Village Council | Regular Meeting Oct. 17
- Published: November 11, 2022
Business conducted during Village Council’s most recent meeting Monday, Oct. 17, included the following topics:
Council unanimously passed an ordinance to adjust the procedures and enforcement of the Village’s noise ordinance. According to Village Manager Josué Salmerón, the ordinance will eliminate training requirements associated with noise monitoring devices the police department uses. In response to a question regarding motorcycle noise from Council member Marianne MacQueen, Police Chief Page Burge said that enforcement of vehicle noise had to be based on the volume and duration of the noise. Burge said an officer would have to sit stationary in a spot to enforce, but the presence of an officer would be a deterrent for many. Salmerón said the noise ordinance was not intended for vehicle noise.
Fourth quarter supplemental budget
Council approved an emergency reading of a fourth quarter supplemental budget of $386,052. Salmerón explained that the number is large because it reflects both transfers and expenditures. Included in the appropriations is one expenditure of $15,000, which is linked to the unfilled finance director position; an $11,000 software purchase for budgeting analytics software; $1,063 for training for the Mayor’s Court Clerk; $1,326 for Youth Center expenditures, which will be paid for with funds raised through Street Fair parking fees and tips; and $4,253 for vehicle maintenance. Other expenditures included $174,805 for sewer relining. Part of the money for the project will come from the sewer improvement fund and the sewer operating fund. According to Salmerón, the change in cost from previous appropriations reflects a 10% increase in cost of the project.
Council approved a five-year contract with Rumpke for solid waste management services. The contract includes three residential tiers of service with starting rates ranging from $14.05 to $16.74 per property and one commercial tier of service with a starting rate of $36.63. Both tiers include adjustments throughout the contract. Salmerón said he recommended going with Rumpke’s proposal due to the lower cost associated with a longer contract.
Chris Bongorno of the Village Active Transportation Advisory Committee gave a presentation to Council outlining the work the committee and Council have taken on in 2022 and sharing committee priorities for 2023. Bongorno said that the group’s priorities include pursuing implementation for the Village’s Safe Routes to School initiative, which include creating a crosswalk on East Enon Road where it intersects with West South College Street and adding more visible signage, and creating better school zone signage. The group also wants to support the village manager with the resurfacing of the Dayton Street multimodal path, encourage sidewalk repair and replacement, advocate for a crosswalk on Xenia Avenue between the Emporium and Tom’s Market, and propose the addition of bike racks throughout the village.
Council President Brian Housh, Council member Gavin Devore Leonard and Salmerón summarized the work of the Finance Committee, which included hearing a presentation from the Regional Income Tax Agency, or RITA, regarding vendor sales taxes the Village could collect. According to Salmerón, there are several revenue opportunities, including a tax on vendors selling on downtown sidewalks. As it stands, vendors are not required to register with the Village, so the Village has no ability to check to see if they are filing taxes or paying income or sales tax on the purchase of their wares. As the ordinance is currently written, vendors who make their own products are not required to register, Salmerón said. He suggested requiring registration from every vendor and reducing or eliminating the fee for vendors who may be inhibited by a fee.
Council member Carmen Brown talked about the ongoing need for volunteers, which was made apparent when members of the Environmental Commission wanted to use volunteers to clean algae from Ellis Pond. Brown said that there was a history of volunteers in the community, and the Village could replicate volunteer programs that have been implemented in communities like Centerville. In order to have volunteers, particularly those who are court ordered to do community service, the Village would need to fulfill workers compensation requirements. Brown also asked about the possibility of applying for a Miller Fellow to help with volunteering. Florence Randolph suggested the Village coordinate with the Community Foundation, which recently launched a portal to organize community volunteers.
Brown gave an update on Ellis Pond, stating that Ramanitharan Kandiah, Ph.D., of Central State University, studied the pond and found that there was not much dead matter in the pond. The plants in the pond hinder recreation, but the aquatic wildlife was not in danger of dying for lack of oxygen. Brown said she reached out to Xylem, a company with a local presence that studies water, to be a part of their community service initiative that monitors and works to rehabilitate bodies of water. Xylem suggested remote monitoring and some initial work, including removing algae. Council member Marianne MacQueen said Xylem would need permission from the Village government to do the work. Council President Brian Housh said it was inappropriate to bring these decisions to Council without written communication to the Village team, insisting that everything work through “the process.” After Council heard from Salmerón that he would need more time to work with Xylem on the cleanup, Council decided to revisit the matter at a later date.