ANNA – After not meeting in April because of COVID-19, the Village of Anna Council resumed its regular meeting schedule of the second and fourth Tuesday of each month on May 12.

An ordinance authorizing the administrator to enter into a written mutual aid agreement with the villages of Botkins and Jackson Center and declaring a state of emergency was adopted.

Council decided the village’s office doors will remain locked until further notice, and the situation will be reevaluated at the next council meeting.

Council member Gary Strasser reported community members inquired about doing community service in the village for school-related responsibilities. Council welcomed the idea, stating any minors would need to have a release form signed by their parents.

Mayor Mark Pulfer offered the village park to the school for graduation and fifth grade clap-out. The park is large enough for social distancing and for health recommendations to be observed.

Sturm Construction requested a three-week extension on the South Street reconstruction project that was awarded in August 2019. Council denied an extension to the June 1 completion date.

Public Works Superintendent Lindsey Alexander presented options for seasonal mowing help, and Fiscal Officer Stacy Meyer reviewed the cost spent on contract mowers during 2018 and 2019. An individual applied for the position. Angie Wildermuth said the position should be posted. Council decided to post the position for one week.

Invoices totaling $48,083.16 were approved. Several questions were asked regarding some of the bills. Anything purchased from Dicke’s Lawn Service will have a second price obtained. Meyer explained the ordinance that is in place for significant events of employees in regards to a bill.

The village does utilize two cell phone carriers, in the event of an emergency and one carrier fails. The Verizon bill was higher than normal due to an employee having more than $100 in additional charges. A copy was given to the employee, and the next bill will be evaluated.

Pulfer reported Officer Kris Lee will get the police stats. He also said the Rotary report is $0.

Pulfer complimented and congratulated the senior class and local businesses. The senior class deserves recognition, he said, and he encouraged community members to support local businesses.

Administrator Mike Homan reported the Kies annexation was at the commissioners’ office awaiting approval.

When more restrictions are lifted by the state, the application from Kelly Berner to operate a salon in her home will be reviewed for conditional use through the zoning board of appeals.

The soccer camp in the park will be canceled due to Gov. Mike DeWine’s restrictions. Homan will work with the school on the football parking lot and the storm drainage.

The village’s operator of record at the water and waste water plants will return on reduced hours after being off for a few weeks.

Homan thanked Bob Romanowski for donating mask extension pieces that he made to the village. The village looks to work with him on making other items.

Council member Ken Aselage questioned the brush chipping schedule, and Homan said it will be evaluated for other options. A work plan generated by Alexander was reviewed, and Aselage made some suggestions.

When asked who is inspecting the South Street reconstruction, Homan said he is out there pretty much every day and doing the inspections. Aselage recommended having the public works superintendent involved in the decisions and inspections for all public works projects.

The endowment fund grant application was not submitted due to Homan not receiving any responses of items to apply for. It was noted the village should look for any type of grants for any improvements it can do.

Alexander will move into her office once it is cleaned out by the previous superintendent, Homan reported.

Various street areas needing repair were recommended.

Meyer reported the village has received its refund check from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and it will be split among the four funds that pay the premium.

US Bank again started to charge a customer analysis service fee for village bank accounts. Meyer has adjusted some of the features and services to help bring that fee down. With interest rates being so low, the village’s charges exceed its credits, resulting in the monthly service fee.

There are very few utility accounts that did not pay last month, Meyer reported. They have been contacted and followed up on.

COVID-19 purchase totals were reviewed. Council member Laura Lentz-Fogt said the sheet showed the departments that have purchased items and questioned whether the police department had bought anything such as masks and gloves.

Meyer confirmed no purchase orders nor invoices were received for personal protective equipment for the police department. Lee said the department has received some donated items.

Fire Chief Tim Bender reported COVID-19 purchases were expanded on as noted on the spreadsheet.

There was a major house fire on April 27. Everything went well, and everyone was safe, Bender said.

Fogt questioned why an individual who does not work for the village was seen at the scene with a village uniform. Homan said he had trouble locating the water shutoff to the property and called the past employee for help to locate the shutoff.

During the police report, it was said there are a couple areas that will be patrolled at the request of residents. There was confirmation of a response to a resident email regarding an accident report that was adjusted at a later date.

Officer Cody Williams has the police stats for anyone to review.

In old business, it was reported there has been no contact for several months regarding the proposed waterway at the Anna Truck Stop.

Two properties were discussed regarding poor conditions and will be addressed on the property maintenance list and/or grass and weeds ordinance.

The park complex will be put on hold until further notice.

The contract with Imagine Network is yet to be finalized. Imagine Network has continued to pay the incorrect amount of $50 less every month, putting it further behind on payments.

Homan will have an ordinance and final copy of the contract for Imagine Network wireless equipment on top of the water tower to be passed at the next meeting. Imagine Networks is willing to provide wireless service to the village if the village chooses to install cameras on top of the water tower.

Homan said NKTelco no longer has interest in putting wireless equipment on top of the water tower to service rural customers.

A hydro-vac will no longer be pursued for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation grant for safety equipment. Aselage suggested a couple ideas to look into to use the funds.

After a discussion, council voted to suspend the 2020 sidewalk program for this year. Homan will send letters notifying the owners.

Lacey Avenue sidewalks are on schedule for the year following the Millette, Risha, Tamala and Shannon Drive sidewalks.

A resident requested the side of her property be excused from the sidewalk requirement. After discussion, all of council agreed that to be uniform and inclusive, all sections will have sidewalks.

Homan reviewed a preliminary drainage design for the northeast area of the village.

An image of the smaller Lois Lenski sign was shown to council. All of council approved the sign to be put up by the Anna Historical Society.

The solid waste condemnation has been lifted at 302 N. Pike St. The owner is in the process of upgrading the plumbing and finding a contractor to demolish the garage. There are various properties that will receive mowing notices.

Strasser and Meyer presented playground equipment pieces to be purchased for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant that was awarded in 2019. It was explained that prices will continue to increase every year, and the project must be completed by the end of 2021, according to the terms of the 75 percent grant.

Meyer said the price of just one piece increased more than $1,700 from last year when the grant was applied for. The negotiated cost for all of the pieces comes to $33,950.

Council approved to the purchase of the playground equipment for the ODNR grant.

The next public works meeting was set for 6 p.m. May 26. The next finance and personnel meeting was set for 6 p.m. June 9.

The safety and refuse committee will discuss and ordinance for trash/recycling containers and rates for new recycling containers if lost or taken. The next meeting is at 6:30 p.m. June 2.

The next planning commission meeting was set for June 2, if there is anything to discuss. The next parks and recreation meeting will be scheduled when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted for events.