Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wellsville Village Council Meeting

Tuesday – July 5: Wellsville Village Council held their regular monthly meeting at Village Hall last evening. Present at the meeting was Mayor Joe Surace, Council Members Sue Haugh, Rosie Goss, Randy Allmon, Joe Soldano, John McMahon and Tony Cataldo. Also attending was Fiscal Officer Dale Davis, Village Administrator Jim Saracco, Legal Advisor Andy Beech, Zoning Administrator Rick Williams and seven members of Wellsville Volunteer Fire Dept.

Tim Long, speaking on behalf of the Volunteers of the Fire Department, was first up for Public Speaking. Long was there to to take Council's offer of the vacant lot at 9th & Commerce Street “off the table”. That property is owned by the Village. Back in March or April Council voted to hold that land while the WVFD attempted to find funding for construction of a new fire station. For safety reasons and over crowding with equipment it was decided a bigger station was required.

Long announced that the Volunteers have struck a deal with Wofford Roll-Off & Demolition and Landmark Realities for the old Sterling China property along Commerce Street. Long advised the Wofford brothers had a much larger offer for the property that they turned down in favor of selling to the Volunteers at a lesser price.

Long went on to report that the Volunteers have partnered with East Liverpool's A&I Studios and its principal Scott Shepherd for the design of the new building. They will be attempting to have the new structure look somewhat like the new high school. Shepherd is also assisting in searching for funding. He is doing the architectural work pro-bono. Amanda Banner of Banner Law will be doing consultancy work and working on the agreement with the Woffords.

Long reported that in addition to a newer, bigger fire station they are looking to add a banquet hall and storage sheds to help defray some expense. Another consideration is an out-door amphitheater for concerts, etc. In support of the community they are also looking to use a portion of the lot for a play ground. Long noted the Volunteers very much appreciate the support and cooperation that Council always gives the department.

Paul Harkey of First Engergy Solutions addressed Council about a proposal for government aggregation for electric rates. There is a deadline of July 8 for the agreement to be approved and another deadline of August 10 to have the proposal on the November General Election ballot. After being questioned by Councilwoman Haugh, Harkey explained that the plan is to save a flat 3% on kilo watt hours charged. It would not affect the distributor, such as AEP and the residents would have a choice to opt out. If passed the Village would receive a $10 fee per meter that is called a grant. That fee would be paid by the residents. If approved in November the agreement is for nine years and would be on the ballot every three years for renewal after that. Each time it is approved the Village would get another $10 per meter. Council ordered in legislation to authorize the Mayor to sign an agreement with First Energy and to have it put on the November ballot. There will be a special Council meeting Thursday, July 7 at 6 PM to vote on the new legislation.

Broadway resident Dawn Johnston, pictured above, presented the Mayor with a 5 Year Award the Tree Board received at the annual awards ceremony. Johnston added the Tree Board also received a “growth award” this year. Johnston also issued a reminder that Tree Board permits are required when any resident cuts down or plants a tree. The permits are available from the Board or at Village Hall. Johnston noted that the permits assists them in their required inventory that they have to report on each year. Johnston said that failure to get a permit could be a $150 fine. Lastly Johnston asked that anyone getting new side walks on Main Street put in leave space between the sidewalk and the curb so new trees can be planted.

Wellsville barber JC Coulter addressed Council about getting approval to have a 5k run in town to benefit the Team Mojo program. That program is designed to help disadvantaged children who can not afford the fee in the pay-to-play programs. Coulter said the Wellsville High School has granted them permission to use the high school parking lot for the start and finish of the 5k run. The Mayor remarked it was a really great idea and recommended that Coulter get together with Street Committee Chairman John McMahon to work out the details.

Village Administrator Jim Saracco reported that the two members of the Street Department have used a total of 85 tons of hot patch on pot holes. Patching is nearly completed. They are going back to get some of the smaller holes that were passed up.

The mixer for the second aerobic digester at the Sewage Treatment Plant has finally come in. Saracco said once installed it “will hopefully eliminate that odor”. Saracco also thanked everyone that worked on the Broadway Park fountains. He added they will be working on the ones that aren't holding water. Closing out his report Saracco thanked Pastor Mark Blakely and the members of First Christian that voluntarily did some street cleaning.

Zoning Administrator Rick Williams reported that the bids for the Main Street sidewalk project should be advertised in the next week. Williams advised that is all being handled by County officials.

In the Mayor's Report, Surace announced his “Help Us Help You Clean-Up” Village community project. It will be held Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16. There will be an organizational meeting Monday, July 11 at 11 AM at Village Hall. Surace say he is getting favorable response from many organizations. The Family & Community Resource Center will provide music and food on Saturday starting at 5 PM.

The Mayor also appointed Tom LaScola and Carol Thompson to the Tree Board. They will replace Greg Thrasher and Bob Marcin who both resigned.

For the Finance Committee Tony Cataldo reported that at the end of May the General Fund had a balance of $3,695. Cataldo reported the expenditures were $5,000 more than the receipts in May. There was an $8,500 carry over in the General Fund from April. The Street Construction Fund had a $6,400 balance, Cemetery a $3,600 balance and total balance of all funds was $414, 963.

