Meeting Minutes (8-21-23)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
August 21, 2023
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on August 21, 2023.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Dale English, Tom Kirkland, Anthony McDaniel, Leann Harper, Tiffany Ramsay, Matt Schaber, Mayor Carol Hehr, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard, Village Administrator Kevin Brooks, and Solicitor Ryan Regel.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Tiffany Ramsay made the motion to accept the August 7, 2023 meeting minutes. Dale English second. Motion passed 6-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
No visitor – the issue has been resolved.
IV. Old Business:
DORA – Solicitor Ryan Regel reported that the next step is to hold the Public Hearing. The date and time for the Public Hearing has been run in the MC Beacon. After considering any input given during the Public Hearing, Council will then make the decision on whether to go ahead with the DORA application or deny the application.
V. Administrator Report:
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks reminded Council that the next Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 5th due to the Labor Day holiday.
Kevin Brooks has a proposal from E. L. Robinson for the engineering related to the Water Treatment Plant Backwash System Improvements. The contract is for engineering services in the amount of $10,000.00. Dale English asked if this project had been talked about 2 or 3 years ago and Mr. Brooks replied that it had. The issue is ongoing and needs to be addressed. Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the contract with E. L. Robinson in the amount of $10,000.00 for engineering services for the Water Treatment Plant Backwash System Improvements. Dale English made the motion. Anthony McDaniel second. Leann Harper asked Kevin Brooks if he could explain more about this. Kevin Brooks said the Backwash System is an outside tank that has had numerous repairs because there is a large hole in it. It has been welded several times, but we can no longer get it to seal so we are wasting a lot of water when we have to backwash the water treatment system. We are going to have the design done and then go after grant funds to replace it, so the $10,000.00 is just for the design. Motion passed 6-0.
Kevin Brooks stated that most of Council is aware that currently we have some issues with Personnel due to illness, surgery, etc. Mr. Brooks reported on a Water Department employee that will be out due to hip replacement surgery as of next month. He will be having both hips done so he will probably be out for a minimum of 12 weeks. Kevin Brooks asked Council how they would feel to hire a temporary, part-time employee to cover shifts probably 2-3 days per week for 3-4 months. Mark Haralson is trying to retire, and we are paying him a greater wage than what we can hire a part-time entry level person for. Mayor Hehr suggested Sherman Pyles, a retiree from the Water Plant, to come back on a part-time, temporary basis so we would not have to train a new person. Leann Harper asked if we would train a new hire even though they will only work temporarily. Mr. Brooks replied we absolutely would be training them, and the Water Plant runs 7 days a week, 365 days a year, so someone always has to be there. Anthony McDaniel asked Mr. Brooks if the intention is to keep the temporary employee as a “call-in” that can cover sick time or vacation time. Mr. Brooks replied yes, they would not be guaranteed to work 20 hours every week but on an as needed basis, it could be very sporadic. Leann Harper wanted to clarify; the employee would not be considered temporary. Mr. Brooks replied there may be times we don’t need them at all, but we could also use the employee in another department because we are down 2 employees in the Street Department. He is not really concerned about being down 2 employees in the Street Department until the time comes to snowplow but when the time comes it would be nice to have an extra employee. Kevin Brooks said Council can think about it but now
is the time to do it. Mayor Hehr asked if the Finance Committee would like to meet and discuss it. Tom Kirkland, Chairman of Finance Committee said it would probably be a good idea to meet and discuss it. The Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
Kevin Brooks said he is not sure when Shelley and Sands will be back to complete the downtown. He is guessing they are waiting on the green arrows for the traffic signals and then will be back to complete everything all at once. He has asked several times but still does not have an answer on when they will be back. Dale English asked who is responsible for replacing the sign downtown that a truck hit, and Kevin Brooks replied that ODOT will replace it because the project is still open. Tom Kirkland said Shelley and Sands need to come in and finish so the cones can be removed from the center islands. He stated that maybe the truck would not have hit the sign if the cones were not there.
VI. Fiscal Officer Report:
Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard reported that she was able to pay-off the Ford F-450 and the John Deere Back-hoe at Citizens National Bank. Kevin Brooks let Council know that we are trying to retire some of the long-term debt the Village has.
Lori Cunard asked Council to let her know if anyone would like to attend the OML Conference in October and what days they would like to attend. Dale English asked when she needed to know. She said registration is open now so as soon as they can, let her know.
VII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Dale English – Nothing to report.
Tom Kirkland – Nothing to report.
Anthony McDaniel – Anthony McDaniel asked for a Property Maintenance Committee meeting to be held on September 5th at 4:30 p.m. before Council meeting. He feels that quite a few of the problem properties have done well this year. Kevin Brooks said the non-compliant mowing is way down this year also. Mayor Hehr said that there are several homes on the Landbank list that should come down by next year.
