Windham – The Windham Village council met on September 22, 2014 with all council members in attendance. Mayor Rob Donham called the meeting to order and gave the guests an opportunity to address council. All of the guests preferred to wait until the end of the meeting before addressing council.
Council approved the fire, police and safety report, the minutes and the financial report before moving on to the lease/ purchase of new police vehicles. A discussion on the lease /purchase of three new vehicles was held with two of the council members unsure if the lease/ purchase is technically considered a true emergency. They also questioned the need for three vehicles. The mayor reminded council that salt will be seven times more expensive than in previous years and they will be using a lot less of it. Therefore, all-wheel drive vehicles will be necessary to get around. One council member did agree that is would save on gas since the new vehicles have V-6 engines rather than V-8 engines in the cruisers they currently have. They also noted that there would be less money going out for repairs as well. A vote was taken, with one member voting against the measure. The council member who voted against the measure thought two vehicles would suffice. The lease /purchase option of the three vehicles has the village paying $30,000 a year for four years and $1 for the fifth year if they choose to purchase the vehicles at the end of the lease.
In other safety news, council appointed their village representative to the fire board. They voted to have resident Jim Moore represent their residents’ interests on the WFVD Joint Fire Board.
A long discussion on Ordinance O-2014-18 was held. This ordinance is to revise and amend the Windham utility code and adjust water rates for purchase of water from the village and declaring an emergency. This change would allow families who use large quantities of water,(6000 – 12,000 gallons a month) a rate reduction. There are approximately 70 household in the village that this affects. Mayor Rob Donham says this would save those families about $15/ month. The mayor claimed that many times this usage is due to car washing, lawn watering or hosting guests during the summer months. Council members not in favor of the rate reduction stated that for years the single person households paid more than their share of the water bills due to a minimum usage requirement that was once in effect. Now they have eliminated the minimum usage it is now a more fair way of billing and they object to giving large users a break. One council person wanted to know why they should reward those who use more water rather than reward those who choose to conserve water. A vote was taken and five of the six council members voted against giving large users a rate reduction.
In parks and recreation, council approved the appointment of Chris Collins to the Parks and Recreation Committee. They also approved spending of , no more than $15,000 from the revolving loan fund to move and install playground equipment at the park. The equipment must be installed to the new safety mandates which are quite labor intensive and costly.
A resident questioned zoning policies and also asked why nothing has been done about an on- going problem in her neighborhood. Mayor Rob Donham will look into the problem. Another resident questioned what the plans were for the $676,000 in the sewer fund. $250,000 is planned for upgrades and $30,000 for capital improvement. Another resident in attendance inquired about when they would start campaigning for the Parks and Recreation Levy. The answer given was soon. The same resident wanted to know how much of the funds from that levy would be spent on the community center. The response was that $5,000-10,000 of the levy monies will be spent on the center. It was estimated that it would take $25,000 to get the community center up and running again. Then, it will take about $5000-10,000 a year for maintenance of the facility.
Lastly, another resident questioned when they expected to be in the new facility they bought last year. Mayor Rob Donham responded with spring 2015. Council approved the purchase of the building in October 2013 and made the first payment in January 2014 and as of yet do not have architect drawings for the renovation of the facility. The mayor expects the drawings soon.
The next scheduled meeting will be held on November 25, 2014 at 7 pm in council chambers.