Council Meeting Minutes
Meeting called to order at by Mayor Hite. Pledge was recited.
Meeting Attendees were introduced. Ernie Harter, Robert Black (Thurston High Heritage Association), Mike Jackson (Fire Chief), Sheriff Dave Phalen, Warren Hiles.
Roll call: Bob Ortman – Present; Nona Buskirk – Present; Roger Aubery – Present; Mary Barber – Present; Warren Simpson – Present; Kim Duncan – Present; Jo-Ann Hite – Present; Aaron Reedy – Absent.
JoAnn turned meeting over to the Sheriff Phalen. Nona said she thought there ought to be more patrols through town because the kids are putting up basketball hoops and playing ball in the middle of the road. They won’t get out of the way when cars come. This is on High Street by the railroad tracks. JoAnn said he had already been informed about the motorcycle problem. Sheriff Phalen said he has spoken to a woman named Lisa about that motorcycle issue. Ernie Harter said there are also problems with loud engines coming through town on Route 256. Nona said she was concerned with those same cars coming through and hitting the kids on High Street. JoAnn said there was also a problem with cars speeding into town around the curve by the firehouse.
Mike Jackson asked Sheriff Phalen about their bicycle patrol. Sheriff Phalen said they are random as their manpower permits. They try to do it occasionally, but for shorter period of times. You can cover more area in a motor vehicle. They will put a bike or two in an area if they are trying to handle a particular problem.
Nona said she heard through the grapevine that there is a patch of pot growing by the old mill. JoAnn said she thought it was around the railroad. Sheriff Phalen asked Chief Jackson to check out those areas and personally call him if he finds anything. Mike said he would. JoAnn said you could see people passing stuff back and forth.
Sheriff Phalen said that during his seven months in office, he has been trying to restore public trust in that office, trying to professionalize the office, and to work on moral. He said they have an open-door policy. If anyone wants to see how they are spending the money, they can. If anyone drops the ball and makes a mistake, Sheriff Phalen will be the first one to admit it and take the responsibility for it. His heart is to have a very good office, but it will take some time. Another plan for the department is that any job that can be done by a civilian, will be replaced by a civilian. This is to get deputies out on the street. He is trying to be a good steward of the money. If we have any problems in the community, he will do his best to address them. He said if anyone has a problem, please feel free to contact him.
JoAnn brought up the issue with high weeds on a particular property in the Village bothering a neighbor child with asthma. It was Sheriff Phalen’s understanding that it was taken care of. JoAnn said it had not been as of a couple days ago. JoAnn will check.
Bob Black asked about the Sheriff Department’s books. Sheriff Phalen said they’ve put a couple of safety checks in place. Not only do the numbers go through the Sheriff, but there is an independent person in their office that checks, also. He also called the State Auditor and told them he wanted an audit after the first year. He is basically trying to say that they are not trying to hide anything.
Ernie Harter asked if they have installed a new bookkeeping system. Sheriff Phalen said they have put in a checks-and-balance system. He explained how it basically worked. He stated he wants to be accountable. The county does not audit the Sheriff’s department, the State does.
The department, however, follows the county’s procedures.
Bob Ortman asked about junk cars being removed from private property. Sheriff Phalen said there is a means of doing it, but it’s not quick. The car has to meet certain criteria. He has a deputy in charge of that for the entire county.
Mike Jackson stated the Fire Department has never had a problem with any of the Sheriff’s deputies, and he’s appreciative of the help.
JoAnn said we had a deputy give us the papers needed to move junk cars. He helped get some taken away a few months ago. JoAnn said she didn’t like these people coming in from out-of-town and leaving cars, but she didn’t have a problem with the people who live here. Warren said there was a pickup on Third Street now. They got an old red car that sat for 3 years moved off the street and put on private property.
Kim Duncan said she appreciated having him as Sheriff. It’s nice to have a good, Christian man in office. Sheriff Phalen said it was nice to have people interested enough to keep things going in small villages like Thurston. Sheriff Phalen left stating that he would follow-up with the motorcycle issues, and leaving an open door for any issue.
Bob Black asked JoAnn about the building inspection. She said the man said it was good. He went upstairs, but not downstairs. JoAnn said he was an insurance man, not really a building inspector. He was more interested in the lights and wiring improvements the State suggested. Bob said he had a window bill for the two busted on the second floor of the municipal building, and was wondering if our insurance would cover it. We have a $1000 deductible, so it would be better to just pay it ourselves. Bob said he fixed both windows that were broken. Bob said he billed the Plexiglas to himself. The bill is $96.00 for the two windows. JoAnn said she thought the bill should be in the Village’s name for the auditor’s purpose. JoAnn said she would call and get the bill changed. Roger made a motion to pay for both windows. Nona second. Roll call vote – all yea.
Mike gave a stack of receipts to JoAnn. He said he was going to give them to Aaron. JoAnn said Aaron was on vacation. Also gave a list of names of people where they have hauled water to for pools, and a check for that water. Had an accident today involving a dog. The dog ran into our medic while it was on a run. The dog died. The air horn now needs replaced. The air horn is $195.00. Needs a PO for it. The new medic has been experiencing some electrical problems. The voltage regulator is out of adjustment. They reset it, but it may need replaced. Mike said last night they continued to have problems. They took it in to get model numbers off of it, and when they pulled in, the water pump started leaking. The squad is out of service while it’s sitting at Baltimore Truck. They need a new water pump and voltage regulator. Mike said the maintenance fund for trucks is pretty much shot. He doesn’t know how much is in there. Mike said they might have to change appropriations. The air horn can wait, but the other things need replaced. Mike said this is one of the line items that Walnut Township cut down in the budget, but we have old equipment that is costlier to repair. If we have to do a change in appropriations, we might have to have an emergency meeting, then have Township Trustees approve, and then send in to the County.
