Information submitted by Mayor Fred Hoffman
MIDDLEPORT, Ohio – The Middleport Village council met in regular session on July 10, 2023. Those in attendance were Mayor Fred Hoffman, Council members Matt Lyons, Ben Reed, David Dowler, Shawn Arnott, and Brian Conde, Solicitor Rick Hedges, Fiscal Assistant Margie Baker-Keilitz, Police Chief Mony Wood, Andy Blank, Joe Powell and several residents.
Lyons made a motion to excuse Tyler Andrews, Conde second the motion, council voted and approved with five yes votes.
Arnott moved to approve the minutes of the June 26, 2023 meeting , second by Conde. Council voted to approve the motion. Reed moved to approve the finance report, second by Conde, motion passed. Conde moved to approve the mayor’s report, Reed second the motion, motion passed. Conde moved to approve payment of the bills in the amount of $6,421.54, Lyons second the motion and council approved.
Blank introduced Brady Angel to council and proposed hiring as a full time Village employee for public works. Angel is currently a Class II water operator and is already contracted to work as a water operator of record during Blank’s upcoming absence. Angel is working on getting licensed as a wastewater operator. Angel was interviewed by Blank, Powell, and Baker-Keilitz previously to discuss the scope of the job, and requirements. Blank asked council to consider hiring Angel full time at a salary of $50,000 per year. Reed moved to hire Brady Angel beginning July 31, 2023 at a salary of $50,000 per year, Lyons second the motion and it passed with five yes votes.
Mayor Hoffman reminded council that Susan Baker’s resignation will be effective on July 16, 2023. Mayor Hoffman informed council that Powell, Blank, Baker-Keilitz and himself had interviewed Bryan Swann to fill the position. Hoffman stated that Swann is agreeable to sharing the fiscal office with Baker-Keilitz, who is part time fiscal assistant. Lyons moved to hire Bryan Swann at a rate of $25 per hour for 24 hours a week as part time fiscal officer. Dowler second the motion, council approved with five yes votes.
Hoffman recommended raising Baker-Keilitz from $14 per hour to $15 per hour. Arnott moved to give the raise effective July 10, 2023, Conde second the motion which passed with five yes votes.
Conde recommended that the Village have Susan Baker consult the Fiscal Officer as needed due to her years of experience with the Village. Reed moved to approve paying Susan Baker at a rate of $30 per hour to consult as needed. Conde second the motion which passed with five yes votes.
Hoffman asked council to accept the bids from Shelly Corporation for paving projects #1 and #2, and the bid from PDK Construction for the guardrail project replacing all guardrails on Hobson Drive. Hoffman stated that all bids are within funding range, with the guardrail project costing $23,000. Paving project #1 costing $150,457.45 and paving project #2 costing $232,244.50. The Village portion of the funding will be a zero percent interest loan for 17 years in the amount of $11,000 per year to be paid from the sewer, street and water funds. Arnott move to accept the bids from Shelly Corporation for paving projects #1 and #2, and the bid from PDK Construction for guardrail replacement, Dowler seconded the motion motion passed.
Hoffman asked council for approval to submit a cooperative paving application that would partner with Racine, Rutland,and possibly Pomeroy. Hoffman recommended that the Village go for $200k in funding which would result in the Village being responsible for $17,000 each from the street, sewer and water funds. Conde asked which would happen first, the paving project or the impending Phase II of the water project, due to the streets possible needing to be cut for the project. After discussion it was determined that the paving is projected to be done in August and September 2024, with the water project to be started late in 2023. It was determined that some of the streets will need to be cut into for the water project with minimal impact. Hoffman stated that the paving monies would be released in July of 2024 with the first payment due in November or December 2024. Conde expressed concern about the streets being torn up, Lyons stated that accessing water lines is much less invasive than the sewer project which was completed last year. Powell reminded council that the water project would remove all Transited, which contains asbestos, and lead from the water system. Dowler moved to give Hoffman approval to submit the application for the 2024 OPWC paving project, Reed second the motion, it passed with five yes votes.
Hoffman then requested that council consider approving Choice 1 to do the engineering for Phase II of the water project as Choice 1 has already completed about three quarters of the project. Lyons asked who would oversee the project. Powell said that Don Hysell would oversee that project. Lyons ask how long the project would be. Hoffman stated approximately one year. The Village was awarded $4,179,552 from the Ohio Department of Development for Phase Two, the engineering contract with Choice 1 to be $97,290. The Village may have to pay a portion or all of the engineering, depending on what the grant will pay. Reed moved to contract Choice 1 to do the engineering for Phase II of the water project, Conde second the motion which passed with five yes votes.
Hoffman stated that proposals are now being taken by ODOT for the sidewalk project and the village will make a selection of the engineering firm to be used in two or three weeks.
Hoffman also stated that there is a possibility of adding four houses to the land bank demolition project to be completed by the end of July. Conde said the land bank currently holds the deed for the “Judy K’ property and would be taking bids. The taxes owed on the property are currently $3,100, and that the village would need to bid on the property. Lyons moved to authorize Conde to bid up to $5,000 on the “Judy K” property, Conde second the motion which passed with five yes votes.
Police Chief Wood stated that he currently has a Corvette in impound that he cannot find the owner, and he has not been receiving certified letters back regarding the impounded vehicles so that he could sell the vehicles. Woods also reported that four problematic youth who have been wreaking havoc in the village have been charged and are off the streets.
Middleport resident Rita Bailey was present to discuss a Hackberry tree that is on Village property and needs to be topped, due to it being in poor condition and threatens to fall on her house. Council agreed to trim the tree.
Powell reported council that the public works sold the bucket truck for $7,500 and the funds would be deposited into the street department fund.
Rachel Dye representing Lifepoint Church requested that council waive the rental fee for the Depot at Dave Diles Park, as the church is providing free meals from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday. Conde moved to waive the rental fee for Lifepoint Church, Dowler second the motion which passed with five yea votes.
Lyons then moved to adjourn.
The next meeting will be July 24, 2023 at 7 p.m.