Photo caption: North Central Student Council representatives Shaylee Oyer, Tiana Wheeler, and Lucus Brown spoke at the Monday night meeting and explained their reason for asking a waiver of the rental fee of the Community Center for the Homecoming Dance.
Members of North Central’s Student Council twere on hand at the Pioneer Village Council’s meeting on Monday, December 10, 2012. They had a chance to practice their public speaking skills as the three students presented their reasons for asking for the fee to be waived for use of the Community Center for their annual Homecoming Dance. It is traditional for the village to offer them use of the center at no cost, which has the benefit of keeping the cost of a ticket to the dance low and affordable to students. The Student Council makes no profit from the event. Council had actually voted during their November meeting to waive the fee. Mayor Ed Kidston asked only that they youth “have a great time and a safe time.”
Council opened the meeting by approving the agenda, with some minor changes, and approving the minutes of the last meeting, the financial report, and payment of bills.
Police Chief Tim Livengood handed council a written report of the department’s activity for the month of November. There were 82 calls, with 15 of those incident reports. The report reflected an average response time of two-and-a-half minutes, and an average time out on call of over 24 minutes. The report detailed types of complaints and incidents reports, in addition to a breakdown of the area of the amount of calls from different sectors of village, average number of calls per day of the week, and average number of calls per time of day.
Fire Chief Denny Fackler reported 22 calls, two controlled burns, and one burn complaint.
Diamond Zimmerman of WEDCO (Williams County Economic Development Corporation) was present and discussed the upcoming Business Expo which is being planned for Wednesday, March 6, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Holiday City. This is the first year that this is being offered as a tri-state event, and businesses from Indiana and Michigan as well as Ohio businesses within a 30 mile radius will be present to display their products and network with other businesses. Those wishing to participate will be able to do so free of cost. There is room for 100 displays, and WEDCO would like for all of those spaces to be filled. Those who would like to participate or to request more information may contact Diamond at 419-636-8727, or by fax at 419-636-5589.
Zimmerman said that some of WEDCO’s by-laws had minor changes made during their October meeting. The annual meeting has been amended to the first quarter of the year, instead of the last quarter as previously held. Letters will be going out to county mayors to appoint representatives from their towns to WEDCO. Their next meeting will be held March 6, 2013, at the Ramada Inn at 11:00 p.m. This will be prior to the Expo, also held that day. Village Administrator Al Fiser complimented Diamond and WEDCO on their efforts to promote the area for industry. He said that for what the village pays for membership in the organization, that they “its well worth it.” He added that it is a “good program” with “good communication.”
Guest Tracie (Thorp) Greer distributed a series of questions to council regarding water and sewage rates as well as electrical costs of residential and commercial customers. Council was not able to answer the questions during the meeting, but will review them. This sparked a discussion about an issue that her father Norman Thorp had raised at the last meeting: would customers outside the village limits receive the $100 rebate that customers residing in the village received? The ordinance that had been passed clearly stated that the rebate, which was reflected in November’s bill, was for village residents only, and not all customers. There are 28 outside customers. Kidston noted that those customers enjoy lower cost electricity from the village which likely resulted in savings equal to or greater than the rebate amount when compared to what they would pay if they were to use another electrical provider.
A bid for 71 acres of village owned farm land rental was approved. The highest bid was given by Don Kunkle for $12, 900 per year for five years, for a total of $64,500. This works out to $181.69 per acre, per year.
A change order was approved regarding the re-grind and paving of the Baubice Street project and village parking lot in the amount of $66,269.44, which brings the total cost of the project thus far to $517,694.44. The village has been billed for $410,000 for the project, which will be funded by several sources: CDBG – $225,000, OPWC – over $106,000, Williams County – $30,000, and ODOT – $49,000. There may yet be more change orders to reflect minor changes, and the final billing for the project will be in January 2013. Miller Brothers is the contractor for the project.
The American Legion Post #307 in Pioneer approached the village offering to donate up to $5000 per year for as many as 10 years to cover part of the cost of expanding their existing parking lot out to Church Street. Mayor Kidston plans to apply for CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) grants to cover part of the cost, which is estimated at $91,000. This would provide more parking for customers and members of the legion, especially during their fish fries, and also provide more parking for the village. The lot on which the Legion wants to build the parking lot is village owned. Council approved the project.
Fiscal officer April McMillen said that the village police department had requested and received radios, and the town had applied for and received a grant in the amount of $3990.83 to reimburse the village toward the cost of the radios.
Mayor Ed Kidston commended McMillen for her work on the village budget, which is $36,000 lower for 2013 than it was in 2012. In addition, income tax is up, resulting in even more money for the village. He offered McMillen and administrator Al Fiser a “pat on the back” for their hard work, and to the village for having “really, really good managers and employees” who are “promoting growth and industry” to Pioneer. He added that the town is “in good shape financially.”
The following ordinances were approved.
• Ordinance 20-2012 – An ordinance amending appropriations for 2012 and declaring an emergency.
• Ordinance 21-2012 – An ordinance to set wages for 2013 and declaring an emergency.
• Ordinance 22-2012 – An ordinance creating the position of solicitor for the Village of Pioneer, Ohio, enacting Chapter 137 of the codified ordinances of Pioneer, Ohio, and declaring an emergency. Solicitor Tom Thompson has been paid hourly for his services to the village, but adding him as a part-time employee at the cost of $9,600 per year will be less costly to the village.
• Ordinance 23-2012 – An ordinance requesting permanent appropriations for 2013, and declaring an emergency. This ordinance allows the village to pay off the administrative building and to pay into the AMP fund.
The following resolutions were passed.
• Resolution 10-2012 – A resolution authorizing the Village Administrator and Fiscal Officer to execute a fire protection contract with Bridgewater Township and declaring an emergency.
• Resolution 11-2012 – A resolution authorizing the Village Administrator and Fiscal Officer to execute a fire protection contract with Amboy Township and declaring an emergency.
• Resolution 12-2012 A resolution authorizing the Village Administrator and Solicitor to execute a Third Amendment to electric service agreement between the Village of Pioneer and Powerlaser Corporation and declare an emergency.
Though he does not own the business, because Mayor Kidston owns the building housing Powerlaser, he excused himself from the meeting for this vote and put the meeting into the hands of Council President Rod Eckley. This resolution returned Powerlaser to the original rates in the contract, which had been amended to higher rates in a Second Amendment due to higher electrical costs at that time. Costs have since come down. This resolution will help Powerlaser to stay competitive.
Council passed a Representation Agreement with Bish, Butler & Thompson, Ltd. Fees had been set at $105 in 2012, but council agreed to raise the rate to $110 per hour for 2013. Though Thompson will be serving as a village employee, this allows for overages and for payment of work done by other members of the firm, if needed.
Rodger Swank, representing the Pioneer United Methodist Church, said that he had been approached about moving the church’s Nativity Scene from private property at the corner of Church and Main to the downtown park where it will be more visible. Council gave permission for the Nativity to be placed on city property.
Before adjourning, council member Connie Salisbury commended the village for its Christmas decorations. “It has never looked so beautiful,” said Salisbury. Mayor Kidston and the council wished all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Council meetings are held at the Community Center on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. The public is always welcome to attend.