Meeting Minutes (9-6-22)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
September 6, 2022
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Regular Session on September 6, 2022.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Tom Kirkland, Anthony McDaniel, Carol Hehr, Matt Schaber, Leann Harper; Mayor Dale English, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard, and Village Administrator Kevin Brooks.
Absent: Solicitor Kristy Rothenbuhler.
II. Pending Meeting Minutes Approval:
Anthony McDaniel made a motion to accept the August 15, 2022 meeting minutes. Carol Hehr second. Motion passed 5-0.
III. Registered Visitors/Guest:
John and Johnna Kaiser – Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser attended council meeting to talk about an incident that happened a couple weeks ago with a Village employee. Mr. Kaiser stated that early this summer the Village put in a new culvert in front of their home on Eastern Ave. A couple months later the Kaiser’s hired Chris Benedict to put in a new wall, also in front of their home. Before putting in the new wall they had to remove the old one. They had to dig out the old wall and remove some dirt, so his father was using his tractor to take the dirt to his home for fill. A few days later Andy Copley, Street Superintendent, was mowing where the old knotty pine used to be and he told Mr. Benedict’s employees, using profane language, to tell Mr. Kaiser’s father to keep the tractor off the culvert. Mr. Kaiser’s father had scraped the top off on a small spot of the culvert when getting the dirt which the Kaiser’s did have pictures of. Mr. Kaiser felt that this situation could have been avoided if Mr. Copley would have just knocked on his door and respectfully spoke to him about it. He understands that the culvert should not be torn up when it had just been put in but he said there was absolutely no reason to talk about his father the way that he did and disrespect his father, they are just trying to make their property look nice and they wanted to make Council aware of the situation. They feel the situation could have been handled in a very different way. Mr. Kaiser also stated that he hopes this doesn’t keep the Village from doing some work on Lovers Lane and Locust Ave. behind his home because it is very rough.
Mike Young – Fire Chief Mike Young attended to get Council approval for the purchase of some rescue tools. He would like to spend up to $10,000 for specialized tools for rescue/body recovery. Mr. Young is looking at rescue jacks after an accident at Monroe Manor about a month ago. They did not have enough cribbing to jack up the car at the accident scene and they improvised and had to use furniture which they should not have had to do. Mr. Young has done some research on-line for the equipment and the cost and he knows he has the money in the Fire Equipment Fund. Kevin Brooks verified there is $99,479.32 in the Fire Equipment Fund so the cost is not an issue. Anthony McDaniel made a motion to approve the purchase of rescue equipment, up to $10,000, for the Fire Department. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 5-0.
At this time, Mayor Dale English asked for a motion to go into Executive Session regarding Personnel. Matt Schaber made the motion. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 5-0. Executive Session entered at 5:50 p.m.
Regular Session entered at 6:15 p.m. at which time Dale English resigned as President of Council/Mayor, he is stepping down to council member. Anthony McDaniel then made the motion to appoint Carol Hehr as President of Council which then moves her to Mayor. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 5-0. Village Administrator Kevin Brooks asked Carol Hehr about making the arrangements to go to the courthouse to be sworn in and she said she will be make the arrangements. Mayor Carol Hehr asked for a motion to appoint a Council President. Tom Kirkland made the motion to appoint Dale English as President of Council. Matt Schaber second. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Carol Hehr stated that there is an open seat on Council and asked what Council wants to do about it. Tom Kirkland said he would like to have an ad run in the MC Beacon for 2 weeks to advertise the position. Kevin Brooks said the ad will state that letters of interest for the council seat, with a term expiring December 2025, will be taken until noon September 16th. Tom Kirkland made the motion to run
an ad in the MC Beacon for 2 weeks advertising the open council seat with a term expiring December 2025. Matt Schaber second. Motion passed 5-0.
IV. Old Business:
None. Mayor Carol Hehr suggested that anytime we have unfinished business she would like to have it listed on the agenda under “Old Business” so we do not forget about it.
V. Administrator Report:
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks has a bill from Engineered Solutions Midwest in the amount of $29,956.82 that is part of the SCADA upgrade at the water plant. Mr. Brooks is asking that council make a motion to approve the bill for payment. Dale English made the motion to pay Engineered Solutions Midwest $29,956.82 for SCADA upgrades at the water plant. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 5-0.
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks reported that Anthem has issued a premium rebate check to the Village again this year in the amount of $4,721.35. He stated that we have 2 options as how to use this money. One is to distribute it amongst all the plans participants or two is to keep the rebate and not increase the employee share of their insurance premium for year 2023. Mr. Brooks feels that option two is the way to go. Anthony McDaniel made the motion to keep the rebate and not increase the employee share of their insurance premium for year 2023. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 5-0. Mr. Brooks wanted to point out that we did start a wellness program this year and the reason we got the rebate check is because our health costs have been low. Mayor Hehr asked how many employees are going to the Midtown Fitness Center, Mr. Brooks replied there are 10 or 11 employees.
Kevin Brooks said the downtown project is moving forward, there have been some issues which can be expected. We should see a traffic pattern change the end of the week as they move to the other side of the street for storm drainage and water lines and the next phase will be the bulb-outs.
