Continental Village Council met in regular session in the Fire Station Meeting Room on January 26, 2021 with Mayor Miller presiding. Members present were Armey, Bartley, Knipp and Sullivan. Fiscal Officer Darby and Administrator Prowant were also present. Streicher entered late. Visitors: None. The meeting opened with the pledge of allegiance.
Council approved the minutes of previous meeting, bills & receipts as presented since last meeting. Council also approved Then & Now Purchase Orders over $3000: Reopened Purchase Orders for Coronavirus Fund: Motorola for body cams $3270 and New Sign for the digital info sign $6823 and one for Bojhun for a statement not received from 2020 $4332.
OLD & NEW BUSINESS:
Water Tower Update: There has not been any progress yet on the construction. Poggemeyer has been working on the Critical Infrastructure Grant and the current NatureWork Grant.
Darby asked to amend the Temporary Appropriations by increasing the Coronavirus Relief Fund by $13,097.73 because she closed the two purchase orders for the body cams and the digital sign and reopened them for 2021. Council approved.
After the December 22 meeting, Darby discovered that, Council had not suspended the rules to pass the Wage Resolutions and asked for legislation retroactive to that date.
A motion to suspend the rules requiring three readings for a resolution to be passed was approved.
A motion to approve a wage increase resolution retro-active to December 22, 2020, which will take effect with the first full pay period of 2021 to increase all full and part time and salaried employees by 2.5%, was approved by roll call vote.
A motion to approve a wage increase resolution retro-active to December 22, 2020, which will take effect with the first full pay period of 2021 to increase all part time police officers pay from $12.75 to $15.00 per hour, was approved by roll call vote.
Council tabled the retroactive wage increase resolution for the fire department since Sullivan would have to abstain and there would not be two-thirds of council present to vote.
Heard the new Police vehicle will arrive in March.
Discussed opening up for bids for the Village’s internet provider. When the antenna for the internet is currently on the old water tower and when it is taken down the village will be without internet. The village will advertise for bid packages for internet service to be installed on the new water tower in the spring. Streicher entered the meeting.
A motion to approve a wage increase resolution retro-active to December 22, 2020, which will take effect with the first full pay period of 2021 to increase the salary for the Fire Chief to $100/month, Assistant Fire Chief to $50/month and all fire runs to $10/run paid annually, was approved by roll call vote.
Council reviewed two more annexations along Chevy Lane along with the one reviewed at the last meeting. Rules were suspended and all three annexation were approved by roll call vote.
Council also approved a Community Reinvestment Area application for a new home located at Lakeland. The tax abatement will be for 50% of the increased value of the property for five years.
Building permits: NONE
Mayor Miller addressed Council for the annual State of the Village as follows:
When I sat down to pen the address, I wanted to avoid the topic of the pandemic just out of spite. The reality is… it couldn’t be avoided. Its impact long term will take years to figure out and the short term effects are still being felt for everyone in some form or fashion. Trying to find positives from a year that seemed to want to throw haymaker one after the other can be tough, but as I reviewed our minutes prior to writing this, I was reminded of what we were able to accomplish in what was undoubtedly the toughest year we have faced in many of our lifetimes. In 2020, the village continued to make headway on many of the successes that had been implemented over the last several years. While I know we have much room for improvement in many areas, I also know that perseverance was the one word that I kept coming back to while gathering my thoughts.
First, I would like to reflect on what we were able to accomplish together in 2020. Infrastructure continues to be a theme of importance and we supported that in many of the projects we completed. This not only includes the constant monitoring and maintenance of our water treatment facilities but also some much needed street repair and resurfacing projects. This past year we were able to resurface Road E from 634 to the corporation limit west of town. This project was done in coordination with Monroe Township allowing us to pave that entire stretch of road. We also resurfaced the Road E portion that allows access to our old sewer plant property. On top of that the village repaved N Fifth Street (between W Rice and W Grove Streets), W Ash Street (between S First and Third Streets), and the alleys adjoining the Post Office and Modern Eye Care. In addition to those, we were able to do some road repair and sealing on several village roadways including Main, Rice, Grove, and Park among others. This past year the village was alerted to a possible water line break that lead to a brand new 6” service line being installed on N Third Street. This project also included the addition of a new hydrant to an area of town that didn’t have one. I am pleased with how the maintenance department was able to bring a solution beyond just fixing the old line but instead replacing it with a bigger, more sufficient line to our residents in that area. Keeping the infrastructure thought in mind, the maintenance department added a valve exerciser through the BWC grant monies that had been on our wish list for the last few years. As we continue to try to maintain and upgrade our utilities, this exerciser will help save time and money while sustaining our infrastructure’s integrity. In 2020, we closed the book on one main water project officially but got the ball rolling on another one. Specifically, the OPWC Water Meter Replacement Project saw the last of its paperwork completed in early 2020 while the OPWC Water Tower Replacement project began to hit crucial steps in what will be this year’s marque task.
The village was able to complete the acquisition of the Lowe property on Main Street than sits just south of Sparling Park. This will be a huge asset to the village as we look to expand the park for the future. In what came as a pleasant surprise just as the pandemic was getting settled in, the village was the recipient of the 2020 Red Rose Award, which is given by the Putnam County CIC. This was an honor to be selected but also came as vindication for the work that we continue to do.
Concerning the pandemic, I would like to commend our Police, Fire, and local EMS departments for their efforts this past year. It was just as trying a year for each of them in many ways. I am proud to have seen a smooth regime change within our fire department. I am pleased with how new chief, Dean Williamson, has slipped into that role and been able to hit the ground running. Outgoing Chief, Steve Elkins, left big shoes to fill but the department has continued to function effortlessly. The pandemic brought the CARES Act and with that, the village was able to secure over $165K in funds in PPE and other COVID-19 related items to help us better serve the community.
Looking forward at 2021, I hope to build on the good that we continue to accomplish and strive to improve in the areas where we are flawed. I am excited for the elevated water tower project that we will see real progress on throughout this year. As I stated last year, this project has been a long time coming and will bring many advantages to the community including the official “retirement” of the old tower constructed over almost 90 years ago. Finally, 2021 will undoubtedly pose its own set of challenges that we will have to find ways to overcome. However, I have no doubt that with a “community first” attitude we will be able to do so with ease. Lastly, I would just like to thank everyone and anyone who has provided their time and efforts to improvement of the Village of Continental.
God Bless All of You!
Mayor Mathew Miller
Council reviewed quotes for radar speed limit signs and decided to table until a full council can review and choose. Discussion also on the locations of the speed limit on SR 634. The signs go from 45 mph to the school zone. Mayor will contact ODOT as they place the signs along state highways.
The Finance Committee will meet after the February 9 meeting to go over the permanent appropriations for 2021.
Meeting adjourned with no other business.
Village of Continental