Burton – At 7 pm, Mayor Blair called the Burton Village Council Meeting to order. All councilpersons were present.
The police chief’s report was submitted to the council. The report submitted covered November and December 2010. There were 317 calls in November and 325 in December along with six arrests in November and two in December. The police department has increased their visibility by the elementary school between 3 pm and 4:15 pm. The police chief stops by the schools periodically to find out what the parents and faculty would like to see the police department do to help the schools. Also, they have filed dispositions to destroy old evidence and that project is proceeding.
The police chief detailed that he went to Amber Alert training in Columbus and he explained the procedures that need to be followed in order to have an Amber Alert activated. There must be a kidnapping; there are other processes available for missing children (assumed not kidnapped). He also met with people from the Child Missing Program in Columbus. The Geauga Chief Association has agreed on procedures to follow in the case of an Amber Alert being issued in the county. Various local resources will be available until the child is found. He expressed how important it is to be prepared, because the sooner alerts are issued, the better the chances of finding the child.
The solicitor did not have a report to submit but brought up an issue for future council consideration. Solicitor Hicks spoke about the increase of Internet sweepstake cafes popping up in the area. These cafes are operated for purpose of legalized gambling and he is concerned that one might want to open in the area. He suggested that he write up an ordinance requiring a six-month moratorium if one were to want to open. This would give the Council ample time to consider the consequences of such a business opening in the Village. Council agreed that Solicitor Hicks should draft an ordinance and present it to Council at the next meeting.
Ordinance 2213-11: amending Section 303(A) of the Board of Public Affairs Rules and Regulations for the Village of Burton and Section 925.02(A) of the Village of Burton Codified Ordinances so as to amend the sewer rates.
Ordinance 2214-11: amending Section 302(A) of the Board of Public Affairs Rules and Regulations for the Village of Burton and Section 925.01(A) of the Village of Burton Codified Ordinances so as to amend the sewer tap-in or connection fee.
The Fiscal Officer asked for a motion to approve bills to be paid. This motion passed. He also requested a motion to approve the minutes of the January 10 meeting. Councilperson Rogue had a few corrections. A motion was then passed to accept the minutes as amended.
The Fiscal Officer also went over a few changes that he made to the 2011 budget. There was some discussion and clarification regarding those changes. The Fiscal Officer will present the amended budget to Council next month.
The Mayor’s Report will be emailed to the members of Council. The Mayor also mentioned that the time was fast approaching for maple sugaring and that means more traffic in the Village. He asked everyone to be patient and tolerant with the traffic increases.
Councilperson Coleman made a comment regarding the increase of village water and sewer fees stating that he felt they were too high and could create a burden to residents. He suggested that council consider phasing in increases over approximately three years, thus easing some of the burden on the residents. Councilperson Ronyak stated his concerns for being able to pay for upcoming costs and maintenance of the existing systems. It was mentioned that the past government body did not raise rates for water and sewer and now it must be done in order to update present equipment. Councilperson Coleman agreed but would like to see a gradual increase of rates, especially in this economy. Councilperson Rogue agreed that the increase was too much abrupt and too steep, regardless of the reason for it. The Mayor told council that the increase was not even as much as was recommended to him by others. There will be a public hearing about this increase on February 15.
New Business included quotes sent out for spring brush pick-up. Four quotes were sent out and only two were returned. Northeast Tree and Stump and Van Curen were the two that returned the quotes. Northeast had the lower bid. It was requested that a motion be made to allow them the contract for spring brush pick-up; it was passed.
Councilperson Hauser gave a public thank you to Marty and the street crew for always keeping the village running smoothly. He also received a round of applause from council.
The meeting was then adjourned.