The Wellsville Village Council met in regular session yesterday evening with Mayor Susan Haugh presiding. All Council members were present along with Fiscal Officer Dale Davis, Village Administrator Thom Edgell, Legal Advisor Andy Beech and Zoning Administrator Rick Williams.
First Christian Youth Pastor Brandon Russell thanked Council and Village administrators for all the help, advice and use of equipment that First Christian’s “Mission Wellsville” received a couple of weeks ago. Instead of traveling to some far off region for their annual mission trip the church members applied their efforts in the Wellsville area. Russell said the response from Village officials was outstanding. He said there was an average of 36 youth members that participated throughout the week. Russell also announced the church will be holding their back-to-school free back pack bash on Saturday, August 11.
For his report Village Administrator Thom Edgell said attempts are continuing to do some repair work at Village Hall, Hammonds Park and the 18th Street playground. Problems at 18th Street are being addressed. A notice was published last week that the playground will be closed at 9 PM each night.
Edgell also noted that they “are preparing for the visiting Baptists with chainsaws”. Edgell was referring to a Baptist outreach group that specializes in clearing brush, etc. They were in town a few years ago to help clear the floodwall dikes and are coming back in the near future. Arrangements are being made to provide them with accommodations and meals. Work has been done at the Pete Amato Boardwalk area. With the generous financial help from the Amato Foundation “all the lights come on at the same time now”. Work will be done at the Boy & The Boot. A light has been installed and Specialty Services Inc. will be sand blasting the statue to get it cleaned up and repaired. Following the meeting Edgell advised that 8” of dirt will be removed and filled in with new top soil.
In her report Mayor Haugh noted she is giving one last warning to the owners that are neglecting to clean up their dilapidated properties. Village officials are getting “our i’s dotted and t’s crossed” and will begin aggressively pursuing the owners of these properties. They have a plan that they feel will work. Haugh advised the property owners to do something. Get it fixed or get it torn down. Tony Cataldo suggested that if property owners can’t afford to fix or demolish that they be given the option of turning the ownership of the dilapidated properties over to the village. In response the Mayor indicated that’s an option if it’s cost effective.
|Aerial view of Port Authority Wellsville Property|
In closing her report the Mayor related her excitement with Monday’s Port Authority announcement of the proposed Marathon Oil expansion and Arrowhead Utica Pipelines coming to Wellsville. Both endeavors involve Port Authority land and job opportunities, plus eliminating a lot of truck traffic through Village streets. It involves land including the “pondage area” practically to the Jefferson County line. The “pondage area” will be sold to Marathon and developed.
Finance Committee Chairwoman Diane Dinch got approval to pay $27,550 in bills. Dinch also reported that the General Fund is showing a balance of $1,285,357 but “roughly $1.2 million of that is invested”. Dinch was referring to the money received from selling oil & gas rights that is invested with STAR Ohio. The total of all funds is $1.6 million which includes the invested amount.
Councilman Don Brown reported that several new catch basins have been installed. He noted that the one area most residents will probably notice is on Wells Avenue at the Route 45 intersection. There should be no roadway flooding in that area now with the new catch basins installed and the lines replaced. Brown also issued another warning to residents that have garbage piling up on their properties.
Property Committee Chairwoman Rosie Goss got authorization approved for the Solicitor to petition the Court of Common Pleas for the property at 734 Main St. Goss also got a motion passed authorizing the Mayor to write a letter to the County Auditor requesting the village be given the property at 640 Henry Avenue plus any and all other delinquent properties. These are parcels that failed to sell two different times at Sheriff’s Auctions. Once that happens the Village has an opportunity to acquire the parcels tax and lien free.
There will be a Claims, Rules & Ordinance Committee meeting on Monday, July 23 at 2 PM at Village Hall. The purpose of the meeting was not announced.
The ordinance to raise some rates at Springhill Cemetery was passed on third reading and adopted. Both Brown and Ross opposed raising the rates. Councilwoman Dinch said the new rates are similar in price to other cemeteries in the area. The new prices will take effect August 1. The price per grave will be $600. Opening and closing fees have been increased along with others. Burials in Babyland were unchanged.
Also an ordinance to amend the contract with United Water was passed to authorize the cost of living raise adjustment. The adjustment is a contracted item and the raise amendment was just a formality.
Before closing the resignation of seven year Village Street Department employee James Bauer was accepted with regrets. Bauer accepted a custodial position with the Wellsville School District.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:29 PM. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7 at 6 PM at Village Hall.