May 15, 2023 Meeting Minutes

MAY 15, 2023
7:00 P.M.
Brewster Village Council met in regular session with Mayor Chuck Hawk presiding.
Council Members bowed their heads for the invocation provided by Clerk Kris King followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
The meeting took place in the Community Room.
Charles Hawk, Mayor
Dale Fox, Council Member                           David Godwin, Council Member
Tom Hilliard, Council Member                       Brett Long, Council Member
Sydney Radich, Council Member                 Mike Schwab, Council Member 
John Anthony, Solicitor                                  Michael L Miller, Village Administrator
Kris King, Clerk-Treasurer
Mayor Chuck Hawk asked if there were any additions or deletions to the May 1, 2023, Council meeting minutes.
COUNCIL MEMBER GODWIN MOVED, SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER FOX and motion carried to approve the minutes as presented.  The vote: All yes.
COUNCIL MEMBER GODWIN MOVED, SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER LONG and motion carried to accept the bills in the amount of $87,206.13.  The vote: All yes. 
Police Chief Nathan Taylor was in attendance. 
CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES:  Titles of each read by Solicitor John Anthony. 
ORDINANCE 41-2023:  An ordinance authorizing the Village Administrator to prepare bid specifications and advertise for the bids for the Brewster Water Transmission Main Replacement Project was given third reading.
COUNCIL MEMBER GODWIN MOVED, SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER FOX and motion carried to approve the legislation as read.  The vote: All yes.
Council Member Godwin asked the VA how much this project was estimated to cost.  VA Miller stated that the project is estimated to cost $1,600,000.  He thinks it will be less.  The OPWC amount is $1,500,000 with $1,200,000 in grant money and $300,000 in loan and what we have already put into it.
First Reading: An Ordinance Authorizing entering into an agreement with the Board of Stark County Commissioners regarding the Community Block Grant Program.
TABLED AT THIRD READING:  An ordinance authorizing the Village Administrator, with the assistance of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), to apply for, accept, and enter into a construction loan agreement for an Ohio EPA Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) loan for the installation of two (2) manholes in the sanitary sewer line that runs between McKinley to the levee and declaring an emergency (at third reading). 
TABLED AT THIRD READING:  An ordinance authorizing the Village Administrator, with the assistance of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), to apply for, accept, and enter into a construction loan agreement for an Ohio EPA Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) loan for the Hillview Mobile Home Park Sanitary Project and declaring an emergency (at third reading). 
TABLED AT THIRD READING:  An ordinance authorizing the Village Administrator, with the assistance of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), to apply for, accept, and enter into a construction loan agreement for an Ohio EPA Water Pollution Loan Fund (WPCLF) loan for the lining and the rehabilitation/installation of two (2) manholes in the sanitary sewer line and runs between 5th and Jefferson and 4th Street and declaring an emergency (at third reading). 
SECOND READING:  An ordinance authorizing the Village Administrator to prepare bid specification and advertise for the bids for the Brewster Water Transmission Main Replacement Project. 
  1.       POLICE DEPARTMENT: Chief Nathan Taylor
  •          There were 626 calls of service in April and 300 so far in May.
  •          The Chief announced and congratulated Sergeant Ben Truman for achieving Master SRO Certification.
  •          Cruiser: We are not able to even order a Chevy cruiser until December 2023 and Ford’s cannot be ordered until May of 2024.  Then we are looking at a year out for delivery.
  •          15 junk vehicles have been moved.  Council Member Hilliard brought up a vehicle at Main and McKinley.  The Chief stated that it was halfway through the process.
  •          The Chief once again asked that crimes be reported immediately.  There have been break ins that have been reported a couple days after the fact.
  1.       FIRE DEPARTMENT:  Chief Chris Colucy
  •          Council Member Godwin asked that if the Chief is not going to attend that he turn in an agenda for Council to review.
