Meeting Minutes (8-15-22)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
August 15, 2022
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on August 15, 2022.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Tom Kirkland, Anthony McDaniel, Carol Hehr, Matt Schaber; Mayor Dale English, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard, Village Administrator Kevin Brooks, and Solicitor Kristy Rothenbuhler.
Absent: Leann Harper.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Carol Hehr made a motion to accept the August 1, 2022 meeting minutes with corrections. Tom Kirkland second. Leann Harper – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
IV. Old Business:
V. Administrator Report:
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks met with Shelley and Sands this afternoon and discussed the on-going downtown ODOT Project and where we are going to be next week. Shelley and Sands has enough work to get them up to the Square, ODOT has not been on-site for the past 3 days and there are some issues that need to be addressed with them. There are some issues with water and sewer lines needing replaced but how that will take place needs to be discussed with ODOT, Mr. Brooks is hoping they can touch base tomorrow. The next phase of the project is the bulb-outs being formed. Mr. Brooks has some concerns about that happening so early in the project because that is when the traffic patterns will change and the timing on the traffic lights will need to be adjusted. Also, there were about 10 days that the crews were going to be scheduled as night work, but we have agreed to move it to daytime to save from having to bring in light plants and due to some of the gas, water and sewer lines not being mapped they are more clearly seen during the day rather than night.
Kevin Brooks has an addendum that he is going to pass around for Council to review. He stated that 3 years ago we entered into a 30-year lease agreement with the SOLSD for the football stadium and facilities. The school board did not want all the facilities and marked off the pond, the pool, and the concession stand and restrooms from the lease agreement. Then 2 years ago we did an addendum to the lease agreement to allow the use of the concession stand and the restrooms at $100.00 per game and last year we did the same addendum. Mr. Brooks talked to the School Principal and Coach John Ischy and rather than do an addendum for the next 27 years we did an addendum allowing for the use of the concession stand and restrooms that will run concurrently with the main lease agreement for the remainder of the 30-year lease which takes us through 2049. Kevin Brooks is asking for a motion to approve addendum 3 which would remove the $100.00 fee per game for the concession stand and restrooms and align the addendum to the current 30-year lease which runs through year 2049. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Leann Harper – absent. Mayor Dale English asked if there was any discussion? He stated that he also remembers when the lease was done and SOLSD did not want the use of the concession stand or restrooms but that did not work out for them.
Kevin Brooks told Council that the Village is now part of an audit pool. We had gone from an annual audit review to a bi-annual audit because it would save the Village about $20,000.00. Mr. Brooks and Lori Cunard have received documentation showing other Village’s in our audit pool and the Independent Auditor’s being considered to do the audits. If any Council member would like to review the documents which shows who is in our audit pool and who the Independent Auditors are just let he or Lori know.
Kevin Brooks reported that the budgeting process will be moving forward and go pretty quick. We are going to do the budget a little bit earlier this year because about November Mr. Brooks would like to see just where we are in terms of the budget and what we need to focus on. For the coming year Mr.
Brooks would like to get the department heads more involved in the budget process and being actively involved in managing the money that runs through their department. Kevin Brooks and Lori Cunard will
be scheduling meetings with department heads, if we want them to be more accountable for the spending of their budget then they need to be more involved in planning their budget.
Next week is fair week in the Village. The Electric Department has been at the fairgrounds and have done a good bit of work and will continue through the fair. The issues at the campgrounds have not been resolved but Mr. Brooks said we will just work through them.
Mr. Brooks stated that the job on Poplar has been completed, which was the FEMA Project to rebuild the end of the road. It has been a process negotiating with FEMA and Triad, the engineering firm, because there were certain things FEMA would not pay for. The inspection was done on Friday with Triad and the contractor. The project was a lot larger when it started than it ended up being because of the FEMA restrictions but we will be going back out to address some erosion issues that a few of the residents are having and will correct them to the best of our ability.
Kevin Brooks said that on Friday, we met by video conference with our engineer for our long-term water control, E. L. Robinson, we’ve got a second, a third and possible fourth phase of our long-term water control. During the video conference we met with E. L. Robinson and different funding agencies. Each funding agency explained what they could do for the Village and the Village explains what we need. There are a lot of issues we needed to make them all aware of. One of them being Rubel Lake, we are currently under findings by ODNR because of Rubel Lake. The Village purchased Rubel Lake for $450,000.00 about 15 or 20 years ago as a water source if something would happen to either of our current reservoirs and we have used Rubel Lake a few times. The issue is that there is seepage through the bottom and the dam and spillway has been deemed unsafe by ODNR. So consequently, if there is any significant flooding at Rubel Lake and surrounding property is damaged it would be our responsibility which is why we are under the findings by ODNR. We had checked in to doing the repairs because it is a clean water source, but the price of repairs is $3 million plus. The other problem we have at Rubel Lake is that there are adjacent property owners that we absolutely need the property from, and they are not willing to bargain whatsoever. We have looked at solutions and one is to drain 6-9 feet to mitigate some of the seepage but the problem with that is by draining that much water then it is probably no longer a good potable water source. We have also looked at expanding the lower reservoir, but we have property acquisition issues there also, but Mr. Brooks thinks it would be more doable than the issues at Rubel Lake. Also, with the purchase of Rubel Lake there were deed restrictions, but Mr. Brooks did not want to go into all of that tonight, he said if anyone wants more info on that to ask and he would sit down and explain in more detail. We are trying to be compliant with ODNR, have a long term potable redundant water source, and to do what is going to be most economically feasible for the Village. So, during the meeting on Friday Kevin Brooks wanted the Rubel Lake situation made known to the agencies and wanted them to understand that we have that potential liability. The other issue Mr. Brooks made known is the substation fire in 2016, we were not insured so we had to borrow about $850,000 from AMP to redo the substation. Mr. Brooks explained to these agencies that during the last audit we were told we cannot take on any more long-term debt, we need grant funds. So, the main purpose of the meeting Friday was to explain all of this and let them know exactly what the Village needs as far as funding. Mr. Brooks reminded Council that they did do a 4-year rate increase plan starting in January 2022. The base rate of water increased in January 2022 and in January 2023 there will be an increase on the base rate of sewer. In January 2024 a 2% increase in water usage rate and 2% increase in sewer usage rate for 2025. Mr. Brooks feels that we most likely cannot establish a rate system that’s going to cover all the work that needs to be done when you look at it in totality. Mr. Brooks has talked to Sawvel and Associates regarding electric rates and he is not concerned, he feels we have done a good job with peak shaving and operations at the light plant. However, we do have some issues that we want to start correcting so as we start making some capital repairs later on, we may want to adjust electric rates.
Mayor Dale English asked Village Administrator Kevin Brooks where the parking meters are that were taken out downtown? Kevin Brooks replied that they are in the building next door. Mayor English said the reason he was asking is because the flag holders on the meters belong to the American Legion and they would like to have them back. Kevin Brooks stated that the meters will not be put back in, but we
will have kiosks at the 4 quadrants instead so he said the flag holders can be mounted on the buildings of the businesses in the downtown area, but it would be up to each business. Mayor English stated that it would really be up to the American Legion because they are the ones that put the flags up in the downtown area. Mr. Brooks said they are more than welcome to come and get them, they are in the building next door.
VI. Fiscal Officer Report:
Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard gave Council reconciliation reports and asked if there were any questions. Lori Cunard also stated that there is Mayor’s Clerk training in September at Salt Fork Lodge, she asked
Council if they would like her to attend? Council agreed that even though Mayor’s Court is suspended at the current time due to no one having the initial 6-hour course and 3 hour continuing courses needed to do Mayor’s Court, Lori should keep up with the training.
VII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Tom Kirkland – Councilman Tom Kirkland requested Executive Session at the end of the meeting regarding Disciplinary action/Personnel.
Anthony McDaniel – Nothing to report
Carol Hehr – Councilwoman just wanted to thank Lori Cunard and the guys from the light plant for all the help for the shred day. There was a lot of boxes and lifting they all had to do.
Matt Schaber – Nothing to report
VIII: Solicitor’s Report:
Solicitor Kristy Rothenbuhler hoped everyone had a chance to look over her email she sent this morning regarding Equitrans. She said she would strongly suggest Council look over the Ordinance exception. She said that they are starting to come to an agreement. They will be talking monetary contributions and they are still seeking RUMA’s for Barber Ridge, Moose Ridge, and E. Marietta as well as the boring of the property at the well pad. Solicitor Rothenbuhler said that Kevin Brooks, Lori Cunard and herself had exchanged emails regarding a parking agreement that was done on a parcel on Old Brick Road. She said she will forward it to Council members to review and said if anyone thinks of something she may have forgotten to include in the agreement to let her know and she would adjust accordingly.
IX: Mayor’s Report:
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the payment of bills. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Leann Harper – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court Report, mid-August, 2022. Carol Hehr made the motion. Matt Schaber second. Leann Harper – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to pass Ordinance #10-2022, 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. Tom Kirkland made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Leann Harper – absent. Carol Hehr – yes, Matt Schaber – yes. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to suspend the rules and pass Ordinance #10-2022 by its second reading, Declaring it an Emergency. Matt Schaber made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Leann Harper – absent. Tom Kirkland – yes, Carol Hehr – yes. Motion passed 4-0.
