Meeting Minutes (7-5-22)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
July 5, 2022
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on July 5, 2022.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Dale English, Tom Kirkland, Jamie Hill, Carol Hehr; Mayor Mike Ricer, Fiscal Officer, Lori Cunard, and Village Administrator Kevin Brooks.
Absent: Councilmen D. Ray Hughes, Anthony McDaniel, and Solicitor Kristy Rothenbuhler.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Councilman Dale English made the motion to accept the June 20, 2022 meeting minutes with corrections. Tom Kirkland second. Absent – Councilmen D. Ray Hughes and Anthony McDaniel. Motion passed 4-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
Chief Corey Jones – Request Executive Session regarding employment/compensation to take place at the end of the meeting.
IV. Old Business:
V. Administrator Report:
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks reported that Councilman Ray Hughes had a schedule change at his employment, he will now be working on Monday evenings and will be unable to attend Council meetings so he will be resigning from Council. Mr. Brooks asked Mr. Hughes about the possibility of staying on and videoing or dialing in for the meetings but he has decided the best thing for him to do is to resign. Kevin Brooks asked that there be a motion to accept the resignation of D. Ray Hughes from Council and wish him well. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0. Mr. Brooks stated that according to Ohio Revised Code, Council has 30 days to name a replacement for the unexpired term of the vacant Council seat, the term lasts until December 31, 2023. If Council is unable to name a replacement within the 30 days, then it becomes the sole responsibility of the Mayor. He asked Council if they would like to run an ad or just post it on the Village’s wesbsite? Jamie Hill stated that he thinks advertising it on the Village website and also running an ad in the paper would be best, Council agreed.
Kevin Brooks reported to Council that he met with Street Superintendent, Andy Copley this morning and they have come up with 5 alleys that they would like to start with to vacate. One of the alleys is adjacent to Eastern Ave. and the others are adjacent to East High Street. None of the alleys are currently being used or are active. Kevin Brooks asked that there be a motion to accept the 5 alleys suggested by Village Administrator Kevin Brooks and Street Superintendent Andy Copley to vacate, then move forward with the survey and public hearing. Dale English made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Councilman Jamie Hill then asked if vacating them is the right thing to do, if they are not costing us anything why should we give them away? Jamie Hill stated that we just signed a contract for mineral rights and asked if we are giving this land away and not getting anything for it? Kevin Brooks responded that yes, we are giving them away, but we have not maintained some of them for years and he thinks this is the right thing to do because they are serving no purpose to us. The property owner would technically be entitled to the mineral rights through adverse possession if they choose to do so legally. Jamie Hill stated that the surveys will cost thousands of dollars and he is wondering if this is a very cost-effective approach for the Village, it is costing us money to give it away. Dale English stated that the Village can keep the mineral rights and does not have to sign off on them. Kevin Brooks also said that once surveyed the property goes back to the adjacent property owner so it will be reinstated making the land subject to property taxes again. Carol Hehr stated that she likes the idea of not giving the mineral rights away. Tom Kirkland asked, if we keep them and a resident asks them to be re-opened if we would then have to open and maintain them. Kevin Brooks replied that no we would not have to re-open or maintain them. Kevin Brooks said that he
would have to ask Kristy Rothenbuhler to be sure if the Village can keep the mineral rights when we vacate these alleys. Kevin Brooks said that this has been talked about for quite some time and if we are going to do it then let’s get it done or stop talking about it. Jamie Hill stated that he does not have a problem with vacating some of these alleys but he just hates to see the Village spend money to give a small stretch of alley away. Mr. Brooks said some of the alleys have already been surveyed somewhat recently and we should not have to spend the money to have them re-done. Motion passed 4-0.
Kevin Brooks stated that it is time to take the next step as far as the new Municipal Building. The architectural and design fees are $197,850.00. We have negotiated and would like to engage with CT Consultants for the architecture and design of the new building however, he knows there are grants available but will CT Consultants actively pursue the grants if we have already said we are doing the project with them. So Mr. Brooks is asking that Council give authorization to enter into an agreement with CT Consultants for architectural and design in the amount of $197,850.00 however, any work must be pre-authorized by the Village before performed and paid. CT Consultants will look for grant funding but if we don’t get grant funds for architecture and design, we will pursue for more grant funds for the construction phase of the project. Councilman Jamie Hill asked if this was something that does not need to go to bid. Kevin Brooks replied that no it does not. We are required to do a request for qualifications, which we did, we received 3 responses and because of past experience and comfort level with CT Consultants Mr. Brooks recommended negotiations with them. Dale English made the motion to move forward with CT Consultants for architecture and design in the amount of $197,850.00 but any work must be pre-authorized by the Village before performed and paid. Tom Kirkland second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0. Jamie Hill stated that he really hates to see this building get torn down, he feels the building can be used for a lot of things. Kevin Brooks said the building has several issues; there is no privacy in the offices upstairs, the restrooms are not ADA compliant, and there is very little storage. The building was designed as a church and was never really meant to be used as an office building. However, Mr. Brooks did say that if someone would make an offer of market value or above on the current building, we probably would sell but he does not feel that will happen because of all the obstacles with the building. Kevin Brooks stated that he is wanting the new building to become a standalone venue for events and spur economic growth. Mr. Brooks hopes that with the downtown ODOT project and the new building and development of the plaza in the south end of downtown it will encourage economic growth but if not, at least we can say we made the effort and tried. Mayor Ricer feels too that with a new building it may encourage the people who own the dilapidated houses in the downtown area to sell and make more room for businesses to come in. Kevin Brooks said that in the current building the Police Department is not appropriate because they do not have the space to conduct business. We have spent a lot of money the last couple years on new police cruisers and the new building will have a garage to park them in. Over half of the new building is going to be dedicated to the Police Department and allow them to conduct business on a professional level. Mr. Brooks said that they have engaged a couple local groups in regard to helping with the veteran’s memorial that is tentatively planned for the space that the current building is on. The main focus right now is the construction of the new building and moving into the new building and then we will focus on the plans for the current building and the space it stands on.
