(Information submitted by Middleport Mayor Fred Hoffman)
MIDDLEPORT, Ohio – Middleport Village Council met in regular session on June 12, 2023 at village hall with Mayor Fred Hoffman presiding.
Present were the following: Council members Brian Conde, Matt Lyons, David Dowler, Ben Reed, and Shawn Arnott. Also present were Fiscal Officer Susan Baker, Asst. Fiscal Officer Margie Baker; Village Administrator Joe Powell , and Assistant Village Administrator Andy Blank, along with visitors Mary Wise, Nancy Burns, Bill Lambert and Sharon Older. Opening prayer was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
The following were approved unanimously by council: Minutes of the May 22 meeting, payment of bills as approved by the finance committee, the Finance Report, and Motion to approve Court Reports January through May.
Mayor Hoffman stated that council members had requested that Code Enforcement Officer Jimmy Spears be present at council. Spears responded to several questions from council members. Mayor Hoffman stated that Spears was a contract employee and it was not in his contract to attend council meeting but that he had requested that he do so on this occasion. Hoffman suggested that Spears be contacted during regular business hours to conduct village business.
Linda Warner and Jennifer Sheets made a presentation outlining the grants which are being made available through the Meigs County Appalachian Foundation. They described many of the programs through which funds may be obtained for projects in Appalachian Ohio. They stated that the grant period will be opening soon and urged the village to apply for this funding.
Margie Baker described the Summer Sunday Concert Series. Baker stated that she has organized a series of concerts for several Sunday afternoons during the summer at no cost to village residents. Baker has obtained donations to sponsor a band and food trucks will be available during the concert. Council and the Mayor commended Baker for her efforts in helping to provide entertainment during the summer months.
Hoffman stated that Dave, Andy and Joe have reviewed the bids on the roof and will make a recommendation. Mayor Hoffman stated that if council decided to go ahead with the project, he would suggest it be financed the way council financed the firehouse doors and spread the payment among the various funds that use the building. After a lengthy discussion with one of the contractors concerning the use of foam, it was decided to further review the bids and reconsider the bids at the next council meeting on June 26.
Application was submitted to purchase a lift through the Bureau of Workers Compensation– Hoffman stated he would like to thank Margie Baker for help in finishing and submitting the application. Figures are approximate – cost $51,000 – grant $38,250 – match $12,500. Mayor Hoffman suggested splitting the match between water, sewer, street, etc. about $4,250 each – Joe Powell met with BWC last week – things look good on the lift – probably purchase it about the end of August.
Mayor Hoffman stated the Village was awarded an additional $807,215 in federal funds to complete all sidewalk replacement in the uptown area. This will be available July 1, 2025 and will complete the sidewalk replacement project funding all over town. These funds are available through the Carbon Reduction Act and the TAP program of ODOT.
Hoffman stated that he would like to thank Brian and his committee for working with planners on their Appalachian proposals.
Mayor Hoffman stated that Racine, Rutland and possibly Pomeroy would like to go in with Middleport on a cooperative paving application. Suggestions were made by Hoffman on possible streets that could be paved in the Middleport portion of the application and suggested a possible match of 26% split among the water, sewer, and street funds.
The following items were approved unanimously by the council: Electric renewal with IGS; Third reading and adoption of Ord. 152-23, Amendment to Ord. 112-18 to increase reimbursement amount for volunteer firemen; Third reading and adoption of Ord 153-23 to allow for a 10% discount on monthly refuse amount for senior citizens: Resolution to proceed to levy a tax for fire protection; and transfer of $5000 from General Fund to Recreation Fund.
Joe Powell stated that there was a tremendous amount of brush that was being picked up in the village throughout the week. It was suggested that this only be done on Thursdays and rainy days but pickup be continued as needed and where possible. Powell stated Tom Holman of Racine will be filling in for Andy Blank while he is on vacation.
Police Chief Mony Wood stated Margie Baker had prepared a new pay rate schedule for jail staff, correction officers and police officers and presented it to council for their review. He stated Dawn had resigned as jail administrator and Becky Carson had taken over that position. He stated there were several changes made and incorporated into the new rate schedule. Council unanimously approved the new rate schedule as presented by Margie Baker.
Conde stated that a meeting will be held with Mitch Altier and the Appalachian 500 committee on Thursday, June 15 to discuss projects..
Council adjourned with the next meeting scheduled for June 26.