Racine Council Meeting Held
RACINE, Ohio – The Racine Council met for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on February 3, 2020. Topics of discussion included the resignation of a council member, an appointment of a new council member, the Racine Post Office, a spring visit from Mayors for Progress along with other issues.
Present for the meeting was Mayor Scott Hill and council members Chad Hubbard, Kevin Dugan, Bob Beegle, Mony Wood, and Ian Wise. Fiscal Officer Janet Krider and Street Commissioner John Holman were also present.
B.J. Smith Keseen, Republican Candidate for Meigs County Treasurer, briefly addressed the council. She told them about herself and why she is running for office.
The council accepted the resignation of council member Ashli Peterman. Since her election to the Southern Local School Board, Peterman can not hold the council seat as well. Fred Nero was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Peterman. It was noted that in Peterman’s resignation letter that she would continue to help with various events in the village.
The Racine Post Office was discussed. Mayor Hill said he had met with the Postmaster again trying to address various issues including on Walnut Street. Some of the issues involve mail boxes being required while others must use Post Office Boxes while other issues involve service itself. “Here in the village its a nightmare,” Mayor Hill said and added that he had been trying to get this issues addressed. Dugan said it needed to be addressed and other council members agreed.
Wise was reappointed to serve as representative to the sewer district. The current term expires in March. Wise said he wanted to retain the position. Council members Hubbard, Dugan, Beegle, and Wood voted yes. Wise abstained from voting.
John Holman reported briefly on the village’s water. He said that for every 100 gallons of water, it was costing the village 8 cents. He added that the operating ratio is well within EPA guidelines and there were no major line breaks in 2019.
Two applications for the Racine Fire Department were approved unanimously by council for Jessica Drum (firefighter) and Austin Rice (junior firefighter).
Electric aggregation and SOPEC were discussed. Hubbard said that there were guidelines the council would need to update and adopt. He said there would be more information on it, but there would need to be public hearings to inform residents. Mayor Hill suggested holding hearings on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) as well. No dates were set for said hearings.
Mayor Hill said a water fountain has been ordered for the Splash Park. He said the fountain was made possible due to a donation from the Chase Roush family. He also noted that sidewalk work is still in the estimate stage along with quotes on back stops in the park.
Beegle stressed that residents need to fill out the 2020 Census. He said it effects funding for the next 10 years.
A bin covering for salt was discussed and unanimously voted on to build with a cost not to exceed $4,000.
Mayors’ Partnership for Progress has asked to visit Racine on May 14, 2020. Hill said he has been a member almost as long as the organization has been in existence in the late 1990s. He said they will have a speaker, but they would like to tour water treatment plant and the park. The organization is an opportunity for networking and brings together mayors, state representatives, and various other elected officials or their representatives from the Governor’s office, Congress, and others. Council agreed to the visit and that it was a good opportunity to show the progress and accomplishments Racine has made through the years. According to their website, “The Mayors’ Partnership for Progress is a consortium of mayors and city managers from 15 counties (over 60 communities) in southern and south eastern Ohio. The purpose of the group is to provide a platform to share information and resources via open forums and invited presenters to better address common issues faced by municipalities throughout the region. The Mayors’ Partnership for Progress represents Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, Monroe, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton and Washington counties.”
The village marshal hours were discussed. Mayor Hill asked council to increase the hours for Michael Hupp. It was noted that Hupp is still on probationary status and further evaluation would be made later, but council voted unanimously to increase Hupp’s hours from 15 per week to 20 per week.
Mayor Hill said he would like to have a work session or other meeting to be able to have a review of village employee compensation. “When you have people that does the work, our citizens brag on them, and other villages do too, you want to retain them,” he said. It was decided to recess the February 3 meeting until February 17 at 6 p.m. to discuss compensation. Dugan said he would like to have the numbers, more information on what is currently being paid to review during the discussion. Other members agreed.
Following the meeting, Fred Nero was sworn in by Mayor Hill.