The DeGraff Village Council convened in regular session 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at 107 S. Main St., DeGraff.
Mayor Gary L. Comer called the meeting to order and led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance with the following members and visitors present: Sue E. Walls, Jennifer Bowman, Chuck Bertschman, Dennis Stout, Jenny LeClair.
EMPLOYEES: David Reames, DVFD Chief; George K Piersall, DPD Chief; Miranda Warren, Solicitor; Patrol Officer Hickerson, DPD
VISITORS: Nathan Dunham of WPKO/WBLL Media was in attendance to observe the meeting.
MINUTES: Chuck Bertschman moved to suspend the reading of the September 1, 2015 meeting Minutes and to approve them as written and submitted by the Fiscal Officer. Jennifer Bowman seconded the motion. Votes were: Sue E Walls, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Jennifer Bowman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye. Motion
Zoning: Nothing new to report.
Solicitor: Reported on the status of Ordinance for R.I.T.A. concerning the mandated Municipal Income Tax Ordinance Revision requirements that will take effect in January 2016.
STREET COMMITTEE: The committee presented three (3) estimates to council for approximately 3,562 square feet of asphalt repairs to be completed on Miami and Cretcher Streets (SR 235). The estimates were as follows: Rick Stanley, $ 12,800.00; Quality Paving, $ 11,175.00; H&S Asphalt,
$ 11,500.00 (with approximately 65% of estimate to be paid in advance). Following discussion; Dennis Stout moved to allow Mayor Comer to contact Quality Paving to see if they might be able to get an estimated date on when they would be able to do the work; and whether or not the current estimate would still be good if they can’t do the project till Spring of 2016. Chuck Bertschman seconded the motion. Votes were: Sue E Walls, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Jennifer Bowman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye. Motion
The committee received an estimate from Alexander Concrete to install a new 18” standup curb; which would include demolishing the existing concrete out and replace with new concrete with curb in front of catch basin and demolish and replace the existing sidewalk with curb from South Street to railroad track along State Route 508; and to raise the catch basin height. The total estimate to complete the Sidewalk & Curb Project on SR 508 (including labor, equipment, and materials) is $ 11,000.00. The Committee also received an estimate from Alexander Concrete for $ 2,800.00 to repair curb catch basin at the corner of Church Street and State Route 235 (they will offer a $ 150.00 discount if the village approved both projects).
Volunteer Fire Department: The committee reported on the status of the replacement title, at a cost of $ 15.00 for the 1992 Vantura Truck. The Fire Chief and Fiscal Officer will have the renewed Three (3) Year Fire Contracts Proposal(s) recommendations prepared by the next council meeting.
Police Department: The committee reported on the status of the “PEP” recommendation for the Police Department to update their “Civilian Ride-Along Policy” to ensure maximun liability insurance protection; and to repair the emergency light in the hall between the Library and Police Dept which was a recommendation due to the on-site inspection. The proposed “Civilian Ride-Along”Policy was edited by Chief, and forwarded to the Solicitor for final review and approval. The committee announced that CPR and AEP Training will be held on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 7:00PM at the DeGraff Village Office.
The Committee also recommeded that Council allow the Fiscal Officer to enter into Agreement with LexisNexis to use their services FREE of charge to authorize LexisNexis to initiate disbursement payments via ACH (Automated Clearing House) and deposit to the DeGraff Village Bank Account; contigent on the Solicitor’s recommendation and approval. This will be Resolution 15-23. Following discussion; Chuck Bertschman moved to adopt Resolution 15-23, contigent on the Solicitor’s recommendation and approval. Dennis Stout seconded the motion. Votes were: Sue E Walls, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Jennifer Bowman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye.
