Archbold Village Council Talks Fire Arrangements

The Archbold Village Council met in regular session on Monday, February 20, 2017.

Two topics took up the majority of the meeting. The first item was the review of the Fire Agreement Proposal. Fire Chief Andy Brodbeck compiled the proposal and presented it to Village Council as well as German Township Trustees Bruce Lauber, Ken Leupp, and Randy Ruffer.

Brodbeck presented a seven page document outlining the budgets for 2016 and 2017 providing a comparison of the two years. He emphasized this was factual information. Right now they are in a mutual agreement. There had been some previous discussion about a possible separation between the two departments. The total budget for the fire department for 2017 is $412,000 and for the Paramedic Department $595,000, giving a total budget of $1,007,000. The budget presented included a nine year projection of Fire Apparatus and Equipment Expenses. The total was $1,135,000 for an annual amount of $126,000.

Brodbeck clarified that German Township represents the unincorporated residents of the Archbold area, while Archbold represents all residencies within the corporation limits.

Brodbeck explained that currently German Township has two levies which provide funding. The levies are .5 and .6 mills which provide about $186,000 per year. He continued that German Township has kept money not spent each year in the German Township Fire Fund which is there for larger expenses when needed.

The proposal broke down the number of address points in each area and included Franklin Township which has a portion that is served by the Archbold Fire Department.

He went on to break down the market value of the three areas which is $647,679,760, and further broke this down to a percentage of the market value for each of the three areas. Archbold Village represented 61.17% or $412,683,300, German Township 34.30% or $231,419,860, and the portion of Franklin Township was 4.53% or $30,576,600.

According to Brodbeck the current Fulton County EMS Levy Revenue covers the funding for the Archbold EMS. The levy generates $594,946.72, and comes from taxes paid by all residents. The portion not paid by EMS Levy Funds leaves the remaining expenses for the Archbold Fire Department which equals remaining $412,053.28.

Brodbeck broke the budget down further removing what the levy pays, then dividing the remaining expenses left by the percentage of the total market value for each of the three areas. This provided the following breakdown: Archbold Village – $252, 041.81, German Township – $141,337.15, and Franklin Township – $18,674.32. This breakdown shows all three paying their fair share.

He also provided information on the number of fire runs only for the past 5 years to the three locations. The five year average provided the following: Archbold 212 or 43%, German 118 or 24%, and Franklin 11 or 2%. He then divided the expenses out by percentage of use.

Mutual aid makes up 31% of all fire runs by the Archbold Fire Department. No money is exchanged between other departments for mutual aid. The only money exchanged is from the agreement Archbold has with Franklin Township. This amounts to about $2600 per year. Brodbeck added they do receive payment when there are hazardous material situations, but these only occur once in a while.

Currently Mutual Aid is paid for only by the Archbold Fire Department. When applying the percentage of market value for each area Archbold’s cost comes out to $78,136.42 and German’s $43,813.62. Archbold assumes Franklin’s cost due to their agreement. When combining costs for the budget plus mutual aid, the totals come to the following according to Brodbeck: Archbold – $263,560.39 and German – $142,706.40. This reflects all residents paying equal amounts.

Brodbeck further provided a document generated from information provided by Fulton County Auditor, Brett Kolb, providing total value for 2016 tax year. This was done to provide the amount German Township would be required to pay if there was a separation between Archbold and German Township. This was simply provided to reflect how large a levy would be needed to cover the full amount so everyone paid equal amounts. He stated the amount need would require a 2.2 mill levy. Right now the current levies bring in 1.1 mills total.

A summary page was provided that reviewed all the information presented to this point and Brodbeck emphasized all figures were based on factual information.

In conclusion the point Brodbeck was trying to stress with the proposal was providing information that reflected the fair cost that would be shared by each resident of both Archbold Village and German Township. Information provided by German Township Fiscal Officer, Keith Short, stated that currently there is about $360,000 in the German Township Fire Fund. This was paid equally by all German Township residents. The question is would German Township keep the full amount or would the fair share amount go to Archbold Village?

The final page proposed the following for consideration:

1. The cost for total fire services is $412,00 per year
2. German cost toward service (German portion and Mutual Aid Portion) is $142,000 per year
3. Archbold cost toward service (Archbold, Franklin, and Mutual Aid Portion) is $263,560 per year
4. Archbold Credit or Pay German agreed upon value for equipment and apparatus is $569,100
5. German keep agreed upon amount from the German Fire Fund balance $130,680
6. Total in German Fire Fund would be $130,680. This would leave about $700,000 in the German Fire Fund.

The money from the current levies can be used for any fire services, not just to buy equipment and for overhead maintenance. The proposal is to continue with the current levies for a minimum five years. All levy proceeds would go to the Archbold Fire Department. German’s cost toward services would be the previously stated $142,000, and German’s 2016 levy proceeds are between $65,000 and $66,000. This would leave a shortfall of about about $76,000. This balance would come from the German Fund which currently has about $700,000 in it.

