Village of Thurston

Council Meeting Minutes

February 14, 2008

 

Meeting called to order at 7:30 pm by Mayor Mary Barber.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 

 

Roll call:          Ed Vanek – Absent

Warren Simpson – Present

Vickie Carroll - Present

Detria Hiles – Present

Ray Robinson - Present

Jo-Ann Hite – Present

Mary Barber – Present

Aaron Reedy – Present

 

Mary asked if any visitors wished to speak.  Chris Wallace of 8111 Maple Street was present.  He said there is street water coming from the east side of the street gathering in front of his shed.  He said the drain is on the high side of the road, so it’s not flowing properly.  He also said there was sewage going into his driveway.  Mary referred the issue to the Service Committee.

 

Martin Crow of 8179 Long St. and Lee Backulich of 8199 Long St. were present.  Both gentlemen were present to discuss the surface water and drainage problems on their properties.  They live on the section of road past Prathers that the Village did not accept as part of Long St. several years ago when Owen Keller was building homes out that way on his property.  The Village has always considered that road past the Prather property a private drive since they never took ownership of it.  Both gentlemen were not aware of the ownership issue when they purchased their properties, but feel they are Village residents, and pay taxes, so the issue should be looked at by the Village.  They say their sump pumps run continuously.  Detria suggested writing Owen Keller & Chris Whightsel and having them come into discuss the issue with Council and the property owners.  Ray said our solicitor will need to let us know what the next steps are before we plan a meeting.  Mary said we will do what we can to help out.

 

Michael Betts from GGC Engineers was present to discuss projects.  Mary said she spoke with Michael Carder from GGC and was looking for a grant to replace all the water lines in the Village, and another to do storm sewer and drainage upgrades.  Mr. Betts said the CDBG application is due April 19th and the OPWC application is due in the fall.  He said last year we applied for funds for a water study (which did not get approved), and a wheelchair ramp for the municipal building (which was approved, but Council decided not to go through with it).  For the OPWC, we would have to have the engineering done and the permit already from the EPA, but those are big steps.  He said he helped on a project in Sugar Grove where the design fees were 10 – 12% of the entire project.  That came to about $100,000.  He said Sugar Grove’s water lines were from the 1930’s.  Thurston’s lines are from 1975.  Detria asked why the engineer retainer fee increased from last year.  He was not sure, and will get back with us on that. 

 

Discussion was had regarding whether the main lines or the service lines were the problem.  Lowell Hite said there were no problems with the mains.  He said they were in the service lines.

Jo-Ann said we need grants for roads.  Mike said there is more funding available for roads than for water projects.  Mike said we need to sit down and look at the extent of storm sewer, roadwork, and waterline work that needs to be done.  Detria said she spoke to someone at the state and is concerned that they don’t have us in their database of ever having received grants before since the Annual Income Program Report was not given to us.  Mary asked if we’d rather apply for grants for streets for water.  Detria said water. 

 

Mike said fixing service lines will be cheaper than fixing the mains.  Detria said the meters need replaced, too.  Mike said we need to come up with costs.  He can give us options as to how we can proceed.  Mike said we first need to come up with a comprehensive plan.  He asked how Council would like to proceed.  Detria said we need the numbers and asked if he could have them before the next Service Committee meeting on March 5th.  He said he’d send them a couple weeks before the meeting.  Chief Jim Hite said fire protection is another reason to get funds for improving the water lines.  They need 6-inch lines for hydrants and a lot of the Village has 2 – 3 inch lines in place.  Mary said we’d put our heads together at the Service Committee meeting.

 

Warren made a motion to approve the January 2008 minutes.  Detria second.  All yea.

 

Ray made a motion to approve the January 22, 2008 special meeting minutes.  Vickie second.  All yea, with Warren abstaining.

 

Warren made a motion to approve the January 2008 financial statement.  Ray second.  All yea.

 

Aaron got an opinion from Solicitor Jeff Feyko regarding the unapproved minutes for December 2007.  Jeff said Mary should have broken the tie in the January meeting, but since she didn’t, bring the vote up again and see what happens.  Warren made a motion to approve the December 2007 minutes.  No one second.  Questions arose as to whether or not it’s necessary to do so.  This will be referred to the solicitor.

 

Mary asked if there was any legislation.  Aaron said there were three pieces.

 

Jo-Ann made a motion to waive the three-reading rule and declare an emergency for Ordinance 2008-2 An Ordinance Authorizing the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer to enter into a contract with the City of Lancaster for the provision of Prosecution Services for the Village of Thurston misdemeanor cases in Lancaster Municipal Court and the Declaration of an Emergency.  Warren second.  All yea.

 

Warren made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2008-2 An Ordinance Authorizing the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer to enter into a contract with the City of Lancaster for the provision of Prosecution Services for the Village of Thurston misdemeanor cases in Lancaster Municipal Court and the Declaration of an Emergency.  Jo-Ann second.  All yea.

