MIDDLEPORT — Fire Chief Jeff Darst reported to council that a new ladder truck will be arriving in Middleport earlier than expect.
The truck was originally due to arrive in December, but is now set to arrive in October. Darst said the department had plans to use the $45,000 from the sale of the village’s old ladder truck to the Rio Grande Fire Department to purchase a replacement truck for its 30-year-old Suburban.
Darst said this was a rare opportunity when the department would have access to money that could be used for this purpose. He said the department has tried for years to get a grant that would replace the old Suburban. It was originally thought that the old ladder truck money would have to be used for equipment for the new ladder truck but now that equipment will be purchased with money from the village’s Neighborhood Development Grant through the county grants office.
Darst estimated a new three-quarter-ton pickup would cost about $30,000 and would need another $10,000 in necessary equipment. Regarding another matter, Darst said he understood that council wants to sell the old Village Hall on Race Street instead of allowing the fire department to use the building.
He said all the department members met and discussed the old building in two meetings and decided to request the use of the building to develop a regional fire training facility for training and meetings. However, he added that the department did not want to put time and money into the building since council had decided to sell it instead. Darst said the village needs to meet with Salisbury Township to negotiate an increase in the amount charged for their fire protection contract for 2015. The mayor will arrange a meeting with the trustees.
A motion to pay bills in the amount of $11,978.80 was made by Heighton and seconded by Manley. Council voted with five yes votes to approve the motion.
Dixon made a motion to accept the Income Tax Report and Older seconded. Council voted with five yes votes to approve the motion.
Heighton made a motion to approve the Mayor’s Report for July and Dixon seconded. Council voted with five yes votes to approve the motion. The report showed total court revenue of $4,529 with the village share being$3,756.70.
A motion to approve the Public Works Report was made by Manley and seconded by Dixon. Council voted with five yes votes to approve the motion.
A motion to approve the Refuse Report was made by Heighton and seconded by Dixon. Council voted with five yes votes to approve the motion.
The village traditionally shares the cost of replacement U.S. flags for the poles in town with the American Legion. Heighton made a motion to reimburse the Feeney Bennett Post for $224 for flag expense. Dixon seconded and council voted with five yes votes to approve.
Dixon made a motion to authorize the mayor to enter into agreement with Overbrook Center to supply them water in case of an emergency situation. This is a longstanding agreement, according to the council. Heighton seconded and council voted with four yes votes. Older abstained because she is employed by Overbrook Center.
Dixon made a motion to purchase two fingerprint time clocks at up to $500 each to be used by Police Department and Public Works. Older seconded and council voted with four yes votes to approve. Heighton voted no.
Jail Administrator Wood reported that the village’s July billing for inmate housing in the jail was $26,845.
Chief Swift told council that the police department would like to donate the old cruiser, which has been used by the building inspector, to the fire department to be used for training purposes. Council all agreed this would be OK.
Village Solicitor Mick Barr was present to respond to council’s request for a legal opinion on whether or not the mayor or council had the authority to appoint a person to the position of economic development director. Barr’s letter stated that, by law, council had the authority to create the position of economic development director, but that it did not have the power to appoint a specific person to the position. This position would be appointed by the village administrator subject to approval by the mayor and this shall be done in writing and filed with the village clerk.
Manley suggested that audit issues be corrected such as updating the records retention policy and Mayor’s Court reporting and utility deposits being done in a more timely fashion. Vaughan said that he felt the two girls who met with council during the post-audit meeting were determined to not find anything wrong with the audit. Fiscal officer Baker said that the two girls were auditors with the state who only deal with facts and figures. Baker offered to set up another meeting with the State Auditor so the matter could be discussed.
Heighton made a motion to adjourn.
Present were Mayor Michael Gerlach and Council members Richard Vaughan, Roger Manley, Doug Dixon, Sharon Older and Emerson Heighton. Penny Burge was absent. Police Chief Bruce Swift, Village Administrator Faymon Roberts, Jail Administrator Mony Wood and Building Inspector Mike Hendrickson were also present.