Garrettsville – Village officials present at the August 9th village council meeting, were Mayor Rick Patick, Village Solicitor Michele Stuck, Village Clerk Nancy Baldwin, and Council people Steve Hadzinsky; Tom Hardesty; Deb (Glass) Wordell; Sheri Johnson; Jeff Kaiser; and Becky Harrington. The meeting was called to order promptly at 7:30pm by Patrick.

While reviewing the minutes of the previous meeting, Stuck requested that language related to “storm sewers” be clarified to read “Village-owned storm sewer system.” The minutes were approved as amended by unanimous vote. A motion to pay the bills and wages as presented followed immediately and was passed without comment. Hadzinsky reported that the village is on target to finish out 2017 with around $60,000 in the budget (in combined funds).

Resolution 2017-24, which authorizes the village clerk to certify delinquent water/sewer bills to the County Auditor, was approved by unanimous vote.

Council discussed recent correspondence with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) regarding missing signage. Evidently the village received funding for the placement of ODNR directional signage in 1978 and has yet to install anything. It was decided that the village would purchase a sign directly from ODNR, and fulfill the belated signage request.

The village is currently seeking bids for the replacement of windows and carpet at Village Hall. Harrington questioned why these items needed to be replaced, to which Baldwin replied that the windows are extremely drafty (be sure to check out their icicles in the winter), and Kaiser mentioned the “ratty” state of the carpeting. Harrington mentioned that she’d share a list of companies that may be able to provide more quotes for the jobs.

Patrick informed the council members that a copy of Sgt. Eric Dunn’s retirement letter was included in their packets. The council extended their thanks for his service to the village, and Patrick plans to thank him personally when he see him (Dunn was not at the meeting).

Council heard from several residents concerned with storm drainage on their properties. The primary complaint seems to stem from a lack of knowledge about who owns the drains in question. Catch basins installed, or accepted, by the village become the responsibility of the village. Unfortunately, there is a massive lack of clarity as to who owns the storm drainage system being discussed, as nobody is sure if it had ever been “accepted” by the village. There is currently no policy to deal with old storm drainage systems within the village. Prior to more recent policy changes there were minimal records of home/property owner installed storm systems, making it difficult to determine the village’s responsibility for maintenance. Village council will be looking into the minutes from to 1950’s – 1960’s to see if there was a record of this particular drain’s acceptance; they’ll also be looking into the creation of a policy to handle similar situations. There is no desire to act before having a policy in place.

Owen Bass was present at the meeting to inform the council that he has secured $10,000 in donations from Charles Auto Family. He is hopeful that this will be enough to pay for fencing for a village dog park. He is also working on developing plans for a cement floored pavilion. Be sure to check out future issues of the Villager for more on the dog park project

Resolution 2017-25, which authorizes the solicitor to move funds due to the village’s general budget out of the Boardwalk Special Assessment fund to the General Fund. This transfer of funds has been a long time coming as the village was picking up Bob Andrews’ share of the assessment prior to McCumbers Brady Realty purchasing their building.
Council also approved an expenditure of about $10,000, 50% off the asking price, for mapping of the water and sewer system within the village. This will assist the water department in shutting off water in damaged areas by pinpointing all shutoffs and pipes. This will be immensely useful in the event of a water main break in the dead of winter.

“…as a village [we] want to grow, and [our] merchants to survive…”
– Bob Matson

The floor was then opened for comments from residents and business owners. Barb Bejger, Michelle Zivoder, and Erika Frankel were present to express their displeasure of a proposed change to Main Street parking. The plan, described by Bob Matson at the August 3rd planning meeting (where it was rejected) as, “one of the dumbest things [he’s] ever seen,” calls for the elimination over 21 parking spaces from the Main Street business district. For those who are not aware, this area is already plagued by insufficient parking, and has been for as long as most can remember. Matson would go on to state that “as a village [we] want to grow, and [our] merchants to survive.” Jerry Kehoe then added that the proposal, “obviously came from someone who hasn’t ever focused on [inaudible] in our town.” As it turns out the proposal originated with Councilwoman Harrington, and was intended to solve an issue that appeared nobody on council seemed to have asked her to solve. Harrington tried to defend the proposal, referred to as one of a handful of ideas, and even mentioned the village had recently increased the available parking in the business district. The area she referred to — the recently refurbished lot behind the Buckeye Block property — has in actuality seen the loss of over 10 parking spaces, casualties of the new parking pattern. Council, like the planning commission before it, seems to have agreed to heed the time-honored wisdom of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and discussed the topic no further.

Keith Whan was present to provide council with a spreadsheet comparison of police vehicles that included pricing, and maintenance. Patrick shared that the police department is down to two functional vehicles. Both Charles Auto Family and Kepich Ford have been contacted for bids. After a very detailed and lengthy discussion the council voted to begin the ordering process for one 2018 Chevy Tahoe. The council will determine what the second new vehicle will be at a later meeting.

Round Table Rodeo

Hardesty mentioned that the lights in the refurbished Buckeye Block parking lot would be installed on Saturday, August 12. The planters for the area are still a work in progress and would be coming eventually. He also confirmed that parking had indeed been reduced in the parking lot in order to make space available for extended, and crew cab, trucks – hopefully eliminating problematic parking on Main Street. For residents on Crestwood Drive – fear not, you’re still on the Street Department’s agenda!
Wordell mentioned working on an estimate for sidewalks with Randy, and inquired about the policy for reporting tall grass.

Johnson reported that the president of the softball leagues is concerned there is a plot by the boys baseball league to boot the girls from the “library park” (yes Rick, that is what we call it).

Patrick informed that council that the village is down two full-time officers. The recommendation is to promote two; they have one available for promotion. Drew Kluchurosky will be promoted after a recommendation by the chief and lieutenant. Drew has already been working full time anyway. Rick will ask the chief if he wants to start using the new work schedule, five  8 hour days. This would be a change from the current four 10 hour days.

The long-awaited replacement of Liberty Street Bridge has hit a scheduling delay. Instead of starting on Monday, August 14th as scheduled, the project should begin by August 21st. It is not clear whether this will affect the completion date, but all signs point to yes.
The Buckeye Block parking lot makes use of refurbished lamp posts from the old Windham Street bridge. Unfortunately the wrong shade of green was used on them, but by a happy accident the new color has received many compliments. All existing lamp posts will eventually be painted the new green color.

Two of Garrettsville’s parks will soon be sporting new names. The “library park” on South Street will now be known as Phelps Park in honor of Bill Phelps, and the Brosius Road park will sport the new moniker Hardesty Park in honor of Tom Hardesty’s hard work and planning of the park – note: a very modest Hardesty voted against naming the park after himself.

Kaiser brought a request to allow bow hunting within the village before council. It is not a currently permitted activity, and was determined to be too risky an idea to do anything with.

Harrington reported that she is still working on a Nature Works grant for the parks.

Patrick mentioned he recently attended a meeting about Headwaters Trail. He brought up the lack of maintenance of the trail to the Portage Park District. The district is still waiting on grant money to proceed with their plan to re-limestone the trail from end to end. Patrick also reported that the Park District would also be paying for some of the materials for the new trail entrance at Windham Street.

The meeting was adjourned shortly after the round table discussion. To learn more about Garrettsville happenings, stop by a Village Council meeting. Meetings are held at 7:30 PM on the second Wednesday of the month.

Full audio from the Council Meeting is available by clicking here.
Audio from the portion of the Planning Meeting attended by Villager Staff is available by clicking here.