Anna police officers kept off the job after Florida vacations

ANNA – The Anna Village Council decided two police officers who went to Florida for vacation would not be allowed to return to work for 14 days during a special meeting March 20.

The Anna Village Council discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, and declared a state of emergency in the village, during the March 20 meeting.

Officer Kris Lee said the two officers who went to Florida for vacation should either self-quarantine for 14 days or be tested when they return. Council agreed for the safety of other employees, these officers would not be on the schedule for 14 days.

Council member Carol Ferguson asked if the fire department needed anything, and Fire Chief Tim Bender said the department is handling its supply of personal protective equipment and has more on the way. The department has modified procedures to be in line with COVID-19 precautions.

Lee asked if the fire department ordered any personal protective equipment for the police department as the police have a very limited supply of masks, approximately 15. Lee thought Police Chief Scott Evans had looked into purchasing personal protective equipment but had not turned anything in to Fiscal Officer Stacy Meyer for a purchase order.

Lee said if the Anna Police Department needs help, he will be in the village in a heartbeat. But Ferguson said it could be too much for Lee to split his time between Piqua and Anna.

Lee said being mayor of Piqua is not an issue, as the city manager does 99 percent of what needs to be done for Piqua and calls him for approvals. He assured council his position is just customary.

In other business, council member Ken Aselage questioned the bill of more than $5,000 for a gas line that was hit. Administrator Mike Homan said there was digging by the school to collapse an old cistern and a gas line that was not marked was hit.

Each contractor needs to have its own Ohio Utilities Protection Service ticket or face paying the bill for repairs, however, Homan said the area was not called in to OUPS for locating because other areas already had been located by other contractors working on the school project.

Aselage questioned why the village dug without an OUPS ticket, and Mayor Mark Pulfer said the new operator was told to dig.

Homan presented a sample template of a mutual aid agreement. This agreement would be between Anna, Botkins and Jackson Center for operator coverage at the water and waste water plants. In the event that one of the villages could not fulfill its Environmental Protection Agency requirement, mutual aid is available.

Ferguson didn’t like that the template states, “Response will be done without assurance of reimbursement.” Homan assured council this is a sample template and the real one will be drafted.

When asked why council was voting to pass something it hadn’t seen, Homan said there are many templates available and when a resolution is drafted it can be officially passed.

Council decided Homan can sign the mutual aid agreement once it is drafted with a resolution to follow with specifics.

In new business, it was reported all meetings, council and committees, have been canceled through the end of April 2020 due to COVID-19. The situation will be re-evaluated at a later date. Meyer will continue to send reports and notifications to members.

Meyer reviewed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that was signed by President Donald Trump. This gives employees emergency paid sick leave and expands the Family Medical Leave Act.

Individuals must meet one of six criteria to qualify for the leave. Full-time employees will receive 80 hours of emergency leave and part-time employees will receive hours based on an average of their two weeks.

Bender presented an application from Tanner Iverson as a potential firefighter, and council agreed to the appointment.

Invoices totaling $43,861.70 were presented for payment and approved.