FINANCE COMMITTEE: The Finance Committee reported on the following:
Sue E. Walls, Finance Chairperson noted that the Finance Committee met on Monday September 14, 2015. She requested that Council member Jennifer Bowman (appointed by Mayor Comer) to research the options for funding and the status of the proposed Storm Sewer Replacement Project on Cretcher Ave. (SR 235); and Dennis Stout, Street Chairman for the Street Committee attend the meeting to discuss Resolution 15-21; A Resolution to allow the Mayor to enter into agreement with Poggemeyer Design Group Inc for Engineering expenses for the proposed SR/Cretcher Ave Storm Sewer Project; contingent on the availability of securing funds in the amount of approximately $ 86,000.00 to be included in the funding. The Fiscal Officer recently contacted the Finance Chair to inform her that the funding would not be available to help cover the Engineering Cost of $ 86,000.00 and she cannot certify the funds at this time. Following discussion; Dennis Stout moved to resend Resolution 15-21. Chuck Bertschman seconded the motion. Votes were: Sue E Walls, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Jennifer Bowman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye.
The Committee also recommended that Jennifer Bowman continue to work with Street Superintendent Jason Stewart to research other options for repairing that ongoing flood water issue in that area, at least until we can secure the funds and cooperation of all the property owners for a more permanent repair. The village cannot use our Special Tax funds for engineering fees/expenditures. Jennifer informed council that Darrell Hurley would have more information on that issue because he worked on some of those lines in the past. Linda informed council that she received an email from Denise Plummer informing the village of the status of the funding for the proposed Storm Sewer Project; and that funding for the Engineering fees of approximately $ 86,000.00 would not be available, but the village would be able to apply those funds as part of our matching funds. The Fiscal Officer is not able to certify that amount for the Engineering Fees from the General Fund, or Street Special Revenue Funds at this time.
The Fiscal Officer recommended that council consider a reduction of the existing income tax credit that is currently calculated at a 100% credit of the 1% tax rate for the gross adjusted income for Local Taxes for the Village of DeGraff, to be reduced to a 50% credit of the 1% tax rate. The reduction of the credit will increase the General Fund Tax Revenues without proposing an increase to the tax rate. Only Earned Income will be affected. The State has reduced revenue funding that was once sufficient for Local Government Operations. These revenue reductions over the past few years have significantly affected our revenue base. Following discussion: Chuck Bertschman moved to adopt proposed Ordinance 15-24 (1st reading, Title Only); An Ordinance to reduce the Municipal Income Tax Rate credit from 100% credit of the 1% rate to 50% credit of the 1% rate. Sue E. Walls seconded the motion.
Votes were: Sue E Walls, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Jennifer Bowman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye. Motion
The Committee reported that The Regional Income Tax Agency has accepted the Village’s Membership Application to act as our Third Party Municipal Tax Administrator. The Municipal Tax Collection contract will be in effect commencing with July 1, 2016.
PARKS & RECREATION: Jenny LeClair gave an update on Village Park Operations. No major issues were reported.
CEMETERY: Chuck Bertchsman gave an update on grounds and operation matters. Everything is going well. The biggest issue is two trees that need to be removed at the cemetery. Next year, two council members will be required to serve on the Cemetery Board.
JOINT SEWER: Jenny LeClair reported on the status of WWTP Operations; she informed council that the Q/D WWTP Facility Superintendent Jeff Clevenger had praised Dave Scott (DeGraff Utility Superintendent), and Kirk Helmandollar (Quincy Village Administrator) for their assistance with the recent Sludge Removal Project at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Plant operators Jeff Clevenger and Tom Taylor, with the assistance of Kirk Helmandollar and Dave Scott were able to load three (3)-22 ton trucks of sludge in two (2) hours. Jeff also sent out thanks to the Davidson Farms for allowing both villages use of their land for sludge applying.
Dave and Kirk requested 20 ton of gravel to increase the height of the ramp for sludge removal. Other issues discussed included permits for hauling sludge, and maintenance activities to prepare for winterization, and updates on the sampler refrigeration status.
LIBRARY: Nothing to report.