Mike said there have been no other problems than that. Things are running smoothly, and the run count has been up. Tina Singleton has been busy with Fire Inspections. Everyone has been cooperative. She only found minor things that needed corrected.
Mike said that he, Jason Whipple, Jamie Carroll, and Heath Garrett called the State Fire Marshall’s office and put their name on the list of volunteers that would be willing to go to World Trade Center disaster site. They have plenty of volunteer’s at this time, but could be called upon later.
Mike brought up the development that Owen Keller is putting in off of the end of Broad Street. Mike asked if the BOPA was going to flip for the cost of extending the six-inch water line from Wilson back through the “development.” Mike said he will stand strong and his department will firmly oppose any development back there until that main is enlarged. Mike said Mr. Keller must follow State regulations. Lowell said he doesn’t have to put a hydrant in at all because it’s not a development. Mike said if he sells off more than one lot, in the eyes of the State, it’s a development. He has to follow rules. Lowell said that Owen doesn’t even have to run a water line back there. Mike just wants to make sure everyone knows he officially opposes it.
Nona asked if Mike had the water meter put in at the firehouse yet. Mike said no. Nona said she thought it was about time he get it put in, since he keeps saying he’s going to do it. Mike said the BOPA was actually making more money this way since the Fire Department is paying for more water than they are actually using. JoAnn said we don’t know that. Lowell said everyone should have a meter. Mike said he’d get it in one of these days, if he can ever find a plumber to put it in. No one seems to want to do it. If anyone knows of anyone, he’s open to suggestions.
Mike said several people in town have wanted to burn things, but have been told they couldn’t. However, some people are trying to sneak it at night. They aren’t patrolling for it, so just call them if someone is doing it. JoAnn said someone is burning garbage and the town smells. Mike can’t figure out where it’s coming from.
Mike said they will have the trucks out on Trick-or-Treat night as usual. This will be between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2001.
Roger made a motion to approve the August 2001 minutes with a name correction. Mary second. Roll call vote - all yea.
Bob made a motion to approve the August 2001 financial statement. Warren second. Roll call vote - all yea.
Roger moved to adopt Ordinance #2001-07-12-1, An Ordinance Requiring That Sidewalks, Curbs, And Gutters Be Kept In Repair and Free From Nuisances. Bob second. Roll Call vote – Bob, yes; Nona, yes; Mary, yes; Kim, yes; Warren, no; Roger, yes.
Roger moved to adopt Resolution # 2001-09-13-1, A Resolution Accepting The Amounts And Rates As Determined By The Fairfield County Budget Commission And Authorizing The Necessary Tax Levies And Certifying Them To The County Auditor. Bob second. Roll Call vote - Bob, yes; Nona, yes; Mary, yes; Kim, yes; Warren, yes; Roger, yes.
JoAnn said she got the invoice for the window repair from Bob Black, but it is in his name. She said we wouldn’t pay for that because the auditor would have a problem with it.
Warren made a motion to allow the mayor to sign all paperwork that comes in from M&E so we don’t have to wait for Aaron. JoAnn said that sometimes she doesn’t see him for a week. Roger second. Roll Call vote – all yea.
Council discussed possible future street, sidewalk, and storm sewer improvements in the Village, with the assistance of Issue 2 money. The possible improvements could be:
Third Street Storm Sewer $32,750
Third Street Sidewalks $15,400
High Street Improvements $59,500
Maple Street Improvements $37,700
Main Street Sidewalks $55,400
Liberty Homes called JoAnn and told her that they will be fixing the Broad Street pavement problem soon.
After careful discussion, it was decided that we should try for $103,550 for the Third Street Storm Sewer improvement, Third Street Sidewalk improvement, and the Main Street Sidewalk improvement. Roger moved to adopt Resolution # 2001-09-13-2, A Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Prepare and Submit an Application to Participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvements and/or Local Transportation Improvement Program(s) and to Execute Contracts as Required. Mary second. Roll Call vote – All yea.
Council discussed the bids received for the Issue II grant. Roger made a motion to accept the bid from Darby Creek for $57,146.24 for the Village of Thurston Storm Sewer Improvements Phase II, and alternate bid of $18,282.26, for a total of $75,428.50. Nona second. Roll call vote – all yea.
Lowell would like to have some patching done within the Village. Roger made motion to allow Lowell to get some pavement patching done. Nona second. All yea. Lowell will be taking care of it.
JoAnn announced that the $15,000 CD from the General Fund is matured. Lowell said he would shop it around. Roger made a motion allow Lowell to do so.
JoAnn announced that Baltimore is raising their water rates 3%.
JoAnn announced a seat on the water board is open, but no one is here for it.
JoAnn announced that a man from the insurance company came today to inspect the street building, municipal building and firehouse. Everything was okay.
JoAnn asked if there was any new business.
As there was no more business to discuss, Mary made a motion to pay bills and adjourn. Roger second. All yea.
Aaron L. Reedy, Clerk