Garrettsville – When session opened for the February 12, 2014 Garrettsville village council meeting, the first order of business was Mayor Patrick presenting a plaque to former village councilman Robert Matson in recognition of his many years of service to the village.Following the presentation, the minutes from the January meeting were approved.  Revenue, Expenditure, Cash Balance and Income Tax Reports were reviewed.  Councilman Hadzinsky commented that this past January had been “the best in the last four years”.  Solicitor Stuck stated that there were 32 complaints to be filed with the county for back taxes.

It was mentioned that preceding this evening’s council meeting was a work session with the mayor, council members and representatives from Arcadis and the Garrettsville Board of Public Affairs to review a water study rate increase proposal.  Council members voiced concern about raising fees during a financially depressed time.  They also stated they want some time to digest and review the information presented before making any determinations about water/sewer rate increases.
Christopher Sanchez, Chief of Emergency Medical Services for Community EMS District, presented council with a 2013-year end review.  The number of alarms responded to and patients transported was slightly down compared to 2012.  Response times, however, improved by ten seconds compared to 2012.  The district is expecting to pay off its existing loans ahead of schedule, retire an ambulance as well as purchase a new one with earmarked capital improvement funds, and erect a new antenna as soon as the weather breaks.

Next on the agenda, council passed Resolution 2014-04 ratifying the annual contract for fees with Robinson Health Affiliates for drug and alcohol testing.  Council discussed proposed Ordinance 2014-07, which would establish standards for weather related closure of village offices.  The proposed amendment based village offices closure on county government office closure and/or the mayor or village council president’s determination.  It was decided that closure of village offices was not dependent on whether or not the county government offices were closed.  The Ordinance passed and was amended with the changes discussed.  Ordinance 2014-09 was read and discussed.  The proposed Ordinance makes appropriations for current expenses and expenditures for the village for 2014.  Councilwoman Harrington asked for a work session to go over the budget before it is approved, council agreed and will vote next month on the 2014 budget.

Council also passed Resolution 2014-05 authorizing a street surfacing agreement with Harbon Properties LLC for the Fox Hollow Subdivision, Ordinance 2014-06 accepting and approving the first final plat on the Fox Hollow subdivision and Ordinance 2014-10 amending existing code relating to fees for subdivision plat review.  Councilwoman Harrington abstained from these votes.

During round table discussion Councilman Klamer wanted council to “think spring” and mentioned that he would be presenting a report on the village’s sidewalks and needed repairs and costs at the next council meeting.  Discussion ensued about the street department hiring temporary seasonal employees that could be used to help in these repairs.

The mayor complemented the street department for the great job they’ve been doing this winter clearing the snow on the streets even though they were almost out of salt.  As of the council meeting, the street department was still awaiting salt delivery to replenish their stores.  The mayor announced that the movie theater would be reopening in March under new ownership.  The new owners were already working on remodeling and repairing the theaters.  He also mentioned that owners of the proposed Pizza Hut planned to break ground for the new building in March.  The garage sale weekend is scheduled by the Chamber of Commerce for the weekend of May 17-18 and the village clean-up would be the week after the garage sale as last year’s had been.  Last on the Mayor’s agenda was mention of the hazardous intersection at High and Main Street.  The mayor asked council to think about and be ready to discuss at the March council meeting making High Street one-way between Main Street and Maple Street.

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 March 12, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.