Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Village Council

108

Burton - All Council members were present at this meeting which  began with a special visit by the Burton Cub Scout and Boy Scout Troop 197.  The boys led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then Chief of Police Smigelski explained to the Council and visitors that the local troop was being honored for their commitment to helping the seniors in the community.  Each member was mentioned by name, shook hands with the Council members and received a certificate.  Linda Swaney was thanked for her assistance in finding community members who were in need of assistance.  Mayor Blair gave his advice to the boys by quoting “service above self” and commended the young men on the steps they have already taken to achieve that goal.

The Mayor then read a proclamation thanking other community volunteers.  Those volunteers were from several different boards and committees.  They included Charles Boehnlein, James Clark, Dianne Valen, Marcianne Kimpton (who received several citations), Robert McCullough, Ken Kleve, Sue Fisher, Newell Beaumier, James Koster, Curt Johnson, Karolyn Squire, Paul Emch, Glen Bomback, Sharon Moster, Roberta Dobay, Judith Beaumier, Pat Hauser, Sharon Ronyak, Jim Wohlken, and Kurt Updegraff.  The Mayor commended all those volunteers for their tireless efforts and the time they donate to the various causes.

Police Chief Smigelski submitted an official Police Report to the Council.  He detailed that there were 345 calls last month, 5 arrests were made, 731 hours were logged and 3,691 miles were patrolled.  He explained that traffic enforcement was still a big issue but that drivers were starting to slow down due to weather.

He also mentioned that the records project was now finished.  All records dating back to 1980 had been reviewed and categorized.  With that done, a new project was starting regarding evidence.  Evidence dating back to 1976 has been gone through and a log created.  That log will then go to the prosecutor’s office and a determination will be made whether to keep or destroy the evidence.  This process is still on-going.

Police Chief Smigelski reported to the board that Police Officer, Danny Grant, with 29 1?2 years of service would be retiring at the end of November.

The last police issue was regarding a Bonus Grant for $30,000 that the Village was trying to win.  He explained it briefly to the Council and then asked them to think about improvements they would like to see made and asked them to contact him with ideas before the end of the month.

The Solicitor had nothing to report at this time.

Ordinance/Resolutions:

Ordinance 2207-10, adopting and approving the 2011 Interim Budget, second reading.

Ordinance 2209-10, approving, adopting and enacting the 2010 replacement pages to the Codified Ordinances, and declaring an emergency.  This motion was adopted.

Ordinance 2210-10, amending section 1113.04(b) of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Burton for official posting places of approved and disapproved zoning applications.  First reading.

Ordinance 2211-10, amending section 521.07 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Burton to allow electrified pet containment systems and modify where electrified fences are allowed within the village limits.  First reading.

The Fiscal Officer asked for approval of bills to be paid and that was moved and passed.  He also asked for approval of minutes for the November 8 meeting and they were also moved and passed.  He had nothing else to report at this time.

The Mayor’s Report gave an update about an on-going issue with a property owner having two cows and having an electrified fence on their property inside the Village.  The Mayor felt this was being handled by the above mentioned Ordinance.  A member of the audience asked for clarification of the issue.  The Mayor explained that a resident with a two acre parcel had two cows and an electrified fence.  Another issue was  run-off  that ran downhill, but  it was really the fence that was being challenged.  Agriculture is not a permitted use of this type of land without a variance, due to the location, the homeowner was in violation of zoning codes.

The property owner stated that they had permission from a former zoning inspector for the fence, but after quite a bit of investigation, no such permission was found.  This issue will be worked on and discussed again at the next scheduled Council meeting.

The Mayor also brought up an issue about the alleys behind the stores in the Village.  Apparently, they are in need of repair and ownership/responsibility is not clear.  The Mayor determined that it was necessary to find the owners and then resolution could be discussed.  Also he wants to find out who provides snow removal services for that area.  He asked that Chip Hess and his people investigate this and get back to Council.

Old business included the 2011 Interim Budget and the Mayor asked if there were any questions or further discussion about this issue.  There was none.

Also in Old Business, the Mayor asked for comments on the Capital Improvement Plan.  He reported that there were lots of ideas submitted and that Chris Paquette was creating a report with them and would be submitting that report as soon as Council was ready for it.

Linda Swaney received a call from a resident of the Village, in which they wanted to thank the Police Department for watching their property while they were on vacation.  The resident was very impressed with this service.  The Police Department, once you advise them of your travel plans, will have an officer from each shift check a property not only for security purposes but they will detail other problems as necessary.  A letter with times and dates of inspections is sent to the homeowner upon their return from vacation.

An audience member mentioned that the American Legion hall is holding a fundraiser next weekend to benefit their scholarship programs.  The event includes Breakfast with Santa and a craft fair.  She encouraged Council members to attend.

Meeting then went into Executive Session.

Garrettsville - Garrettsville Village Council wrestled with the pros and cons of either demolishing or repairing the Irwin Hardware Building, with several members initially hesitant to allocate public monies for a privately-owned building. Despite the controversy, detractors had to agree that the privately-owned building has become a very public hazard, due to its deterioration in the heart of the business district.
Village Council had no choice but to act before winter weather set in and caused even more structural damage. “It’s in the whole town’s best interest,” says Council President Rick Patrick. “This is a good plan. Even if we had decided to tear down the building, it would have cost the village at least $100,000 — then what? Just leave a gaping hole on historic Main Street? If this building came down, the whole block would go down with it.”
Speaking of historic Main Street, council members and contractors rediscovered an old stage still standing upstairs in the Irwin Building. Talk began about perhaps restoring it later in order to bring live theatre and musical performances back to the historic Buckeye Hall, as it was originally called.
Discussions about the stage undoubtedly evoked fading memories of the Old Opera House, built in 1889. For 75 years, Garrettsville’s Opera House was a village showpiece. The three-storied building–with its imposing bell tower–was considered the village’s cultural center for generations, hosting dances, plays, graduations, movie shows, lectures and holiday parties. It housed village hall, an auditorium, the fire station, police headquarters and council chambers.
After 69 years, structural weaknesses were discovered by state building inspectors and the future of the Opera House began to be questioned. Estimates for correcting its faults kept increasing and the huge building became a drain on the village treasury when rental fees from the auditorium stopped. The famous old landmark fell to the wrecking ball in 1964. Only the clock was saved in a new clock tower built 14 years later on the same site at the corner of High and Maple Streets, now surrounded by parking lots.
In addition to this sad history, council members recalled that Mantua’s old hardware store burned down about 20 years ago, and even now Mantua’s Main Street has an empty lot where that storefront once stood, despite the village’s efforts to attract new business there.
Village Council did not want to bring the same fate to Garrettsville, so, according to Patrick, “We did what we had to do, before it’s too late.”