At its Monday, May 15 meeting Barnesville Village Council voted to extend the contract of Fiscal Officer Vicki Magers which had expired since the May 1 meeting. Her contract will be extended to July 1 under the same terms until council and Magers sign a new contract.
Council also authorized Mayor Dale Bunting to appoint Brock Williams as the new EMS Squad Captain with a $1 per hour increase. Assistant Fire Chief and EMS Coordinator Tim Hall said he had been working with Williams since the resignation of the previous captain and felt he would do a good job.
Council also approved the removal of Gabe Hashman from the Fire and EMS Departments. Hall said Hashman failed to complete the training needed to become certified.
Council also gave Hall permission to use Rotary Park Lake for the Annual Fire Department Youth Fishing Tournament on June 3 and authorized a donation of $300 to the event.
Hall reported on the mock school bus accident training held the previous Saturday. He said 75 fire and EMS personnel participated from five different departments and 15 students portrayed "victims".
"It was an extraordinary time," Hall said. "We had one bus thrown over on its side and had all the kids in it. We had someone come in and do the makeup with fake blood. It gave all the EMS people a chance to come in there and do triage and treat wounds. We actually loaded some of them in the squad and took them out to Barnesville Hospital."
Hall said the school bus crash with victims was the morning training session that allowed departments to use their extrication equipment, but the afternoon training involved a bus on top of a car so they could practice extrication in that situation.
"It was very good and very worthwhile," Hall said.
He thanked Bill's Towing of St. Clairsville and Bill's Towing of Salesville, the state and federal EPA, Barnesville Exempted Village Schools and Transportation Director John Blattler, Barnesville Police Department, and Village Operations Manager and BEVSD Board of Education member Scott Baker for their help with the training.
Councilman Scott Gallagher said that the Barnesville Police Department also used the scene for shooter training and for training with their K-9 Dixie.
Scott Baker reported that the annual village and Warren Township Cleanup was successful with 234 vehicles coming through with enough items to fill seven dumpsters of trash, two full of metal, a tractor trailer full of tires, a truck and tractor full of white metal and refrigerators, and a van full of computer equipment.
"That is a lot of hard work, but it really pays off and is a good program," Mayor Bunting said.
Baker said the clean up day keeps the garbage off the backroads and thanked all who helped including the Warren Township Trustees and employees, village street department, and workers from the Belmont County Concentrated Conduct Adjustment Program (C-CAP).
Deal said a meeting with American Electric Power Company was set for May 17 at 2 p.m. to discuss a project that will include an easement for a transmission line through Crestview Cemetery. Deal said the meeting was to discuss the project in general, but after that meeting he would discuss the easements in particular with officials. He invited council to attend. He provided council with a map of the easement area overlaid with a map of the burial spaces laid out. He said an estimated $100,000 in burial spaces would be lost, in addition to the loss of revenue from the opening and closing of graves. Deal said the loss of that burial space will also require the village to open another area sooner.
Deal also discussed an approximate 30 foot easement that South Central Power Company was requesting to provide electricity to Antero Resource's pumps at Slope Creek Reservoir. He provided council with a map of the dam area overlaid with the area from which the company expects to bring the power. Deal said the company had to approach the area from the other side to avoid the area near the damn where access is prohibited (Clean Ohio property). He said they intend to "bury" the cables and Antero will be paying the village $5,000 for the timber. They will fell trees for the project which they will leave in place due to the expense of getting them out of the remote area.
McKelvey proposed that council stipulate that the easement revert to the village once it is no longer being actively used to provide power to Antero's pumps.
"Don't you see the day will come when they don't want it anymore? I would just like to see in the contract, written in there somehow, that if they're not using it, this reverts back to us," McKelvey said.
Deal said he would also be checking the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corp of Engineers to make sure they are clear to proceed with the easement.
Council approved adding Magers, as fiscal officer, to the Nationwide Bank Investment Account and removing the name of the previous fiscal officer. Council also approved moving funds from Belmont Savings to the Meeder Investment group. Councilman Terry McCort said information on the village's portfolio was available to council. Solicitor Marlin Harper said he was impressed with the work that Meeder was doing so far. He said the company handled investments for 220 other municipalities. Councilman Brad Hudson said he had researched the company when council first discussed working with them and had found only good reviews.
Mayor Bunting said the Finance Committee met with representatives of Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) of Brecksville, Ohio and asked council to approve the use of that entity for the collection of the village's income tax.
Bunting said doing so would allow the fiscal officer and the income tax clerk to work with RITA to develop a plan for the collection of income tax locally. After clarifying that council had voted down the use of RITA a few years ago, council approved it with councilman McCort voting no. In October of 2012 council did not pass an ordinance to contract with RITA. McCort opposed the contract at that time as well.
Council approved the payment of bills in the amount of $63,616.86 and had the second reading of a water rate increase ordinance. Council continued its discussion of adding wording to the ordinance requiring that it be reviewed on a regular basis. Mayor Bunting and Council President Tim McKelvey both felt that if the review was not written down in the ordinance, it would be overlooked.
Council agreed to add a subsection to the ordinance requiring that it be reviewed by the water and sewer committee every two years.
Building permits were approved for Al Harris, 232 S. Broadway St. for new porch; Corner Pharmacy, brick work to back and side of building; Ernie Carpenter, 640 Wiley Ave. for the construction of a new garage.
Council entered into a brief executive session to discuss possible litigation at the request of Deal.
Magers reminded council that the next meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 30th due to the observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 29th. The meeting will be held in council chambers at 7 p.m.