By: Timothy Kays
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Members of the Montpelier Village Council convened in regular session on the evening of November 21.
In comments of the Council, Mayor Steve Yagelski, looking ahead at the inevitable outcome of the winter weather ahead, stated that snow removal downtown is the responsibility of the property or business owners. He thanked the property and business owners who do their part in cleaning their sidewalks. Councilor Dan Clum noted that the Olde Tyme Holiday Gathering festivities of November 22 were nice, and the weather cooperated.
Village Manager, Ms. Pam Lucas, presented the 2015 Council Meeting Schedule for approval. Council approved the measure, maintaining regular session meetings on the second and fourth Mondays of the month at 6:00 p.m.
Ms. Lucas presented an application for a new liquor license for the Shopko Store. It was noted that Chief of Police Dan McGee did not have any objections to this permit. Council approved the petition without dissent.
Ms. Lucas then presented Ordinance 2177 to amend the sewer rates for the third and final reading. The rates proposed would be increased in a two-step process, first on January 1, 2015, and again on July 1, 2015. Ms. Lucas did a survey of the sewer rates in Williams County and feels that the village is in line with other communities in the county. Council approved the measure without dissent.
Ms. Lucas presented Ordinance 2178 for its third and final reading. Ms. Lucas noted that attached to the ordinance were all the riders and schedules that would be affected, and that the current, proposed and difference in rates are highlighted on the schedules. Ms. Lucas and Councilor Clum again noted that this is not really an increase, rather that $0.03 of the power cost adjustment is being rolled into the rate. Council gave their unanimous approval to the measure.
Ms. Lucas presented Ordinance 2179, amending the Enterprise Zone Agreement for Moore Industries. The original Enterprise Zone Agreement was approved on March 31, 2014. Since that time, Moore Industries has expressed a desire to expand another 12,000 square feet, which will result in 6-8 permanent jobs. Councilor Clum stated that it is the idea of the State that the village amend the one in place, rather than making another agreement. Under suspended rules of reading and read by title only, the amended Enterprise Zone Agreement was adopted by Council.
Ms. Lucas presented Resolution 1102 pertaining to the appropriations for 2015. The Finance Committee and Council both reviewed the 2015 proposed budget. Director of Finance, Ms. Kelly Hephner, stated that she would like to suspend the rules of reading and pass the resolution. The proposed village budget of a little over $15,658,931 reflects a reduction of $2,306,141 from the 2014 budget of $17,965,072, but it was noted that that figure contained the costs of substantial capital improvement projects such as the Sewer Separation and Airport Substation Projects. Under suspended rules of reading, Council approved the proposed 2015 appropriations.
Ms. Hephner stated that due to renovations being made at Village Hall, the computer server will need to be shut down at noon on Wednesday, November 26, and the phone service may be down until Monday, December 1. Because of the renovations, the utility office will close at noon on November 26, and will reopen in a temporary location on the second floor on December 1. Renovations are expected to be complete, and the utility office is expected to reopen again on the first floor on December 8. Residents may call the 419-485-3121 with any questions.
Ms. Lucas stated that the shelter house at Storrer Park is coming along nicely, and that the volunteers are doing a tremendous job with the building.
Mayor Yagelski asked Ms. Hephner to speak regarding House Bill 5, which is still looming. The opposition to the measure notes that a component of the legislation would give the State the authority to assume regulation and collection authority of the income taxes of all Ohio municipalities, thereby expanding the central government, and giving it unprecedented financial powers over municipalities.
Ms. Hephner said this legislation is still imminent in Columbus, and a lot of big names are pushing the issue. If it passes as presented, she said, the legislation with have a huge negative impact on the village finances, causing a loss of around $200,000 in revenue, an amount which is the equivalent to the cost of the fire department. Ms. Hephner stated that the State has already cut the local government funds approximately $200,000. The State expects the local governments to make up these funds with local tax increases. The House narrowly passed the Bill over to the Senate, where it is currently being debated in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Mayor Yagelski and Ms. Hephner urged all residents to contact their State Senators and tell them to vote against the measure.
Mayor Yagelski thanked everyone involved with the budget for their hard work, after which, with no further business to address, the members of Council voted to adjourn for the evening.
Timothy Kays can be reached at