Garrettsville – Council President Tom Hardesty led the July Garrettsville council meeting in the absence of Mayor Rick Patrick (councilman Hadzinsky was also unavailable for the meeting).  The meeting date, normally scheduled for the second Wednesday of the month, was rescheduled and held on Monday, July 18.

Hardesty held a Public Hearing prior to the start of the meeting for public comment for proposed Ordinance 2016-25, the village’s 2017 Tax Budget; there were no questions or comments.

Once the regular meeting began, council made quick order of approving the bills, reviewing revenue, expenditure and tax reports.  Council also passed Resolution 2016-20, accepting the low bid for the Liberty Street/Silica Road Drainage Improvements Project, Ordinance 2016-22 accepting a temporary construction easement related to the Liberty Street Project, Resolutions 2016-23 and 2016-24 extending the termination date of the Community EMS District and Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Joint Fire District’s dispatch contracts to July 31, 2016 (It was mentioned that both Community EMS and GFNJFD dispatch services were going to be handled by the City of Aurora beginning August 1st.)    and Ordinance 2016-25 the village’s 2017 tax budget.

In a special meeting, held on June 22, council convened to discuss entering into a contract for the village’s police dispatch services with the village of Mantua.  Garrettsville’s Police Chief Tony Milicia, Mantua’s Police Chief Harry Buchert and three of Garrettsville’s officers were present to discuss the details of the contract as well as concerns.  The two biggest concerns had to do with signal strength, and whether or not there could be issues in isolated areas of Garrettsville’s coverage area and also compatibility between Garrettsville’s and Mantua’s equipment.

Chief Buchert assured council that part of the fee paid through the contract is for necessary upgrades to Mantua’s system, so compatibility will not be an issue.  Chief Milicia recommended a radio survey be conducted prior to Mantua taking over dispatch to determine the best options for signal amplification.  Council voted to approve the contract with Mantua and also voted to approve expenditure to include the signal testing and necessary signal upgrades not to exceed $10,000.

The five-plus-year contract agreement runs from August 1, 2016 through December 31, 2021.  For the remainder of 2016, Garrettsville will pay $6666.67 monthly for dispatch service.  Beginning January 2017, an annual fee will be charged for service and paid in quarterly payments.  Dispatch services in 2017 will cost the village $82,400. There is an approximately 3% annual increase built in over the remaining four years.  Chief Milicia said that in the long run this is the most cost effective option for the department’s dispatch services.

Back to the July 18th meeting, some of the highlights during round table discussion included: bringing back to life the Economic Development Group, cost of installing sidewalks on Wheeler Road from State Street to Shawnee, roadside mowing, status of the Liberty Street Construction Project, plans for the municipal parking lot between Center and High Streets including installation of the old street lamps salvaged from the Main Street/SR 82 Bridge that was rebuilt a few years ago, and village ordinance and enforcement regarding junk and /or abandoned cars in the village.

Council adjourned to executive session to discuss employment and compensation.

If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community, attend a meeting.  The next regular Village Council meeting is scheduled for August 10, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.