  1.        Solicitor Anthony reported that Senate Bill 33 would not affect the Village.  He went on to discuss the favorable aspects of the legislation.
  2.        Solicitor Anthony reviewed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Village, RCAP and GLCAP.
Council received the Village Administrator’s report last week to review.  Administrator’s report for period: 05/02/2023-05/15/2023:
COUNCIL MEMBER FOX MOVED, SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER LONG and motion carried to approve the Village Administrator’s report as presented.  The vote: All yes.
Items added since the email went out to Council:
  •          The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RCAP and GLCAP is not problematic.  The declaration of immunity states that the Village cannot sue them for gross negligence.  That is not a problem because they are not going to be on Village property but will be on private property.  The Solicitor and VA are only going to sign the first part of the MOU.  This release/waiver of liability was not on the other agreement we had with them and that one was more comprehensive.  It takes away all judicial remedies and the Solicitor doesn’t see how it relates to this MOU.
  •          The south side of the electric garage was completed about 1:00 today.
  •          The trees on the west side of Washington that are unhealthy or dead will be removed either by the Village employees or we will hire Berens to do it.  Wooden soldiers will be erected out of old electric poles to prevent people from parking of vehicles.
  •          Park Drive Phase 1 will be starting next week.
  •          There have been issues with vehicles being parked on the sidewalk in front of the community room.  We are having Levco put parking spaces in the street and parking stops in front of them.
  •          No news on the delivery of the new ambulance.  We will receive a VIN number once a chassis is assigned to our purchase.
  •          A memorial bench has been placed in Bimeler Park.  We were waiting on a concrete pad for it.
  •          We have poured a new porta-potty pad along the fence at field 3.  This will keep children from having to run through the parking lot to use the restroom.  The Clerk is working on changing out porta-potty companies.  We can save money by using Stark County Schools COG to get reduced prices.
  •          Council Member Hilliard asked how squad 155 was holding up.  VA Miller knocked on wood that it has been running well.  We have changed repair vendors.
2024 Paving Program. I have begun work on the list for the 2024 Paving Program, which the streets that were part of the OPWC Tuscarawas/Locustdale/Pinewood Water Line Replacement Project being priorities. The plan is to let trenches settle this summer, put in new ADA Ramps at the intersections ahead of next year, and remove any “hazard” trees and replacing any displaced sidewalk before paving all those streets next year. I have informed Columbia Gas of these plans so that if there is a need to also replace the gas lines on these streets they can do so before we pave them next year.
I am preparing the requirements for ADA Ramps that will need to be updated with the 2024 Paving Program:
  •          Chestnut and Tuscarawas;
  •          Pinewood & Tuscarawas;
  •          Locustdale & Tuscarawas;
  •          Locustdale & Wabash
Again, I anticipate that these will be addressed ahead of the 2024 Paving Program, at less cost, and hopefully with much less confusion.
OPWC - West Main Reduction and Rehabilitation Project. Thrasher continues to work on preparing basic drawings, plans, and cost estimates in preparation for the OPWC West Main Reduction and Rehabilitation Project funding application pursuant to Ordinance 31-2023.
OPWC Tuscarawas/Locustdale/Pinewood Water Line Replacement Project. The contractor has completed restoring trenches and water laterals.
Hillview Mobile Home Park Sanitary Sewer “Project” – WPCLF Design/Planning Loan. The “loan” has been approved and design is underway.
Hillview Mobile Home Park & Village Agreement for Reimbursement. Law Director Anthony has addressed Council on this piece of the overall “puzzle.”
Stark County CDBG Continued Participation. The Village has received a request to continue the Village’s participation in the Stark County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for fiscal years 2024, 2025, and 2026. The Village of Brewster has been participating since 1993.
The Village received $441,959 in CDBG funding for the Jefferson Ave Sanitary Sewer Project and has been tentatively awarded funding in fiscal year 2024 towards the Hillview Pump Station and Force main Sanitary Sewer Project.
