Tuesday – January 24: Wellsville Village Council held a make-up meeting this Tuesday evening since the regular meeting last week was canceled due to a power outage. Present at the meeting was Mayor Susan Haugh, Council members Don Brown, Rosie Goss, John Morrow and Tony Cataldo. Also attending was Legal Advisor Andy Beech, Fiscal Officer Dale Davis, Village Administrator Thom Edgell, Zoning Administrator Rick Williams and 31 others. Councilwoman Diane Dinch was excused since she was working.
Immediately after roll call Council members went into an 11 minute Executive Session to discuss “appointment of Council”. Council had 30 days from the first of the year to appoint someone to fill the unexpired term on Council that Haugh left vacant when she took the Mayor's job. Letters of application were accepted through January 12 for Council to consider for the January 17 meeting that was canceled. According to today's newspaper account there were seven applications.
Upon returning from Executive Session Councilman Tony Cataldo stated that “since Councilwoman Dinch is not here we would rather have her participate in this decision and call a special meeting at a later date”. The Mayor stated that she was prepared to cast a tie breaking vote if necessary. With Council not offering a motion to vote on Cataldo's decision Fiscal Officer Davis offered to notify anyone by e-mail or phone the date of the Special Meeting when the date is determined. Mayor Haugh advised Wednesday that meeting has been scheduled for Monday, January 30 at 1 PM.
With no appointment to the vacancy Mayor Haugh also postponed the appointment of Council committees to that later date. With no committee appointments there were no Committee Reports.
In the Public Speaking portion of the agenda former Councilman Randy Allmon took the opportunity to read a prepared statement asking for members of Council to look favorably upon his application for the vacant seat. Allmon is a former two term Council member and lost his bid for re-election in last November's General Election. Allmon was endorsed by Center Street resident Yvonne Carlson.
Former Mayor Nunzio Lombardozzi stated that Council has “got to get on with the business of the city” stating he believed the January 17 meeting could have been carried on even though there was a power outage. Lombardozzi said there was emergency lighting available and enough flash lights brought out to go on with the meeting.
Village Administrator Thom Edgell reported it has been a busy three weeks since the first of the year. There was a sewer line break at the forced main pump station located at the end of 2nd Street. The repair job was given to Allison Excavating and Edgell said “it was pleasure to watch the work in progress”. He said they were “very professional” and the job was done well. He noted that they even pressured washed mud off a mobile home that is located next to where work was done.
Edgell also reported that Village employees are working on equipment, getting it ready for spring, noting patching pot holes is just around the corner. When the scheduled Council meeting was canceled last week Edgell said he mentioned in jest that if the generator that he tried to get his first time he was Village Administrator they would have been able to continue with that meeting when the power went out. He said he was advised by the Deputy Director of the CC EMA that there is a very good chance Wellsville might be able to get a large generator that would back up power for Village Hall, the Police & Fire Departments and even the garage that is located behind Village Hall. It is being looked into and if it comes about Edgell said residents would be able to safely seek refuge & shelter at Village Hall when the power goes out. Wrapping up his report Edgell said that everyone should feel free to call him with any comments, questions or complaints. He can be called at 330-532-2524, extension 14. If not available he promised to return any calls if a voice mail is left.
Zoning Administrator Rick Williams reported “things are pretty slow right now” but wanted to remind all contractors working in the Village that it is time to renew their contracting license. They have to be renewed yearly plus anyone having work done is required to have a Zoning Permit.
The Mayor echoed Edgell's remark that it has been a busy three weeks since taking office. There was a meeting held January 17 with all concerned with the new aerobic digesters being installed at the Sewage Treatment Plant. That project is almost completed. The contractor is currently installing mixers in the digester so more waste will be treated in the treatment process. The contractor was given a punch list on what needed to be done and was given a 30 day deadline to get it completed. Haugh noted she personally sniffed a sample of the waste being treated using the new process. In her opinion the odor will be negligible compared to what it was in the past. The digesters should be fully in operation by the time warmer weather returns. Another meeting is scheduled for February 1 for an update.
Once the digesters are done the next item will be the incomplete sewage forced main project. A contract was given to Rudzik Contracting late last year to renovate the pump station at 2nd Street but they have not been given the okay to start that job. Haugh explained that there was additional work done last year on the forced main. No contract or minutes of Council approval can be found for that additional work, which was stopped once that discrepancy was discovered. Once the digester work is completed it will be necessary to determine how much grant money for sewage work is left for the forced main project. Some of that grant money includes the STAG money that was left. However any expenditures from that grant has to be pre-approved by the EPA regional office before it is committed. Haugh noted that the EPA has been apprised of everything that is going on to date.
Haugh reported that she is extremely excited with the possibility of work that is being proposed on the flood control system pumps in the lower end of town. The Fire Chief, Doug Verzella and she have been meeting with Port Authority and Army Corp of Engineer (ACE) officials. There is a strong possibility to getting those pumps down there back in operation fairly soon. Meetings have also been held with United Water in regards to getting the flood control system back in the good graces with the ACE. The Village was notified months ago by the ACE that the condition of the flood control system was unacceptable and insurance ratings would be effected if not repaired. The Wellsville flood control system was built back in the mid-1930s and maintenance was largely ignored for decades. Priority has been given to getting the system back in good condition to avoid costly hikes in Village resident's home owner insurance. Also, the cut electrical line for the flood pump at 2nd Street has been repaired and is presently being tested.
If that isn't enough in the first few weeks the Mayor reported she performed her first wedding Tuesday and offered her congratulations to the new Mister & Missus Brian Conto.
Council approved an invoice for Allison Contracting in the amount of $11,511 for the repair job on the sewage line break at 2nd Street. Two ordinances were placed on first reading. The first was for appointing Legal Counsel and its officers in certain matters and providing compensation therefore. The second was approving repairs for the Route 7 bridge at Clark Avenue being done by ODOT. Council approval is required even though it is an ODOT project.
Closing up the meeting Mayor Haugh said she is in the process of updating the Wellsville web site and building a whole new one. It will eventually include such things as ordinances and Council meeting minutes, once approved, and whole raft of information. The Wellsville web site was designed by Haugh Designs some time ago to provide a reference source for anyone or any business interested in the Village. Also the Mayor invited any contractors or companies wishing to do business with Wellsville to provide Village officials with written information on their services. The information will be kept on file for future references for emergency situations.
The meeting adjourned at 6:48 PM. As noted above the Special Council meeting will be held next Monday at 1 PM. The next scheduled Council meeting is Tuesday, February 7 at 6 PM. Both meetings will take place in Village Hall at 1200 Main St.