The Mayor then asked for a motion to pass Ordinance #10-2022 by its third reading, Declaring it an Emergency and adopt. Carol Hehr made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Leann Harper – absent. Tom Kirkland – yes, Matt Schaber – yes. Motion passed 4-0.
Ordinance #10-2022 adopted.
Councilwoman Carol Hehr questioned on whether the Resolutions could be done because there is currently no President of Council. It was agreed that the Resolutions in Council packets will wait to be voted on at next meeting.
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks wanted to let Council know that the pool closes on August 21, 2022. He spoke to Park Manager, Steve Eikleberry and there was roughly a $20,000 loss on the pool season with paying wages and buying chemicals. We do not make enough money on concessions or pool admissions, so it becomes an issue of what is an acceptable loss. Mr. Brooks feels that under a $25,000 loss is acceptable for the Village. Councilman Anthony McDaniel said the feedback from residents he has spoken to is to re-visit the idea of pool passes. Mr. Brooks said that we sold so few passes, less than a dozen, he still questions whether it is worth selling them and it can be difficult for the lifeguards to keep track of each family member included on the pass. Anthony McDaniel feels that would be something to look into and discuss during the off season. Kevin Brooks also explained to Council that over this summer kids at the pool who were behaving well, helping out other kids, picking up their trash and just being polite were being rewarded with one-day free admission passes. Councilwoman Carol Hehr spoke up and said she wanted Council to know that she is looking into a splash pad for the pool. She is afraid funding may be an issue, but she has checked into it and it would be about $150,000. Kevin Brooks feels that a splash pad would be a good idea because they are motion activated, low maintenance, and low cost to operate as compared to the pool itself and no lifeguards would be required for the splash pad.
X. Un-Registered Visitors:
Kreg Robinson, Monroe County Beacon – Mr. Robinson spoke to Council regarding a light pole in front of the Beacon office. He asked if the light pole could be installed during the downtown construction project because the underground line would be dug up so now would be a good time to do it. Kevin Brooks replied that yes there would be a light pole installed, it had been discussed at an earlier date. Also Mr. Robinson reported a tree down on the walking trail and asked if it could be taken care of.
Phyllis Demchak – Mrs. Demchak spoke to Council regarding the pool. Mrs. Demchak stated that when the Red Cross was still in town years ago the pool was very busy. She said they had swimming lessons from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 5 days/week, they started with beginners to senior life saving and they were free. She feels that no child should ever be charged to learn to swim which could one day save their life. They also did family passes. Mrs. Demchak feels there is not enough incentives for residents to go to the pool. If your child cannot swim you are not going to want to send them to the pool. Councilwoman Carol Hehr spoke up to say that we did do swimming lessons this year but Mrs. Demchak feels there should be no charge for swimming lessons for the children. She said that the swim instructors were Red Cross volunteers and today there are no Red Cross Volunteers in town and she also stated the just because you’re a lifeguard does not mean you are qualified to teach kids to swim. Mrs. Demchak said something more needs to be done to entice people to come to the pool. Village Administrator spoke up to say that we can certainly look at free swimming lessons for next year because there are not enough participants to make much of a difference, it’s definitely not something we make money on. The main thing with the pool is deciding what is an acceptable loss for the Village in operating and keeping the pool open for the season.
Gwen Stewart – Ms. Stewart also attended the Council meeting in regard to the pool. She feels it is not managed very well and there is no business plan or marketing plan for the pool. She stated the possibility of partnering with the Park District when purchasing chemicals because they have to buy for Hannibal Pool. She also stated to talk to Job and Family Services about grants for distressed counties because Job and Family Services have bought pool passes in the past for children who are eligible. Ms. Stewart also said to talk to Job and Family Services about their Workforce Program/summer youth program to help with labor costs. She said that there are always many questions on social media regarding the pool and she feels we need to market it more. Ms. Stewart said the Village needs the pool to keep people active and give them something to do. She feels it’s a matter of having a plan and following through with it.
The Mayor asked for a motion to go into Executive Session regarding personnel/disciplinary action. Carol Hehr made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Leann Harper – absent. Motion passed 4-0. Executive Session entered at 6:40 p.m.
The Mayor asked for a motion to go back into Regular Session. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Carol Hehr second. Leann Harper – absent. Motion passed 4-0. Regular Session entered at 7:05 p. m.
Based on the Code of Ethics Policy written in the Employee Handbook Anthony McDaniel made the motion to reprimand an employee of the Village with a written warning that will be kept on file in the employee’s personnel file for 2 years. Carol Hehr second. Leann Harper – absent. Motion passed 4-0.
Councilman Anthony McDaniel made the motion to Adjourn from Session. Carol Hehr second. Leann Harper – absent. Meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
Dale English, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer