Middleport Council discusses projects

MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Village Council met in regular session last week at village hall.

Present during the meeting were council members Shawn Arnott, Brian Conde, Larry Byer, Matt Lyons, Susan Page and Ben Reed. Also present were Fiscal Officer Susan Baker, Building Inspector Mike Hendrickson, Supervisor Joe Powell, Chief Water Operator Andy Blank, Police Chief Mony Wood and Village Attorney Richard Hedges.

The following items were unanimously approved: minutes of the March 28 meeting, finance report, payment of bills, and the income tax report.

Brenda Barnhart appeared before council to inform council members of the National Day of Prayer to be held on May 5 and requested permission to place signs along the walking path as had been done in the past. Council agreed this was fine and passed a proclamation declaring May 5 as National Day of Prayer in Middleport.

Jim Hudson appeared before council to discuss problems he has had over the past year with his water meter readings. Hudson said over a year ago, his bill started rising and he could not get anyone to solve the problem and said it was not from a leak. He presented figures showing the meter readings for months during the problem and months after the problem was finally fixed. From Hudson’s figures he claims he overpaid by $1,502 during that period and requested the amount be refunded to him. Hudson said he did not expect an answer tonight but would be back at the next meeting. The issue was discussed by council and Blank and agreed that a decision would be made at the next meeting.

Hoffman said he and Hendrickson had been discussing projects and felt the need for a new roof on village hall was the most pressing issue at this time. Hoffman said Hendrickson is in the process of obtaining quotes and hopes to have them soon. Hoffman said he felt the cost is really going to be too much to ask on the CDBG program since they usually have approximately $140,000 and suggested allocating $20,000 to $30,000 of the next round of ARP funds towards this project and request the balance on our CDBG application. After a short discussion, council tabled any action until the next meeting with the anticipation of having an estimate by that time.

Hoffman recommended the village enter into a contract with the State of Ohio for salt purchases and presented a resolution necessary to participate in the program. Hoffman suggested council order 100 tons, meaning the village would need to buy at least 90 tons and could purchase 110 tons on the contract. Hoffman said this would be a one-year contract. After a short discussion council unanimously passed the resolution authorizing participation in the state program.

Upon the recommendation of Blank, council authorized contracting with Tom Dillon as Operator of Record for the Village of Middleport WWTP on a temporary basis at a cost of $600 per month. Dillon would do all items that are required by OEPA. Blank said the village is in the process of trying to obtain a full-time Class 1 Wastewater Operator. After a short discussion, council unanimously approved the proposal.

Hoffman said he had received several requests from residents on doing something about the last curve in the road at the cemetery which has a drop-off. Hoffman said if a car drooped off the pavement they may have a problem since the hillside near the road is steep. Powell had PDK Construction look at the area and they gave a price of $3,376 to install 200 feet of used guardrail along that area. After a short discussion, council approved the cemetery project.

Hoffman said he was given an estimate for flowers for the downtown area. The estimate was $614 and council unanimously agreed to purchase them.

Baker said the 2020-2021 audit is beginning and the state has approved an agreed upon procedures (AUP) audit. This is good news for the village, as it is cheaper and is an indication of confidence in the village’s financial process.

Powell discussed the need for a backhoe since the village no longer has one and the new equipment will not be here until July. After a lengthy discussion, council agreed to rent one until the new equipment arrives.

Blank discussed problems with some citizens who become very irate and threaten individuals. After a short discussion, Hoffman said persons who threaten harm to village workers will be charged and prosecuted.

Wood discussed with council some of the things happening in the village and said he had attended police chief school last week and felt it was very informative.

Hendrickson briefly discussed the land bank and demolitions. He said he was working with the Meigs County Historical Society to assist them with a building that collapsed.

Conde said the new recreation piece was under construction and should be installed in early summer. He also said the handicapped park was on hold pending discussion with the insurance company.

Reed discussed the poor conditions of the streets and what could be done. Hoffman said since the project manager was not at the meeting, he would take on the responsibility of seeing the job is done properly from here on. Hoffman agreed streets were poor.

Lyons discussed briefly various items Hoffman had on his needed list.

Council adjourned with the next regular meeting scheduled for April 25 at 7 p.m.

Submitted by Middleport Mayor Fred Hoffman.