Kevin Brooks reminded Council that August 6th is when Shred-It will be at the City Building parking lot from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This is a free event, Village residents and Village operated businesses can bring paperwork to be shredded on site at no charge.
On Tuesday, July 26th we have a tentative meeting scheduled with Cobblestone, Jason Hamman, the investor group for the hotel as well as the bank. Jason Hamman found a bank willing to finance the project. The meeting will be late afternoon, early evening, Mr. Brooks will let everyone know for sure of the time later. The hotel has been green-lighted and everyone will be meeting together for the first time so we can get the project moving forward. This project will be located at the Ludwig Property.
VI. Fiscal Officer Report:
VII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Dale English – Councilman Dale English reported that the Fireworks were great. Everyone he talked to about it agreed.
Tom Kirkland – Councilman Tom Kirkland reported the same, he has heard a lot of compliments about it.
Mr. Kirkland asked if we had any idea on what we will be able to pave in the Village this year? Mr. Brooks said there is not a lot of money in the fund for these projects but the fund does grow because it is funded by the service fee. Mr. Brooks also said that we did more last year than originally planned but possibly in the fall we can do a small paving project. Mayor Ricer asked who is responsible for Old Brick Road because it needs some work. Mr. Brooks replied that we are responsible, the Mayor suggested talking to Charlie Brooks regarding chipping and sealing the road.
Anthony McDaniel – Absent
Jamie Hill – Nothing to report
Carol Hehr – Councilwoman Carol Hehr stated that the money for the Landbank was approved for $500,000.00 for Monroe County. The Village has 2 houses that will be torn down and 1 just right out of town on St. Rt. 800 which looks to be in town because the Corporation sign is in the wrong place.
Carol Hehr went to a downtown revitalization meeting; the Governor has approved $500 million to 32 Appalachian counties and we are one of them. She would like to see Woodsfield take advantage of this.
Carol Hehr would like to get a gazebo for the walking trail with the NatureWorks Grant she is applying for. We are able to apply for a grant of $12,409.00, our match would be $3,103.00 and there should be enough money to get 2 more pieces of exercise equipment, another picnic table, and a bench. The cost of the gazebo includes site prep.
Carol Hehr has the Resolution wrote up for Council approval. Jamie Hill made a motion to approve Resolution #2022-01, A Resolution to Authorize the Filing of an O. D. N. R. NatureWorks Grant Application for the Woodsfield Walking Trail Project. Carol Hehr second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
Carol Hehr also brought up the subject of entertainment in the Village when it begins. She does not want to see us competing with anyone if there is entertainment elsewhere in the Village so she would like to see us choose different evenings when there is other entertainment going on in the Village. Jamie Hill had mentioned previously the first Thursday evening of each month which Carol Hehr thinks is a good idea.
Kevin Brooks also wanted to bring to Council’s attention the problem with illegal dumping at the Cemetery. There has been construction material, grass and a couch dumped off. The Police Department installed camera’s and they have identified the suspect who has actually admitted to it. We do not allow dumping at the Cemetery, the only thing that has been allowed to be dumped is brush and that is it.
VIII: Solicitor’s Report:
IX: Mayor’s Report:
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the payment of bills. Jamie Hill made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court Report, June, 2022. Dale English made the motion. Jamie Hill second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the Income Tax Report, June, 2022. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to pass Ordinance #08-2022, An Ordinance Providing for Amending and Revising Specific Line-Items in the Appropriations of Expenditures for the Village of Woodsfield for the Calendar Year 2022 and Declaring an Emergency. Jamie Hill made the motion. Carol Hehr
second. Dale English – yes, Tom Kirkland – yes, Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0. The Mayor asked for a motion to suspend the rules and pass Ordinance #08-2022 by its second reading,
Declaring it an Emergency. Dale English made the motion. Jamie Hill second. Tom Kirkland – yes, Carol Hehr – yes, Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0. The Mayor then asked for a motion to pass Ordinance #08-2022 by its third reading, Declaring it an Emergency and adopt. Carol Hehr made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Dale English – yes, Jamie Hill – yes, Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0. Ordinance #08-2022 adopted.
X. Un-Registered Visitors:
Carla Wobschall wanted to verify that the $197,850.00 with CT Consultants is for design only and not construction. Council verified that it is just for the cost of architecture and design.
The Mayor asked for a motion to go into Executive Session regarding employment/compensation, no action to be taken due to lack of majority. Jamie Hill made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0. Executive Session entered at 6:25 p.m.
The Mayor asked for a motion to go back into Regular Session. Jamie Hill made the motion. Dale English second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0. Regular Session entered at 6:40 p. m.
Kevin Brooks also wanted Council to know that he has talked to Kayla Ruble. During football season she will be setting up tables inside the tennis courts hosting tailgating parties and will be showing video’s and having food. Being inside the tennis courts will have them out of the way of traffic.
Councilman Jamie Hill made the motion to Adjourn from Session. Carol Hehr second. Anthony McDaniel – absent. Motion passed 4-0. Meeting adjourned at 6:42 p.m.
Michael E. Ricer, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer