Cardington Council welcomes new members; considers 2014 budget
By Evelyn Long
Four new members were given the oath of office when Cardington Village council met on January 6, for the first time in 2014.
Mayor Susie Peyton administered the oath to William Christian, Heather Deskins, Jim Morris and John Nippert, all of whom were elected to four year terms in November, 2013. Vickie Wise was elected president pro-tempore of council for a period of one year.
A first reading was given Resolution 2014-02, a resolution declaring it necessary to levy a tax renewal of an existing five year tax for the village, adopted effective 1999 , in excess of a ten mill limitation.
A first reading was also given Resolution 2014-03, declaring it necessary to levy a tax renewal of an existing five year tax for the village adopted effective 1999 in excess of ten mill limitation.
Council adjourned its regular session and entered into a joint meeting with Cardington Township Trustees and Glendale-Union Cemetery Board. During the meeting, Darlene Wallace, clerk of the Glendale-Union Cemetery Board, presented the 2014 appropriations in the amount of $181,208.00, which were approved by the three entities. Jim Morris was appointed to the Glendale-Union Cemetery Board as an at-large representative of council. He replaces Richard Garner who was appointed in 2013 to a three year term. Morris will serve out the remainder of that term until December 31, 2016. Garner was defeated in his bid for re-election to the village council in November, 2013. Wallace reported the cemetery had 22 burials in 2013.
Township trustees present were Loren Radel, Doug Heacock, Don Lee and Darla Hardwick, fiscal officer. Representing the Cemetery board were Scott Carsner, Heacock (township representative) and Wallace, clerk. Wallace explained that board members are elected to three year terms on the board and an “at large” member is appointed by council.
Lee said he receives calls from residents in the village concerning water emergencies and asked to whom those inquiries should be made. He was told to call the village offices on weekdays during business hours and to contact Danny Wood after hours.
During this two hour and five minute meeting, which included a 20 minute executive session, council considered several pieces of legislation.
Given a first reading was a resolution setting forth procedures with respect to the conduct of council.
Fiscal Officer Deb Fry explained the tentative budget for 2014. Copies were distributed and council members reviewed it. Fry said it reflects the numbers from the latest approved budget from 2013 (amended budget #3). She said the permanent budget is due on or before March, 31, 2014. This budget needs approval for council to be able to operate in 2014, she said. No checks (including payroll) or purchase orders can be issued until a budget has been approved.
“Due to the numerous questions about the original 2014 budget submitted, I believe a closer look needs to be completed regarding these numbers,” Fry said. “Further discussions will need to be held with the Finance Committee as well as this subject added to the agenda of work sessions with council until all questions are addressed.”
Following more questions with answers provided by Fry, council approved the ordinance.
Bills totaling $15,208.22 were approved for payment. She pointed out two of the items listed - $50 to the Association of Mayors’ Court of Clerks, annual dues and payment for OhioHealth and Riverside for tests for the required physical of new FT Police Officer Mark Colburn.
She also submitted the summary of revenue for December indicating a total of $278.972.26 received. She pointed out this was an increase from November, $168,306.95, due to an increase in tax revenue from RITA as well as receiving the Lincoln Township fire payment.
Fry said she had been notified by the Morrow County Emergency Management Office of Homeland Security that they recommend newly elected officers complete the FEMA NIMS course. By completing these courses, this keeps the village eligible for any future federal grants or funding. These courses are available on line, said Fry, and there should be no cost for these courses.
Concluding, she said progress is being made with the UAN conversion.
“Once December is closed in SSI, we will be able to make the entries into UAN,” Fry explained. “I will be working with Karen May (our assigned visiting clerk) in regards to this. Our goal is to have everything up and running by mid-month.”
Police and Fire reports
Giving his annual report was Police Chief John Hinton who said the department had taken 1,277 calls for service in 2013. Comparatively, in 2012, the department took 1,167 calls for service. The department issued 358 traffic citations in 2013; with the most common citation issued for speed (193), followed by driving under suspension (41) and seatbelt citations were third with 29. He distributed a ticket chart indicating the tickets issued by each officer monthly during the past year.
There were no problems to report for New Year’s Eve, he said.
Council approved a resolution establishing the number of deputy marshals to be authorized within the police department for the calendar year 2014. The resolution indicates the village shall employ one full time officer to serve as village marshal/ police chief and four additional full time deputy marshals/patrolmen and provide for six additional part time positions to help within the department.
During a discussion of this resolution, Councilman Nippert inquired of the chief if he would prefer a full time officer as opposed to six part time officers. Answering in the affirmative, the mayor also added that this cost should be reviewed by the finance committee.
A resolution establishing the number of firefighters to be employed and/or authorized to serve as members of the fire department for the calendar year 2014 was approved.
This resolution states the village shall employ a fire chief and an assistant fire chief on a part time basis. It also states “the village shall authorize not more than 35 volunteer fire fighting personnel to be paid for fire fighting duties as authorized by the annual village salary ordinance and the Cardington Volunteer Fire Department regulations.
