Village of Thurston
Council Meeting Minutes
February 14, 2002
Meeting called to order at 7:10 pm by Mayor Hite. Pledge was recited.
Roll call: Robert Ortman – Present; Nona Buskirk – Present; Mary Barber – Present; Roger Aubery – Absent; Warren Simpson – Present; JT Hilliard – Present; Jo-Ann Hite – Present; Aaron Reedy – Present.
Mayor Hite allowed Chief Mike Jackson to speak on Fire Department business first. Mike passed around a pamphlet regarding the “Feel the Heat” program. It is put on by the State Fire Marshall at the Fire Academy. They allow you to put on turnout gear and feel what’s it’s really like to be a firefighter. Mike invited everyone to attend.
Mike said that under the new equipment account, he’d like to purchase a weight station for the volunteers to use for exercise. He said other departments are implementing wellness program. He said we can get everything for under $2,000 for a 2-person station. Mike wants to develop a wellness program and have a place to workout with the equipment at the firehouse. Aaron said he’d need to check to see if that sort of purchase would be okay fiscally, due to money coming from the levy. Aaron mentioned that the Walnut Township Trustees might want to have a say in it, too.
Mike said they’ve lost a couple of people from the department because of distance; Doug Hankison and Nathan Buskirk. Mike King and Jason Whipple are now working in the Columbus area, so they aren’t around as much as they used to be. A couple other people are talking about leaving, so we’re starting to have a personnel problem.
Mike asked the Council if he could start recruiting EMS-only volunteers. These are people who can’t do firefighting, but could do EMS. He feels this is good for the community, and we’ll be able to keep the investment we have in our EMS program safe. They can be trained inexpensively. He already has a couple of people interested. Mike said that several other departments have EMS-only personnel, and they are mostly women. He would at least like to try it for a year. Mary made a motion to allow Mike to take applications for EMS-only volunteers. JT second. All yea.
Mike said that T&G fire services is still compiling information about fire services in the township. Mike said he is desperately looking for history about our fire department. T&G would like this information to compile a small history in their report.
Mike said Kent Leitnaker is going to submit a proposal for lawn care. JoAnn would like him to be paid on the 15th of each month. Mike said he had no problem with that.
JoAnn brought up that Mike’s last check for his Nextel bill was returned because the account was closed. JoAnn said it was supposed to be paid by the 15th of each month, but the last one was paid on the 17th. Aaron spoke up in Mike’s defense and said that due to year-end processing, he didn’t get the invoice out to Mike in a timely manner. Mike said the account being closed was not his fault, but the bank’s. Mike would like Council to give him more time than just on the 15th of the month, due to getting paid on Fridays. Mike paid for both the bad check and the current amount due at the beginning of the meeting, so it is paid up.
Mike said he still gets people telling him that JoAnn is complaining about the phone bill. JoAnn said it’s because her name is on it. Mike told her to have her name taken off and put his name on it. JoAnn said the Village Solicitor told her to cancel the bill because it was in her name. Mike said that was just an oversight by the trustees when they opened the account. All she has to do is call and have it changed. JoAnn said she didn’t think it should have been put in her name. Mike said to take that up with Pauline Ety, but don’t go out and grumble to other people about his phone bill, that’s not the professional way to do it. JoAnn said the trustees should have called and asked Council if they would approve it. Mike said Council approved it. JoAnn said the trustees were the ones who got it, though. Mike said yes, but the Council approved it. JoAnn said that Dempsey turned his back in. Mike said that was Dempsey, not him. He turned it in because he didn’t use it. Mike said he conducts a lot of fire business on it. JoAnn said she thinks there’s a lot of business he conducts that isn’t fire business. Mike said he pays for it. JoAnn said she thought Council people should have a phone, too. Mike said to get them one. JoAnn said she didn’t think we could afford it. Mike said it’s coming out of the fire budget, and the Council and Trustees approved it, and they wanted him to have the phone.
JoAnn said she had some other things to ask Mike. JoAnn asked if the meter had been installed yet at the firehouse. Mike said it’s not in. He can’t get anyone to put it in.
JoAnn said she wants the gas receipts from Sunoco on a monthly basis. She’s asked him several times for years to get them in here. Mike said that Mike King keeps those. Mike said she would have them at the end of each month.
JoAnn asked the status of the Keller issue. Mike said it is resolved. They are going to pull out the hydrant and install a flushing hydrant.
Mike asked if anyone knows of any plumbers who could put in the water meter. A few names were brought up.
Aaron told Mike that he needed a current roster to make payroll payments.
JoAnn announced that there is going to be repairs made to Route 256. She saw a bid request in the paper.
Mary made a motion to approve the January 2002 minutes. Warren second. All yea.
Warren made a motion to approve the January 2002 financial statement. JT second. All yea.
JoAnn announced that she and Nona took the papers about the Keller project up to Mike Jackson at the firehouse on 1/14/2002. Mike Jackson signed for them.
JoAnn announced that the state auditors were in the office between 1/28/02 – 2/4/02, but were not here on Feb 1 and 4.
JoAnn announced that Keith Doll called on 2/5/2002 and said our request for Issue II money was declined. M&E will try again next year.
Aaron went over the appropriations for 2002 with Council. Mary made a motion to accept the 2002 appropriation figures. JT second. All yea.
JT wants to table the discussion about signs for the Village until the next Council meeting.
JT has been checking on putting a ball diamond behind the municipal building. He said he talked to Greg Kull who gave him all the necessary dimensions. JT said two or three trees might have to come down because there’s not quite enough room. JT said he’d check for another location. Greg Kull said they could possibly use our field for games and practices. It would be a good step for the Village.
JoAnn said she got a copy of a letter from Acordia to Mike Jackson regarding insurance coverage on a volunteer responding to an emergency call in their own vehicle. The letter stated that the person’s own insurance carrier would be responsible for an accident. The state auditors suggested Council make a policy on the issue so it’s clear that the Village would not be responsible for any claims. Aaron will check with Jeff whether it should be an ordinance, resolution or just a policy.
JoAnn said we need to find a company that will spray for mosquitoes this year. She said that Millersport uses Torco Termite & Pest Control from Lancaster. Pleasantville didn’t spray in 2001. JoAnn wants to know what Council wants to do.
JoAnn asked if there was any new business. JT would like to get Bob Black in to a meeting to talk to him about fixing up the municipal building.
Aaron went over the results of the audit and the management letter with Council. There were only minor issues, most of which have already been corrected. The auditor wants to know as soon as possible if Council wants a post-audit conference. After brief discussion, it was decided that the information already given was sufficient. Warren made a motion to waive a post-audit meeting. JT second. All yea.
Lowell said that the Walnut Creek Sewer District wants to get a new billing system. They are probably going to ask us to chip in on it. Aaron announced that Lowell was elected President of the BOPA at the last BOPA meeting.
Since there was no other business to address, Nona made a motion to pay bills and adjourn. Warren second. All yea. The time is 9:00 p.m.
Aaron L. Reedy, Clerk