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Garrettsville – Village Council opened their monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 10th  with Mayor Moser  recognizing Council President Rick Patrick’s half-century birthday; they then got down to business.  The mayor, five council members, the village solicitor & clerk-treasurer were all in attendance (councilwoman Karen Clyde was absent).  The minutes of February’s meeting were approved with one minor correction to who was in attendance.  There was a quick discussion about tax revenue increasing and upcoming bills that would need to be paid before a motion to pay the current bills was passed.

The first thing on the agenda was to clarify the definition of employee comp time as presented in the village employee manual.  After much discussion, it was deemed that the intent of the original definition was that no employee shall carry more than forty hours of comp time at any time.  The mayor and council further clarified the issue by stating any comp time earned in excess of the forty hours will be paid as overtime by the end of the pay period in which it was earned.  Currently, employees carrying more than forty hours will be paid for the overage in the next pay period (the end of February) to bring everyone down to the forty-hour cap.   It was also suggested an ordinance was needed to purge the employee manual of confusing verbiage.

Next, council passed a motion to pay the Garrettsville branch of the Portage County Library a portion of the cost of their annual 2010 utilities as has been done in past years.

Up for discussion next were the vehicle replacement options for the village police department.  The new vehicle will be replacing an older, high-mileage cruiser and will also be able to accommodate the K-9 unit.  After looking at what was available and considering the benefits and needs of the department, council voted to approve the purchase of an outfitted Chevy Tahoe.  The cost of the base vehicle through Charles Chevrolet is $26,914.55 and will come from the general fund.  The equipment needed to outfit the new cruiser will cost $16,136.85 and will come from the drug & alcohol fund.  Council President Rick Patrick said the cruiser that is being replaced will be auctioned off.

Councilman Chuck Klamer reported on the status of the sidewalk project.  He said the plan is to finish Center Street and then move to Liberty Street.  He also reported that no determination has been made yet to whether the sidewalks on Liberty Street will be on the east or west side, but that the east side would have a tie-in with the [Reserve at Eagle Creek] development which is required to put in sidewalks as part of zoning.  It was decided to table further discussion on the project for now.

The mayor updated everyone on the Economic Development Board meeting that was held February 3rd.  He stated the topic of discussion was whether chicken coops were against village ordinance or not.   He said currently residents were allowed to keep the fowl as long as they were contained and not allowed to roam free.  A motion was passed for the Development Board to do more research on the subject before a final determination is made.  The mayor also stated that talks are on hold with T-Mobile for the antenna project for the top of the water tower.

Council President Rick Patrick gave an update on the SR 82 bridge.  He said all work is on hold until the weather stays above 40 degrees.  The contractor still has to make cuts in the concrete decking which can’t be done in the cold temperatures.  He also said the state’s plan is to seal the bridge with the same colored sealer they used on the South Street bridge.  He said the contractor advised him to send a letter to the state requesting a clear sealer.

Patrick also updated everyone on the accessorizing of the new dump truck and said the old truck it replaced will be listed on eBay soon.
The next regular Village Council meeting will be held on March 9th at &:30 p.m. at Village Hall.