Gordon Bowman, Pemberville Village Mayor and caucus facilitator, called the meeting to order and introductions were made to everyone present.
Caucus members in attendance included:
· Genna Biddix – Administrator, Village of Fayette
· Dave Borer – Mayor, Village of Fayette
· Gordon Bowman – Mayor, Village of Pemberville
· John Dierksheide – Council President, Village of Risingsun
· Craig Evertett – Mayor, Village of Wayne
· Adam Greenslade – Mayor, Village of Green Springs
· Robin Hindall – Fiscal Officer, Village of Risingsun
· Rosanna Hoelzle – Administrator, Village of Swanton
· Robert Keogh – Council Member, Village of Whitehouse
· Jennifer Markey – Fiscal Officer, Village of Swanton
· Ann Roth – Mayor, Village of Swanton
· Jason Simon – Police Chief, Village of Fayette
· Rick Whetsel – Mayor, Village of Risingsun
Non-caucus members in attendance included:
· Brian Bauman - District Representative, Office of U.S. Representative Bob Latta
· Roberta Streiffert – Senior Rural Development Specialist, RCAP, WSOS CAC, Inc.
· Tim Warren – Project Manager, Jones & Henry Engineers, Ltd.
TMACOG support staff in attendance included:
- Kari Gerwin – Director of Water Quality Planning
- Joy Minarcin – Water Quality Administrative Assistant
Introduction of Discussion Topics – Gordon Bowman led the group in a roundtable discussion of topics as presented on the agenda.
- Road and Bridge Funding/HB 415 - The group discussed HB 415. A copy of HB 415 was distributed to the group. The bill would create a new state fund to provide money to local governments for road improvements. Surplus revenue from the state would be given to the counties, which the counties would distribute according to village and township road miles. Kari Gerwin also mentioned the OEPA and DEFA programs available (Division of Environmental Financial Assistance) and will pass along information.
- Recreation for Villages – The group discussed what the activities that villages have for park and recreation and issues associated with them. Topics discussed:
o Most villages agree a village pool is too much to maintain.
o Splash pads are an option for a pool, and a few villages are looking into it.
o The pool maintained by Pemberville, built in 1966, monies come from private donations, admission and membership, and the village general fund. A lot of the maintenance comes from volunteers.
o Strong park boards
o Work with your county park and recreation board
o Levies are a challenge with other levies being on the ballots
o Pickleball Courts are growing in popularity and are inexpensive to start up
o Baseball and softball league fees help pay for upkeep
o Have a master plan and work toward goals
o Reach out to various organization for donations (i.e. Rotary clubs and businesses)
o Churches are a good resource
o For parks: develop natural areas, walking paths, and bike trails
o Festivals bring in money
- Attract and Grow Local Business:
o Villages struggle with empty store fronts. Hard to get anything done with them because a lot of owners are out of state
o Annexation issues between cities and villages
o Housing issues
o Reliable, skilled, retainable work force
o Need opportunity for non-secondary education jobs
o Do not try to grow to fast
o WSOS is a resource for villages to receive help to promote business opportunities
o Create a portfolio for attracting new business
o Look at other communities to see how what they are doing and what might work for you
o Water and sewage may be a concern
Generate Questions for Forum with State Lawmakers – The caucus generated the following questions for the panel forum with state lawmakers.
1. Ohio EPA mandates for drinking water are costly and seems to be pushing small municipalities to joining a regional water system. What will the legislature do to reduce the regulatory burden on small municipalities so that they can retain autonomy in providing safe and reliable drinking water to their citizens?
2. What other options are available other that secondary education to enter the workforce?
Next Steps – There were no requested actions from the caucus.
Adjourn – There was no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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