By: Rebecca Miller
The May 5, 2020 Bryan Board of Public Affairs meeting was held via electronic media and recorded as always by BMU TV. Board Chair Dick Long led the meeting with all board member present, as well as Mayor Carrie Schlade.
The board approved the minutes of the April 2, 2020 meeting, and opened the phone lines for five minutes for anyone who might have a public concern. With no calls, they proceeded to the Clerk Treasurer’s Report, which was accepted.
CT Laura Rode presented Resolution 20-2020, revising the Temporary Covid-19 Utility Policy to move the date when cut offs can begin again from May 1 to June 20, and to declare an emergency. Operations Manager Dawn Fitzcharles explained that the council is asking that it be moved as it will help those who are struggling.
All entities with which she has spoken are choosing not to shut off the electricity for customers. She reminded the public that assistance is available through Northwest Ohio Community Action. She states that they would resume shutoffs when it is feasible. The Board voted to approve the resolution as an emergency.
Laura read Resolution 21-2020 which would allow for 15 day sick leave donation of time during city leave of emergency effective March 10 – September 10, 2020. Dawn explained that this will allow the newer employees who have not had time to build up time, to have the ability to accept a donation of days during hardship at this time.
A one-time COVID-19 waiver for sick time donation would make them eligible to receive it in the future. The dates might be re-visited and adjusted after re-evaluation in the fall.
Human Resources Director Jackie Perry presented the desire to move Whit Longcore from probation status regular lineworker as Lineman IV. His technical skills, realibility and dependability are a great asset and they would like to promote him.
He has been with the electric company for six or seven years and is very dedicated. The board voted to approve.
Also approved was the payment of the bills with gratitude that there were no Then and Now certificates. Engineering supervisor Nate Gardner called in to report that the South Williams St. project is going well.
The waterman repairs are scheduled to start the week of May 18, by Bryan Excavating. There is more information posted at cityofbryan.net/projects.
BPA Board and Staff comments were shared with each one stating their adjustments during Pandemic and encouraging everyone to stay healthy and keep taking small steps to get back with family and friends. Many congratulations were given to Longcore.
Dawn shared a Certificate of Excellence in Reliability which was awarded to BMU by America Public Power. It states that they are in the top 25% of reliability nationwide. She congratulated the crews and thanked them for all that they do. She also thanked Bryan Police Chief Chapa for helping them find a less expensive source from which to purchase face masks for the staff and crew.
Mayor Carrie Schlade thanked everyone for “their flexibility during this very trying six weeks,” and encouraged them all to “keep going with the flow and stay socially distanced. We are going to be living under these rules for a little while longer and we want to be sure our workers have the tools to protect themselves.”
Following individual comments, the board went into Executive Session “to consider employment and compensation public employee and acquisition of property, and discipline and termination of a public employee.”
When they came out of Executive Session a Resolution was approved authorizing the mayor to enter into a Shared Works Program with Ohio Jobs and Family Services for Bryan Municipal Utilities for a period of up to 52 weeks, or as further amended by Ohio law.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org