MIDDLEPORT —Middleport Village Council met on Monday evening, discussing insurance as well as potential tax benefits for volunteer firefighters.
Clerk/Financial Officer Sue Baker updated the council on rising prices of village employee health insurance, and presented options for plans heading into 2017. Baker outlined the difficulties continually rising prices place on the budget, but emphasized a decision had to be made at the present meeting, as the current village healthcare plan expired shortly.
“Even being forced to compromise some because of price, I feel we should keep a high level of coverage for employees” to offset low salaries, Baker said.
The council passed a motion agreeing to a new plan.
The Village Fire Chief Jeff Darst extended an open invitation to a benefit dinner on Sunday, and requested an update on tax exemption plans for the department. Such plans were discussed during a previous meeting as a tool for the fire chief to incentivize training and alarm response for the volunteer fire department members.
The council and moved to request information from the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA), a state agency, and also asked the chief to provide written criteria for the exemption to be used in legal language for the ordinance.
Village Administrator Joe Woodall conveyed progress taken on the Admiral Outerbridge historic marker, damaged earlier in the year. Finding the original marker unrepairable, the village ordered a replacement. Mayor Sandy Iannarelli specified for the council that action was taken promptly, contrary to any other claims. The council agreed that the Historic Marker Committee, originators of the monument, should be closely involved with the new location.
Councilperson Richard Vaughan asked the village solicitor preliminary questions pertaining to the solicitor’s investigation into the Nov. 15 council meeting. The solicitor answered Vaughan’s inquiries stating his investigation had not concluded.
Council member Doug Dixon submitted specific statutes of the Ohio Revised Code for the council’s review, saying “I think everyone ought to read over the Sunshine Law provisions here.” Sunshine Laws require local government functions to be public and on the record, including many informal discussions that meet certain criteria.
Michael Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.