By Karen Cornelius
Mayor’s report/Grand Division lot: Vermilion City Council met on Monday night, November 6, with city engineer Lynn Miggins excused. There were no committee reports, no engineer and law director reports, no audience participation, and no old business.
Mayor Eileen Bulan reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, November 28, from 2-4 p.m. at the Sunset Terrace at Lakeview Park. They are hosting a Flood Map Information Open House for the Lake Erie Shoreline. The public is invited to attend. She also invited everyone to the Veteran’s Day ceremony on Saturday, November 11, at 11 a.m. at Exchange Park sponsored by the Vermilion Veterans Council. All city offices will be closed on Friday, November 10, to observe the day.
The mayor asked council members to pass an ordinance by emergency that night so the city can move forward with the property transfer for the Grand Division Parking Lot located between Main Street and Grand Street. Later, under the reading of the ordinances, council suspended the rules on the first reading of an ordinance to issue $110,000 of notes in anticipation of bonds to pay the cost of acquiring this real estate property. They adopted it by emergency. Council president Steve Herron asked the mayor to move the trash dumpster that was there. She responded this was not the city’s and she will work with property owners to move it. Additionally, the sheds on the property will be torn down. Anyone can now park in this lot for free.
Mayor Bulan also announced the city has received a Nature Works grant for the house at 477 Main Street in the amount of $34,512. The city has also applied for a Clean Ohio Funding Grant toward the purchase of this property which would extend the Main Street Beach area.
Lastly, the mayor said she was asked to notify the public on how to receive emergency announcements if they do not have a cell phone. She said people can still register to receive notices on their land line telephone by calling 440-329-5117, the Lorain County Emergency Management who will walk callers through the process.
Service director’s update/Main Street project: Service director Tony Valerius had a quick update on several items. He said the paver installation should be completed by early next week on the Main Street project which means that by the end of next week, the asphalt should be laid to patch the road. Other than some cleanup, the bulk of the project should be completed.
He stated that due to the mild weather the Dura-Patcher has been able to stay out longer this year which has been a benefit, but the city will be finishing up on that within the next week. Hydrant flushing has been going well and that should be complete by the end of the week as well.
Lastly, the service director stated that he wanted to thank the service crews who were called in Sunday night due to the rain event in order to maintain the lift stations and to unclog ditches and catch basins to try and minimize any flooding issues that occurred. He said their hard work was appreciated.
Councilwoman Barb Brady said the Vermilion-On-The-Lake area has some horrible overflows from the sanitary sewer system. She said this is a serious problem that has gone on for some years.
Finance director’s report/ohiocheckbook website: Finance director Brian Keller informed council a meeting to solidify bank reconciliation with Lennon & Co. was rescheduled for November 30. Keller said his goal is to maintain reconciliation every month. He said the ohiocheckbook site is up and running and the public can go to vermilion.ohiocheckbook.com for financial information. His department has been conducting an internal audit to verify the city’s compliance with ACA (Affordable Care Act) to be sure that all employees are classified correctly and that the city has done its part in offering health insurance benefits to those who qualify.
Keller asked council members to adopt the appropriations amendment on the agenda that night so they could move on to the end of the year. Councilman Fred Ostrander asked what the amendment covered. The finance director responded that there was an adjusted transfer for the new truck for the cemetery department, and money had to be moved for watercraft and the Vermilion Tree Commission plus the principal and interest for notes in the Water Fund. He said that information was given to council last Thursday, November 2.
Councilwoman Brady stated that she assumed this would be a first reading that night and not suspending and adopting the ordinance. She thought she had more time to review the budget and was not ready to talk about it. She would have preferred it go to the Finance Committee. Later in the meeting under the reading of the ordinances, council did suspend the rules and adopted the budget amendments with a 6-1 vote with Brady opposing. Keller stated that not adopting the ordinance would have slowed things down for the end-of-year.
New business/executive session: There was a motion to go into executive session after the reading of the ordinances for pending litigation. The executive session was suggested by councilwoman Brady.
Council president Herron asked for a motion to table an ordinance up for a third reading concerning amending a chapter of the code on peddlers, canvassers, and solicitors so it could be sent to the Legislative Committee meeting on Monday, November 13. The motion passed. He asked for a motion to table another ordinance up for a third reading concerning flood damage reduction and the application required and the fees so this could be sent to Legislative next week.
Moratorium on medical marijuana: Under the reading of the ordinances, there was a first reading for the city’s third moratorium on applications for and the granting of zoning certificates for any building, structure, use or change of use that would enable the cultivation, processing, distribution, or sale of medical marijuana for a six-month period. The city’s last moratorium was running out and was to be replaced. Council president Herron did comment that perhaps the city would be doing a permanent ban on being involved in the state’s medical marijuana legislation. Councilman Ostrander wondered if the big supply by these growing factories would be more than the amount of prescriptions which could be low. He wasn’t sure the state’s plan was viable. Council did suspend the rules and adopt the moratorium by emergency.
Reading city ordinances: A third and final reading was given to an ordinance to extend the time Abraham/Miller Excavating has to complete the Main Street project until the end of the year. This is a change order to the original contract. A final reading was given to an ordinance to amend a chapter on District Regulations and a section on “RS Special Residence District” which concerns the minimum for side yards where there is an attached garage. This was adopted by emergency. Another ordinance adopted by emergency after a third reading was one for “Zoning Certificates and Site Plan Requirements” for industrial and commercial developments.
There was a second reading given to renew the city’s insurance with Allen Thorley DeLloyd for 2018. It was said agent Jerry Pearl would come to the committee meetings next week for details. Second readings were given to two ordinances for North Central EMS ambulance service subsidies for Brownhelm Township and Vermilion Township. Brownhelm will pay $5,448 and Vermilion Township will pay $15.034. A second reading was given for an ordinance to approve the plat of Edison Village Estates Subdivision No. 8 for recording purposes for a house.
A second reading was given to an ordinance to vacate all or parts of Frederick Avenue, Edward Drive, Gardiner Drive, Gilbert Drive, Charles Drive, Midway Drive, William Drive,and Edgewood Drive in the Vermilion River Park Allotment Nos. 1 and 2 as recommended by the Vermilion Planning Commission. These are all paper streets on property off Vermilion Roadnear Indian Ridge Estates. It was mentioned at Planning that Lorain County Metroparks could be interested in this property. There will be a public hearing on Monday night, November 20, at city council at 7 p.m. There was also a first reading of an ordinance concerning the approval of the plat of Vermilion Park Estate, LLC Subdivision as a re-subdivision of the Vermilion River Park Allotment No. 1 and 2 for recording purposes.
Another second reading was given to an ordinance on city load limits for commercial and heavy vehicles.
Council’s schedule: Vermilion City Council will meet again on Monday, November 20, at 7 p.m. There will be no meeting on November 27. All five committees will meet on Monday, November 13, at 7 p.m. The meetings are at the municipal complex on Decatur Street.