By Sue Miklovic
The village council met for their final meeting of February on Tuesday evening in council chambers. After the roll call, pledge of allegiance, and approval of the minutes, the meeting moved on to public participation.
The mayor introduced Seth Thompson of Panda Technologies who made a presentation to the council members about adding online bill-paying as a possibility for residents of the community for their water bill payments. Mr. Thompson explained the ins and outs on how the payment system would work and discussed issues such as Internet security and service fees charged by credit-card companies and assuring that payments are credited to the proper date of payment. He also answered questions from the council members who were extremely interested in the possibility of this option. Mayor Goldner said, “We’ve had of a lot of inquiries from residents who have asked when we were going to add this feature to their options for paying their water bill.” The Council will continue to investigate their options.
The council moved on to administrative reports.The council approved the hiring of two new volunteer firefighters for the NBFD. They approved the hiring of Bryant Matthes and Chad Wright.
Next the Village Administrator updated the council on all that he has been busy with since the last meeting. His report was dominated by all the grant work that he has been following up on. Here are some of the highlights:
* The village expects the Park Grant that they received to be implemented during March. A $12,394 grant for basketball hoops and goal posts will be installed on the recently repaved former tennis court area. The work will be completed as weather permits in March. There’s also the possibility that additional seating may be added in the area for spectators.
*Next Mr. Brillhart discussed the Safe Routes to School Grant and explained that the village hopes to be opening the bids that will begin the sidewalk construction project on March 29th. The project, which will be on Maple Street, begins at Rhodes Avenue and continues to Rudolph Road. He expects the project will be completed within six months of the beginning date.
* Following that, he talked about the Downtown Revitalization Grant which has previously been delayed a couple of times. Current plans have been submitted to Columbus and the Village is hoping to hear within 4 to 5 weeks on the status of their plans. Hopefully at that time construction can begin and move forward. ODOT will oversee all phases of this grant. Councilman Aaron Patterson said,” I want to remind everyone we will incur cost on this grant and we need to make sure we have money set aside, isn’t that right Mr. Brillhart?” Administrator Brillhart concurred, “Yes, it’s an 80% 20% split”
*Also mentioned by Brillhart was that the Ohio Public Works grant that the village received last Summer will not have the money available until 2020 because it is currently tied up in funding issues. It has been promised to be provided to the village for the purpose of paving the 200 block of Main Street . The 100 block of Main Street will be paved this summer as part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Grant that the village received last year and will also begin in late spring or early summer of 2019.
*Other topics addressed by The village administrator included a cross- training in customer service program that will be implemented in the village offices, also beginning phases of preparation for renewal of the village Street Levy which was approved in 2014 and expires in 2020. He reminded council the county Board of Elections needs their plan for renewal of the levy. If they expect it to be on the November 2019 ballot, they need to submit it by July 2019.
*Also discussed was a salary summary survey which compared employee salaries of villages of comparable size to North Baltimore. This has been a hot topic amongst the council members for at least the last 3 months.
* Finance Committee chair Leisa Zeigler has called a work session for next Tuesday at 5:30 at council chambers where the council members will gather to discuss and identify the needs of where they need to change the salary scale in many different job positions.
*Ty Carles introduced Todd Dickerson with Reveille Planning and Economic Development who was present and spoke and actually created some excitement with the council members. He reported he has had several meetings with the village administrator and has already had several meetings with area businesses and has had inquiries from at least a couple of trucking businesses who are looking for office space in the North Baltimore area. He continued by reporting he’s had meetings with ODOT, BGSU, Hancock-Wood Electric, 3 developers, Jobs Ohio, and is ready to have interaction with AEP, CSX, and the local school system officials.