The DeGraff Village Council convened in regular session from 7 to 8:43 p.m. Feb. 2 at 107 S. Main St.
Mayor Jennifer Bowman called the meeting to order and led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance with the following members and visitors present:
Sue E Walls, Dennis Stout, Jenny LeClair, Chuck Bertschman.
EMPLOYEES: Dave Scott, Utility Superintendent; George Piersall, Police Chief.
MINUTES: Dennis Stout moved to suspend the reading of the previous minutes and to approve them as submitted by the Fiscal Officer; seconded by Sue E. Walls. Votes were: Sue E. Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye. Motion
EXCUSE ABSENCE: Chuck Bertschman moved to excuse Kelli Kreglow Stephens from the meeting; seconded by Dennis Stout. Votes were: Sue E. Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye. Motion
VISITORS: Jeff and Kim Pond, Officers for the DeGraff Summer Ball Association were in attendance to request use of the Village Ball diamonds and Park facilities (including the concession and facilities) for the 2016 Ball Season from March 15, 2016 through August 1, 2016; and to be allowed to use the Municipal Building on February 18th (6-8pm), and February 20th (2-4pm) to conduct meetings for the DeGraff Summer Ball Association. Nathan Dunham was in attendance to observe the meeting; Andrew Vicario, recommendation for appointment as a village Police Auxiliary Officer; Beth Neeley (resident) was in attendance to address council and express her interest in the vacant council seat.
Mayor Jennifer Bowman recommended Ms. Neeley to Council to fill the vacant seat (term expires Dec 31, 2019). Following discussion; Chuck Bertschman moved to appoint Beth Neeley to fill the vacant council seat (term expires 12/31/2019); second by Sue E. Walls. Votes were: Sue Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye. Motion
Jenny LeClair moved to allow the DeGraff Summer Ball Association to have possession of the DeGraff Village Park, including the ball diamonds, concession and other facilities from March 15, 2016 through August 1, 2016 to conduct summer ball activities and events; and to make more keys for the park dumpster, concession stand, and restrooms; second by Chuck Bertschman. Votes were: Sue E. Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye; Beth Neeley, Aye.
Chuck Bertschman moved to allow the Summer Ball Booster Association to use the Village Office on Feb 18, 2016 from 6-8 pm and Feb 20, 2016 from 2-4 pm to conduct meetings for matters concerning the Summer Ball Association; second by Dennis Stout. Votes were: Sue E. Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye; Beth Neeley, Aye. Motion
Council informed Jeff and Kim Pond that the village is currently in competition with other communities for a total of a $ 300,000.00 Community Development Block Grant for “Neighborhood Revitalization” (over the next two years); and that the Village Park is a priority for funding much needed park improvements, which would require substantial volunteer assistance from local organizations; which would be considered as “In-kind” contributions towards the village cost share. There are several Park improvement project requests submitted for funding (including several ADA proposed projects); ADA sidewalks and concrete pads for bleachers, ADA playground equipment, a parking lot expansion, field lights for the middle ball diamond, building improvements. The Village officials are hoping that community members/local volunteer organizations/groups will assist us to make this opportunity a reality if we are selected. The third public meeting to discuss these Community Revitalization projects will be held on March 10, 2016 at 6:30 at the Village Office. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
Dave Scott was in attendance at the request of Mayor Bowman to update Council on the status of the proposed/approved Water (Valve Replacement Project on Cretcher Ave.), and Sewer (Grouting) Projects. Dave is requesting updated estimates for both projects for final submission for funding request through the CDC for Community Development Block Grant funding through the Community Revitalization Program.
SOLICITOR: Mayor Jennifer Bowman gave an update on legal issues that Miranda is currently working on concerning village matters; including, the ongoing flooding issues that occur during heavy rain fall due to the damaged tile issues in the North end of town. Council wants to know if they can expend Village funds to fix a flooding/drainage problem on private property because it is causing damage to the Streets and other properties in that area due to deteriorating/damaged infrastructure.
STREET COMMITTEE: Dennis Stout reported on the status of current street operations,
And on the status of the installed speed & corporation limit signs on East Miami Street. It was noted that the corporation sign was placed on the left side of the road (of the original sign location) as a precaution to avoid cutting into fiber optic cables that were located in that area. The new signs do meet compliance. The next Street meeting is scheduled for February 8, 2016 at 4:30pm.
SAFETY COMMITTEE: The Committee had nothing to report. Mayor Jennifer Bowman informed council that she requested that both the Police Chief and Fire Chief turn in Monthly Operation Reports
to her office for her and council to review. Police Chief Piersall turned in the January 2016 Police Dept Report at the meeting.