Legislation has been drafted to authorize the Village’s continued participation.
Hillview Mobile Home Park CDBG Application. Stark County Regional Planning forwarded a “snapshot” of the budget the Stark County Board of Commissioners approved on April 19, 2023. The budget includes the proposed projects for FY24 and FY25 which are tentatively approved and generally speaking, do not change. Stark County Regional Planning will be submitting the FY23 budget to HUD sometime next week for them to approve planned activities for the next year.
As was discussed previously with Council, there is a catch to accepting the $40,000 CDBG Grant - it is for Fiscal Year 2024, which begins July 1, 2024. So, the position “we” (the Village) and Hillview are in:
  •          do we (and can we, or better stated Hillview) wait until July 1, 2024 to begin bidding and construction (with EPA consent decree and the Common Pleas Court contempt fine pending)
  •          if we wait, do we keep the “bird in hand” (construction loan up to $255,000) OR do we take a “risk” and reapply (renominate), hoping to get “loan forgiveness” IF we are approved again in the next round? Matt Kline of RCAP indicates that reapproval is near 100%.
  •          Matt Kline of RCAP had some additional information from his conversations with EPA – we can keep current loan for construction while we renominate the project. That means no downside to renominate (other than EPA litigation against Hillview). We could get more loan forgiveness. If we do not like what the outcome is, we follow through on existing loan approval. No downside to renominating the project.
So based on my conversation with Matt, my opinion now is:
  •          “we” take the $40,000 CDBG Grant (reduces amount to be assessed for taxes closer to the “assessed” value)
  •          by taking the $40,000 CDBG Grant it simplifies the Villages involvement, as RPC/CDBG will handle putting together the bids docs, advertising, award, prevailing wage, etc.
  •          by taking the $40,000 CDBG Grant, the owners are in a better position, as CDBG funds are first in, so the WPCLF Loan will be spent last, and their monetary commitment is reduced.
  •          We keep the existing WPCLF Loan AND roll the dice and renominate the project hoping for a better outcome. Could further reduce monetary commitment for owners.
All the above is tentative, subject to whether the owners of Hillview can get EPA and the Court to “go along” with the plan.
Brewster Sanitary Manholes Project – WPCLF Loan(s). The Village’s application for the loan has been submitted. Work on the plans is underway.
Brewster Sanitary Sewer Lining and Manhole Rehab/Replacement Project – WPCLF Loan(s). The Village’s application for the loan has been submitted. Work on the plans is underway.
OPWC Brewster Water Transmission Main Replacement Project. The Brewster Water Transmission Main Replacement Project has been approved for funding by the Ohio Public Works Commission. The OPWC amount is a total of $1,500,000: $1,200,000 in an OPWC Grant and $300,000 in an OPWC Loan. The total project cost is estimated at $1,653,917.
OPWC will release the Project Agreements on or about 7/1/2023, assuming budget authority is in place. The Village cannot award a construction contract or begin construction until the Project Agreement has been fully executed. The Village MAY initiate engineering and design services at our own risk prior to July 1st – the Village already has, and it is a part of our projected match.
The Village MAY ALSO advertise for bids, providing we follow the contractual requirements posted on the OPWC website. That is the intention, so I will be presenting legislation to Council to authorize advertising and receive bids.
The tentative timeline for advertising for bids and subsequent award of a contract is:
  •          April 17th first reading
  •          May 1st (or May 3rd) second reading
  •          May 15th third reading and passage
  •          Advertise for bids May 23rd, May 30th, June 6th. (still putting bid specs together, so this could be pushed back a week or so)
  •          Open bids June 20th (still putting bid specs together, so this could be pushed back a week or so)
  •          Recommendation for CT to Council for awarding on June 27th. (still putting bid specs together, so this could be pushed back a week or so)
  •          Award contract July 3rd IF we have OPWC Project Agreement has been fully executed. (still putting bid specs together, so this could be pushed back a week or so)
  •          Award contract July 17th – should certainly have OPWC Project Agreement fully executed by then.
