At their regular session of March 6, members of the Bryan City Council were informed about Ohio Senate Bill 331, specifically about small cell wireless telecommunications facilities in municipalities, and the restrictions placed upon those municipalities in the regulation of these small cells and distributed antenna systems. SB 331 was passed by the Ohio Legislature on December 7, 2016, signed into law by Governor Kasich 12 days later, and was scheduled to go into effect on March 21. On the evening of March 20, with just a few hours before the new law took effect, members of Bryan City Council convened in regular session with a proposed measure pertaining to this issue on the agenda.
“The problem is going to be that we need to find a place for these people to exist,” said City Engineer, Brian Wieland at the March 6 meeting. “We need to set up a criteria if they want to put their own pole up…how many feet away from certain utilities. We can’t just say, ‘No…we can’t do it.’ We have to find room. We’ve got a lot of work to get done here in the next two weeks.” According to City Attor¬ney Rhonda Fisher, a lot of work was indeed done prior to Ordinance 06-2017 being presented to Council for their consideration on the evening of March 20, beginning with a very lengthy title.
The purpose of the Ordinance, as defined in the title, was to, “…provide wireless communication companies with access to the right-of-way,” in accordance with state and federal laws, and to, “…establish clear rules for the siting, construction and maintenance of wireless communication facilities in the right-of-way, and protect the city’s interest in preserving the right-of-way aesthetically and as a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare…” “Having had the chance to study the bill,” Ms. Fisher said, “…we found it necessary to create legislation in the City of Bryan so that we could establish the rules and regulations for the design, siting and maintenance of these facilities in out right-of-way.” One of those regulations states that although a company can request a municipal light or traffic pole for an installation site, municipal power poles are off limits. Councilor Keith Day inquired if there was any potential of amendments to the laws in the future, to which Ms. Fisher replied, “Quite possibly.” The Ordinance, under suspended rules of reading, was approved without dissent.
Council cleared another pair of ‘retro’ items on this evening. At the Council meeting of November 21, 2016, Council approved the passages of Resolution 29-2016, and Resolution 30-2016, both of which were measures designed to take control of long inactive, leftover funds. The first measure sought to return funds totaling $65,937.42 to the One Percent Income Tax Fund from the Don North Municipal Building Debt Retirement Fund, which has had all outstanding obligations retired since 2013. The second measure sought to transfer funds totaling $11,212.57 to the 1/2 Percent Income Tax fund from the Special Assessment Bond Fund. That money remained from the issuance of bonds in 1990 for a street light, as well as an East End Sewer Project that was completed in 1994, and all obligations cleared in 2009. With those resolutions approved, Ms. Fisher cleared the transfer of these funds with the State Tax Commissioner, as well as the local courts. Ordinances 07-2017 and 08-2017, approved without dissent under suspended rules of reading, put to rest the final transfers of the funds.
Council approved Ordinance 05-2017, entering into a contract with M&M Asphalt for the project defined in the February 9 meeting as the 2017 Street Improvement of Mayberry Drive from Newdale Drive to the YMCA Entrance. Their winning bid of $254,021.90 was very close to the original estimations of a $250,000 project cost.
Council approved Resolution 08-2017, authorizing the advertisement for bids for a project to be known as the 2017 North Myers Street – 300 Block Sanitary Sewer. Estimates on the project run between $65,000 and $75,000.
Council approved the promotion of Wes Wygant from his position of Assistant Wastewater Superintendent, to that of Wastewater Superintendent, effective April 1. Wygant will take over for Ric Homier, who announced his retirement earlier. Council also approved advertising for applicants to fill the vacancy created when Wygant assumes his new post.
Council approved the request of Parks Director Ben Dominique for the hiring of eleven part-time seasonal employees. Those hired included Keith Engstrom, Dan Layman, John Hall, Bryson North, Bob Kunsman, David Miller, Kyle Rupp, Zakary Kern, Payton Spiess, Jaret Miller, and Lucas Nye.
After hearing the annual report of Police Chief Mike Willis, Council retired into executive session for the purpose of discussion of the acquisition of property. Upon returning to regular session, Council approved a resolution clearing the way for the application for a $2.5 million loan targeting a future wastewater improvement project.
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