Garrettsville – Village Council met on Wednesday, September 10, for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. A Public Hearing on changes to Zoning Ordinances 2011-37, 2011-38, 2011-39, 2011-40, and 2011-41 was to have taken place, but due to a clerical issue, the hearing had to be postponed. The public hearing on these ordinances will take place before the scheduled council meeting on November 9, 2011.
Minutes from the August council meeting and a motion to pay the current bills were both approved. Revenue, expenditure, cash balance, and income tax reports were again reviewed. The Mayor commented that the village remains fiscally “in good shape”.
The Mayor and Village Council presented a plaque to the JAGS girls’ softball team for “a job well done” in winning their second-in-a-row title.
The Mayor then recognized resident Karen Krenzel whose village property was damaged recently by flooding caused by a misrouted repair to a village storm sewer line. Ms. Krenzel presented a report on the cause of the flooding and also submitted an estimate for repairs to her pastures. Furthermore, she asked council to provide for future needs to maintain the repair that would keep flooding controlled. Council unanimously passed a resolution approving repairs not to exceed $1100 and will work with Ms. Krenzel in establishing a maintenance contract.
Next the Mayor recognized Cecilia Swanson, representing the Portage County Library system. She discussed the library levy that will be on the November ballot and asked council for their support and endorsement of the levy. Ms. Swanson stated that the levy was a 1-year/5-mil levy to cover current expenses for the library system. She also informed council that state funding has been drastically cut over the last 10 years which is why the library system has had to cut staffing and materials and abbreviate the hours they are opened. They are hoping that with the passage of the levy the library system can return to near 2001 operating levels. Council unanimously passed a resolution to support the Portage County Library Levy efforts.
Ordinance 2011-36, which will provide regulations for the use of large portable signs within the village had its third reading. It will also be placed on the agenda for the public hearing in November. Ordinance 2011-47 was passed as amended under recommendation from the BPA, establishing a policy limiting bulk water purchases in the village.
Discussion resumed about Garrettsville’s athletic fields and how to control use, limit liability, and collect revenue to help with improvements, repairs and upkeep. Ordinance 2011-45 was read for the second time reflecting a decrease in the fee schedule from its first reading. Concern was voiced again about the fees being too high. It was decided to table further discussion until the October meeting, to give council time to further investigate their options.
Council voted to enact Ordinance 2011-50 authorizing a request to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for clarification on coverage of unpaid reserve police officers working for the village. The ordinance also authorizes the mayor to enter into any necessary contracts to effect coverage. Council also voted to enact Resolution 2011-51, which authorizes the necessary tax levies and certifies them to the county auditor, and two other resolutions authorizing the village clerk to initiate internet auctions for the sale of two vehicles that had been confiscated and used by the drug task force. Proceeds from the sales go back into the drug fund.
Discussion also resumed regarding the importance of declaring an urban renewal for the village. Ordinance 2011-48 would allow the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) ordinance that is already on the books to be reactivated and updated. The passage of the ordinance provides options for the village in enticing new businesses to the area. One possibility is tax abatement. It was also discussed on whether this ordinance should be passed as an emergency measure to allow it to take immediate effect. The vote carried 4-2 to enact the ordinance as written and not on an emergency basis.
Council unanimously passed resolution 2011-53 declaring an emergency and authorizing the village solicitor to obtain title for the village to the property located at 8143 Main Street (the old Irwin Hardware building) The village solicitor received notice from the county prosecutor’s office that they are seeking forfeiture of the property due to tax foreclosure.
Council passed emergency Resolution 2011-54 which declares a nuisance and directs the owner of the property in question on Brosius Road to make any necessary repairs or replacements to comply.
Discussion was held from a recommendation from BPA to council to allow Arcadis to provide engineering services related to the cost and design of the elevated support system and walkway for the water main located under the Liberty Street/Water Street Bridge. The cost is estimated to be between $14,000 and $17,000 for the engineering service. Council passed a motion to authorize the engineering services.
The Mayor suggested a “safety service” to the taxpayers in providing financial assistance in the removal of dead or dangerous trees on their property. The property owner would be required to pay $200/tree and the village would cover the rest. Council approved the expenditure, not to exceed $10,000 for the project.
The Mayor declared that Halloween trick-or-treating times had been set. It will be October 31st from 6-7:30 p.m.
During roundtable discussion Councilman Matson reported that the fire department is moving forward with plans for an equipment storage building. Next, Councilman Kaiser informed council that the Community EMS building had been hit by lightening during a recent storm. He reported that there was damage to the radio system, computers and phone system as well as some other electrical issues. Councilman Kaiser stated that vital information from the computers had been backed-up and it didn’t appear that any information had been lost. He also stated repairs were in progress, and the phone system was now operational.
Councilman Klamer thanked council and the planning commission for waiving the permit fee for the building of the new football stadium ticket booth. Mr. Klamer reminded everyone that the business showcase is October 20, 2011 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the James A. Garfield High School Gymnasium. He closed by mentioning that the high school art students are planning to begin painting the old railroad bridge abutment on S.R. 82 near Sky Plaza on September 27th.
Councilwoman Clyde brought up the subject of the leaf vacuum that has been discussed in prior meetings. She asked if a purchase would be happening before this year’s leaf season. After a brief discussion of the issue, no determination was made, however Council President Rick Patrick offered to continue looking into pricing and options.
The Mayor reported on the opening of the new Robinson Health Care Center in Garrettsville. [ed. note: the health center officially opened on September 19th, 2011.] He stated that the street department is cleaning the boardwalk, and the new municipal lot behind the old Irwin Hardware store is waiting on the weather for the chip and seal to be completed.
Council President Patrick thanked and praised everyone involved in the Peach Social/Car Cruise in August. He stated it was one of the biggest and best they’ve had. He reported that light poles on the Windham Street bridge, still needed to be fixed and markers still had to be installed.
The next regular Village Council meeting will be held on October 12th. A public hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the meeting will commence immediately after at Village Hall.