So that we are ready to award in July or August, I will also be presenting legislation to Council to authorize awarding a contract.
OPWC Park Drive Phase 1. Council awarded a contract for Park Drive Phase 1 to Northstar Asphalt based on the base bid PLUS Alternate #1 in the amount of $319,318. The $319,318 is split up with $140,584 from OPWC, $20,090 from Capital Improvement, and the remaining $158,644 from the Street Improvement Fund. We have met with Northstar twice in the field. Material is being delivered and we expect construction activity to begin within the next few weeks, weather permitting.
Electric Building – Progress. Trusses are up. Siding and soffit installed. Windows installed. Roof should be in place week of May 15th. Once it is under roof, we will get gas installed.
As I did with the Fire Station Addition and the Community Room, any Change Orders for the Electric Building will be reported to Council as they come up and presented for Council to approve or ratify. There is nothing new in the way of change orders at this time. The current budget breaks down as follows:




Original Contract



Change Order #1



Change Order #2



New Total



Water Service Line Identification Project. The Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP), or RCAP, has received a grant from the Ohio EPA to assist communities with service line material identification. The Water Service Line Identification Project will consist of door-to-door inspections provided by GLCAP staff, survey forms, mailers, and outreach materials. The GIS team has already built or will build the service line application for Brewster. The application service is included as part of our RCAP GIS Cooperative membership. The web and applications will serve as the repository for the service line point information received from online surveys.
There is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that has to be signed and returned to GLCAP before work can start. This agreement describes work being performed by GLCAP. Again, fully funded by the Ohio EPA – this will be at no cost to the Village.
Provided the Law Director approves the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), I intend to proceed unless there is an objection at Monday night’s Council Meeting.
Mosquito Spraying. The Stark County Health Department has sent the Village a proposed contract for mosquito spraying for 2023. The proposal from the Stark County Health Department is to do six (6) sprayings this summer, between the months of June and October, weather permitting. The cost increases to $816 per spraying, up from $731 per spraying in 2022. The total will be $4,896, up from $4,386 in 2022 if none of the sprayings are cancelled due to weather conditions. As before, they will also be taking care of placing notices in advance of each spraying.
I will proceed with entering into this agreement unless there is an objection at the May 15th Council Meeting.
2023-2024 Health Insurance. We received a communication from Stark County Schools Council of Governments regarding 2023-2024 health insurance premiums. They are the recommendations that still need to be formally adopted, but the recommendations in the past have been adopted. They indicate increases of:
  •          7.98 % for medical & prescription drug coverage
  •          5.75 % for dental coverage
  •          2.50 % for vision coverage
They also recommend one (1) proposed monthly “holiday” where no premium is paid by the Village or the employee.
I have also forwarded a summary of Stark County Schools Council of Governments Health Insurance costs and comparisons to other programs.
Electric Department – Potential Battery Storage Project. We continue to discuss sizing of the battery storage as part of the process of preparing specifications for a Battery Storage Project. Work continues.
Storm Drainage Projects. The current list of storm sewer projects in their priority order, with updates on their status:
  1.        Catch basin in front of 251 7th Street SE – repair/rebuild.
  2.        Dartmouth/Amherst relief line. Easement has been signed. Need surveyor to set pins. Work to start when it can be scheduled and weather permits.
  3.        Corner of Needham & Harriman – catch basin collapse.
  4.        East end of 1st Street SE. Will have to coordinate with US Army Corps of Engineers.
  5.        Open ditch east of Mohican. We are consulting with Stark County Soil & Water.
  6.        Drainage from Harmon west of 264 Harmon. Survey needs to be completed.
  7.        Drainage on north side of 7th west of Baymere.
These are not necessarily on a first come/first serve basis but based on their criticality and/or ability to fit into the schedule. We are also looking to repair deteriorated catch basins, so if any Council person is aware of any, please let me know. Also, if there are any storm drainage projects/issues not on this list please let me know.