Leann Harper – Leann Harper said that Steve Eikleberry, Kaden Buzzard, John Anderson, Eric Preston, and Andy Hughes removed the weeds, laid down fabric and put in pea gravel at the Monroe Memorial Park. They also put in 2 new picnic tables, it looks very nice, and it was in time for the start of football games. Kevin Brooks thanked Leann Harper and Johnna Kaiser for spearheading the project, it took little effort and not much expense to make a huge improvement. Kevin Brooks also stated that the benches for downtown have been placed and if any other business wants a bench put in to let him know.
Tiffany Ramsay – Nothing to report.
Matt Schaber – Matt Schaber said they held a meeting the other day regarding the signs for the control boxes. They have decided to coordinate with the high school art program to do the 4 sides for one box to see how it turns out and to see how well the skins and the screen printing holds up over the winter. Then in the spring they will get with the other three schools, and they can each do a box. The deadline for the designs is October 27th and they will hopefully have the skins printed up and put on the box by Thanksgiving. Mayor Hehr asked about doing all 4 sides. Matt Schaber said all 4 sides will be done on each box. They will choose the top 4 designs to be put on the boxes and he also said that after the designs are chosen the artist of the design will then sign it to get recognition for it.
Matt Schaber questioned the language for the Police Levy. He does not feel it sounds specific enough, he feels the language that was used makes it sound as if the levy money can be used for any Village capital expenses, not just Police capital expenses. Solicitor Ryan Regel said that from his standpoint, he would interpret it as Police capital expenditures but from a voter’s standpoint he said they may interpret it differently. Solicitor Ryan Regel pointed out that this was the language Council
had agreed on and voted on. He said we could call the Board of Elections if we want to change that language but again, he interprets it to mean Police capital expenditures. Matt Schaber said some
residents have already questioned him about the wording. Anthony McDaniel asked how hard it would be to change the language at this point. Solicitor Ryan Regel said we would need to decide how we want to modify the wording and reach out to the Board of Elections to see if it can be done. He believes we would have to approve another Resolution to change the language of the Levy and there is a concern about having time, the deadline for the Levy is Friday, August 25th. Anthony McDaniel said he wants everything positive for this Levy, so he feels we need to promote it as Police capital expenditures. Anthony McDaniel said we could utilize the MC Beacon to clarify the language on the Levy, that capital expenditures are Police capital expenditures. Kreg Robison, MC Beacon said he would state it in the Beacon that at the August 21st Council meeting, Council discussed concern about the Levy Language regarding capital expenditures. Solicitor Ryan Regel said he will check with the Board of Elections to see if it can be changed. Council approved Resolution #2023-05 for the levy with that particular language so he believes a new Resolution would need to be written up and approved.
VIII: Solicitor’s Report:
Nothing more to report
IX: Mayor’s Report:
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the payment of bills. Dale English made the motion. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 6-0.
Mayor Hehr asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court report, mid-August 2023. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 6-0.
Mayor Hehr reported that the last Music in the Park for the summer was on Friday, August 18th. She said the Music in the Park events were an overall huge success and several people thanked her and other members of the Community Strong Committee for planning these.
The gazebo was delivered and set at the Walking Trail. Mayor Hehr said it needs to be stained, she needs to wait until September to make sure it is completely dry. Her grandson-in-law has offered to spray it at no charge.
Mayor Hehr reported that Dale English, Tom Kirkland, and herself met with CT Consultants to talk about the downtown revitalization to update what was originally presented because it was more than what we wanted to do.
Mayor Hehr said she has been trying to get something done with the fence at the tennis court. There is a gap around the bottom of the fence and when a ball is hit it rolls underneath the fence and out of the tennis court. Chad Kuhn put orange fencing around the bottom which helped the problem, and she appreciates it, but we have a lot of money in the tennis court and the orange fencing doesn’t look very nice. She got a price to fix the issue around the bottom of the fence and the price is over $3,000.00. Anthony McDaniel asked about tinted netting that is used on chain link fences for privacy. He said the netting could be taken all the way to the ground and he wouldn’t think the cost would be over $3,000.00. Mayor Hehr said it does not need to be done this year and she is not criticizing anyone; she appreciates what was done but she would like to find a solution that will look nice.
Mayor Hehr reported that she is looking for a grant for the Walking Trail that would be similar to the ODNR Storybook Trail. She said that pages of a book would be put in about every 5 feet along the Trail for kids to read a book with their family while walking the trail.
X. Un-registered Visitors:
Before adjournment, Solicitor Ryan Regel wanted to confirm with Council exactly what they want to do about the Levy. Council agreed for him to contact the Board of Elections to ask if the language can be changed.
The Mayor asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Leann Harper made the motion. Matt Schaber second. Motion passed 6-0. The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Carol Hehr, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer