Garrettsville – Village Council met on Wednesday August 10, for their regular scheduled monthly meeting. Minutes from the July meeting and a motion to pay the current bills were approved. Revenue, expenditure, cash balance, and income tax reports were reviewed. Councilman Klamer discussed year-to-date revenue as compared to last year with Mayor Moser. Both were pleased to report the village is currently financially sound.
The Mayor and Village Council presented a plaque to the family of Charles Abraham, in recognition of his life-long service, commitment and generosity to the Village of Garrettsville. His promotion and support of the community was instrumental in its development. Mr. Abraham (who passed away in May 2011) was a friend and inspiration to many.
A public hearing will be held before the September 14 council meeting to discuss several pending ordinances including Ordinance 2011-36, which will provide regulations to the use of large portable signs within the village and several other ordinances relating to clarification of zoning rules.
Discussion resumed from last month’s meeting 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 presented on first reading, outlining a fee schedule and regulations for the use of these fields by outside organizations. Concern was voiced about the fees being too high. It was decided to re-evaluate and further discuss this ordinance at the September meeting.
Council voted to enact Ordinance 2011-46 that clarifies and updates the codified ordinances of the village in relation to the Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Volunteer Fire Department and the appointment of the fire chief.
Discussion also resumed regarding the importance of declaring an urban renewal for the village. Ordinance 2011-48 was presented at first reading. This ordinance would allow the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) ordinance that is already on the books to be reactivated and updated. The passage of this ordinance could be key in improving Garrettsville’s competitiveness to entice new businesses to the area partially through tax abatements that may be available from the state.
Ordinance 2011-47 was also presented at first reading and is a recommendation from the Board of Public Affairs (BPA) to establish a policy limiting the amount of bulk water that may be purchased and prohibiting the initiation of new bulk water accounts. After some discussion council voted to send the ordinance back to the BPA for some revisions and clarifications before the next reading during September’s meeting.
Council gave approval to pay additional costs over initial estimates of work done on the Liberty Street sidewalks and the chip and seal of the new Garrettsville public parking lot behind the old Irwin Hardware building. The mayor reported on the status of the Liberty Street bridge, that is closed between Center Street and Park Ave. The mayor and Council President Rick Patrick met with the Portage County Engineer who told them that repairs can be made that would last between five and ten years for approximately $35,000. To wait for demolition and rebuilding could take two to five years dependent on state and federal monies. The mayor suggested the village offer a monetary incentive to get repairs done to the bridge by the engineer’s office before the end of the year. After much discussion, council approved spending $10,000 toward repairs of the bridge with the understanding and assurance that the county would pay the rest of the costs, repairs would be completed by December 2011, and payment will only be made when the contract terms were met.
The guardrails at the post office parking lot were a topic of discussion at last week’s Planning Commission meeting and again tonight at the Village Council meeting. The Planning Commission had asked the owner of the property to get his property surveyed to assure that the other adjacent owners’ property lines were not crossed by the ‘fence’. The Planning Commission and Village Council understand the owner’s desire to limit access to his property, however, there was concern that the guardrail had been installed across property lines. Permits would need to be applied for by each owner of the property that the fence may be on. If one of the owners of the adjacent property does not want the guardrail, it will have to be moved to the actually property line.
Once business was taken care of, the mayor asked for public comment. A recommendation was presented for defibrillators to be carried in Garrettsville’s police cruisers. A recent incident had prompted the recommendation after realizing that, in most cases, our police were first responders to 911 emergency calls and if the ambulance was out on another call, the police had limited resources to aid victims. The mayor and council agreed it was worth exploring the suggestion.
During roundtable discussion, Councilman Hadzinsky commented on the cost to replace three fire hydrants. He was surprised at the cost involved. Councilman Kaiser reported his findings on purchasing a new leaf vac for the village. He also stated trying to find a used one was very difficult. The cost for a new one would be around $24,000 with a 45-60 day delivery. Mr. Klamer asked council for approval of having Councilman Hadzinsky added to the Village Property and Sidewalk Committee. Approval was granted.
Council President Patrick reported that the status of the Irwin property is still unknown. He also stated he was approached by a resident to see if the village has a emergency shelter plan for those without basements during severe weather. It was suggested that a formal plan should be made available to the public. The Mayor reported on the economic development meeting from last Friday. He stated the topic of discussion was “what would be an inducement for industry to locate here and what is distinguishing and unique about Garrettsville”. He also wanted to remind everyone that school will be starting soon, the athletes and band students are already practicing and everyone needs to be aware of the students as they travel on our roads and sidewalks to and from school.
The next regular Village Council meeting will be held on September 14th. A public hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the meeting will commence immediately after at Village Hall.