Syracuse discusses London Pool updates

Staff Report

SYRACUSE — The Syracuse Village Council discussed updates on the situation regarding London Pool.

It was reported the structural engineer inspected the pool, but no report has been received yet.

Fiscal Officer Crystal Cottrill listed the pool donations received for the year to date: Snouffer’s Fire Safety $100, Valley Lumber $100, King Builders Supply $50, Michael R. Swiger (State Farm agent) $50, McDonald’s of Pomeroy $100, and AEP River Division $500. Council expressed their gratitude for the continued support from local businesses and individuals, and discussed how vital community involvement is for tackling the repair costs of currently known pool issues.

Mayor Eric Cunningham explained he had received six different complaints from people claiming they were told he personally cost the Village $2,800 for the first payment to Professional Pool Management. He wanted to reiterate on record that he was the only one opposed to entering the contract at the time it was passed and signed it because council entered into the agreement. There are rumors that the village is making no effort to re-open the pool and council is concerned that those statements will deter potential donors or cause donors to request refunds. It was agreed again that the pool needs to be re-opened and council is committed to ensuring the stability and safety of the pool before allowing public access. Pressure tests and procedures were discussed, but no action could be taken without the engineer’s report.

Grants Administrator Fred Hoffman told council he would like to apply for two part-time officers through the OCJS grant application process for next year. The grant is a 75/25 application and if approved the grant would be just under $22,000 with a match of just under $8,000. The council approved to let Hoffman apply for the grant.

The Summer Youth program was discussed. One employee may be available for the village and up to $10 per hour is 100 percent reimbursable through the program. It was agreed the previously discussed need for mowing assistance would be ideally filled through this program. The council approved to authorize the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Meigs Co. DJFS for an employee through the Summer Youth program, setting pay covered by the agreement at $10/hr., via the street fund.

Cottrill explained the Ohio Municipal League (OML) has chosen to switch from CompManagement to CareWorks for group rating and third-party managed care organization (MCO) for Workers’ Compensation. The group rating automatically converted with the OML membership, but a form has to be signed for MCO switch. There will be no billing from CareWorks until 2020 due to the timing of the abrupt switch. Many municipalities (including Syracuse) renewed with CompManagement before the decision was announced. The council approved to switch to CareWorks under the MCO open enrollment period.

Cottrill presented two quotes for the replacement of the HVAC system. Council Members Tom Weaver and Barry McCoy believed more quotes should be obtained.

Cunningham explained his concerns regarding the intense summer heat upcoming, because he and Cottrill had already been working with temperatures in the coolest part of the building exceeding 80 degrees. Council Member David Poole expressed his willingness to hold an emergency meeting if necessary to address the problem. After discussion, Police Chief Mony Wood, Cottrill, and Poole will reach out to more companies for quotes.

Solicitor Richard Hedges briefly discussed the Ohio Municipal League regional training he and Poole attended.

Cunningham noted the new john boat is here. Cottrill explained the old boat and trailer had not been advertised yet because she needed council’s decision on a related matter first.

Cottrill was in contact with the Auditor’s regional office because Street Administrator Dustin Butcher expressed interest in bidding on the old boat and she wanted to ensure the legality of an employee bidding on village property. The recommendation she received was to obtain an appraisal if there was a risk of the appearance of unfair bias in favor of a village employee winning a bid for property worth more than $1000 for a bid less than $1000, but to consult with the village solicitor. The old boat was retired Navy surplus from Norfolk, currently believed to have been procured by the SVFD in the late 1990’s. Council Member Michelle White and McCoy believed the boat and trailer combined cannot be worth more than $700 due to their age and condition. Council deemed an appraisal an unnecessary expense, and decided against one. Hedges found the conclusion legally acceptable. Cottrill will advertise as previously planned.

Ohio Plan Renewal information was reviewed. Cunningham noted the demolished shelter house, old john boat, and trailer needed removed. The new john boat and trailer need added.

The property schedule was also discussed. The council approved to renew the Ohio Plan through Kinder’s Insurance under the three-year term with the changes discussed.

Cunningham asked about council’s preferences for high pressure sodium floodlights for the marina area. Options for locating the lights to avoid shining in the nearby resident’s home were discussed.

White brought up the HVAC quotes. She preferred the quote from Foreman & Abbott. Poole and McCoy preferred obtaining more quotes. Poole reiterated his willingness to have an emergency meeting if additional quotes could be obtained between regularly scheduled meetings.

The council agreed to approve adding two poles/two lights, in a good location, at the marina, at a monthly rate $49.57.

McCoy asked Hedges to write a letter to the resident over a tree removal request.

There was discussion of the sewer district’s more active shut-off policy. McCoy is researching the legality of shutting off water service if the sewer is capped off. He believes it should be. Cunningham requested an opinion on behalf of the Board of Public Affairs from Hedges on whether the water could be shut off if the sewer is disconnected.

Poole brought up the records commission and his desire to make progress with records retention action. Grant projects were discussed briefly. No new businesses have expressed interest in the pending projects. Businesses to approach were suggested. Poole is in contact with some and has some leads to follow for others. Also, methods for enhancing communication with the public were discussed.

Weaver said he had been asked about mosquito abatement and testing. An area near Lee Circle with a small pond is their concern. Cottrill and Cunningham explained the previous mosquito testing. Cunningham advised Weaver to direct residents to contact the Health Department with their standing water concerns. Cottrill will contact the Health Department to ensure they are aware residents are concerned and requesting testing.

The recycling bins were discussed. Cottrill is to reach out to determine the status of the relocation plan.

Cottrill presented quotes from Foreman and Abbott, Hendrix Heating & Cooling, Bill Harmon Heating & Cooling, Alpyne of Athens, and David White Services, Inc. to Council.

After review, the council approved to accept the lowest quote presented. Cottrill is to contact Alpyne for their services.

Staff Report