The Pioneer Village Council met Monday, August 13, to discuss their agenda which included a request to repair a damaged Jaws of Life unit, opening of bids for the Baubice Street sewer and blacktop projects, and concluded with the passage of a resolution which should make many Pioneer residents happy.
After the meeting was called to order by Mayor Ed Kidston, the council approved the agenda and additions, the minutes of the last meeting, the monthly financial report, and approved the payment of bills.
Village Police Chief Tim Livengood reported that the recent Clearfork Festival went well and was uneventful for the police department. He expressed concern about unlicensed, inoperable and junk vehicles in the village, and stated that he and village solicitor Tom Thompson would be drafting a form letter to send out to offending residents.
The fire department welcomed a new fire fighter, Eric Kimpel, and the council approved his addition to the force. Chief Denny Fackler reported that they had answered 32 calls in July. He then told of damages to the Jaws Unit that had occurred recently when answering a call to a catastrophic crash. He asked that the village approve $8,000 – $10,000 to replace the power unit. The department is currently borrowing a Jaws of Life from the Alvordton Fire Department, but stated that we need one in good working order. Councilman Richard Schmucker said, “We’ve always had a progressive fire department, and I think we should keep it that way.” A motion to grant the money for the repairs was approved, with funds coming from the last Fire Department Levy which was to be spent on equipment.
A positive report on the Clearfork Festival was given by festival committee member Anthony Burnett. The profits from the local Cub Scouts 5K Run/Walk were enough to send 25 scouts and their leaders to camp. He also discussed the new village website at www.villageofpioneer.org which is up and running. It was described as a valuable and helpful resource for the town.
There were no reports from the zoning inspector. Al Fiser gave the administrator report. He said that opening bids for the Ohio/Baubice Street sewer project would be received in the commissioner’s office beginning August 20 with completion of the project to be by November 15 of this year. He also discussed the project to blacktop Baubice Street, and said that there have been two bids for the full length of the street to the east edge of the village, but that he could not discuss how much had been bid. Both bids had come in under the $50,000 allotted. It has not yet been decided whether or not the project will result in work on the full length of the street, or whether it will be for just half the length, depending on finances. This project will begin after the sewer project has been completed. The council approved a motion to allow Fiser to move ahead on accepting quotes.
Fiser then discussed a payment toward the AMP Ohio loan. He asked that the village put down $300,000 plus interest on the loan, leaving a balance of $1,695,000. He explained that by making a larger payment than the $180.000 required, this would save the village money. Though the village has a 17 year contract in which to pay the balance, it should actually be paid off within 6 years. The motion to make the larger payment was approved.
Fiscal officer April McMillen reported that the exit interview on the recent audit of the village finances went very well. Mayor Ed Kidston said that she was being too modest and that the audit had actually gone, “exceptionally well.” There was a brief discussion among McMillen and council members as to whether or not bad check fees should be raised from their current fee of $10. This is in addition to the fee that the bank charges, which is also $10, resulting in a total of $20 that will need to be paid by those who write checks with insufficient funds. She said that other villages in the area were charging more. It was decided that as long as the office is not losing money, the current fees could remain the same at this time. A request was made for McMillen to attend a treasurer’s conference from October 3-5 and the Ohio Municipal Clerks conference from October 15-18. A motion to send her to both conferences was approved.
The new water tower is still working well and is online, with no leaks reported. The village owes $293,093 to the contractor. Fiser recommended that the town make a first payment of $193,000, which would leave just over $100,000 to be paid next month. He reported that there is a one year warranty from Gateway on the tower, and another from Sherwin-Williams, so that if anything goes wrong, they are bonded to make repairs. The motion to authorize this payment was approved.
The meeting then went into executive session to discuss a property purchase. The village is seeking to acquire property owned by Norman Thorp.
Upon returning to the open session, Ordinance 16-2012 was approved, amending appropriations for 2012, and declaring an emergency.
Resolution 05-2012 was approved, authorizing the administrator to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve issues surrounding the acquisition of real property, easements, and personal property for village utilities. It was amended slightly with rules suspended.
A motion to give the village administrator authority to pay Pioneer Village Market on the ingress agreement was approved. This is a one-time payment of $10,000 to allow the village to use the market’s property to come in on when necessary and it grants the village permanent easement.
The next resolution should be a welcome surprise to many Pioneer residents and businesses. I honor of Pioneer Power and Light turning 100 years old, residents will receive a $100 rebate that will first appear on their November bill. Electric customers will receive a letter from the town which explains that “certain restrictions will apply,” but most residents will be eligible for the credit. Some of the qualifications include being a customer for a period of at least one year, and must have averaged at least $30 in monthly charges over past one year period. Any further questions should be directed to the Pioneer Power and Light office. Resolution 06-2012 was passed, allowing for this rebate.
Due to Williams County Fair activities in September, the next meeting was changed from Monday, September 10, to Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Pioneer Community Center. As always, the public is invited and encouraged to attend village council meetings.