Syracuse Council discusses London Pool

Staff Report

SYRACUSE — Syracuse Village Council recently met for its regularly scheduled meeting discussing plans for the London Pool.

Heather Dailey-Johnson and Mike Bisham from Professional Pool Management, LLC attended the meeting offering services of the Professional Pool Management business owned by Bisham; Dailey-Johnson is one of the managers. They explained they operate several pools in the area, including Ravenswood, Belpre, Vienna, and Marietta. Bishop explained he started the business to help small entities run more safely and fiscally responsibly and acknowledged most of the pools in the area run in the red because it is a community service, rather than a profitable business, but his goal is to narrow that margin. He offered a suggestion to relocate one of the guard chairs to optimize that guard’s view of the swimming area. The health department will have to approve before it can be made, but the recommendation was appreciated.

If contracted, Bisham and Dailey-Johnson explained Professional Pool Management takes all the responsibility of the hiring, payroll, inventory, concessions, and daily operation duties of the pool. The management fee is $8,500 over three installments throughout May, June, and July. Payroll is invoiced to the village, but with holdings, such as W-2s, etc., are the responsibility of the company, because the employees would work for Professional Pool Management, rather than the village. Details of their policies and admission rates were discussed. It was decided pay scales would be set by the village.

Bisham said the pool’s admission rates last year were set well in line with the other pools in the area. Swimming lessons, lifeguard training, and special events were also discussed. Lifeguard training offered by the company is $200, the full amount going to the company, and swimming lessons are $40, the full amount going to the village. Council Member Nicole Sampson noted the current swim instructor has a limited schedule and age range for classes, so additional swimming lesson times and age groups would be beneficial to the community.

The pool staff is paid on the 15th and 30th of each month, the payroll invoice is sent to the village five days prior, so the village can remit payment to the company prior to staff paycheck distribution. The company generally does not handle the chemical operations other than ordering and testing, but it may be possible. Bisham said he will forward a copy of the proposed contract to Fiscal Officer Crystal Cottrill for review, and set up a time to meet Street Superintendent Dustin Butcher for a walk through of the pool to determine if the company would be willing to take over full responsibility for treating it with the necessary chemicals.

Sampson explained she dropped off pool employment applications to Southern, Eastern, and Meigs schools, the schools agreed to accept them in the office. She said she will pick them up and will be in contact with Wahama to see if they will allow the same.

Potential grants and sponsorships were also discussed. Council Member David Poole found some public pool grants available to pools with certified pool operators. Cottrill said she will forward the information to Grants Administrator Fred Hoffman.

The council was informed the Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) has old equipment that another department was interested in purchasing. Solicitor Richard Hedges said it could be donated or sold, and departments generally give each other significant discounts. After brief discussion, Poole motioned to authorize the SVFD to sell and donate the spare equipment to other departments as they see fit and the council approved.

The council discussed Assistant Fire Chief and former Council member Eber Pickens, Jr. and his mother Mary Pickens being in a severe automobile accident. The SVFD is holding a boot drive fundraiser for them on Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to noon and a co-ed softball tournament fundraiser co-sponsored by the Syracuse Youth League and SVFD will be held Saturday, April 21, and potentially Sunday, April 22, depending upon the number of teams participating. The council also discussed a GoFundMe account ( and a Bob Evans Community Fundraiser on March 22.

Poole stated the Ohio Municipal League (OML) representative at the training he and fellow council members Barry McCoy and Tom Weaver attended said a fourth council member could attend a committee meeting of three as long as the fourth individual did not speak or participate. Hedges cited the Ohio Revised Code and explained that the Sunshine Law automatically defines a committee meeting attended by a fourth council member as a council meeting because a quorum would be present, a committee meeting attended by a fourth council member would have to be advertised in advance as a council meeting for the special subject, rather than just as a committee meeting to comply with the law. After discussion, Mayor Eric Cunningham requested a legal opinion from Hedges on the matter. Cottrill explained that all responses to every question she has presented to any division of the state, whether Treasurer, Auditor, or Attorney General, always include the caveat to request an opinion from the Solicitor.

McCoy asked Hedges about his review of the proposed camper ordinance, Hedges had some questions and revisions were made. Cunningham asked how he was supposed to enforce the ordinance and enforcement options were discussed, resulting in further revisions of the draft. After debate, the need to streamline the existing unenforceable ordinance regarding campers, boats, and mobile homes was agreed upon. Hedges recommended separating the existing ordinance addressing campers, boats, and mobile homes into three separate parts, and focusing separately upon fire hazard risk enforcement. Cunningham explained again that the previous ordinance is unenforceable because there is no penalty set within it. McCoy plans to bring a draft of an updated version which combines the camper section of the existing ordinance with the one he drafted to the next meeting.

In other business, advertisement for bids for the sand and gravel storage shed and the shelter house were discussed. Poole motioned to advertise in The Daily Sentinel on two Sundays for bids for both projects, setting bid fees of $100, with $75 refunded upon submission of bid and the council approved.

Cunningham noted Hoffman was attending a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) meeting and commented Hoffman has secured a commitment from Home National Bank to donate $500 toward the larger fire boat.

Cunningham explained the need for an electrician to fix ball field lighting and electrical box issues at the tennis court, Cottrill is to contact KAL Electric.

Sampson motioned to adopt Ordinance 456, “An ordinance approving, adopting and enacting American Legal Publishing’s Ohio Basic Code, 2018 edition, as the code of ordinances for the municipality of Syracuse, Ohio, and declaring an emergency,” and the council approved.

Staff Report