Minster Council holds end-of-year meeting

By Aimee Hancock - ahancock@sidneydailynews.com

MINSTER — The Village of Minster Council met for its last regular meeting of the year on Dec. 19, during which members of council were sworn into new terms.

There were four council positions on the ballot in the November election, but only three names were on the ballot. Craig Oldiges is currently a councilman and would like to continue to serve in the same position. Council members Rick Schwartz and Paul Enneking motioned to appoint Oldiges to the unfilled council position. This will be a two-year term, expiring in 2019, at which point it will be on the ballot again.

Solicitor Jim Hearn then administered the oath of office to Oldiges, Schwartz, Enneking and Curt Albers for the new term as council members. Each is a four-year term, expiring in Dec. 31, 2021, with the exception of Oldiges.

In other news, the council approved an ordinance authorizing a new three-year contract with the city of St. Marys Tax Department to administer the income tax collection for the village.

The current three-year contract with the city of St. Marys to collect and maintain the village income tax expires at the end of the year. The city sent a new three-year contract to the village of Minster for review and approval. There is no change to the previous contract and the fee will be 1.75 percent of all taxes collected.

The council also heard a second reading to move delinquent utility accounts to inactive status.

Council has previously changed the responsibility of payment of delinquent accounts to include the property owner of the rental, increased utility deposits, and decreased the time from meter reading to mailing of the utility bill. These measures have helped to reduce the delinquent utility accounts. However, six accounts will be transferred to inactive status. One was from bankruptcy, two were homeowners who did not pay a deposit at that time, and two were renters prior to the changes listed above requiring the landlord to pay delinquent utilities.

Village Administrator Don Harrod informed the council the village will continue to seek collection of these delinquent account balances.

The council also motioned for and passed the second reading of an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana cultivators, processors and retail dispensaries within the village.

Marijuana for medical purposes is legal in the State of Ohio. However, contained in the new law, a legislative authority may limit the number of cultivators, processors, and retail dispensaries within the municipal corporation.

Other business discussed included the proposed revision to appropriations and estimated resources. Various funds require a year-end adjustment of appropriations. In addition, various funds require adjustments to the estimated resources.

The revised appropriations are as follows:

• 101 General Fund $4,575,643 increase of $500,000

• 201 PWD $705,347 increase of $56,000

• 508 Utility Deposits $12,200 increase of $3,000

• 510 Refuse Fund $207,000 increase of $12,000

• 201 PWD $705,347 increase of $56,000

The revised estimated resources are as follows:

• 201 Public Works Department $705,532.82 increase of $24,000

• 213 Alcohol Awareness $5,371.50 decrease of $20

• 401 Capital Improvements $2,768,094.62 decrease of $50,000

• 510 Refuse $207,387.19 increase of $6,000

• 201 Public Works Department $705,532.82 increase of $24,000

The council suspended the second reading on this issue, and proceeded to pass and adopt the resolutions authorizing these changes in appropriations and resources.

The council passed and adopted an ordinance which approves interim appropriations to cover expenditures for the first few months of the new year until the final budget is approved. The interim appropriations total is $7,904,132.46 and represent approximately one-fourth of the total for the year.

These interim appropriations allow the village to continue to operate during the time the final 2018 budget is being prepared. Permanent appropriations will be considered after the year-end accounting is complete and the 2018 budget is finalized.

The Public Works Department Fund requires an additional transfer of money to account for an increase of expenditures from the funds. The council passed and adopted Resolution 17-12-03, authorizing the transfer of $25,000.00 from 101 General Fund to 201 Public Works Department.

Mayor Kitzmiller made a recommendation to hire Andy Roetgerman within the Parks and Recreation Department to replace Greg Sommer, who is retiring.

This motion was passed. Roetgerman will be paid $16 per hour and will be on the standard six-month introductory period.

The council discussed the Village Administrator Report, which is as follows:

• With the assistance of Power Services, electric crews completed the yearly maintenance of the Dannon substation two weeks ago. Crews checked the condition of the transformers and switches, as well as replaced the relays in the substation.

• Village offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 1, for the New Year’s Holiday. Rumpke has indicated that garbage pickup will not be affected by the holidays and will remain on its regular schedule.

• There was a water line break at the corner of Second Street and Frankfort Street on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. Crews from the Public Works Department made the necessary repairs that evening.

A motion was passed to approve the village’s invoices totalling $1,185,803.99.

Council entered into executive session toward the end of its meeting to discuss personnel issues..

After entering back into regular session, council discussed compensation for the village employees for 2018. A motion was passed to raise the pay for full-time employees 3 percent and to adjust the pay table to allow a raise for all full-time employees.

By Aimee Hancock


Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.