Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wellsville Council Hires "New" Firefighter

With her back to the camera Mayor Haugh swears in Wellsville's
newest full-time firefighter.  From the left is Barry Podwell, wife D.J.
Podwell holding the bible and dad Harry Podwell looking on.
The Wellsville Village Council held one of their two monthly meetings last night.  Mayor Susan Haugh presided. 

During the Public Speaking Portion on the agenda Commerce Street resident Ron Dumoulin asked that Council look into the possibility of abandoning a portion of Lisbon Street behind the Boy & the boot statue and make it a mini-park.  The portion in question is the brick part of the street that was cut off when they erected the floodwall. That was after the 1936 flood.  Except for some occasional parking it is not used.  Dumoulin suggested taking up the brick, landscaping, placing a couple of benches there and maybe selling memorial paver stones for a walkway.  Dumoulin and his wife Julie are the couple that adopted that area and the Wells Avenue Bridge on a volunteer basis.  They also take care of the hanging baskets on the bridge.  The Mayor responded that they will take a look at it.

Speaking on behalf of the Revitalization Committee, Riverside resident Beverly Hentzell said the Annual Village Yard Sale would be handled by the Alley Cat Aid Brigade (ACAB).  Hentzell noted it was for this year only so the brigade can raise some funds for their Christmas for the Animals.

Speaking for the ACAB, 10th St. resident Connie Carmichael asked Council’s permission to hold the yard sale in the lot by the Fire Dept.  Fire Chief Bill Smith advised he would like one lane left open just in case they had a call at the same time of the sale.  With Council’s permission the Yard Sale will be held Saturday, September 8.  Permits are $3 per piece and are available at Village Hall.  For more information on the sale call 330-532-9064.

Mrs. Sherrill Jackson invited all Council members, Village Officials and all the others attending the meeting to the monthly Crime Watch Committee meetings.  The meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at Village Hall beginning at 6 PM.  Councilman John Morrow attended the August meeting.  He was the first Village official to attend one for a while.

Police Chief Joe Scarabino advised his department’s report will be given at the next Council meeting.  He wants to compile all this month’s figures into his first report.  He also asked Council to officially approve the hiring of Officer Salvatore Scarafile to part-time status.  Scarabino noted Scarafile has completed all his probationary requirements.  At the Mayor’s suggestion the appointment vote was unanimous by all members of Council present.  Finally he advised that all the details have been finalized with officials of the Team MOJO 5K Back to School Run.  The run will be held this coming Saturday beginning at 9 AM at the Wellsville High School, proceed through village streets and wind up back at the high school. 

For the Fire Department, Chief Bill Smith submitted a report for the first seven months of 2012.  There were 80 call outs during that time frame with 41% of those being for full fire alarms.  Smith also recommended that Volunteer Firefighter Barry Podwell be appointed to the open full-time position.  Smith noted that he has been working closely with the Mayor with most time being devoted to economic issues.  Smith advised his time will be “short lived here” and the department needs someone to be his right hand man.  He said there were five applications received for the job.  Four of them were interviewed.  Smith went on to say it was a tough decision choosing one out of the four but felt Podwell will be able to learn the job quickly and  be able to take over in his absence.  Smith has postponed medical surgery since Doug Elliott’s retirement.  He later told us he has nearly a year and half of sick leave built up if needed for his recuperation following surgery. Podwell has 24 years’ experience as a volunteer and paid call out firefighter.  Podwell was sworn in following the meeting.

United Water Sewage Treatment Plant Manager Greg Stewart reported that AEP is moving the electrical lines at the Second Street pump station in preparation of work to be done there.  Also, Rudzik advised that they will begin work on replacing that pump station in September.  Replacing the pump station is the first phase of the proposed rebuilding of the forced main line to the treatment plant.  Originally hoped to be done as one whole project the Village was forced to do one part at a time because of the lack of available grant funding.  The forced main runs from the #1 pump station at 2nd St. to the Sewage Treatment Plant at 17th St.

Village Administrator Thom Edgell reported that the summer part-time helpers will finish up this coming Friday.  The laborers are furnished and paid through a County program with no cost to the Village.  Edgell said Wellsville started with 10 part-timers and there are eight of them left.  He also advised the sidewalk program will begin “quickly”.  Work will hopefully begin by August 22 installing six catch basins and 180 to 210 feet of larger diameter drainage pipe going down Highland Ave.    Edgell said there is “a fairly active” natural spring coming off the hillside that creates an ice hazard in the winter.  Also they have found some clogged drainage lines.  He noted when there is a hard rain the drainage lines that do work are too small to handle the water run-off.  As with the other work done this summer the Village will be purchasing the basins and contracting the work out to have them installed according to the Administrator.

There were no Committee reports.

A resolution was passed authorizing the Fiscal Officer to certify various unpaid sewage bills to the County Auditor.  With that certification a lien can be place on the property where the bills were generated.  Before the property owners can obtain a clean title to sell the parcel the sewage bills have to be paid.  In Wellsville the property owner is responsible for tenants that leave unpaid sewage bills on any rentals. 

An ordinance on whether to replace a Street Dept. employee with one full-timer or two part-timers was tabled until the Personnel Committee can make up their minds on what to recommend.  The Finance Committee determined the Village cannot afford to replace the full time position and add two additional part-timers.  It will have to be one or the other. A Personnel Committee meeting called earlier yesterday to decide which way to go went into Executive Session for possible disciplinary action before any decision was made.  It was apparent at last night’s Council meeting there was nothing done. 

Two other ordinances were placed on third & final reading an adopted without a dissenting vote.  One was authorizing the Fiscal Officer to transfer $50,000 from the General Fund to the Capitol Improvements Fund.  Although no explanations were given this money is likely part of the money received for drilling leases.  No one offered an explanation on what the money will be used for either.  We’re guessing catch basins, new sidewalks and sewage pump stations but can’t say for sure.  That’s your tax dollars at work folks…

The second ordinance was approving a raise to $9 per hour for all extra and paid called firemen. 

The meeting adjourned at 6:29 PM.  The next scheduled meeting is set to begin at 6 PM on September 3 at Village Hall.

ole nib


Anonymous said...

Love the idea about the mini-park by the Boy and the Boot. Hope we can make this happen. Now, if we only do something about the property behind the Boy with the Boot !

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

When this idea came up a few years ago there was a dispute about the ownership of the sidewalk & brick street from the adjacent property owner. If that's still the case we think a title search will be necessary to determine who owns what. If the street portion around the Boy was never formally abandoned and turned over to that owner then the Village is the rightful owner.

When the Revitalization Committee started with the murals they were told by Village officials nothing could be done with the property behind there. They claimed the owner called it a wild animal sanctuary and their hands were tied. We always thought that was a total smokescreen so those officials didn't have to get off their duffs and enforce Village ordinances. It's an eyesore and in gross violation of existing ordinances.


Spitfire Designs said...

Nib, as you know I am not a native of Wellsville but I do agree with turning the area behind the Boy and the Boot into a little park. Just think how that would enhance the area and with the installation of the Wall commerating area veterans it would really draw a lot of attention to the area. It is time to do something that will enhance the area and draw visitors.

Anonymous said...

So you know it is Ron Dumoulin not Art Dumoulin that lives on Commerce Street and is married to Julie.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Barry !!!!!! :) :) :)

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

We knew it was Ron... that was a test & you passed with flying colors! ;-)



Anonymous said...

my only concern if you vacate that portion of Lisbon Street is a lack of parking, then, for visitors to the floodwall murals.
And, WHY isn't anyone demanding to know why council transferred $50,000 from the general fund to the capital improvements? is that even legal?