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2006 in review

 

In addition to monthly reports presented in the "Villager," Mayor Eisentrout has requested that the various Village departments provide annual wrap-ups. Here is a summary of 2006 ...

Item Outside
Funds
Village
Monies
Police - 8 bulletproof vests
n/a
$5,598
Village - Gypsy Moth spraying

$2,907.83 - Ohio Dept of Agriculture

$2,907.83
Village - 2006 Street Project
$93,604.34 - Ohio Public Works Commission
$97,424.96
Village - Debt Service Paid - including 4 waterline replacement phases, lake dredging bond, 2004 Minerva Lake Road reconstruction
n/a
$111,478.68
Village - Trash Collection
n/a
$92,736

 

 

police department

By Chief Bobbie Hillard ... The Village acquired a used cruiser at a total cost of $16,000, including automobile and police outfitting. The bulletproof vests available through a Homeland Security grant that was pending in 2005 were reclassified to standard issue equipment, making them ineligible for grant funding, so the Village had to purchase them outright. The 8 vests for all full-time officers totalled $5,598.12, replacing vests that were more than 10 years old.

Community Service - (a) Sergeant Adam Beach received special recognition from the Franklin County DUI Task Force for his continued work against drunk driving and for presenting a safety belt program to 3rd-graders at Hawthorne Elementary School. (b) The Police Department as a whole received an Award of Excellence from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for its continued work in keeping our roadways clear of drunk drivers. (c) Once again, Lt. Rex Waldenmyer (in collaboration with Clerk-Treasurer Suzanne Coulter) spearheaded the Cops for Kids Christmas toy drive. Your generous donations went to grateful children at an elementary school on the west side of Columbus. They enjoyed the presents and benefitted from a positive contact with law enforcement.

Collaborative efforts with other area agencies help keep our Village safe. Our 2006 statistics are as follows:

Dispatched runs
1,011
Nondispatched runs
472
Assist area agencies
404
Misdemeanor arrests
219
Felony arrests
26
9-1-1 calls
38
Animal Complaints
19
Assaults
10
Auto Thefts
2
Breaking & Entering false alarm 23
Breaking & Entering
7
Burglaries
7
Burglary in Progress false alarm
30
Criminal Damaging
6
Criminal Mischief
1
Deaths
6
Domestic Disputes or Violence
13
Menacing
3
Missing People
3
Motorist Assists
49
Passing Bad Checks
1
Receiving Stolen Property
2
Robberies
1
Sex Offenses
2
Stolen Vehicle Recoveries
5
Suicide Attempts
4
Suspicious Vehicles
108
Suspicous People
187
Telephone Harassment
4
Thefts
34
Traffic Citations
1,025
Traffic Warning Citations
20
Trespassing
6
Vandalism
3

 

fire department - ems

By Chief Rick Hoechstetter ... The Fire Department had a good year. The Personnel Officers (Lt. Tim Lockard & Coordinator Dave Green) recruited and trained 14 new members this year. The Training staff (Tina Quinn & Jon Packer) oversaw improvements to our standing medical orders (protocols) that brought us into compliance with the recently updated American Heart Association cardiac guidelines, added more resources to address serious asthmatic conditions, and proctored a training and testing program for all members. Vehicle Lieutenant Mike Ostrander kept the medic unit running perfectly, and with the addition in late 2006 of a new garage door opener, we haven't had any more mishaps between the top of the vehicle and the bottom of the garage door. Communications Lieutenant Kal Dworkin started work on the bidding process for a telephone system to replace the existing, nonfunctional one. The Continuous Quality Improvement officers (Lt. Wayne Miller & Coordinator John Rains) kept ahead of the run reports, ensuring that our field treatment was consistent with our protocols. All of these efforts and the day-to-day, unremarkable operations helped us maintain an advanced life support service that has been and can be compared favorably to the paid services that surround us.

EMS members volunteered a total of 5,622 hours in 2006. The top volunteers by hours served are: Tina Quinn (847), Brian Horton (432), Heather Vekasy (431), Craig Phillips (363), Aubrey Dudra (314), and Tim Lockard (303). Beyond the duty hours served, I wish to recognize the officers for all of the hours they put in to keep this station running smoothly.

We responded to 393 emergency calls in 2006, which was a bit lower than 2005. The decline is largely due to a change in crew configuration to comply with Columbus mandates that two medics must be on each shift instead of only one.