Brodbeck divided the German Fund by $76,000 which reflects the German Township could function with the current levies for 9 years. This assumes no separation and everyone paying equal amounts for fire services. He feels this amount of time is fair for all residents and would allow German and Archbold time to agree upon to adjusting or eliminating current levies and are proposing a new levy to cover entire costs. Possibly looking at adjusting in 2023. Basically all levies would stay in place. One is good for five years and the other may be on the ballot in May. He emphasized if costs came in lower than budgeted that the funds may last more than 9 years.

Brodbeck added the suggestion that at the end of each year actual spending should be shared between German and Archbold. Any funding that was budgeted but not used would be held in an account to be used only for fire and EMS. This would help to lower the budget for the following year.

He also proposed an agreement between Archbold and German to enter into an agreement regarding Service and Maintenance and Apparatus and Equipment. This would include the continued sharing of the training facility they currently share.

The bottom line is that the proposal considers no separation and provides a method of all residents paying the same amounts and makes it fair for both Archbold and German Township in regards of fire services.

German Township Trustee Bruce Lauber was concerned about the large increase (300%) in projected costs given now in comparison from their last meeting that was held on January 23, 2017. After that meeting he felt the two entities were very close to an agreement. The new figures were quite troubling to him.

Mayor Fryman reminded that after that meeting it was pointed out by Council Member and Finance Committee Member, Ed Leininger, who was absent from the meeting, that numbers needed to be ran and that for the past thirty years Archbold has been paying a disproportionate amount of money for fire services.

Kevin Morton added that people in unicorporated areas have not been paying anything for fire services for a long time. Residents inside the village are paying more than 80% of the total budget. That information had just been discovered recently. That prompted the meeting with Brett Kolb.

Vaughn Betz also shared that equipment was the only portion that German Township was paying for in the total fire budget. That is what caused the large jump in costs to German Township.

Morton went on to state they were not doing their job if they weren’t working to make this fair to all.

Mr. Betz emphasized the proposal reflected everyone in the township paying their fair portion based on property values, whether they were in the corporation limits or unincorporated areas.

Kevin Eicher stressed the point that all council members were trying to make this agreement fair for everyone.

The trustees from German Township felt this was a lot to ingest and needed more time before making a decision. It was mutually agreed upon that 30 more days would be granted for German Township to decide how they wanted to proceed with the proposal. German Township was asked come to the March 20, meeting. If the German Township Trustees decided prior to that date, then Archbold Village Council would attend their meeting.

The second item was the resolution of an insurance claim by two village residents. Ms. Dettling presented the background information that the village had submitted an insurance claim in regards to a sewer backup incident involving two resident’s properties. The insurance claims adjustor assigned to the claim determined the village was not in fault for the backup. Therefore the village’s liability insurance could not be applied and the claim was denied. However the village has the option to take action to process the claim under the Moral Obligation Clause. In this option the insurance company would pay up to 75% per claim. One claim was for $1404 and the insurer would pay $1053 towards that incident. The second claim was $125, this the company would pay $93.75. To receive the reimbursement the village must have documentation in the minutes that they agreed to pay the residents and then be reimbursed by the insurance company.

Kevin Morton questioned whose tree caused the problem with the roots. His concern was if this would be setting a president for further action.

Kenny Cowell was not comfortable with the insurance company deciding who was at fault. He felt that if there were tree roots in the main.

The decision was to table the motion and send the matter to the Utility Committee for further discussion and review.

Additional items included:
The group approved the following items presented by Mayor Jeff Fryman:
•The minutes of the February 6, 2017, meeting with no questions.
•Bills and Payroll in the amount of $273, 662.17

Village Administrator Donna Dettling presented the following resolutions which Council voted to suspend the reading rules and approve:

•#2017-15 – Accept a Proposal from Stoop for a Freightliner Chassis and Kalida Truck Equipment for a Wing Plow for the Street Department and Declaring an Emergency. This was not the low bid received, but was felt to be the best bid to meet the needs of the department.

•#2017-16 Authorize Advertising for Bids for Contract 4-2017 Wastewater Treatment Plant Lime Slaker System and Declaring an Emergency. Estimated cost for the system is $120,000 plus electrical work and installation.

•#2017-17 Accepting Dave Schweinhagen as a Probationary Full-time Officer of the Village of Archbold Police Department. Schweinhagen brings 18 years of experience to the department, including 10 years in the MAN Unit.

•#2017-18 Appointing Kyle A. Brodbeck the EMS Paramedic Supervisor with the Village of Archbold Fire Department and Declaring an Emergency. This was rushed due another employee leaving.

Council was provided information on the following Committee or Commission Meetings:
a. Utility Committee 11-17-2016
b. Street & Sidewalk 11-18-2016

The following reports were provided to Council:
a. Month End Financials 1-31-2017
b. Contract Project Status Report 1-31-2017
c. Income Tax Collection-Graphs Only

In Correspondence Items:
a. Fulton County Letter 2-6-2016 -Action Requested Invite Commissioners to a Village Council Meeting. Council decided to invite the County Commissioners to a council meeting and left it open to whatever was the best option for the commissioners.
b. Ohio Gas Service Credit 1-2017

Council adjourned at 8:37 pm. Archbold Village Council’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be Monday, March 6, 2017, at 7 pm.

Kent Hutchison can be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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