Water and Sewer rates
Council approved Ordinance 20140-03, amending codified ordinance requiring annual review of existing sewer base rates and sewer user charges in determining if any increases are necessary. Mayor Peyton, noting that this legislation is anticipated by village water and sewer users, explained the need to approve this ordinance now because the existing ordinance calls for a three per cent increase annually. The utility committee will be established at work session (to be held following this meeting) and they can meet right away to determine if it is necessary for the increase or decrease of the current rates.
Council also approved the ordinance 2014-04, amending a codified ordinance requiring annual review of existing water base rates and water user charges in determining if any increases are necessary.
Council approved the mayor’s recommendation to appoint John Nippert to the Cardington-Lincoln Planning and Zoning Commission.
Danny Wood, village administrator, reported the streets had been salted and plowed with snow removal. The driveway entrance to the water/wastewater treatment plant had been widened to match the new gates; the catch basins had been cleaned and the first load of sludge has been sent to Ringlers.
Wood noted the Ohio EPA has opened applications for the 2015 grant money and he asked for council’s approval for Scott Hines, village engineer, to apply for this grant for Phase 5 of improvement of the water service in the village. He noted this is a 75/25 match and the village does have the funds available for the match.
Council gave their unanimous approval.
CYT settlement monies
On another subject Wood explained to council the history regarding the CYT settlement and how the court had ordered this money was to be used for the WWTP improvement. He said the previous council had approved obtaining the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisitions) unit for the WWTP, which is a computer that monitors and controls all the functions at the WWTP remotely. He explained that the operator using this lap top can check the plant and perform functions needed. There was $73,000 in annual loan payments for the WWTP retired prior to the upgrade project. Even with the $155,000 loan needed for the SCADA unit, the annual payment will be $69,000 annually. This is lower than what the village was paying for the previous loans and this is what they were hoping to accomplish. Wood asked for council to grant authorization to apply for the loan for the SCADA unit for the WWTP.
Before voting, Wood said there is another loan that will retire in 2017 which is about $117,000 per year. Once this loan is complete, he will look into other improvements for the WWTP, such as paving the road from State Route 529 to the plant.
Council granted their approval to Wood to apply for the SCADA unit loan for the WWTP.
Under Community Participation, several residents commented on different topics.
Jim Ullom, retired village fire chief, welcomed the new council members and said that he feels they all ran for council with the idea of working to reduce the water bills for the residents, and he inquired as to how they were planning on doing this. New council member William Christian, a former council member and past mayor, said that, historically, the water/sewer bills were run by the Village Board of Public Affairs. He explained that, since the election, he has been working and talking with Mayor Peyton and Wood on ways to try to come up with a solution to this problem. He noted that at one time, Delco was approached about purchasing the water system.
Josh Townsend also welcomed the new members and noted he is still having issues with the alley by his home. Legal Counsel Jim Dietz is providing a petition for him to obtain signatures of adjoining homeowners to have the alley vacated. When this process is complete, a public hearing notice will be published in the paper and a public hearing will be held.
Don Harvey also welcomed the new members. He raised his concern about the lack of a sidewalk from the Duke station to the Dollar General Store. He wondered if there are grants available because he sees a lot of people walking there to purchase their items and there are also children walking that route. Mayor Peyton said there is a Safety Grant that will be looked into by council as that is on the agenda for the year.
Harvey also inquired as to whether there is a way to refinance the bonds for the water department to get lower base rates. He said ‘the usage charges aren’t bad, it’s the base rates that need to be lowered.”
Linda Harvey thanked council for their help in the removal of campers that were located behind their house. She also thanked “whoever was in charge of Christmas in Cardington, as it was a wonderful thing for the village.” She said she works in the library and was impressed with the visitors that evening.
Mayor Peyton said it was Lea Ann Maceyko who got the idea for the event and ran with it. Linda noted she likes living in town and thanked the village for keeping the streets plowed and cleared of snow. The mayor said Wood would pass this on to his crew. Harvey inquired about the status of Maxwell Park and the mayor said this was to be discussed at work session following the January 21 meeting. Anyone is welcome to attend. She said with the new council members, this would be the best time to have Scott Hines attend to let everyone know what has been going on and what is being planned.
Jean Smith also thanked everyone involved with Christmas in Cardington. She said there was a food drive held during the event for the Cardington Food Pantry.
Mayor Peyton commented that she was to meet with Danny Wood, Deb Fry and Scott Hines Wednesday, January 8, to work on a list of projects for 2014 that she would like to begin this year. She said the Subway would be opening soon and she feels they will be a good fit for the village as they opened their doors for Christmas in Cradington while they were under construction, so residents could see their progress.
Jim Ullom asked the mayor to check on having firefighters on duty at the station during the day and explained why they are needed. The mayor said she will look into it.
Council entered executive session at 8:40 pm based on ORC121.22 (G)(1) and 121.22 (G) (3) When they resumed the regular meeting at 9:05 pm, council approved Ordinance 2014-05 authorizing the appropriations and supplemental appropriations.
Council adjourned at 9:08 pm.
A work session followed. Council will meet next on January 21, 2014.
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