ST. PARIS – The village council approved multiple motions Monday, July 20, in preparation of potentially taking action on a water treatment facility and ballot issues.
During the regular meeting, council member Brad Kennedy asked for three motions.
His first motion asked Village Administrator Joe Sampson to put together a proposal that would include increasing sewer and water rates. This would allow council to review the fiscal impact of such actions in preparation of submitting a packet to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in March 2016 to push forward with a water treatment facility.
Sampson said Friday that the village’s water and sewer rates are low, preventing the village from being able to obtain certain grants or low interest loans from the Ohio EPA.
Council unanimously approved the first motion.
The second motion Kennedy asked for was an ordinance for council to review and discuss and to decide whether to remove a tax credit that exists. Kennedy asked for Sampson to draft an amendment to the original ordinance to allow council to compare the amendment against a proposal from council member Terry Ervin.
Ervin said the village has an option to place the removal of a 1 percent tax credit on the November ballot or modify the current ordinance to remove the tax credit.
Council approved the motion 5-1 with council member Larry Watkins voting against the motion.
Kennedy’s third motion asked Sampson to put together a ballot initiative for review and consideration of an incremental increase in the income tax rate for the village to generate additional revenue.
When put to a vote, council was split 3-3 with council members Niven Jester, Ervin and Watkins voting against the motion. Mayor Joseph Reneer broke the tie, approving the motion, stating the action was just to put language together.
“If council doesn’t like it, they can vote the language down at the next meeting,” he said. “At least let’s see the language.”
With council set to vote on the 2016 budget and the three issues during its next meeting, Kennedy suggested holding a work session prior to the Aug. 3 meeting. Council agreed to hold a work session at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 3.
Council also unanimously approved a motion asking Sampson to work with the village’s attorney to review a nepotism policy for the village administration to include elected offices.
In other action, council approved hiring a part-time employee for a short period of time.
“With the loss of one employee, we are keeping up the best we can but we’re getting behind,” Sampson said. He noted rain was a contributing factor for the village getting behind on maintenance work.
Sampson said the employee would probably work fewer than 35 hours a week on an as-needed basis.
Municipal building to be locked after hours
Council approved locking the municipal building doors at 5 p.m. starting on Aug. 1.
The village recently installed a dropbox outside the municipal building for after-hours deposits and other items. Notices of this change have been posted on the municipal building doors.