Also new in 2006, 19 members were recognized by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. Created in 2003 by a presidential decree, the President's Volunteer Service Award Program recognizes individuals who have contributed volunteer talents to civic programs. The Bronze Award recognizes contributions of up to 250 volunteer hours over the past three years. Nine of MP's members were recognized in this category: Jarred Speakman, Jason Sutermaster, Juanita Smith, Michael Ostrander, Norman Jones, Paula Inskeep, Thomas McClannahan, Tony Williams, and Thomas Balliet. The Silver Award recognizes up to 500 volunteer hours. Recognized at this level were Brian Horton, Craig Phillips, David Green, Heather Vekasy, and Timothy Lockard. The Gold Award recognizes more than 500 volunteer hours and was given to Abrey Dudra. And the Lifetime Achievement Award is given to volunteers who have given more than 4,000 hours, as President Bush challenged the nation in 2003 to give to their neighbors, communities, and nation through service. Tina Quinn, Wayne Miller, and I were recognized. The Department owes its gratitude to Craig Phillips for this impressive effort.

By my taking the Drug-Free Solutions’ Train-the-Trainer course in November 2005, I was able to provide, in 2006, the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Drug-Free Workplace training to all “employees” of the Village, defined by OBWC as “all staff” (paid or volunteer), and I offered this course several times to MP staff during 2006. My holding this training permits the Village to participate in OBWC’s Drug-Free Workplace Program, saving the Village a significant percentage of its annual worker’s compensation premium (estimated at $30,000 in 2006). I also attended the Drug-Free Solutions’ update to that program and am prepared to provide the Drug-Free Workplace training to Village employees in 2007 also.
We were able to move $5,000 unspent current capital into the Vehicle Replacement Fund in 2006. With the $25,000 not spent in 2005 to update the medic vehicle, $30,000 is already set aside in anticipation of replacing the current vehicle when the time comes, which we hope won't happen for many years.

The officers and members of the Fire Department are proud to serve Minerva Park and appreciate all of the support of the Mayor, the Council, and residents. It's a good place to work!

 

mayor’s court

By Charline Garrabrant, Clerk of Courts ... The public is invited to attend Mayor's Court, held on every other Tuesday at 5:30p. The 2006 statistics are as follows:

Number of Court Cases
458
Total receipts
$46,493.75
Paid to the state
$6,037.50
To MP computer fund
$1,350.00
To MP general fund
$39,035.75

 

clerk-treasurer

By Suzanne Coulter ... The year 2006 was a busy year in the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, with a lot more to keep me busy in the Human Resources arena. Paperwork with health insurance and worker’s compensation seemed to take up a lot of my time. The Village enrolled in three Bureau of Worker’s Compensation programs for a safer workplace, to help hold down our premiums for 2007. This is good, but the programs entailed a lot of paperwork and time for us to be eligible to receive the premium discounts. The programs were the “Drug-Free Workplace,” the “10-Step Business Plan,” and the “Premium Discount Program.” MP Fire Chief Rick Hoechstetter attended the Drug-Free Workplace “Train the Trainer” program so he can train the Village employees.

The Village’s revenue was stronger this year, in part because of the income tax, which was $254,439.83 for 2006. This income allowed the Village to stay in the black and end the year better than the $127,901.14 in the previous year, the 2005 General Fund. It allowed us to do many great projects this year to better the Village. The Village’s state funding remained flat in 2006, but we understand that this funding will increase slightly in 2007 because of surpluses in the state budget. Property taxes remained the same except for increases in property value, which adds to the tax base. Thank you for supporting the income tax and getting your taxes filed and paid on time. This has been a great source of revenue while keeping our property taxes in check and giving our Senior Citizens a tax break.

The Police Department purchased a used vehicle in June, leaving just one more to be replaced. It also purchased much-needed and long-overdue bulletproof vests for the safety and protection of our officers ($5,598.12 for 8 vests), replacing vests that were more than 10 years old.

As our streets continue to age, the Village is doing its best to keep up, making repairs where needed and replacing when we are awarded Ohio Public Works Commission funding to help with costs. A thorough street cleaning was done in the spring ($1,998.72). The Village was able to patch pot holes ($1,000) and mill & fill several areas that needed replacing. The OPWC provided $93,604.34, and the Village portion was $97,424.96.

The Village’s trash contract (Local Waste) was up this year by $13,500, totalling $92,736, because of higher gas prices and dumping fees. The increase was even higher from the other two companies that bid on the project.

In the spring, the Village was sprayed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture for a Gypsy Moth infestation that threatened our trees. This will most likely have to be done again in 2007. The costs were split – the ODA provided $2,907.83, and the Village portion was $2,907.83.

In May 2006, the not-for-profit Minerva Park Swim Club disbanded, bringing the pool operations and accounting under the management of the Village. Pool Manager John Friedel stayed on and did a great job. Warm weather and the newly-formed Pool Committee helped make the summer profitable, with revenue of $48,468.24 with expenses of $47,354.01.