 

Detria made a motion to waive the three-reading rule and declare an emergency for Ordinance 2008-3 An Ordinance to amend the 2008 Appropriations Ordinance and the Declaration of an Emergency.  Vickie second.  All yea.

 

Warren made a motion to waive the three-reading rule and declare an emergency for Ordinance 2008-3 An Ordinance to amend the 2008 Appropriations Ordinance and the Declaration of an Emergency.  Detria second.  All yea.

 

Detria made a motion to waive the three-reading rule and declare an emergency for Ordinance 2008-4 An Ordinance Authorizing the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer to enter into a contract with GGC Engineers, Inc for Engineering Services and the Declaration of an Emergency.  Vickie second.  All yea.

 

Warren made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2008-4 An Ordinance Authorizing the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer to enter into a contract with GGC Engineers, Inc for Engineering Services and the Declaration of an Emergency on the contingency that the 2008 billing rates are the same as 2007.  Jo-Ann second.  All yea.

 

Report from Fire Chief – Jim Hite was present and presented his report (see attached).  He said he needs approval to take the chassis off the old medic and give it away for training, or sell it for cash.  Warren made the motion to allow him to take the chassis off the old medic and give it away, or sell for cash, whichever was the best choice to him.  Vickie second.  All yea with Ray abstaining.

 

Jim said he is working with April Valente from our insurance company to make sure the Walnut Township Trustees are only listed with anything pertaining to the fire department, and nothing else for the Village.  This is because of the 50/50 contract.  Jim said the medic they are borrowing from Burgess right now is not costing us any money.  Jim asked who the “careworks” contact is for the Village.  No one knew what that was referring to.  Jim said worker’s comp.  Aaron said it was probably himself, though there have not been any issues in the past.  Jim said that Sonny is going out to retain a lawyer to do some business for the fire department.  It will probably be Larry Bennett.  He said 50% of his fees will come out of our fire fund.

 

Report from the Service Committee:   Didn’t meet in February.

 

Report from the Safety Committee:   Minutes attached.

 

Report from the Finance Committee:  Didn’t meet in February.

 

Report from the Rules Committee:  Didn’t meet in February.

 

Report from the Regional Planning Representative:  Robert Ortman said the meeting was cancelled.

 

Ray asked about how the Village would enforce any property maintenance codes.  Detria said nuisance letters have helped in the past with minor issues.  We’ve only talked about establishing codes; nothing is in place.

 

Report from the Village Administrator:  Michelle said she got a call from the Clerk/Treasurer in Pleasantville wanting to know if we want their old playground equipment.  If so, we need to get it out within 2 – 3 weeks.  Council agreed they did not want the equipment.

 

Michelle said the township took care of some potholes for us.  Jo-Ann said they missed a huge hold on Maple.  Township wants to know if we want them to put together a contract for pothole repair, or just do it as we request it.  Everyone agreed it’s okay for them to give us a quote on a contract.

 

Michelle asked if Council wanted to do anything more with Mark about testing water meters now that we have borrowed a meter tester.  Lowell said Mark didn’t do what he said he was going to do – he didn’t read all meters and remotes.  Council agreed to do nothing with him at this time.

 

Michelle said Detria called her and asked if there were reports of any missing signs in town.  No one knew of any.  Detria asked about digital recording options for minutes.  Should we do something different?  Council discussed a few options.

 

Michelle said she called The Window Man because several pieces of their work came off during the recent heavy winds.

 

Michelle said the meter has been pulled from the pump house and sent to California for evaluation and possible repair.

 

Old Business –  Ray made a motion to accept the proposal from Brian Zets of Wiles, Boyle, Burkholder & Bringardner for Village Solicitor.  Detria second.  All yea, with Jo-Ann abstaining.

Council listed the current issues they should begin looking into:

  • Water Contract with Baltimore
  • Water Contract with Walnut Creek Sewer District
  • Village Income Tax
  • Conflict of Interest possibilities with Ray being a member of the fire department
  • Opinion of the Long Street (private drive past Prathers) issue
  • Leaving December minutes unapproved
  • Possible JEDD and other development

 

Mar brought a draft of the “History of Thurston” sign to share with Council. 

 

Detria asked about Baltimore’s Economic Development Plan she requested Aaron get from Baltimore.  Aaron said he already got it and sent it to her back in November of 2007.  She thought there was an updated one.  Aaron said he has not gotten anything from them.  He will check.

 

Detria said we need leadership advice; possibly a contract with another Village Administrator with experience.  Discussion was had regarding the issue.  She said she will get a resume and proposal from Terry McGrath for Council to consider.

 

New Business –  Jim Hite said that Jo-Ann would need to take the 700 class.  He will get her the information.

 

Council discussed the audit engagement letter for the 2006/2007 audit.  Ray made a motion to accept the engagement letter and authorize the Mayor to sign on behalf of the Village.  Vickie second.  All yea with Jo-Ann abstaining and Warren opposed.

 

Detria made a motion to adjourn.  Jo-Ann second.  All yea.  The time is 10:45 p.m.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

_______________________________

Aaron L. Reedy, Clerk