Judge Linda Warner addressed the Rutland Village Council concerning support for a cell phone tower and CARES Act funding. Photo by Carrie Rose.

Rutland Council Discusses Cell Tower, CARES Act Funding

RUTLAND, Ohio – The Rutland Village Council during its October regular session welcomed county officials and discussed a cell tower project, among approving a number of agenda items.

Presiding over the Council was Mayor Tyler M. Eblin. Members present included President Pro Tempore Duane Weber, Councilman Rick Bolin, Councilman Steve Jenkins, Councilwoman Kimberly Willford and Councilwoman Madalyn Wood. Also present were Fiscal Officer Susan Baker and Clerk of Mayor’s Court Brooke See.

The Council conversed about the installation of a cell tower with Meigs County Probate Judge Scott Powell, Meigs County Common Pleas Judge Linda Warner and Meigs County Court Judge Michael Barr. State Representative Jay Edwards was unable to attend due to an unforeseen issue.

From left, Mayor Eblin and Councilwoman Wood listen to county officials talk about renewed interest in pushing for a cell tower for Rutland. Photo by Carrie Rose.

A letter signed by county officials was read and circulated before the Council exhibiting advocacy and support for the installation of a cell tower in the Rutland area.

Mayor Eblin responded and indicated that he and members of Council will collaborate in drafting written support and committed to working with county and state officials in formulating the best plan forward in launching such a project.

No further action was taken on the cell tower project; however, Mayor Eblin has indicated his intent to ensure ongoing discussion with county and state leaders to ascertain the next steps.

“There have been prior attempts to achieve cell service in Rutland and surrounding communities in western Meigs County,” comments Mayor Eblin. “Although none came to fruition, I’m confident that through continued collaboration with county and state officials and strong advocacy, we can achieve this infrastructure critical to our community.”

The Village Council heard from Common Pleas Judge Linda Warner who spoke about use of CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act funding. Warner, speaking as a citizen on behalf of the Meigs County Community Fund, suggested the Village Council consider the Community Fund as a sub-grantee of the CARES Act funding received by the Village, should residual funds be available, and the Village Council is unable to determine a need within the Rutland community.

From left, Council members Rick Bolin and Steve Jenkins listen to Judge Warner discuss CARES Act funding. Photo by Carrie Rose.

The Meigs County Community Fund, which operates under the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, raises funds to award to various community projects. Should the Village Council not appropriate all money received as part of the CARES Act funding, conditions allow for the Village Council to award the residual funds to a sub-grantee, one of such eligible is the Meigs County Community Fund. The Council took no action on sub-granting as of its October 5 regular session.

“Although not mentioned at the meeting, if the Council and I are unable to determine additional needs within the Village that could be financed by CARES Act funds, we will certainly consider the Meigs County Community Fund,” comments Mayor Eblin. “It is important that communities help one another and address the needs of people as a whole. We will certainly explore all options at our disposal should we have residual funds.”

From left, Councilwoman Kimberly Willford and President Pro Tempore Duane Weber hear from county officials on a cell tower for Rutland. Photo by Carrie Rose.

Members of the Council unanimously approved recommended encumbrances submitted by Mayor Eblin in the amount of $12,725. Subject to restrictions applied by the Office of Budget Management, the following appropriations from the Coronavirus Relief Fund as recommended by Mayor Eblin were approved by the Council:

  • $1,000 for disinfectant supplies and portable hand washing stations to promote hand washing;
  • $250 for masks and gloves to provide personal protection;
  • $3,000 to replace porous furniture with non-porous, disinfectant friendly furniture;
  • $2,5000 to upgrade telecommunication equipment to effectively conduct business remotely;
  • $1,200 for audio and video equipment to improve visual and audio quality in meetings broadcasted live;
  • $750 to rearrange office space to accommodate social distancing;
  • $1,000 for janitorial supplies and one-time janitorial contractor services;
  • $750 for police uniforms to allow for thorough washes between uses; and
  • $2,275 to subsidize police department employee wages.

Mayor Eblin indicated that additional appropriations would be needed for continued janitorial services, which would be determined after an initial comprehensive clean of the Rutland Civic Center. Also, Eblin expressed that added appropriations would be submitted for approval during the November regular session of the Village Council.

In other matters, the Village Council:

  • Accepted the final appointment of Mark A. Griffin as Village Marshal who had concluded his six month probationary period;
  • Approved a motion supplementing the encumbrances recommended by Mayor Eblin to include $1,500 for the installation of a keyless entry system at the Civic Center, limiting in-person contact for building rentals;
  • Approved a motion to enter into an agreement with Patsy O’Bryant as a janitorial contractor for the Rutland Civic Center, with services financed until funds are exhausted.
  • Approved a motion to keep Trick-or-Treat in the Village of Rutland on October 29, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Village Council concurred that the Fire Department may continue determining the date and time for Trick-or-Treat as done in previous years.

The Rutland Village Council will reconvene in regular session on November 2, 2020 at 6 p.m. at Rutland Civic Center.