Mt. Gilead Council reviews budget; possible council vacancy; local liquor license
By Randa Wagner -
Budget concerns, a council seat and a possible liquor license for Pizza Hut were topics considered in the past two Mt. Gilead Village Council meetings.
Council President Steve Hart said the Finance and Personnel committee met Dec. 20 and Jan. 2 and 14 and discussed the proposed 2013 budget.
“With everyone’s efforts, hopefully it’s not going to be as bad as we think,” he said. “We’re trying to get prepared in case it is.’
Ed Kline said he and John Curtis met with Chief Brian Zerman and went through the budget and ‘philosophy about where we’re at.’
“We gave him the charge of going through it and making cuts,” Kline said. “He’s trying to cut down on overtime and we appreciate his efforts to trim it down. We committed to meet quarterly and see where things are at.”
Rogers said some complaints came into the village about not enough salt being applied to the roads after the last snow event.
“With our budget cuts and so forth, you’re probably going to see more of the same,” Rogers said. “Trucks won’t be salting until all the plowing is done. Hills and intersections are what we’re going to focus on. Salt is almost $65 a ton and we have to use it sparingly.”
Dianne Matuch has been unable to attend council meetings due to a year-long work commitment that conflict with meeting times. She informed council she is willing to resign her seat, since she is unable to fulfill her role. Village Solicitor Matt Griffith agreed to contact her and advise her of the procedure to vacate her seat.
If Matuch resigns, the position will be advertised and council members will make the final decision of who fills the seat.
Kocomo Pizza, Inc., doing business as Pizza Hut, has applied for a D1 and D2 permit from the Ohio Division of liquor control. The division contacted council asking if they would like to hold a hearing regarding the community’s position on the matter.
A D1 license allows for onsite sales of beer and a D2 license allows for sales of wine and prepared and bottled cocktails, cordials, and other mixed beverages to be consumed onsite.
Annual Business and 2012 Review
Steve Hart was re-elected as Council President. Regular dates and times will remain the same: first and third Monday evenings at 7 p.m. except for July and August, which meets the third Monday of the month only.
The Mt. Gilead Village Rules and Procedures were adopted with a change to ‘limitation of debate’ (regarding public participation during a council meeting). It was proposed: ‘No resident addressing council shall be allowed to speak more than once on any one subject until every resident choosing to speak shall have spoken. No resident shall be permitted to speak more than five minutes on any one subject. More than one person discussing the same subject shall be limited to a maximum of ten minutes total.’
The reason given was it has occurred several times recently that, ‘once you get past five minutes or so, it just goes into a download spiral. People start making allegations and tempers flare. I feel this would behoove us.’
Griffith and Brininger, LLC, of Mt. Gilead were retained to serve the role of village solicitor at a rate of $32,700 annually. Matthew Griffith represents the firm at council meetings.
Mayor Mike Porter told Village Service Coordinator Bill Swain he felt he did a nice job with the streets in 2012, considering what he has to work with. John Curtis said he appreciates the extra effort the crew puts into street maintenance.
Mt. Gilead Fire Chief Greg Young reported 22 responses since the last report: 7 motor vehicle accidents (3 of which were on I-71), 5 squad assists, 1 structure fire, 1 public assist, 4 mutual aid responses, a car fire, a diesel fuel spill on the freeway, a carbon monoxide check and 1 burned food call. Total responses for 2012 were 349.
John Curtis reported the Street Committee will have its first meeting of the year on January 30 at 6 p.m. in the council room.
Tim Clapper scheduled a meeting for the Utilities Committee for January 28 at 7 p.m.
Ed Kline was hoping to schedule a meeting for the Economic Development and Zoning Committee and would be contacting Dianne Matuch (absent), of the Fire and Police Committee, for a possible date.
Kline reported the News Color Press building on Neal Avenue sold to Jack Hall and Dave Decker, and it has been leased (leasee not named at the time).
Emily Shaffer said the Codes and Regulations Committee met that evening, dealing with rules of procedure and five ordinances. Some will see changes and some will be revisited after more research. The committee will meet next on Feb. 4 at 6 p.m.
Dan Rogers said there was still a problem with the filament (bad bacteria) in the sludge at the sewer plant, and it’s being treated with chlorine to kill it. Cold temperatures ‘slow things down’ and causes the bacteria to multiply more quickly. He said the water plant is doing normal maintenence on the iron filters and water softeners and some of the valving. Quotes have come in on the maintenance program on the Caldwell (elevated water) tanks and council will wait until the committee meeting to make decisions on that.
“We’re going to try to break out some of the cost associated with re-coating the tanks,” Rogers said. “There’s parts of the tanks at high elevations, and the village doesn’t have the equipment to [reach that level]. The company will come in and do the maintenance inside the tank and on top.”
Rogers also gave an update on the water line work south of the village on U.S. 42.
“We’re starting to get material in to finish the 2000 feet of 8-inch water line on S. Main Street and hope to have all the material in [this month].” he said. The money to pay for the project comes from Issue 1 State Capital Improvements funds.
The installation of pit meters continues (water meters that are installed in front of houses in a pit rather than in the house or building).
Rogers also noted he had a meeting with the staff to review the cutbacks needed to stay within budget this year because of the reduction in the general fund.
“The revenue is going down, and they understand,” said Rogers. “Everyone is willing to do their part.”