John McMahon reported that there are lights in Broadway Park not working for the Street Committee. Saracco advised he would have them checked. McMahon also reported two lights on the bridge not working and was advised they needed new ballasts which are very expensive. McMahon commended the Street Department crew for their work repairing pot holes.

Chair Sue Haugh announced there will be a Property Committee meeting Tuesday, July 12 at 6 PM with representatives of ALOFT. They are the non-profit group that has been representing owners in drilling leases for natural gas. The meeting is open to the public. Village officials are checking options for drilling at the old reservoir and dump.

Councilwoman Rosie Goss asked everyone to keep members of the Immaculate Conception Church in their prayers. Goss said it is her belief that people should have the right to choose where they worship. The Wellsville Catholic parishioners are appealing the Diocese of Youngstown Bishop's decision to close the church.

Three resolutions were passed with Council voting to suspend rules and adopt all three. One was the approval to exclude the City of Salem and adopting an alternative method of apportionment of Local government funds. The second was authorizing Village officials to apply for Issue 1 funds for street paving and catch basins. If granted it will be for paving part of Commerce and 40 to 50 catch basins throughout the Village according to Cataldo. The last resolution was to adopt an alternative method of distributing Local Government funds in 2012.

Closing out the meeting Joe Soldano said that he and his brother John will be donating four hanging baskets for the Wells Avenue bridge in memory of their mother and in honor of their father.

The meeting adjourned at 6:55 PM. Next regular scheduled meeting is Tuesday, August 2 at 6 PM at Village Hall.

ole nib


Anonymous said...

i don't believe residents pay the $10 per meter fee, the electric company does.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the other offer for Sterling property was? If it involved creating jobs, then that should take priority over the volunteer firemen. I appreciate everything they do, but we need jobs more than a new fire station. Also, I wouldn't make it look like the new school. The new school looks like a jail.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly wasn't the mayor trying to eliminate the tree board about a year ago? How ironic that now he's accepting an award from them.

************* said...

What we remember is one of the Councilmen making a motion to order in legislation to abolish the Tree Board. That legislation was tabled and eventually just dropped out of sight. To the best of our recollection it was never voted on.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Joe and John, the flowers are nice. What a nice honor to your parents.

Anonymous said...

I read a spanks in today's paper about the laughter etc towards Dawn J at the meeting. Some of those were council members? Why? Someone is there accepting an award resulting from the many people who have worked on projects; including Dawn. I believe she is the one who brought the idea forward. When you just can't contain yourself because it's all so funny, request a break or something. Ever heard the saying don't bite the hand that feeds you? Lots of volunteers give the village a face lift as best they can. Key word, volunteers, be kind next time. And about the comment, "seems like they're leading their sheep to slaughter", in a council meeting! Oh my. Glad to see so many independents in today's paper.

Anonymous said...

you should thank God the firemen are getting the property

Anonymous said...

Independents, they are all Democrats. Check with the election board. You can't hide behind the word independent.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the new school resembles a jail. It is stark and unappealing.

Anonymous said...

As are so many, that spanks wasn't accurate.

Anonymous said...

Who is trying to hide behind the word independent? In this country, you have a right to change. Anyone, who wishes to change from Democrat to Republican to Independent, can do so. Many registered Democrats or Republicans, just to be able to vote in primary elections, but were really Independents. Why do you say it is hiding? To run for any political office, is a public act!

************* said...

We don't personally believe there is anything such thing as "party loyality" anymore, especially in small town politics such as in Wellsville. It exists on state and federal level politics...maybe to some extent on the county level. As the writer above stated you have to be registered in a party to vote on the candidates in primary elections. Otherwise you only get to vote on issues in a primary. We personally might be registered with a party label but when it comes to voting for Wellsville candidates we vote on the candidate we believe is best fitted for the office. How you register is a matter of public record. How you vote is nobody's business.


Anonymous said...

Why would anyone thank God for the new fire station? It's in a poor location. Commerce Street isn't wide enough.

Anonymous said...

i often wonder if the people that post negative comments are able to see that there is nothing for the city to offer a business to move into this town. get out go see what goes on in other little towns around. they dont seem to have all these issues that we do. first off you dont own water. 2nd recession aka no tax breaks. no forward thinking infastucture hello.... this area is still recovering from the early 80's when the mills went belly up. 3rd the town looks like poo. most of the town has little to no pride. you need a permit to improve you propert. the village isnt handing out fines for those that neglect theirs. so please tell the rest of us what wellsville has to offer to entice someone to bring ANY business to this town? alos it still smells like poo. as far as the school looking like a prison...maybe it was built that way to keep people out. next the fire dept. wow the group that the entire town calls on for everything...from the flood system to car wrecks,house fires and trying to help fellow thy neighbor. you get the point. as far as the laughing the SPANK was way off. their were several other comments made from other questions prior to the laugh. there are also laws that are much more serious then fining for tree trimming... from traffic to trafficing drugs. party politics huh... what ever hapened to caring let alone helping fellow man? a little would go along way in this day and age.