Properties in the Village with High Grass. As an FYI, letters have begun going out for properties that either have high grass or trash issues in the Village. High grass letters state:   
Once the green cards (certified delivery) come back, the Village can cut the property and, if unpaid, place the cost of the property owner’s taxes. So, if you notice any properties in the Village where the grass is not being cut in accordance with our ordinance, please let me know.
Ambulance Purchase. I have signed and forwarded the new/amended Purchase Agreement. When we get an update on delivery, I will inform Council.
Efficiency Smart – Expansion of Current HVAC Rebate Offerings. On March 1, Efficiency Smart introduced a $100 rebate on qualifying central air conditioners and a $50 rebate on qualifying window air conditioners. This will expand their current HVAC rebate offerings and give residential customers additional options to save energy in their homes. Efficiency Smart expects the new window air conditioner rebates to be of particular benefit to renters as they have fewer opportunities to make upgrades in their homes.
To kick off and raise awareness of these new rebates, Efficiency Smart will be giving away a window air conditioner on their Facebook page starting on March 1. Residents who comment on our post with what they are most looking forward to this summer will be entered into a drawing to win a window air conditioner. Residents will have one week to enter.
  1.        Planning Commission meeting Thursday May 18th at 7pm at Village Hall.
  2.        Christmas in the Village meeting is on June 7th at 10am in Village Hall.
  3.        Town Hall meeting with the Prosecutor on June 8, 2023, in the Community Room at 6 p.m.  They want to show the public what they do for the community.
  1.        Please review and initial the check listing for this meeting and last meeting.
  2.        I placed eight items on the public auction site for 21 days. Six items sold and we collected $71.00.  Everything has been paid for and picked up.
  3.        I attended a training in Bellville OH.  The focus of this training was on workplace safety.  Our own Sergeant Ben Truman presented ALICE training to the group.
  4.        The salt contract with ODOT has been submitted.  We committed to 80 tons.  Last year our commitment was 180 tons.
  5.        “6TH Annual Big NEUE Memorial 3 on 3 Tournament”.  Council Member Godwin is recommending a $100 donation towards the scholarship fund.  He put copies of the information in Council’s mailboxes.
  6.        I will be in training June 6th through June 9th.  This is the annual Ohio Association of Public Treasurers June Training Program and will help me to satisfy some of my required credits.
  7.        Shred-It will be in on next Monday, May 22nd to shred our old records that are eligible to be destroyed.  We follow our Records Retention Schedule.  Please excuse the mess as we sort and gather records from the attic.  Nancy Bucher and Jamie Reese have been working very hard on this project.  They are also organizing and labeling maps and blueprints.

VILLAGE SPEAKS (Communications received by Council Members from Village Residents):
Council Member Tom Hilliard reported that Darlene Reed appreciated how quickly village employees responded and fixed the water leak at 320 Needham.
COMMITTEES or COUNCIL REPORTS: The Goal of any committee meeting is to discuss an issue or proposal and to provide, by consensus of the committee members, ONE recommendation to Council.
  1.        None.
  1.        None.
OLD or NEW BUSINESS: Council Rules require a two-week waiting period before any expenditure of funds unless determined an emergency.
COUNCIL MEMBER GODWIN moved to donate $100 to the NEUE 3 on 3 Tournament, the motion failed due lack of a second.
Council Member Hilliard would like the Mayor to compose a thank you and congratulations letter from the Mayor and Council for the opening of Brewster IGA.
COUNCIL MEMBER FOX MOVED, SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER RADICH and motion carried to adjourn the meeting at 7:32 p.m.  The vote: All yes.
Respectfully submitted,
Kris King, Clerk-Treasurer
Charles Hawk, Mayor