Debt service paid in 2006 totaled $111,478.68, including four waterline replacement phases, the lake dredging bond, and the 2004 Minerva Lake Road reconstruction.

The Village was audited in autumn 2006 for 2004 and 2005, and the audit went very well, both for the MP Clerk-Treasurer’s office and for the MP Clerk of Courts.

As Clerk-Treasurer, I continued my yearly training with the Auditor of the State of Ohio and was contracted by them to be a visiting clerk to other entities when not working at Minerva Park. I assist other treasurers all over the state and am often downtown at the State Auditor’s office, working support phone lines for the accounting software that is provided by the state. In October, I attended a training seminar by the Bureau of Workmen’s Compensation University. I continue investment training with the State Treasurer’s Office to ensure continued success for Village investments.

As Clerk-Treasurer, I look forward to the challenges of 2007 and for the Village to do great things as we continue to monitor and wisely use your tax dollars. Thank you for your support in 2006. If you have any questions, please call or come in to the Clerk-Treasurer’s office.

 

zoning

By Arlene Stuart, Zoning Clerk ... Fences topped the list for the most requested permits, followed by building permits (room additions, decks, porches). We had several sign permits requested for businesses on Cleveland Avenue. One variance request (excessive commercial vehicles & equipment)
was denied (one variance remains pending in 2007). In 2006, we had ...

19 permits
$625
2 variances
$50

 

The 2006 permits were as follows:

Building
3
Fences
3
Home Businesses 3
Plumbing 3
Signs 4
Sheds 1
Electrical 2

 

Zoning forms can be downloaded from the website.

 

zoning violations

By Dick Busick, Code Enforcement Officer ... Code enforcement efforts in Minerva Park continue as we try to improve our residential environment. At the start of 2006, we had 27 locations that were not in conformance with our Zoning Code. By the end of 2006, we had reduced that inventory to 15, a 40% improvement or double the percentage improvement of the previous year. This significant improvement could not have been accomplished without the cooperation and understanding of our residents. During 2006, we resolved problems in 45 locations. Most of our unresolved cases are now in the miscellaneous category, which includes such items as poorly maintained houses and yards, but we continue to have problems with unlicensed cars and trucks and illegally parked trailers. Village Code Enforcement issued 43 violation letters and cited 12 cases into Mayor's Court for resolution. In some cases, the magistrate imposed fines as high as $500.

Looking forward to 2007, we expect continued efforts in the proper regulation of home occupations and an emphasis on resolving house and yard maintenance issues so our Village continues to be a desirable place to live. You can help make our job easier by calling the Village offices when you are about to make home improvements or additions, including fences, sheds, and room additions.

The zoning violations summary for 2006 is as follows:

Unresolved at start of 2006
27
Resolved in 2006
45
Trash>
2
Trucks - expired tags
6
Cars - expired tags
8
Trailers
6
Motorhomes & Campers
1
Boats
1
Dumpsters
2
Signs
7
Weeds
3
Miscellaneous
9
Unresolved at end of 2006
15
Trash
2
Trucks - expired tags
1
Cars - expired tags
3
Trailers
1
Fences
1
Dumpsters
1
Signs
1
Miscellaneous
5

 

We have made great improvements in areas that have in the past been a problem for the Village. Examples include boat storage, commercial signage, and sheds & fences being erected without proper authorization. To accomplish the above-listed improvements, Village Code Enforcement issued 32 violation letters and cited 11 cases into Mayor's Court for resolution. In some cases, the magistrate imposed rather substantial fines. Looking forward to 2006, we expect continued and expanded efforts in the proper regulation of Home Occupations.

During 2005, we discovered that, although most residents appreciate personal visits and informal discussion of problems related to their property, the majority of those who seem to have repeated problems with our codified ordinances respond only when they receive a formal notice of violation or citation into Mayor's Court. In the future, we will try to streamline that process so the length of time to solve a problem can be reduced.

 

community association

By Bob Gale, MPCA President ... The MPCA continues to have steady membership of Village residents. As of December 2006, we had 65% of Village households as dues-paying members. In 2006, the MPCA hosted more than 20 activities paid for by $15 dues, advertising in The Villager and Resident Directory, the annual Garage Sale, and in-kind donations. Those activities included Garden Awards, Garden Tours, MinervaFlora beautification, Duck Award for Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Garage Sale, Children's Halloween Party, Greetings from the Sunshine Committee, Lake Clean-ups, Newcomers Committee welcome to new residents, Children's Easter Egg Hunt, Founder's Day, Children's Christmas Party, Publicity Committee, Candidates Night, Northland Community Council participation, Resident Directory, Festival of Lights, Holiday Carriage Rides, Scholarships, Doggie Dip, and the Villager Newsletter.

