SYRACUSE — At the recent Syracuse Council meeting, council members discussed and approved the Aug. 8 resignation of former Police Chief Garry Freed.
Freed left a note stating that he turned in all gear in his possession and signed over everything in his responsibility in the safe to Sergeant Smith. Police hours and the budget were discussed extensively. Chief Bill Roush arrived during the discussion. Pickens motioned to advertise for the position of police chief, 15-20 hours negotiable, pay commensurate with experience. Rathburn seconded and all agreed. Cottrill was directed to advertise in The Daily Sentinel and other media, and notify local PDs as well as any online job posting sites that are low or no cost.
Roush notified council that the fire department had received a training and equipment grant through the EMS. The award amount is $1,000. Another grant application was discussed for 19 MARCS radios at no cost to the village if received. All of the departments countywide are going together to apply. Roush asked for permission to apply. Smith motioned to give the fire department approval to participate in the group application. Pickens seconded and all agreed.
Pickens noted that the fire department wanted to thank the Meigs County Sheriff’s Department for donating a mobile MARCS radio. Pickens motioned to approve for the donated radio to be programmed and installed at a cost of no more than $1,200 at Miller Communications. Smith seconded and all agreed. Roush explained the Firehouse Subs grant application in more detail, and said it is for full SCUBA gear diving sets.The grant cap is $20,000.
Training was discussed. Pickens is already a certified diver, so it would create a dive team of five people. Smith noted that there is no fire department dive team in the county. Pickens said the nearest dive team is Cottageville, W. Va. The West Virginia/Ohio ownership of the river was discussed. Smith motioned to apply for the Firehouse Subs grant. Pickens seconded and all agreed.
Pickens motioned to enter executive session to discuss the employment of a public employee. Council entered executive session at 8:27 p.m. Council left executive session at 8:32 p.m. Johnson appointed Timothy Lavender as a funior firefighter to the fire department. Rathburn motioned to approve the appointment. Pickens seconded.
Councilwoman Wendy Egan noted that the pool manager and assistant manager are no longer with the pool. Ben Jacks, who has worked as a lifeguard for the pool for several years, was promoted to manager. Egan sad that she could not say enough good things about the job he did and noted that he did very well during the short time he was in the management position.
“A disgruntled former employee of the pool distributed a letter to village employees complaining about village officials, particularly me,” Egan said. “I want to state on the record that I welcome any questions or concerns, to be addressed in the proper forum, a meeting of village council. The pool management was replaced after multiple repeated management failures, and after extraordinary effort on my part, and on the parts of other village officials, to assist and to train the management team. A list of management failures is available.”
Rathburn motioned to retroactively approve free admission for the final day of the pool. Pickens seconded, and all members voted in favor. Egan motioned to refund the $100 deposit to Kristin Johnson and reduce the cost of the Chester Ball Association party by two-thirds due to algae problems. Rathburn seconded and all agreed. Concessions were discussed. Egan motioned to donate to the Southern Athletic Boosters what they can sell, and anything the boosters can’t take, sell at 50 percent of cost, then donate the remainder to the senior center as of Sept. 1 and have Fields transport the donation to the senior center. Rathburn seconded and all agreed.
Grants administrator Fred Hoffman also presented his report to council, and after discussion, Egan motioned to pass the Resolution of Authorization 8-14-14-1 for OPWC funding. Rathburn seconded and all voted in favor. Egan then motioned to pass the ODNR Resolution of Authorization 8-14-14-2. Rathburn seconded and all approved. Lastly, Rathburn motioned to pass Resolution 8-14-14-3, which states the priorty of improvement of streets and alleys in the village. Egan seconded and all agreed.
Crystal Cottrill noted that the Summer Youth Program did not end when the pool closed and the remaining program employee would be available to organize the archives building. After brief discussion, Rathburn motioned to approve the purchase of shelves and banker boxes, along with up to $200 in case of other necessary expenditures for the organization of the archives building. Egan seconded and all approved. Johnson wants Cottrill to contact SC Solutions to get a quote from Troy Stein for electronic documentation.
Rathburn motioned to request the amended certificate for the $10K grant FD. Pickens seconded and all approved. Appropriations were discussed. It was agreed that Fund 2053 not be appropriated at this time. Rathburn motioned to appropriate the $10K grant in the Fire Fund. Pickens seconded and all approved.
Council members present were: Wendy Egan, Eber Pickens, Jr., Rhonda Rathburn, and Sandi Smith. Other Village officials and employees present were: Grants Administrator Fred Hoffman and Fiscal Officer Crystal Cottrill. Mayor Eric Cunningham and Council member Katelyn Roberts were absent due to family commitments.