West Union Village Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. on May 24, 2022 at the Municipal Building, with Mayor Jason Buda presiding. Call to Order, Roll Call and Pledge to Colour: John R. Lafferty – present, Mark Brewer – present, Jason Francis – present, Mary Jane Campbell – present, Randy Brewer – present, Donna Young – present; also present: Cheri Rice – Tax Officer, Shelley Gifford – Treasurer, Jerry Kirker – Village Administrator, Tim Sanderson – Chief of Police, Danni Studebaker – Asst. West Union Life Squad Chief, JR Kirker – Fire Chief, Tom Mayes – Lawyer. Visitors Kent Bryan – CT Consultants.
Motion by Jason Francis to make revisions to the minutes on May 10, 2022, seconded by Randy Brewer, recorded vote: all yes, motion carried.
Motion of Randy Brewer to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of May 10, 2022 as circulated, seconded by Donna Young, recorded vote: all yes, motion carried.
Motion by Randy Brewer to approve payment of submitted invoices, seconded by Mark Brewer, recorded vote: 5 yes, 1 Councilor Randy Brewer abstained on invoices relating to Winchester Wholesale.
Report by Jerry Kirker, village administrator:
1- Kirker is getting quotes for bitumen in town. The project is progressing well.
2- He also checks the new stop signs.
3- Water rates have been calculated as requested by Donna Young at the last council meeting. As of 2023, the Village would still operate in a small negative fund. We need to start working on building cash funds. Rates will be based on a 3% increase if you reside within the Village, which equates to an increase of $1.01 per monthly bill. If you live outside the Village, it is increased to 6% and equates to an increase of $2.11 per monthly bill. Donna Young recommends 3 years to start, then come back to the table for further discussion. This increase will take effect on the first bill of January 2023. The increase also affects any excess you have after 3,000 gallons and this only affects the water bill.
Randy Brewer asked if the tornado siren had been fixed. Jerry Kirker indicated that this has not yet been corrected. Mary Jane Campbell has had calls about the sewers coming back up. Jerry Kirker said the problem only affected 3-4 neighbors. Randy Brewer asked how the sidewalk was going. Kent Bryan informed him that they would be ready to pave next week. They will level and fill the earth with seeds, placing from the roadside to the path, then on the bank they will also be sown. It all depends on the weather conditions.
John R. Lafferty asked about the signs in the cemetery. He advised council that they needed double signage at this location. Randy Brewer asked if the splash pad is operational. Jerry Kirker said yes, but there’s food thrown on the carpet. They can remove the food box if it continues to be a problem. Mark Brewer said council food was placed there by neighbours. He wanted to know if we were still mowing across the street.
Jerry Kirker asked solicitor Tom Mayes if it was possible to buy this property at 30 Logans Lane opposite the municipal building. He said it would make a nice place for a basketball court. Jason Francis spoke about stop signs on Market St and asked about any updates on paperless billing for the water utility. Donna Young asked about mowing and if the $10,000 equipment the Village has for water leaks could be used to generate funds for the Village. Jerry said no, because all the villages help each other.
Kent Bryan provides an update on the Crackle project and the pump stations. It will be late summer before it is seeded, cleaned and finished. Jerry Kirker talked about going into executive session buying property, bidding on the Gabbert/Hale subdivision, and subsidizing the OWDA.
Danni Studebaker (WULS) has reported 127 races and 817 this year so far.
Tom Mayes requested that the Brush Creek contract be given to Danni Studebaker to sign. Chief Tim Sanderson reported the police department had received 1,145 calls and 115 citations since the first of the year. Jason Francis talked about having a traffic control officer to increase revenue, even if it’s only part-time. He also gave the West Union Police Department a list of more than 20 recruiting references. Lafferty asked the council if they could use the fees and fines to possibly purchase a new cruiser.
Fire Department reporter JR Kirker made 27 runs in May and 192 in total for the year.
Attorney Mayes is currently working on a draft parking ordinance for the plaza and private service road in front of McDonalds. John R. Lafferty wanted to know more about the easement on the property. Jason Francis asked the lawyer if he had already contacted the UDF. He replied that he had not spoken to anyone yet.
The finance meeting is scheduled for June 14, 2022 at 6 p.m. Attorney Tom Mayes advised council that he will review documents provided to him regarding the Ohio Attorney General collecting unpaid fees and fines in the village. Cheri Rice, Finance Officer, spoke about Resolution 2022-12 Amending Appropriations for the EMS Fund.
Information has been received from the Chamber of Commerce regarding obtaining a quote for the Bureau of Workers Compensation. The budget has been prepared for 2023. It will be ready for consideration at the next meeting which will take place on June 14, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
Motion by Francis to approve resolution 2022-12 amending the 2022 appropriations for the EMS fund, seconded by Donna Young, recorded vote: all yes, motion carried.
Mayor Jason Buda read information given to him by Councilman Francis regarding the Adams County Agricultural Society’s purchase of land near the fairgrounds. He states that they requested a meeting with Jerry Kirker. Kirker said the easement is just above the left pumphouse.
Mayor Buda informed council that he will be attending the Association of Mayors Conference with Governor Mike DeWine on June 7-8. They discussed reimbursing her room for the conference. He is one of 15 people invited to meet the Japanese ambassador. Motion of Jason Francis that the Village reimburse Mayor Buda for the full cost of the Association of Mayors conference, seconded by Donna Young, recorded vote: yes, motion carried.
Mayor Buda spoke to the council about police officer Brittany Johnson’s compensation and he also received tons of calls about the wading pool. Francis asks tax officer Cheri Rice to contact the Ohio State Auditor’s Office regarding the 2019-2020 audit to see where the process stands. He wants to work with landowners to fix city sidewalks, hire a zoning officer, and pay for the job. He mentioned that the zoning committee was working on updating the zoning maps and he mentioned that the Buckeye Hills Area Council is hosting a free seminar. He broached the subject in regards to the announced $500 million investment proposal in Ohio.
Jerry Kirker told council that he had received stop signs from someone, not knowing where they came from. Campbell asked about the food trucks in the plaza. Donna Young informed her that they had set a standard fee of $25 for the permit. Campbell asked who was responsible for the cleanup regarding the sewage issue that exploded and if there were any liability issues. Jerry Kirker told him the village offered to clean up if that happened. She wanted to know if we still had an open day at the sewage treatment plant. No further discussion.
Motion by Mark Brewer to move under Executive 121.22G1 for compensation at 8:36 pm, second by Jason Francis, recorded vote: yes, motion carried.
Motion of Donna Young to leave the executive at 9:05 p.m., seconded by Campbell, recorded vote: yes, motion carried.
Attorney Mayes addressed a proposal received for payment of $3,000 for an easement for a sewage pumping station at 54 Hale Drive. Kent Bryan informed council that all owners have been asked to donate easements on their property for their lateral connection. This easement is different in that it concerns the construction of a pumping station that will be visible above ground. Payment of the easement is eligible for project funding and the Village may reimburse its operating fund for the expense. Motion of Jason Francis to pay $3,000 for the easement, seconded by Donna Young, recorded vote: all yes, motion carried. Mayes will draft the agreement between the two parties for documentation.
Fundraising meeting set for June 14, 2022 at 6 p.m.
Motion of Mark Brewer to go under Executive 121.22G3 Litigation pending or imminent at 9:05 p.m., seconded by Donna Young, recorded vote: all yes motions carried. Motion by Lafferty to leave the executive at 9:25 p.m., second by Donna Young, roll call vote: all yes, motion carried.
Motion by Donna Young to adjourn the meeting at 9:26 p.m., seconded by Campbell, recorded vote: all yes, motion carried.