April 17, 2023 - Council of the Whole - Hillview

APRIL 18, 2023 - 6:07 pm

Council Members present: Dale Fox, Brett Long, Sydney Radich, and Mike Schwab.  Mayor Charles Hawk, VA Miller, Solicitor John Anthony, and Clerk-Treasurer Kris King were also in attendance.

This meeting was called to review the Hillview agreement with the Village to pay for a loan that may be taken out by the Village but reimbursed by Hillview.  Solicitor John Anthony wrote the agreement.


VA Miller stated that the village has been tentatively approved for a CDBG grant for $40,000 for the design of the project.  The EPA has a contempt decree of over $200,000.  With the CDBG grant, Stark County Regional Planning is required to prepare the bid specs, place the ads, and inspect the project.  It is not known if the EPA will forgive the consent decree with the WPCLF loan of $255,000.  The $40,000 is not available until July 2024.  We can renominate the project for next year for $215,000 and possibly get a better rate or even loan forgiveness.


Solicitor Anthony stated that he modeled the sewer agreement off of the water agreement used when the water line was put in.  He had to do some modifications and may have to do more as the sewer agreement is based on a 20-year repayment schedule and the water agreement was a five-year repayment schedule.  To initiate this, Hillview will have to petition Brewster Village Council to place an assessment on the trailer park’s taxes.  The property value of the park is not high enough for the Village to appropriate it through the county because the appropriation can only be 1/3 of the total tax value.  Hillview representatives have expressed their desire to petition the Village.  They are also starting an escrow account in September to show their commitment to this project.


VA Miller stated the $40,000 CDBG grant came through.  The park is putting $900/month in the escrow account starting in September.  Even so, Brewster Village is the one obligated for the loan.  Even if the assessment is made, prior to the assessment, taxes are a priority.  The delinquency for the assessment would come out first. 


Solicitor Anthony doesn’t think there will be an issue with them making the payment.  Councilman Schwab still has some reservations.  The Stark County Auditor has the property valued at $162,000, which is much less than the loan amount.  He is also concerned about the $211,000 consent decree from the EPA.  VA Miller stated it looks like that will likely go away.  He also stated that paranoia is normal.  If they don’t put the money in the escrow account, we pull the plug.


VA Miller stated the agreement is necessary to get the design loan.  He stated the Village will not spend a dime until we have a mechanism in place to be repaid.  Solicitor Anthony stated that the agreement has many contingencies to protect our interests.  VA Miller stated we must decide to accept the $255,000 loan this year or renominate the project next year.  We can’t receive our $40,000 grant until July 2024 anyway.


Councilman Schwab would like to see each unit charged separately for the minimum charge which is the same as every other residence in the Village.  VA Miller stated that we can’t put meters in the park because of their infrastructure.  We can charge them the same way we charge the residents on Elton St. that aren’t offered village water.  Keeping the sewer payments separate was also discussed.  It was stated that the sewer charges would be a pass-through charge through the park the same as the water charges.  There would only be one meter for the park.


The question was asked what happens if the park lets the taxes go delinquent and they go into default.  Solicitor Anthony stated that the Village would own a trailer park.


VA Miller then went back to the option of accepting the loan this year or renominating it for next year.  The possibility of a grant instead of a loan next year or even loan forgiveness.  The possibility of eliminating one manhole if the land bank would come through.  He stated that a backup generator is in the construction costs and that the generator would be connected to the Brewster Electric System.


Finally, VA Miller asked the Mayor’s opinion of the project.  Mayor Hawk stated that Solicitor Anthony has done everything he can to protect the Village.  He thinks we should make this work; the escrow payment will show that they are trying.


Meeting adjourned at 6:52 PM.

Respectively submitted,


Kris King