Holiday City Resident Disputes Bill For Upgrade

A $4,900 bill that was sent to a Holiday City resident was the subject of discussion at the Thursday, October 17 council meeting. Ron Keil, Sr., a founding father of Holiday City and a 12-year past council member was present with attorney John Shaffer, who identified himself as both a “friend” and legal representative for Mr. Keil. The subject of the dispute was a bill that Keil had received from Holiday City administrator Gary Baker. Keil’s son and daughter-in-law, Ron Keil, Jr. and Kristie Keil, both council members, excused themselves from this portion of the meeting due to conflict of interest.

Recently, Keil, Sr. had upgraded electrical service to 400 amps on a residential service line for the purpose of increasing the line’s capacity for drying corn. This project involved putting in a bigger transformer. He had received estimates from Kevin Mercer on the cost for the project, and sent the estimates to Baker, which was dated for July, but was not received by Baker until September 20, 1012. Baker said that the next document he received was an invoice billing the village for the completed project.

Keil was surprised to later receive an invoice billing him for the project. He came to the council meeting with Shaffer to discuss the issue. He said that during his years on council, he had believed that the administrator could pay bills under $10,000 without bringing them to council first.

Baker said that for projects such as this, anyone wishing to have a service upgrade done is to come to the village office, apply, and fill out a form. Following that, the request would be presented to council and discussed. Keil admitted that he had not done this, and that “I probably did wrong by not coming in.” He claimed that Baker knew about the project, however, because he had received the estimates. Baker said that he was waiting for Keil to come in, and was not aware until he heard about it second-hand that the job had been done. Deputy administrator Blair Campbell confirmed Baker’s statement.

Attorney John Shaffer said that he had seen the village ordinance and did not find anything in it that required the customer to come to Baker. Baker said that it was indeed in the written policies for Holiday City, and that he had never received a purchase order.

Mr. Keil claimed that in his years on council, he had never heard of this information. Shaffer then stated that if council could “unequivocally state that you have not paid for these things” that he would tell his client to pay the bill. Campbell stated, “That is our practice.” The burden for paying the cost of the upgrade was determined to be Keil’s responsibility. He and Shaffer then left the meeting.
Council then continued the meeting. Ordinance 2012-7 concerning the revised well contract was again postponed due to the absence of the village’s legal representation. They expressed concern about needing to postpone the ordinance, but are unable to proceed without their attorney’s input and signature.

Council proceeded to approve Ordinance 2012-8, authorizing the mayor to execute a 2015 – 2016 non-pool sales schedule with AMP-Ohio. An emergency was declared on the title of the reading. This was done because the ordinance needed to be approved now in order to buy power at the agreed upon rates. This amends the current contract.

Clerk/treasurer Lauri TenEyck-Rupp read the financial report. Council approved a motion to pay September’s bills.
For the mayor’s report, acting mayor Shawn Clark shared that he had attended the recent County Mayor’s meeting, and heard Dr. Thomas Stuckey, president of Northwest State Community College, speak. Stuckey asked the mayors to promote industry to this area, and said that they would like to educate the workforce. NSCC offers many certificates and degrees that prepare their students for entrance into the workforce, including skills that train them for work in the industrial field.

Shawn Clark gave the Visitor’s Bureau report in the absence of Dennis Hutchison who is out of the area on vacation. He read an email that Hutchison had sent. Santa will be arriving in Holiday City on Saturday, December 8, and he will be at the Holiday Inn to greet children from 10 am to 12 noon. The Visitor’s Bureau is accepting donations of candy for the event, and anyone wishing to contribute may drop off candy at the center from 8 am – 12 noon on Monday through Friday. The candy must each be individually wrapped.

Concerning a ditch project, administrator Baker said that he has contacted a couple contractors, and was still waiting for them to look at the project. In the meantime, Shawn Clark and Ron Keil, Jr. will check out the ditches to determine exactly where the project should begin and end, though they already have some of that area determined. Most of the work will be done on the east side of state route 15, north of the railroad tracks.

Kristie Keil noted that the village’s tornado siren was not working. Baker said that he would call electricians for a quote. He said that at issue is a control board that is burnt out of the transformer, and that it is expensive to fix. They have located a control board at a lower cost, but are still waiting for the item. They should receive it by next month.

With no further issues up for discussion, the meeting was adjourned.

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