Mr. Brooks said there is continued discussion regarding the parking stations/parking meters. We will have the conduit run so it will be there for parking stations if we so choose. The one quadrant that there could be an issue with is in front of Marden Rehab because there is going to be a very narrow sidewalk and not much room for a parking meter. Mr. Brooks has been checking into the smart meters that would need internet access and take credit cards. The other meters are referred to as “dumb meters” and would not need internet access. Once construction gets further along this will be discussed in more detail and a decision will have to be made. Another issue is with electric in the bulb-outs. ODOT does not have an approved outdoor receptacle that they are willing to put in the bulb-outs so they are going to run conduit and we will be responsible for running the wiring and putting in whatever kind of receptacle that we choose to be safe and durable. There are some options available and Mr. Brooks will be talking to Lewis Hill, Electric Superintendent, about this tomorrow. They had discussed putting electric on the ped-head poles but ODOT said that is not doable but we did get the confirmation for electric on the mast arm signalization.
Kevin Brooks stated that the project is running a few days behind with the location and installation of the utilities but now since that is about done we should start to see things move a little quicker and see the project take form. He thinks traffic is moving along well and there really has not been any big disruptions with traffic but with the next phase being the bulb-outs traffic will be down to one lane. Mayor Hehr asked if traffic would start using the reverse angle parking as soon as the bulb-outs are completed and Mr. Brooks replied that he does not think that will be changed until the back end of the project. Mr. Brooks asked Council if the color of brick on the bulb-outs were to match the brick on the sidewalk pattern as was discussed at an earlier date and Council agreed yes, it is to match.
Mr. Brooks said that a decision will need to be made on the parking meters and whether we are going to eliminate meters in one quadrant or if we are going to put a parking station in one quadrant and doing a test run on it. If it does not work out in one quadrant we could always move it elsewhere. As Mr. Books stated earlier, he is concerned with the quadrant in front of Marden Rehab because of space. Councilman Anthony McDaniel asked if we could do permitted parking in that area and Kevin Brooks replied that may become a situation because of the businesses in town that have been paying for the meters for advertising but then allowing their employees to park in the spaces in front of their stores. Mr. Brooks said this brings up another point. For the last 18 months businesses have been paying for
the parking meters in the Village as advertisement and the meters are bagged. The charge to a business has been $200.00/week or $500.00/3 weeks. Councilwoman Leann Harper asked for a financial review of what the revenues were before businesses started paying for the meters. Chief Corey Jones went back quite a few years and in the mid-teens we were doing about $27,000/yr. in parking meter fees/fines and in 2019 it was around $20,000/yr. Kevin Brooks is recommending we raise the fee to $250.00/week or $600.00/3 weeks to get closer to the dollar amount we had been generating. So Mr. Brooks said the issue is that if we are going to purchase smart meters or parking stations and continue to bag meters isn’t it a waste of money because we are bagging them. These are all things that we need to think about when deciding on parking meters/parking stations but if we are going to purchase them Mr. Brooks thinks we would definitely want to use them. Kevin Brooks asked that a motion be made to increase the parking meter fee for businesses. Anthony McDaniel made the motion to increase the parking meter fee for businesses as advertisement to $250.00/week or $600.00/3 weeks. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 5-0. Mayor Hehr asked if we can justify raising the fee when none of the meters are going to be in around the square. Kevin Brooks replied that we will not start to collect the new rate until after the election in November and an FYI we do not promote political agendas or allow individuals to advertise office they are running for but you can sponsor the meters in your name only. Mayor Hehr asked if maybe we should have the rate structure and no political advertisement as an Ordinance. Mr. Brooks said we can look into having an Ordinance drafted. Mr. Brooks said we do not promote political activity on Village property and if political signs are posted on Village property they are removed.
VI. Fiscal Officer Report:
Lori Cunard distributed financials to Council members, if anyone has any questions let her know.
VII. Committee Chair/Council Reports:
Dale English – Nothing to report
Tom Kirkland – Nothing to report
Anthony McDaniel – Nothing to report
Leann Harper – Nothing to report
Matt Schaber – Nothing to report
VIII: Solicitor’s Report:
IX: Mayor’s Report:
Mayor Hehr reported that she has been attending meetings regarding the $500 million the governor is giving to Appalachian counties. She talked with Kevin Brooks and they are going to meet with CT Consultants to come up with a downtown revitalization. Mr. Brooks said the meeting will be scheduled next week sometime, probably Wednesday or Thursday, he will send out a notice if anyone would like to sit in on it.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the payment of bills. Dale English made the motion. Matt Schaber second. Motion passed 5-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the Mayor’s Court Report, August, 2022. Matt Schaber made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Motion passed 5-0.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the Income Tax Report, August, 2022. Anthony McDaniel made the motion. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 5-0.
Mayor Carol Hehr reported that she is going to take the Mayor’s Court classes in January 2023 so she can do Mayor’s Court.
X. Un-Registered Visitors:
The Mayor asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Matt Schaber made the motion to adjourn. Leann Harper second. Motion passed 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.
Carol Hehr, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer