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Warren County Commissioners Public Meeting
October 26, 2016 12:00 p.m.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison called the meeting of the Warren County Commissioners to order with Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston present.
Staff Present: Pam Matve, Chief Clerk, Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh, Dan Glotz, Todd Lake, Linda Critzer
Citizens Present: Rob Andersen (WTO), Edwin Attwood, Fran Leto, Vonnie Radecki, Pat Cronmiller, Susan Cronmiller, Walt Atwood, Lusa Huya, Dean Huya, Gregg Heinold, Kathy Langworthy, A group of Special Olympic Athletes, Nora Devries, Troy Clawson, Chuck Johnson, Sue Spencer, Sherry Tune, Dave Sherman, John Able, Karen Davis, and Chuck Johnson
Approval of Minutes: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the minutes from October 12, 2016. Motion carried unanimously.
Fiscal Report: Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh stated there was cash on hand of $3,137,681.00 and in the Erie bank account a balance of $743,520.00. Accounts payable for last week is $547,595.00. Judy stated that this amount is higher because there were annual and quarterly payments made.
Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh also stated that last week the Tax Anticipation note was paid off and that is why the cash on hand is lower than two weeks ago.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the fiscal report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
Presentation of Certificates for Bike Trail Volunteers:
Commissioner Cindy Morrison turned this portion of the meeting over to Dan Glotz of our Planning and Zoning Office.
Dan stated that our Warren/North Warren Bike Trail is a heavily used recreation place here in the county. It takes a lot of volunteers and hours of their time to keep it looking so nice. Today we would like to recognize the following by giving them a certificate of appreciation;
Pat Cronmiller for the hours of mowing and Jim Yovich for the time he spends weed eating. These two gentlemen represent the retired teachers association. We also have the group from the Warren County Special Olympic Athlete Leadership Team that volunteer their time throughout the year picking up the trash.
Appointment to the Warren County Planning Commission: Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that Dan Glotz, Planning Director is asking that we appoint Jeffrey Geer to fill a vacancy on the Warren County Planning Commission for a four year term beginning immediately as this vacancy is from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017.
Dan Glotz stated that this will complete the 9 member board.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the appointment of Jeffrey Geer to the Warren County Planning Commission. Motion carried unanimously.
Award of the 2017 Tax Anticipation Note: Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that we were given an opinion from Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh with a lot of information in this opinion. We received three bids; Northwest Savings Bank, PNC Bank, and Erie Bank. Two had a fixed rate of interest and the other a variable rate. These bids were on both a $4.5milling and $5 million draw down notes.
Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to accept the bid from Erie Bank for a $4.5 million dollar drawdown line of credit at 1.111% interest per year with a $5,000 organizational fee. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that Erie Bank gave us a vast amount of information in their packet as to how the complete process would work, so that is why I voted for Erie Bank.
Proclamation – National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to adopt the proclamation proclaiming the month of November 2016 as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Motion carried unanimously.
Both Commissioner Cindy Morrison and Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that they felt that this was a very good proclamation, as both have had to deal with this disease in their personal lives.
Proclamation – Grief Awareness Month: Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to adopt the proclamation which proclaims November 2016 as Grief Awareness Month in Warren County. Motion carried unanimously.
Proclamation – National Adoption Month: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to adopt the proclamation proclaiming the month of November 2016 as National Adoption Month. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston gave a few words and commended the families out in the county that have adopted or foster children. These people do it out of kindness in their hearts. I feel they are doing God’s work. I personally know some families and I am proud of them for the care and love they give these children.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR): Todd Lake reviewed for the public that we all have resources that can be used at different times that one department does not have. In a nut shell this will allow us to share resources such as radio frequencies, request for mutual aid in emergencies etc.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the MOU with the DCNR. Motion carried unanimously.
Award the Hickory Street Annex Roof Repair Project: Commissioner Cindy Morrison deferred this to Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin as he has been spearheading this project.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that he wanted to give as big thanks to Shane McGranaghan and Matt Nordin for the hard work they have put into getting the specs completed and the bids reviewed so that we can get moving on this before winter.
Shane McGranaghan from R.W. Larson is the architect on this project, and he has suggested that with all bids being compared, he is recommending A.W. Farrell and Sons at an amount of $95,602.00 and they are hopeful they can get this done before winter if the weather cooperates. Also with the understanding there are a couple of options for how the work will be done that could have additional cost.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that with many things being taken into consideration, timing is a large part of this as we have had some problems with mold and evacuated the building this week. We would like to get this done as quickly as possible so that we can move the staff back to their locations.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she wanted to make it clear that we do not know if there is mold in the building. Yes, there is a musty smell, and we have had some testing done but do not have the results in at this time.
With no further discussion, motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to award the Hickory Street Roofing Project to A.W. Farrell and Sons. Motion carried unanimously.
Warren County Bed Tax Increase: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to table this matter until the next meeting on November 9, 2016 so that we can have time to discuss this.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that the motion has been made and she turned this over to Dave Sherman to start discussion.
Dave Sherman stated that we have visitors from all over stopping in to see me and the other day, I had an employee from a local business waiting to see me; I was with someone who wanted to know where they could see the best fall foliage. When we were done the person waiting to see me stated she was surprised at the knowledge we have at our Visitors Bureau. We have two full time staff and a part time staff currently and the bed tax helps to pay these wages. We have lowered our membership fees for our mom and pop organizations to help them out. We have never asked the Commissioners for help until now we are asking that you raise the bed tax 5% would generate more income for us and give the county more money for their administrative fees as we would each get 4%. This will only effect those that are traveling and staying in our hotels.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that he is not voting no, he is just wanting to sit with Mr. Sherman and have a strategic planning meeting as this is part of a larger plan.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she and Mr. Sherman have met and discussed the eight different ways this funding can be used. There are so many ways to promote our businesses with this extra funding. If we don’t do this the surrounding counties will profit as they are out their advertising their counties. I see this as a win win for everyone.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison went on to state that there are three major hotels here today to show their support for this increase.
Troy Clawson spoke as part of the Visitors Bureau Board, we are all vested in this decision, and I am for this. If you have any negative comments I would like to see them so we can address them.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that we designated the Visitors Bureau as the TPA and they approve the plan and how the funds are spent.
Karen Davis stated that in Pittsburgh and Erie it is 7% and in New York it is 7.5% we do not give this a thought when we are booking a room when we travel. This is a time sensitive issue as we are looking at the summer of 2017 and getting our booklets done now.
Comments were then made by Fran Leto, Ed Attwood, Chuck Wood, and Karen Sobkowski.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated he still stand behind tabling this issue; everyone has said this is a no brainer, local families have company and family members coming from out of town so it does affect our local citizens. I will not say I won’t vote for this increase but I want to know everything and with our budget process, I have not had the time to do this.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that they have not had the time to research this, and this change in the law was brought to our attention in April correct Mr. Sherman? To which Dave Sherman asked that he not be used to pit one against the other. You were voted as a team and that is how you should work. Waiting two weeks for an answer will not be an issue.
After more discussions, it was time to take a vote.
The question was called, and the motion was carried two to one. With Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston tabling, and Commissioner Cindy Morrison voting no.
Children & Youth:
Walt Atwood stated that the new web site is a lot nicer than the old one, but he is requesting that the agendas be placed on the website so that everyone knows what is being discussed at these meetings.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she just got the figures from our Recycling Project this morning. We served 217 households, and took in 17.5 tone of materials. Thank you to Dan Glotz for taking on this project and he is in the process of getting a few more scheduled for next year.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison also encouraged everyone to go onto our website and take a look at the new election portion, Commissioner Jeff Eggleston you did a wonderful job.
Adjournment: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
Meeting adjourned 1:20 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Approved:
Pamela J. Matve Jeff Eggleston, Secretary
Chief Clerk Warren County Commissioner