Mayor Steve Yagelski called the Regular Meeting of the Village of Montpelier Council to order on February 24, 2014 at 7:30pm. Roll call was conducted with all members except Mr. Delmar Karnes present. There was no Pastor in attendance, so Mayor Yagelski asked for a moment of silence before the pledge of allegiance was recited. The motion was made to approve the agenda for February 24th, the minutes from the February 10th public hearing, and the minutes from the February 10th council meeting. All were approved. At that point in time, it was asked if the audience had any comments.
Mrs. Karleen Zimmer stood up and asked to address the board. Mrs. Zimmer had concerns about her electric bill increases. During the time that she addressed the board she asked several questions that pertained to her electric charges. One question that was asked what how and when the meter was read, as well as determining the accuracy of the readings. Mrs. Kelly Hephner addressed the questions asked. Ms. Hephner stated that meters are read every month by a handheld electronic device. The device allows the reader the ability to not have to go directly to the meter. The bill usually reflects 30 days between readings, and is 99% accurate.
A lot of advice was offered when looking at ways to lower your bill, as well as reasons for the possible increases. Some people may purchase alternate heat sources that use more electricity. Some bills may be higher when they have holiday lights plugged in. As we use furnaces more, the electric motor is also running additional time. While the devices the village uses have such accuracy, it is not impossible for them to have an issue. If anyone feels that there is something wrong with their meter, the village will come out and test the meter for the consumer at a cost of $50.00. The consumer only pays that cost if the village finds no error on their behalf.
Another community member in attendance, Mrs. Andrea Vilaychith also had her recent bills with her, showing a dramatic increase in her bill. She explained how they have made accommodations in their home in hopes to save on their utility bill. She also stated that she is aware that other community members also have the same concerns as she is a part of a group on facebook that discusses issues in Montpelier. After Mrs. Hephner looked at her bills, she recalled speaking with Mrs. Vilaychith’s husband about running an infrared heater in their home as an addiction heat source. Once the unplugged that, Mrs. Hephner was able to see a significant decrease in usage.
Mayor Yagelski mentioned his positioning on social media. He advised those present to take concerns directly to the village where they can be solved, versus discussing it amongst others. There was also discussion about where and how the village gets is electricity as well as the sources. The villages buys power to a certain level, after that amount is met they then buy it on the open market. When power is bought on the open market, the price is subject to an increase. The Village of Montpelier is also a participant in AMP-Ohio’s Joint Venture 6 which is the wind turbine site located in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Village also discussed how to calculate your utility bill as well as how much electricity a household is using. To figure kilowatt hours, take the current read and subtract the previous read to get the total kilowatt hours used. The Power Cost Adjustment (pca) fluctuates because the cost of purchasing power on the market changes every month. The rate information can be found on the Montpelier website at www.montpelieroh.net/electric_rates.html. The Village also has added a document on how to calculate use. During the time comments from the audience occurred, Ms. Jennifer Hern from the Montpelier Police Department was also present.
Next on the agenda they sought approval to cancel the March 10th and the March 24th Council meetings and have the meetings on March 17th and March 31st. That motion was approved. The council next held a discussion on golf carts. This was discussed at the last meeting on February 10th. The council was looking for a motion on whether or not to proceed further. Mayor Yagelski and Mr. Karnes had been contacted by a gentleman in town about using golf carts on the roadway. Information was previously handed out to the Council members, and Mrs. Lucas was working with Chief Dan McGee on the matter. This issue has been previously discussed by both the Police Department and the Village Council and was denied. Within in the village’s codified ordinance Chapter 375 it discusses all-purposes vehicles. Police Chief Dan McGee wrote a letter to Pam Lucas conveying that golf carts are not an all-purpose vehicle. The safety of the golf carts being in traffic with vehicles moving at speeds of 50mph was also discussed. The council voted that this was not an issue that they were going to take any further.
The Income Tax Payment Plan Policy was also passed. Income Tax Returns for all required tax years must be filed to make a payment plan. All payment plans must be in writing and must be on the form prescribed by the Director of Finance. As prerequisite to entering into any payment plan, the Income Tax Administrator or the Director Finance may require the taxpayer to provide a statement of assets, income, employment, and expenses. The Income Tax Administrator and/or Director of Finance are not required to enter into a payment plan with any taxpayer. There will be a non-payment penalty of $150.00 posted on the first day of the fourth month after the tax return was due if any portion of the tax remains unpaid on that date. In order to avoid that additional charge all payment plans must be paid in full by the end of the third month after the tax return was due. If the payment plan goes beyond that all non-payment penalties and interest will apply. At any time after the $150.00 penalty has been assessed, the Income Tax Administrator or the Director of Finance may refer to the Law Director for collection all matters involving unpaid tax unless there is a payment plan in place and the payment plan is in good standing. The Income Tax Administrator or the Director Finance may refer to the Law Director for collection all matters involving non-filing or default in a payment plan. The Income Tax Administrator or the Director of Finance may determine when it is appropriate to refer matters to the Law Director. In making this determination, the Income Tax Administrator or the Director of Finance may consider a number of factors including without limitation: the likelihood of collection, the amount of tax due, and the cost of pursuing legal action. All payment plans must be paid in full by the last day of the eighth month after the return was due. If community members have further questions they can contact the village office.
Next discussed was Resolution 1072 to Purchase a 2014 John Deere 624K Wheel Loader for the Street Department. This motion was suspended and passed. The Village Manager authorized the purchase from Buck & Knobby Equipment Co. Inc. through the State Purchasing Program a 2014 John Deere 624K Wheeler Loader including Hydraulic Coupler with three (3) yard 4-in-1 multi-purpose bucket and 60” forks with a 60” wide carriage. This includes a trade-in allowance for a CASE 621B Wheel Loader. This shall be for the Street Department at a price not to exceed $160,000.00.
Ordinance 2164 Amending Certain Sections of Part 11 of the Codified Ordinances had its second reading. Ordinance 2165 Amending Section 181.12(b)(1) Income Tax Penalty had its first reading. It was at the point the council adjourned and went into executive session.