asked if something could be added to the user agreement regarding signage in the downtown. Mr. Brooks stated yes, he would talk to Solicitor Kristy Rothenbuhler and ask her to add something stating that the signage must be Village approved before anything can be posted in the downtown area.
Mayor Ricer asked Mr. Hughes if the monthly water/sewer report was to his satisfaction to which Mr. Hughes replied no it is not. He would like to know how much water is made, how much we are billing, so we know how much we are losing or not being billed. Kevin Brooks replied that Claudia Baker, Utility Office Supervisor and Paul Robison, Water/Sewer Superintendent are not submitting their reports at the same time as they should be, so he is only getting half of the report at a time. Mr. Brooks said he would make sure they start submitting them at the same time so all the information that Mr. Hughes is requesting is available. Councilman Dale English stated that there are still residents that don’t have working meters and Councilwoman Carol Hehr asked if the 45 accounts past due 60 days are households to which Mr. Brooks replied yes. He said that they have entered into a very liberal payment agreement. He has been working with the Utility office on revising payment rules and regulations. The change will take effect on the next months billing, they will be brought before Council to pass at next meeting and
will be posted at the utility office on the window and they will be followed exactly. Mr. Brooks also said that there are multiple people who have multiple payment arrangements. Going forward there will only be one payment arrangement per person and all payment arrangements will be in writing and signed by the customer and by Kevin Brooks, defaulting on a payment arrangement will result in immediate shut-off. Kevin Brooks stated that during the COVID shutdown in 2020 we were not allowed to shut off utilities and a lot of people thought for some reason they did not have to pay their bill at all and because of this when they got behind, they never got caught up. Mayor Ricer stated that it has been a domino effect with a lot of customers and Mr. Brooks said this is not the fault of the staff working the utility office.
VIII: Solicitor’s Report:
IX: Mayor’s Report:
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Jamie Hill made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 6-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court Report, mid-March, 2022. Ray Hughes made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Motion passed 6-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to pass Ordinance #02-2022, An Ordinance Providing for Amending and Revising Specific Line-Items in the Appropriations of Expenditures for the Village of Woodsfield, during Calendar Year 2022 (Declaring an Emergency). Jamie Hill made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Dale English – yes, Tom Kirkland – yes, Anthony McDaniel – yes, Ray Hughes – yes. Motion passed 6-0. The Mayor then asked for a motion to suspend the rules and pass Ordinance #02-2022 by it second reading (Declaring an Emergency). Tom Kirkland made the motion. Ray Hughes second. Dale English – yes, Anthony McDaniel – yes, Jamie Hill – yes, Carol Hehr – yes. Motion passed 6-0. The Mayor then asked for a motion to suspend the rules and pass Ordinance #02-2022 by its third reading (Declaring an Emergency) and adopt. Dale English made the motion. Jamie Hill second. Tom Kirkland – yes, Anthony McDaniel – yes, Carol Hehr – yes, Ray Hughes – yes. Motion passed 6-0. Ordinance #02-2022 adopted.
X. Un-Registered Visitors:
Councilman Jamie Hill made the motion to Adjourn from Session. Carol Hehr second. Motion passed 6-0. Meeting adjourned at 6:09 p.m.
Michael E. Ricer, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer