Meeting Minutes (6-5-23)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
June 5, 2023
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on June 5, 2023.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Tom Kirkland, Anthony McDaniel, Leann Harper, Tiffany Ramsay, Matt Schaber, Mayor Carol Hehr, Deputy Fiscal Officer Brenda Mauck, Village Administrator Kevin Brooks, and Solicitor Ryan Regel.
Absent: Council member Dale English, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Leann Harper made the motion to accept the May 15, 2023 meeting minutes. Matt Schaber second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
Amanda Seevers – Amanda Seevers attended the meeting to thank Council for all the support they give during the planning of the Alumni Weekend. She wanted to make sure that ODOT had been notified of the request to close the square to traffic for the parade. Kevin Brooks said ODOT has been notified and the approval has been received. She also asked if a Police Officer could come down to City Park during parade line-up due to some traffic issues they have had in the past. Village Administrator, Kevin Brooks said he would talk to Chief Corey Jones about having one of the officers there.
Gwynn Stewart, Monroe Arts Council – Gwynn Stewart attended the meeting for a couple things, one being that she has been trying to get an Official Ohio tourism sign for the Village. She called ODOT but they told her it needed to go through the Village. She called Kevin Brooks and left a voicemail and also the Street Superintendent, Andy Copley, and she also emailed Andy Copley but they neither called her back nor emailed her. Mayor Carol Hehr stated that she has been in touch with Eric Davis from ODOT trying to get information for Mrs. Stewart regarding the signage, but she has not heard back from Mr. Davis. Mrs. Stewart replied that she was already in touch with ODOT, and they said she needed to go through the Village. Mrs. Stewart said she is disappointed by the lack of courtesy by not getting a response back from her phone calls and emails. She said that she knows she is hard to get ahold of because she is a busy person, but her email address was on the email she had sent, she left a call back number, and she would have appreciated a response.
Gwynn Stewart also attended to ask Council where the bulbs are that were planted in the islands. She said the bulbs were bought with money from a grant, which she helped write, in 2021. Mayor Hehr stated that the bulbs were removed to clean-up the islands for the “Welcome Home Parade” for the veterans. Mayor Hehr said she had tried to get in contact with Mick Schumacher regarding the islands and whether he wanted to maintain them as he has in the past. She got no response from him, so she talked with Street Superintendent, Andy Copley, who had done landscaping for several years and he recommended pulling them out because they were over-grown and crowded. Mayor Hehr said when she found out that the bulbs were bought with grant money, she asked the Village employees to dump the dirt from the islands up at the Fire Department. Mayor Hehr, her husband, and grandson went up and went through the dirt and they only found 2 bulbs. She said she takes responsibility for the bulbs, and she is willing to replace them out of her own pocket. Anthony McDaniel reminded Gwynn Stewart that people had been told months in advance of the pending construction downtown and they would have had time to dig up the bulbs themselves. Gwynn Stewart said she feels residents are getting tired of the politics and they are not going to want to help out the Village anymore. She said she feels like they are up against a brick wall. She also stated that the User Agreement states that the Village can go in and remove anything that gets planted at any time, so why would anyone want to sign it and plant flowers if they can be dug up at any time. Stewart thanked Council for listening and she hopes they understand why she is disappointed with how things have been done.
Delvin Wiggins – Delvin Wiggins attended the Council meeting in regard to the vacating of the alley behind his home on Church Street. He said that he and his wife have a very nice yard with several trees in the back and they enjoy watching wildlife that has come into the yard. He said if the alley gets vacated, he will be landlocked. He uses the alley to get a truck and trailer into his backyard to clean up fallen tree limbs. Anthony McDaniel said to Mr. Wiggins that even if the alley is closed, he can reach out
to his neighbors to establish a Right-of-Way to get to his back yard. Mr. Wiggins stated that if the alley is closed it would just take one of his neighbors to say no and then he couldn’t get to his back yard to clean it up when needed. He said that he has always gotten along with his neighbors and has done what he can to help them out when needed but there is always a chance that one neighbor could say no to him establishing a Right-of-Way if the alley gets vacated. Mr. Wiggins said he mainly uses the alley as a summer exit because obviously that is when he is doing the bulk of his yard work that needs to be done. Mr. Wiggins thanked Council for their time, and he hopes they will reconsider the vacating of the alley. Mayor Hehr explained that before we can vacate an alley, we are required to hold a public forum. The date and time will be advertised, and Mr. Wiggins is welcome to attend.
Sarah Dupray, First Nazarene Church – Sarah Dupray attended Council meeting to get permission to use the City Park on August 16th. The Church will be having an event to hand out backpacks with school supplies to children. They will have inflatables and other activities for children. Kevin Brooks spoke up and said we would waive the usage fee for the City Park, and we would have them sign a User Agreement due to the liability of the inflatables. Council all agreed for them to use City Park for the event. Kevin Brooks said we can advertise it on Facebook for them if they like. Sarah Dupray thanked Council and said she would update as the event date gets closer.
IV. Old Business:
DORA – Solicitor Ryan Regel said he is still waiting for the final decision from Council on whether they want to do the cups or stickers and the design of the cups or stickers. Mayor Hehr said she has been in contact with the City of Marietta, they hand out cups. She said they order the cups and have them sent to the permitted establishments; the cost of the cups is .47 each. She said she would like to hold off another 2 weeks to decide on the design. Kevin Brooks spoke up and said the cups need to be distinguishable. He said that if we use a red solo type cup it should be a different size or shape so the Police Department can easily recognize it as being DORA plus it will have the DORA logo or design on it that we decide on. Solicitor Ryan Regel agreed that they need to be easily recognized but he would like to have the major details in the DORA application before he sends it.
V. Administrator Report:
Kevin Brooks stated that he would like it on record that he did return Gwynn Stewart’s phone calls. He said he knows that he called her at least 4 times and she did not answer, and her voicemail is full so he could not leave a message. Mr. Brooks said in defense of the Street Department, they cannot get into their voicemail. He also wanted it noted that residents were told at least 6 months in advance of the start of the downtown construction project, and no one was ever promised that the flowers or bulbs would not be taken out. In Mr. Brooks opinion the downtown has never looked better after we went in and cleaned it up for the parade. He said you could not even see the bushes in the middle of the islands because the flowers were so overgrown and crowded. Mayor Hehr asked if anyone has come to him about the maintaining of the islands, he said he has had some inquiries, but no one has followed through.
Kevin Brooks reported that the downtown project is wrapping up, but he expects there will be a pretty big punch list. He said the cut out in the sidewalk at the corner of Marden Rehab is for a controller box that will put in. We are waiting for the mast arm signalization. As far as the back in parking, he said people who pull in will be ticketed. He stated it is back in parking only and if people try to pull in, they will end up causing accidents. Mr. Brooks said there is also a 2-hour time limit for parking. Mr. Brooks said the U-turn at the end of each island is a liability and to do the U-turn drivers will be crossing over double yellow lines so he is assuming the U-turn will not be allowed any longer. The flower boxes at each corner of the downtown square will be landscaped by Ponzani Landscaping. Leann Harper asked if we should just do the maintaining of the islands ourselves and she asked about the User Agreement. The User Agreement has been re-written by Solicitor Ryan Regel because the old agreement was very long and cumbersome, but the User Agreement is to maintain the islands. Solicitor Ryan Regel said he will send the new User Agreement out to all of Council so they can read it. Kevin Brooks stated that as of now the center islands will be maintained by the Village and left as they are. Mayor Hehr said she made several attempts to contact Mick Schumacher in regard to the maintenance
of the islands but has never gotten any response back from him. Kevin Brooks has concerns for what will even survive due to salt spray from snow plowing during the winter months. Mr. Brooks also stated
that they had talked about building a wall around the islands for safety, but people did not like the idea. Mayor Hehr spoke up and said that was due to Mr. Loveday and the islands being considered historical or not. Mr. Brooks said he does have serious concerns about anyone going into the center islands to maintain them for safety reasons.
Kevin Brooks asked for Executive Session regarding Personnel/Compensation and Property at the end of the meeting.
VI. Fiscal Officer Report:
Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard was absent. Deputy Fiscal Officer Brenda Mauck asked for any questions from Council, there were none. Kevin Brooks spoke up and said that the budget looks good so far but for the last 6 months of the year he is asking staff to watch spending because he is expecting revenue to slow down for the next 6 months.
VII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Dale English – absent
Tom Kirkland – Tom Kirkland would like for Council to decide on longevity this evening. The Finance Committee discussed this some time ago, but no decision has been made as far as continuing longevity, raising the amount, or doing away with it all together.
Anthony McDaniel – Anthony McDaniel reported on the Property Maintenance Committee Meeting that was held on May 30th. He stated that they talked about the idea of doing a re-imbursement program, such as the Sidewalk Program, but for businesses to do their store fronts. They also talked about ideas for Property Maintenance Fund usage. Anthony McDaniel said the committee would like to thank Council for agreeing for the Village to put up the money to do the work on the sidewalks in the downtown because they look amazing and having the new trash receptacles in the downtown is huge.
Leann Harper – Nothing to report.
Tiffany Ramsay – Nothing to report.
Matt Schaber – Nothing to report.
VIII: Solicitor’s Report:
Solicitor Ryan Regel received a contract from ODOT for snow and ice removal on the state routes through the Village. ODOT is changing the contract from a 5-year contract to a 2-year contract. There is no cost to the Village for this, but Solicitor Ryan Regel is assuming they are changing to a 2-year contract because of price changes. Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the signing of the contract with ODOT for snow and ice removal on state routes through the Village. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
IX: Mayor’s Report:
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the payment of bills. Leann Harper made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court report, May 2023. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the Income Tax Report, May 2023. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Leann Harper second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0. Kevin Brooks stated that by looking at the Income Tax Report it is easy to see that we made the right decision to go with RITA for income tax collections. As of May, collections are over $54,000.00 ahead of last year at this time.
Mayor Hehr reported that she is working on a Natureworks Grant to have the pool painted for next summer. The grant will pay $8,124.00 with the Village share of the cost being $3,149.00. Mayor Hehr
asked for a motion to pass Resolution #2023-03, A Resolution to Authorize the filing of an ODNR NatureWorks Grant Application for the Pool. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Matt Schaber second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Hehr reminded Council of the property that Sam and Pat Lewis would like to purchase from the Village, it is .462 acres on Berkley Drive. This had been talked about at previous Council Meetings. The Lewis’s have been taking care of this property for several years, they have paid for the property to be surveyed and the survey is complete. Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to sell .462 acres on Berkley Drive to Sam and Pat Lewis for $1.00. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Hehr said the library had the kick-off of the Summer Reading Program this morning. The theme is “There’s a Hero in all of Us”. She appreciated everyone who participated.
Mayor Hehr said that Rick Shipp, Monroe County Sheriff Department, had contacted her and asked for use of the pool for their dive team. He would like to use the pool early in the mornings and later in the evenings. Mayor Hehr told him he would have to contact Steve Eikleberry to make sure there are no time conflicts for use of the pool.
Mayor Hehr asked Tiffany Ramsay to report on the Community Strong Committee meeting. She reported that they did sell Ice cream bars, popsicles, etc. on June 3rd for the Veterans Parade. On July 3rd, fireworks night, they are going to have a festival starting at 5:00 p.m. They will be doing games such as cornhole and volleyball and there will be a food truck that will be set up. On the third Friday of each month this summer, they are doing music at the City Park, Mark Henthorn will be performing on June 23rd. There is also music scheduled for July 21st and August 18th. On September 9th the Committee is planning a Community Day from 11:00 They – 4:00 p.m. in the square. They are planning on bringing back the Halloween Parade that will be on the last Thursday of October. The next meeting is scheduled for June 15th @ 5:00 p.m.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to go into Executive Session regarding Personnel/compensation and Property. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Leann Harper second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0. Executive Session entered at 7:15 p.m.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to go back into Regular Session. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Leann Harper second. Regular Session entered at 7:40 p.m.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to promote Tina Tubaugh to Utility Office Manager at a starting salary of $35,000.00/yr. and pay her interim pay of $3.73/hr. (difference of current hrly. rate and previous Utility Office Manager hrly. rate) at 240 hrs. Leann Harper made the motion. Matt Schaber second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to hire Kassie Steele as Utility Office Clerk at $14.00/hr. to begin June 8th, 2023. She will be eligible for up to 3% increase after 6-month probation. Tiffany Ramsay made the motion. Leann Harper second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve a 3% increase in wages for Tyler Spence, Water Department. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Leann Harper second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for the motion to adjourn when Tom Kirkland reminded Council that he would still like to decide on employee longevity pay. The current longevity pay increase is .25/hr. on 5-year anniversary dates. Discussion followed on whether Council wanted to raise it to .50/hr. or not. Leann Harper said she disagreed with raising it to .50 because there are some years that there are several employees that will be eligible, one year in particular there will be 11 employees and she feels it would be too costly for the Village. Kevin Brooks spoke up and said that .25/hr. is only $520.00 a year. Mayor Hehr said that .25/hr. or $520.00 just didn’t seem like much and Anthony McDaniel said that he was ok to raise it to .50/hr. Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to raise the employee longevity pay to .50/hr. at
5-year anniversary dates. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Matt Schaber second. Leann Harper – no. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 4 – 1.
XI. Un-Registered Visitors:
The Mayor asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Leann Harper made the motion. Tiffany Ramsay second. Dale English – absent. Motion passed 5-0. The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Carol Hehr, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer