Middleport Council reinstates village administrator position

By Lindsay Kriz - lkriz@civitasmedia.com

MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Council on Monday night gave Fiscal Officer Sue Baker the OK to advertise for the village administrator position.

The decision came after council voted to waive the necessity for a third reading of the ordinance regarding village administrator, and to go ahead and pass the ordinance itself.

At the previous council meeting, Roger Manley made a motion to have a first reading of an ordinance to change the form of government back to that of a village administrator from the board of public affairs form of government. Council voted to dissolve the position of village administrator in January 2015, effectively terminating Faymon Roberts, who held the position at the time. They later voted to give him a severance package between $54,000-$56,000 at an April meeting.

After dissolving the position, council moved to a board of public affairs form of government, which would require three members. However, council only had two board members by Nov. 9’s meeting: Bruce Martin and Ron Burkhammer. A motion was made at this meeting for Penny Burge to become the third member of the board. However, the motion died for a lack of a second. Baker said she would immediately look into advertising the position of village administrator.

Fire Chief Jeff Darst spoke to council about 2016 fire protection contracts, and discussed the amount that Salisbury Township residents pay on average for fire protection. Darst said that every time a call is made into the station, regardless of what the call is, costs $1,293. He said that in 2014, Salisbury paid $1,400 for the year for fire protection, which averages out to $51 per call. Baker said that before 2014 Salisbury paid $1,100 every year for approximately 30 years.

Council voted to ask their solicitor, Mick Barr, to write a Memorandum of Understanding that the amount for Salisbury for fire protection in 2016 would increase, and would continue to increase more in 2017. No exact amount was officially decided upon, however, Baker said, as council said they wanted Barr to talk to Salisbury officials first regarding this decision.

A refuse bid was awarded to Rumpke for a three-year contract for the village. There were two other bids mentioned during discussion: Big Dog Trash and 1st Class Trash. Kenneth Zuspan, of 1st Class Trash, was listed on the agenda as a visitor, and said that he was told that council would go with the lowest and best bid, and that all he would have to do was give his bid estimates to be accepted. However, council and Mayor Michael Gerlach informed Zuspan that he had to have the equipment and insurance for the business at the time the bid was turned in to be considered. Council and the mayor said they went with Rumpke because thy already had the insurance and equipment at the time of the bid, making them the lowest and best.

Amber Blackwell, of Big Dog Trash, was also listed as a visitor to speak, but declined to speak when it was her turn. Norman Hysell, from Rumpke, was also listed but was not present.

Baker told council that because of the Affordable Care Act the cost of insurance through the Ohio Public Entity Consortium is 12.5 percent higher than expected. Council voted to renew their health insurance in spite of the increase.

An executive session was held at the beginning of the meeting, but no action was announced afterwards. The minutes from Nov. 9, bills totaling $2,009.99 and the mayor’s report from October were also approved.

By Lindsay Kriz