Police Department Report: Chief Piersall recommended that council hire Andrew Vicario as an Auxiliary Patrol Officer, contingent on a background check and a passed physical. Following discussion, Chuck Bertschman moved to hire Andrew Vicario as an Auxiliary Patrol Officer, contingent on a back ground check and a passed physical; second by Sue E. Walls. Votes were: Sue E. Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye; Beth Neeley, Aye. Motion
Chief Piersall informed council that Office of Criminal Justice Service (OCJS), that the State of Ohio will start certifying law enforcement agencies to ensure that they are implementing policies within their agencies concerning Ohio’s new state standards for use of force including use of deadly force and employee recruitment and hiring standards.
Volunteer Fire Department: Dennis reported that the Volunteer Fire Department just conducted a fund raiser to help the family of a local Volunteer Fire Fighter with uninsured medical bills. The department raised approximately $ 5,000.00 for the family. Council commended the Fire Fighters for their support and effort in helping their fellow fire fighters.
FINANCE COMMITTEE: Sue E. Walls reported that the Finance Committee has not met yet to review the 2015 Fourth Quarter reports because the Fiscal Officer is still closing out the 2015 Financial Year. Linda informed council that she is finalizing the 2015 Annual Financial Reports, and will be rolled over into 2016 by February 7, 2016. She will file the 2015 Annual Financial Reports with the Auditor of State, Dave Yost, and advertise the required Public Notice to meet the reporting compliance.
PARK COMMITTEE: Nothing
CEMETERY: Chuck Bertschman gave an update on the vacated Sexton’s position.
JOINT SEWER BOARD: The next meeting is March 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the Q/D WWTP Facility. Jenny LeClair reported that there was discussion on filling the part time position at the Waste Water Treatment Plant Facility; and that Mayor Bowman (JSB Chair), and Jenny LeClair (DeGraff Council Board Rep) recommended that both councils fill the position at the current Resolution salary term (work 15 hours per week at $ 14.00 per hour), with no benefits. Following discussion; Dennis moved to allow the JSB Clerk to advertise the Quincy/DeGraff Part time position for the Assistant to the Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator for 15 hours per week at $ 14.00 per hour (with no benefits); second by Beth Neeley. Sue E. Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye; Beth Neeley, Aye.
OLD BUSINESS: The third (3rd) Public Meeting for the proposed DeGraff Neighborhood Revitalization CDBG Grant in the amount of $ 300,000.00 (2 year grant) will be held on Thursday
March 10, 2016 at 6:30pm, at the DeGraff Municipal Building. All residents are invited to attend.
Sue E. Walls gave a status report to council on the proposed natural gas project. She received an email from Colleen Ryan, President of Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio, informing Sue that Vectren sent a
revised agreement to Mr. Smith on Jan 14, 2016. The agreement is currently being reviewed by All American. Vectren requested a detailed map of the exact location of All American’s proposed pipeline route, but have not received anything yet. She noted that both documents will probably be returned in one mailing.
Mayor Jennifer Bowman has forwarded a request to Jim Cox concerning assisting the village with providing updated estimates for the projects that were previously submitted for the CDBG Community Revitalization Proposed projects for consideration for funding. She will update council as soon as she hears from Mr. Cox. Linda reported that Whitaker Wright, Senior Planner for CDC of Ohio contacted her to let her that he will advise when the next meeting advertisement should go to the media; and he prefers that it be after President’s Day Holiday.
NEW BUSINESS: Mayor Bowman informed council that there is a concern with the need for additional manpower in DeGraff and at the Quincy-DeGraff Waste Water Treatment Plant Facility; especially with all the proposed infrastructure projects that will be underway in the near future. Following discussion on the report presented by Utility Superintendent Dave Scott; Council member Dennis Stout expressed his concern about the status of some of the proposed infrastructure projects (Water, Sewer, and Streets) and options to fix them. He requested that Mayor Bowman set up a “Special Meeting” with the Board of Public Affairs Trustees, and Council members to discuss this matter. Mayor Bowman informed Council that she will contact Ron Pope, BPA Chairman to see about establishing a meeting date. There was also discussion on the possibility of hiring a third full time operations employee. The Fiscal Officer will take the request to the BPA Trustees for a wage recommendation (with benefits) for a third (3rd) full time Village employee to work under the Supervision of the Street Superintendent, and the Utility Superintendent.
Following discussion on the existing Ordinance for “Part time as Needed”; Sue E. Walls moved to allow the Fiscal Officer to advertise that the Village is accepting resumes for the existing “Part time As Needed” Ordinance; second by Chuck Bertschman. Votes were: Sue E. Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye; Beth Neeley, Aye. Motion
Mayor Jennifer Bowman informed Council that she is researching the option of implementing “Mayor’s Court” again in the Village.
PAY BILLS: Dennis Stout moved to pay bills; second by Jenny LeClair. Votes were: Sue E. Walls, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye; Beth Neeley, Aye.
ADJOURN: Mayor Jennifer L. Bowman adjourned the meeting at 8:43 pm.
The meeting was adjourned till February 16, 2016 at 7:00 P.M. at the 107 S. Main Street – DeGraff, OH 43318-0309.
Submitted by the village of DeGraff.