April 13, 2024

Middleport Village Council met in regular session on October 9th in council chambers. Present were Mayor Fred Hoffman, Council members Matt Lyons, Ben Reed, David Dowler, Shawn Arnott, and Brian Conde. Also present were Solicitor Rick Hedges, Fiscal Officer Bryan Swann, Fiscal Assistant Margie Baker-Keilitz, Village Administrator Joe Powell, Assistant Village Administrator Andy Blank, and several citizens including Mary Wise, and Sharon Older.

Reed made a motion to excuse Tyler Andrews, Dowler seconded and the motion was approved with 5 yes votes. 

Lyons made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 25th meeting and Conde seconded.  Council voted to approve with 4 yes votes, Arnott abstained as he was absent from the meeting on the 25th.

Reed made a motion to approve payment of bills, Conde seconded and council approved with 5 yes votes.

Hoffman informed council that Fred and Sharon Older requested that the dead end portion of Russell Street be vacated, as it is a dead end and serves as the Older’s access to their property. The owners of the properties of Russell Street all submitted letters supporting Older’s request and relinquished any claim to the portion of Russell street adjacent to their respective properties. Margie Baker-Keilitz read the ordinance to council. Lyons asked what the reason for the request was. Sharon Older said that they had had disputes with their previous neighbor regarding the road, and that they were trying to prevent future disputes. Council voted to approve the first reading of the ordinance with 5 yes votes.

Mayor Hoffman discussed that the Streetscape project is currently being approved by ODOT, and that he would request approval to sign the contract to move forward with the project in the near future. Hoffman stated that the project, which includes lighting upgrades, and sidewalk replacements to the business district, and new sidewalks throughout the village, is supposed to be fully funded, and that in the event that the Village did have a portion to pay, there is still a private donation (of over $100,000) which is earmarked for sidewalk replacement.

Baker-Keilitz asked council to approve a Tree Ordinance which will delegate authority and responsibility for managing the public trees and establishes practices governing the planting and care of trees on public property. Baker-Keilitz informed council that the Tree Ordinance will be submitted to the Arbor Day Foundation as part of becoming a “Tree City USA”, and would benefit the village on an upcoming tree grant as well. Council approved the first reading of the ordinance with 5 yes votes. Baker-Keilitz also informed council that Kelsey Siekkinen passed their test, are now a certified arborist, and will begin working for the village once Ohio Urban Forestry Grant funding has been awarded. 

Bryan Swann informed council that the village has been notified that there are updates to current tax ordinances imminent, and that they would get more instruction from the state, and keep council informed

Joe Powell stated that the big trash truck has been having some costly repair issues, and that the Village would no longer be picking up construction waste which includes concrete or lumber, as this has been causing heavy wear and tear to the truck. Powell notified council that they are getting a quote on the trade-in value of the current truck to prepare for the future. In addition, Powell said that he will be compiling invoices, based on data from his log books, to invoice the owners of the empty lots that have been maintained by the Village. In the event that the properties are sold, this would attach a lien on the property, so that the village may recoup some of its expenses. Powell also noted that Aspen is wrapping up tree trimming in the Village, and that the Dodge vehicle being used for flower watering service is done, and would need to be replaced for next season. 

Andy Blank shared that the water department would be running contingency plan exercises as required by the EPA. Also, that the new generator is up and running, and would be fenced in as soon as possible. Lyon’s asked if Public Works felt prepared for winter, Blank stated yes, and that they would begin flushing hydrants in November and would post dates on Facebook.

Lyons moved to adjourn.