Tuesday – September 6: Wellsville Village Council held a regular meeting last night at Village Hall. Present at the meeting was Mayor Joe Surace and Council members Sue Haugh, Rosie Goss, Joe Soldano, Randy Allmon, John McMahon and Tony Cataldo. Also attending was Fiscal Officer Dale Davis, Village Legal Advisor Andy Beech, Village Administrator Jim Saracco and Sewage Treatment Plant Operator Greg Stewart.
In the Public Speaking portion of the agenda 11th Street resident Dave Butcher addressed Council about the paucity of cruisers available for members of the Police Dept. Butcher stated he thought each officer should have their own cruiser. Surace said they would “take that under advisement”.
Main Street resident Terry Welch next addressed Council about a marble bench that was removed from her husband's grave site at Springhill Cemetery without her knowledge. In the process of removing it a corner was broken off the bench. Councilwoman Haugh advised she asked the cemetery caretaker to advise the owner that it had been removed and where it was located. The caretaker refused to notify the owner and Haugh remarked she was unaware that it was broken. Fiscal Officer Davis advised a claim has been filed and it was referred to the Claims, Rules & Ordinance Committee for disposition. Cemetery rules prohibit placing benches on individual plots. Mrs. Welsh remarked she was never advised of such restrictions by either cemetery officials or funeral home personnel. Another member of Council stated that there were no rules posted at the cemetery and that the box was empty where copies are normally available for visitors. Mrs. Welsh concluded her remarks stating something like this needs to be addressed for others in the future.
Although Village Administrator Saracco had no report, Councilman Allmon inquired about the availability of light bulbs for the lights in Broadway Park. Saracco replied there are five lights burned out and bulbs were available to replace them. However, the Fire Chief is reluctant to use the ladder truck since he has to beg someone to volunteer their time to cover the station or pay wages for someone to do it. Saracco added there is a privately owned bucket truck available to Street Department workers but he has to discuss compensation for using it with the Fiscal Officer.
In the Mayor's Report Surace advised “they” are going to get real serious warning residents about grass not being kept cut and ticketing people parking with two wheels on sidewalks.
Finance Committee Chairman Cataldo reported that as of the end of July the General Fund had $9,400, the Street Department had $7,400, Cemetery Fund had $4,000 and total of all funds was $360,971. At the start of the year total of all funds were $506,971. Cataldo also announced that he was calling a Finance Committee meeting for Friday, September 9 at 2 PM.
Water, Sewer & Refuse Committee Chairman Allmon made a motion to authorize the Village Administrator to advertise for bids for the Pump Station #1 & Forced Main Replacement project. It was seconded by Cataldo. Councilwoman Haugh noted she had very serious concerns putting this project out for bid since it is still unknown exactly were the pipe line is going to go once it gets to a certain point. She questioned how the Committee can ask for anyone to bid on this when the plans are still incomplete. Easements are pending settlement for this project which will determine a vast portion of the costs of the total project. Council voted 5 to 1 to put the incomplete plans for the project out for bid. Haugh cast the lone negative vote.
In the Property, Equipment & Cemetery Committee report Haugh inquired if the air conditioner for the K-9 cruiser got repaired. Saracco responded he had orders to get another cruiser repaired first. The Mayor added he heard the mechanic had started working on the K-9 limo but ran out of time to complete the repairs before the end of the day.
Additionally Haugh stated she is increasingly concerned about the electrical line for the flood wall pump that that was accidentally cut by an outside contractor last spring. Haugh related the village was very fortunate that the heavy rains from Hurricane Irene didn't make a direct hit on Wellsville. Since that pump is the last working flood wall pump uptown the village would have had serious problems if it would have been in a direct path of that storm. An East Liverpool electrical contracting company quoted a price of $10,500 to replace the whole line. That included installation of the whole line in conduit by them. If they encase the line in cement the price would be approximately $3,000 to $4,000 more. The East Liverpool company is very reputable and Haugh stated that she didn't think AEP would have any undue concerns about their quality of work. Haugh stated it needs fixed and she felt the price was reasonable. Saracco said the last he heard was that WFD Chief Smith was to have a meeting with the company that did the damage. He has not heard anything since then. The Army Corp of Engineers said the whole line has to be replaced to maintain electrical integrity to operate the mammoth pump. It can not be spliced. The damage was done when the contractor was repairing a break in a sewage line.
For Claims, Rules & Ordinances Councilwoman Goss announced she and the Village Administrator will be going around town listing unkempt properties that the Village will be taking action on with warning letters, citations, etc.
For Legislation, Council passed Resolution 11-10 under suspension of rules to accept the amounts and authorizing the necessary levies be certified to the County Auditor. This is a standard action done yearly. Council also passed an ordinance unanimously to amend the contract with United Water to operated the Sewage Treatment Plant. Fiscal Officer Davis explained that there is a clause in the contract permitting United Water to amend the contract if the Village made any substantial changes such as the new digesters at the treatment plant. Once fully operational the new digesters will cost approximately $5,000 a month for electricity versus the $2,000 average it cost previously. With United Water reducing their monthly fee by $2,000 the Village will take over the electric bill for the plant. Cataldo remarked he didn't know where the money was going to come from to pay the bill. Cataldo has been advocating a sewage rate increase for months now.
Under Old Business Haugh made a motion to go into Executive Session which lasted 37 minutes about purchase of property and legalities regarding it. When they returned Haugh requested the Mayor schedule a Special Council Meeting for Friday, September 9 at 1 PM if the engineers for the forced main project can attend. Cataldo expressed that he thought the meeting should just be a Property Committee meeting but Haugh stated she thought it would be better to call a full Council meeting. When asked after the meeting Haugh explained by having a Special Meeting it would give all Council members an opportunity to vote on the property issue if need be.
Allmon announced the jointly sponsored 9/11commeration ceremonies planned by the Chamber of Commerce and Village officials under New Business. That is to take place this coming Sunday. See our post below.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:07 PM. The next regularly scheduled meeting is Tuesday, October 3 at 6 PM at Village Hall. There will be a Special Meeting Friday if the GG&J engineer can make it. There will be a Finance Committee meeting at 2 PM Friday too.