The Duck Award was presented unanimously to Dianne Poncinie, editor of the Villager newsletter and chair of the Garage Sale.

As you can see, the MPCA was busy in 2006, and we expect to continue our activities at the same pace in 2006, but we need volunteers to do these activities. Currently, we have vacancies on the Garage Sale and Founders Day committees.

Many thanks go to current members of the MPCA board, including Sharon Bierman, Dick Busick, Tina Cates, Karen Cogley, Suzanne Coulter, Lisa Craddock-Thitoff, Marilyn Herboltzheimer, Gretchen Pershon, Dianne Poncinie, Kathy Ramey, Jeff & Nikki Rigg, and Todd Walter.

 

the mayor’s office

As you can see from the year-end reports, we have all been keeping quite busy.

In February, the Planning & Zoning Board began discussions about drafting a Building & Maintenance Code and the existing Board of Nuisance Abatement's role in encouraging homeowners and commercial business owners to maintain their properties. The Council approved the expenditure for a first-time ever treatment of the entire Village for Gypsy Moths at a cost of $2,907.83, our 50% of the cost-share provision agreed upon with the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Gypsy Moth Program.

In the spring, we contacted the project manager for the Marathon Pipeline Tree Trimming Project to obtain copies of the Right-of-Way Agreement and of the easements to monitor any impact on Minerva Park. Clerk-Treasurer Coulter and I met with the Ohio Public Works Commission Small Government Division's representative to discuss the 2006 Street Project and to review the OPWC packet. The Council began discussions of the mandated dam repair orders from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources by gathering engineering proposals and scope of work estimates. The Minerva Park Swim Club Board members asked the Village government to assume the ownership and management of the pool. Several collaborative meetings followed between the Minerva Park Community Association, the Mayor, Village Council, and the Pool Board, a final General Meeting of the pool members to dissolve the Swim Club, and legislation was passed by the Council to allow the Village to assume ownership of the pool.

We received very positive publicity in the June 12 issue of the Columbus Dispatch regarding a report from the Ohio Attorney General's Office that listed the resident-to-police staff ratio ranking Minerva Park and Sharon Township highest in the state. I am still receiving glowing remarks and have seen some Realtors use that article as a tool to market our Village. Invariably it is a part of my conversations with potential buyers who want to speak to me about the Village before purchasing a home. The contract for the 2006 Street Project was awarded to Columbus Asphalt at a Special Council meeting held July 26 with the project to commence immediately. The pool ended the season with a slight profit due mostly to the great weather and the tireless efforts of the MPCA Pool Committee. Block parties seemed to make a comeback. There were three this past summer that I am aware of that were well-attended and hopefully will be repeated this summer.

In the fall, we asked residents to approve a 3.2 Mill Replacement Levy, and we appreciate your overwhelming support. Minerva Lake Road resident Todd Walter was appointed at the September Council meeting to fill the vacancy left by Ron Yarano's resignation, and Todd has proven to be a welcome addition. A meeting was held in November to evaluate the pool's first season under the Village's management. Items discussed were events that were held and their success rate, the committee structure under the MPCA, staffing, marketing, the membership drive for 2007, pool expenses ($47,354.01) and pool revenue ($48,468.24), and any anticipated major repairs over the next several years. The possibility of seeking grant funding in 2007 through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' NatureWorks and Land and Water Conservation Funds was also discussed.

We ended the year in better financial health than we had anticipated, in part, as indicated in the Clerk-Treasurer's report, to revenue collected from the income tax. I join her in thanking you for your promptness in filing and paying in a timely manner. Grant funding opportunities are shrinking, but we will continue to seek them out whenever possible.

In closing, 2006 was a pretty good year, and we accomplished quite a bit. I am very grateful for my fellow elected officials, wonderful staff, and the volunteers that make Minerva Park the peaceful oasis that we all enjoy so much.

Mayor Lynn Eisentrout

contact...

Village of Minerva Park
2829 Minerva Lake Road
Columbus OH 43231
614.882.5743
614.899.1296 fax
directions - map

 

September Events

2 - 7p - Planning & Zoning
6 - 8a - Council Work Session
8 - 7p - Council Meeting
10 - 7p - MPCA Meeting
15 - 7p - Coffee with Council
17 - 8a - Mayor's Court
17 - 5p - Villager Deadline
24 - 7p - 75th Anniversary planning meeting
30 - 3p - Legislative Committee Meerting