Rio Grande council hears department reports

Staff Report

RIO GRANDE — The Rio Grande Village Council minutes from the regular meeting on Nov. 9 were recently approved.

Council members present were Annette Ward, Amy Wilson, Cory Camden and Jon Davis. David Brodeur and Rick Baker were absent. Mayor Matt Easter was also present.

Others present were Bridgette Dodson, Matt Neal, Sandy Perry and Debbie Ratliff. Clarissa Carroll was present for the meeting for the community garden bid.

Carroll also addressed council regarding the Rees property, in which she neighbors with, saying the ditch is not being maintained and the property is not fully being mowed. Easter said he would handle the ditch and speak to the previous owner’s son, according to the minutes.

Carroll also expressed her concern over the seven houses planned for Lake Drive and the traffic it will bring, saying there is already a speeding issue. Easter said the council will work on it.

Bob Allen, from El Robinson Engineering Company, spoke to council on the sewer project. A bid and pre-bid meeting was scheduled for Nov. 16 at 11 a.m. The minutes noted the bids will be opened on Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. at the municipal building.

“A lay down yard will need to be defined and will last approximately eight months,” the minutes stated.

It was noted on the minutes Perry said she would talk with Bob Brandeberry and the University of Rio Grande about the lay yard.

Regarding the project loan and costs, the minutes said, “The project is a 40-year loan with interest stated at closing; total cost is $2.7 million. An interim loan and possibly a construction loan is needed. Bob Allen stated there may be some traffic congestion throughout the village during construction especially if a road needs cut open. Items still needed are: RD form 35-28, Form 17-80, bonding information, copy of Workers Comp, letter from the attorney on letter head, chart of ethnicity, self-evaluation form, language barrier form, compliance review form, and 5 photos of municipal building and WWTP. Mayor Easter stated they would be sent by November 16th. Bob Allen said if the bids are 10% over the estimate, the project would have to be rebid per ORC. The project could be begin about 60 days after the bids are opened but with the high demands of material the project may be delayed after the contractor is secured. The bid process will be a 2 envelope process. Council reviewed project packet.”

Camden made a motion with a second from Ward to pass ordinance authorizing the interim loan. The motion passed unanimously. Ward made a motion with a second from Davis to forgo the three reading rule. The motion passed unanimously.

During the village department reports, Perry spoke with the council via conference call, reporting the Rees property is not tapped into the village sewer system and that any new owner will have to use the village sewer system and some expense will be accrued. Minutes noted that there was no property owner to date.

“BPA [Board of Public Affairs] feels until the new landowner comes into the village they come in as a new landowner and that property is no longer grandfathered in,” the minutes said.

It was reported that the property had horses on it, leading the council to discuss if the property was zoned for agricultural use.

BPA said the community garden is for the community, water can be used with a hose hooked up.

Chief Matthew Neal gave a report on the Rio Grande Fire Department, informing the council the department now has a full roster with the recent member approval. Neal said the bush truck is 27 weeks out for delivery.

The minutes said, “ODNR has a 50/50 grant for $20,000-will use fundraiser monies. Chief Neal stated he put in for a $50,000 MARCS grant.”

It was reported that the department’s radio system is obsolete and that every department in Gallia County has put in for it.

“There is a service fee per year at $10/month. Chief Neal said he is working on a mutual aid agreement for fire fighters becoming first responders with Gallia 911. Insurance told him that if it’s not over 150 runs it is covered though insurance unless there is medical transportation or med pushes. The expense that the village would receive is the purchase of grab bags for the fire fighters to use on such runs; they are a couple hundred dollars a bag,” the minutes said.

Davis made a motion to allow mutual aid, with a second from Camden. The motion passed. The clerk suggested the possibility of using American Rescue Plan (ARPA) monies for the grab bag purchase. Neal said he thinks it is about $26,000 total and proposed to the council to allow $10,000 carry over from the 2021 budget, $10,000 ARPA monies and $5,000 from Perry Township for the purchase.

Council asked Neal to bring the item back to the December meeting.

It was noted in the minutes that there will be a boot drive at Walmart on Nov. 20 and a Christmas Bazaar at the firehouse the following Saturday.

During the police department report, it was noted an agreement between the village and the university is still up for review, with Neal suggesting to check with dispatch about dispatching to the school.

A report of bonds, fines and forfeitures was presented to council, council signed and the clerk informed them letters have been mailed to the defendant with refunds.

The council signed the October financial packets, the minutes noted an audit should finish the report at the end of November.

The minutes noted a ‘no parking’ sign at a new residence home, the council said to remove the sign and any future problems will be addressed.

Ward made the motion to pay the full bill for the dialer at $10,000 for the fire department (air compressor), with the remaining amount to go toward the electrical engineering drawings with the remainder of the bill to come out to of general operations — with the ARPA of 2021, noting a balance of $36,305.29 with $25,045.25 obligated. Wilson seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. The WWTP dialer bill came in at $6,841.96 and Kramer Engineers at $6,201.00.

Easter suggested a possible $500 employee bonus out of the ARPA, but said he sees it may need to be used for the fire department and said he would bring it back in December. Ward said she is not a fan of the idea and “feels for the greater good $500 bonus is high. She would prefer no bonuses at all and that fiscally it doesn’t make sense. Suggested maybe a paid ½ day. Additional discussion will take place in the December meeting,” according to the minutes.

Wilson said she felt the village needs to talk to ODOT about the Safe Route to School program. Easter said he would talk with Rep. Jason Stephens Easter reported speaking with Rep. Stephens on the capital Project for Reservoir. Wilson talked about recreation options for the lake.

Ward moved to adopt Resolution 2021-07 for the 2022 budget with a second from Wilson. The motion passed unanimously.

The minutes noted that Debbie Ratliff started Nov. 8 with hours Monday-Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as fiscal officer/payroll clerk.

The minutes noted that UPS spoke with Easter about parking a UPS trailer at the fire department parking area. Council agreed to the parking.

Neal said he spoke with Burt Wood on hydrant flushing and “Burt stated ‘it is not the policy of the water board.’ Fire Chief Neal asked Mayor Easter to speak with Sandy Perry regarding this,” according to the minutes

The minutes stated, “Council requested the 1 bid received for the Community Garden project be opened. The bid was received from Maple Hill Farm Stand, Clarissa Carroll. Amy Wilson made the motion to accept the bid. Cory Camden seconded the motion. Ward-yea; Davis-yea. Motion passes unanimously. Turning radius for fire trucks was discussed. Clarissa stated nothing will be build where the white building was torn down.”

The meeting was adjourned, noting the next meeting will be Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.

Information from Rio Grande Village Council minutes.

Staff Report