ORDINANCES/RESOLUTIONS: The Fiscal Officer presented, and council approved the following Ordinances/Resolutions:
Resend Resolution 15-21; A Resolution to allow the Mayor to enter into Agreement with Poggemeyer Design Group for the proposed Storm Sewer Project on Cretcher Ave (SR 235), contingent on funding to include Engineer’s cost. The motion was moved by Dennis Stout; seconded by Chuck Bertschman. All yes votes. Motion passed to resend Resolution 15-21. Resend Resolution 15-21
Resolution 15-23; A Resolution to allow the Fiscal Officer to enter a “Law Enforcement Agreement” with Lexis/Nexis for the Police Department contingent on final approval of Miranda Warren, Solicitor. The motion was moved by Chuck Bertschman; seconded by Dennis Stout. All yes votes. Motion passed to adopt Resolution 15-23. Resolution 15-23
Ordinance 15-24 (title only, first reading); An Ordinance to decrease the Municipal Income Tax Credit rate from 100% of 1% to 50% of 1%. The motion was made by Chuck Bertschman; seconded by Sue E. Walls. All yes votes. Ordinance 15-24, 1st reading title only
OLD BUSINESS: Fire Chief David Reames reminded Council that the Three (3) Year Fire Contracts need to be evaluated, and prepared for 2016, 2017, and 2018. He noted that we usually have them ready to mail in September to allow for review/questions. The Fiscal Officer informed council that the proposed contract renewals will be ready by the first meeting in October, if not sooner for their review. She noted that there probably won’t be any significant changes, if any. Linda will place the proposed Three (3) Year Fire Contracts in each Safety Committee member’s mailbox for their convenience/review before the October 6, 2015 council meeting.
Mayor Comer presented a letter from Bob Smith of Legacy Pipeline Services, LLC (as previously requested by council) to be able to inform the Residents and General Public on the current status of the Proposed Natural Gas Line Project. The Letter, via email dated September 14, 2015 was read as follows:
“Dear Mayor Comer,
Per your request, this is an update regarding the status of the natural gas distribution system, which has been proposed by Legacy Pipeline Services for the City of DeGraff and the surrounding area.
We have been reporting, that the main obstacle to moving forward, has been securing a natural gas agreement with Vectren Energy of Ohio. Vectren is the only gas utility in the DeGraff area that could supply the gas needed for Legacy Pipeline to build the DeGraff System. We have been going back and forth with Vectren for several months negotiating a workable/economic agreement. Finally, we have requested and have been granted a meeting in Columbus with Vectren at our attorney’s office, Vory, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP. The meeting is scheduled for September 23, 2015 at 2:15pm. We are optimistic that at this meeting we can finalize the gas supply agreement. I will call you after the meeting to let you know what transpires.
In addition, I have contacted the offices of State Representative, Nino Vitali and State Senator, Keith Faber for Logan County. I explained our situation with the DeGraff system and have requested their support and assistance for this project. I will continue to follow up with both offices to garner their Support. Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact me.”
The letter was signed by Bob Smith of Legacy Pipeline Services, LLC. Following discussion concerning the report of the current status of the natural gas situation; Mayor Comer encouraged his council members to contact our State Representative Nino Vitali, and State Senator Keith Faber to express the Village’s desire to be allowed to have natural gas supplied to our community and surrounding areas, and to support us in this quest.
NEW BUSINESS: Mayor Comer announced that Whitaker Wright will be meeting with him on September 28, 2015 between 10-10:30 am at the Village Office to discuss the Neighborhood Revitalization Grant Program. He noted that the village intends to pursue all options and opportunities for funding the Projects that were previously submitted. He noted that this meeting will be an open and informative meeting.
PAY BILLS: Sue E. Walls moved to pay the bills. Jennifer Bowman seconded the motion. Votes were: Sue E Walls, Aye; Chuck Bertschman, Aye; Jenny LeClair, Aye; Jennifer Bowman, Aye; Dennis Stout, Aye. Motion
ADJOURN MEETING: Mayor Comer adjourned the meeting at 8:30 PM.
The meeting was adjourned till October 6, 2015 at 7:00 P.M. at the 107 S. Main Street – DeGraff, OH 43318-0309
Submitted by the village of DeGraff.