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Council Urged To Make Processes Business-Friendly

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Garrettsville – Prior to the regularly scheduled council meeting, members met at 6:45 p.m. on May 10th for a review of the Village’s finances.  Mayor Craig Moser reviewed the village’s financial accounts and recapped major expenditures from the 2009 & 2010 while highlighting those planned for the 2011 fiscal year. Councilwoman Clyde  asked if a list could be prepared for items that may need to be purchased in the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years.  This would allow time to review, plan and budget for them. Payroll for the village is the largest annual expense and will be approximately $811,000 not including benefits. Income tax revenue for the village is coming in at a consistent rate.  The village is working hard  to collect all outstanding balances that are due.  In addition, an effort is being made to collect from those residents who have failed to file their Village income tax. At last count, there are approximately 1/3 of the village’s residents who have not filed their income taxes with the village. Representatives from the J.A. Garfield wrestling and men’s bowling teams were recognized by village council for their accomplishments during the winter sports season. Council also recognized Chuck Klamer for his 20 years of service as superintendent of the Garfield school system. Attorney Tommie Jo Marsilio addressed village council as a member of the business community and resident. Marsilio and the Weekly Villager shared their frustration with council regarding  all of the “hoops” that required jumping through to simply move their offices from one end of town to the other. Zivoder, Villager co-owner explained that the paperwork is not user-friendly and one must guess as to what areas the business owner is required to complete.Marsilio expressed concern over the processes  and has offered her service to help fix them.  The mayor accepted her offer and will be in touch. Both Marsilio and Zivoder, active business and chamber members,  feel that the paperwork, hours of availability and approval processes need to become more user friendly if the Village wishes to attract more business. In other council news, ordinances 2011-12, 2011-14 and 2011-15 which clarified the regulations pertaining to livestock, defined poultry and the housing of chickens within village limits were all defeated.  Chicken and roosters are not allowed in the village.Ordinance 2011-24 authorizing the village to enter into a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the purchase of rock salt was approved. Resolution 2011-25 was passed proclaiming the week of May 15th as Emergency Medical Services week. All were invited to attend the EMS parade on Saturday May 14th. Fran Teresi, representative from the Board of Public Affairs addressed council regarding concerns on hydraulic fracturing. The village recognizes the importance of its water sources and after much discussion, passed Resolution 2011-26 calling on the Governor and Ohio State Legislature to place a moratorium (or enact a ban) on hydraulic fracturing until an adequate environmental study is completed showing that it can be done safely without impacting local water supplies. Council plans to share this resolution with the surrounding township trustees in hopes that the message will carry forward. Councilman Bob Matson gave an overview from the recent Economic Development Board meeting.  Matson also spoke to council regarding the prospect of forming a Joint Economic Development (JED) partnership with Freedom Township.Matson  stated that he had spoken with members from the Freedom Township trustees and that they would be interested in exploring the options.  Garrettsville currently has an industrial park area equipped with  sewer and water, while Freedom Township has the land that would make accessibility to the industrial area ideal for future businesses. A motion was passed to move forward into exploring the possibility of a JED with Freedom Township. Bob Matson will take the lead on this project. Rick Patrick, council president, addressed the council regarding Summerfest.  Patrick stated that he was “appalled by the complaints he has heard in the village that SummerFest is getting too big”.  Patrick went on to say that Garrettsville should be proud of this festival and that it brings visitors to our community who patronize our establishments during the time that they are in town.  Patrick also thanked Aaron King and the SummerFest committee members who volunteer their time year ‘round to make the festival happen.  Village council approved the SummerFest contributions of additional street and police department expense as well as the cost share for additional patrolmen with the SummerFest committee.Sidewalk construction for Liberty Street from Center Street to Water Street will occur this year.  Three bids were received and All American Concrete was awarded the contract. The village approved the  chip and seal for  parking lots located at the library, boardwalk and the street department.The Memorial Day parade is scheduled for  Monday, May 30th.  The opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the Baptist Cemetery Veterans’ Memorial  and the parade will step-off at  9:30 heading towards Park Cemetery. Village council will meet again on June 15th at 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend.