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 2007 ...
By Suzanne Coulter, Clerk-Treasurer ... Even though we live in what seems to be a small community, things remained lively for the Clerk-Treasurer's office in 2007. We were once promised a paperless society only a few years ago, but this phenomenon has bypassed my office. The paperwork for federal and state agencies seemed to only increase yet again in 2007, but in part this has been caused by a lot of positive projects and grant applications that simply require the Village to fill out more paperwork.
The Police Department added two new used cars to its fleet. One was a replacement car for an accident last January through no fault of our officer, and the other was a routine replacement to update the vehicles. Total cost for both was $30,000. We received $8,000 from the insurance company to help cover the cost of the wrecked vehicle. The Village Police Officers also got to participate in a lot more DUI checkpoints this year, which the Village receives grant money back from the State to pay for the officers' hours. This has been very good hands-on training for the Officers. Officer Beach continued to be a fixture at Hawthorne Elementary. His regular visits are a high point of the day for the school children. He also spearheaded several wonderful programs and assemblies for the kids. Chief Hillard continues to go after Federal and State grant programs to update our officer's training and equipment. The department was again honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for their efforts in 2007.
The "volunteer" EMS department became not so "volunteer" in 2007. The Village was forced by Columbus Fire Department rules and regulations for volunteer EMS departments to begin paying medics minimum wage or face the possibility of the department shutting down. This caused an additional expense in 2007 of $14,000 in wages. The department also needed to purchase an upgraded monitor at an expense of $15,500. But the positive things were better equipment for our medics and more shifts covered with the incentive of at least some pay for their time and efforts. The Village is fortunate to have such professional medics here to serve our residents.
Streets maintenance continues to be a high priority for the Village. In 2007, we applied again for an OPWC street maintenance grant and/or loan but will not find out if we were chosen until May 2008. If chosen, another major street project will happen again in August 2008. In 2007, pothole maintenance and other small projects cost the Village $9,000.
In the spring 2007, the Village again sprayed for gypsy moths with the help of an ODNR grant at an expense of $747.60 to the Village. ODNR is also requiring the Village to do some extensive dam and lake studies at an expense in 2007 of $13,120. There will be more expenses for the dam in 2008.
Summer brought the opening of the Village pool. The pool again had a very successful season. There was a large increase in memberships this year to 262 families, and a hot summer made for good walk-in fees. The pool's revenue for this year was $68,588.59, and expenses totaled $62,688.23. Also, thanks to the time and efforts of our Mayor, Councilwoman Sharon Bierman, and Pool Manager John Friedel, the Village was able to procure a grant from ODNR to replace some of the concrete around the pool. This work will be done at the end of the 2008 pool season. MPCA’s Pool Committee hosted some great and very well attended events at the pool in 2007 and are planning even more for 2008. Thanks to the MPCA Pool Committee and the entire Pool staff for a great season.
Debt Service payments in 2007 was $120,994.21. This includes all four phases of the waterline replacement project, the lake dredging project, Minerva Lake Road, and the 2006 street projects.
Revenues for 2007 were either flat or slightly decreased from 2006. Property taxes brought in $509,383.55. Income tax revenue was down $13,185.79 to $241,254.04 in 2007. State assistance revenue was $92,725.61 but is expected to drop in 2008 to $90,083.31. Inheritance tax brought in $69,063.63 in 2007. The Village’s investments brought in $21,769.26, and fine revenues from Mayor's Court were $37,620.00.
As Treasurer, I continued my yearly training with the Auditor of State, State Treasurer’s Office, Bureau of Workers Compensation, and Government Fiscal Officer’s Association. I continued in my capacity as a consultant for the State Auditor’s Office, working downtown answering their software support line and helping train 20 area village or township treasurers. Again, I look forward to the challenges and great projects of 2008. Thank you for supporting me in the recent election and for supporting the ongoing expenses of the Village. If you have any questions, please call or come in to the Treasurer’s Office. Major expenditures for 2007 were:
|DAM & Lake Rehab||13,120.00|
By Chief Bobbie Hillard ... The Village replaced cruiser #1 for $8,495, and replaced cruiser #2’s engine for $3,600 ($1,200 of which was covered by insurance). We extend our thanks to MP resident State Representative Kevin Bacon. With his invaluable assistance, HB669 became law, allowing police to enforce state traffic laws on any street or highway immediately adjacent to its municipal corporation limits. This meant, after 15 years of effort, that traffic fines issued on abutting Westerville Road & Cleveland Avenue would be remitted to Minerva Park, not the state. Community Outreach - (1) For its efforts to deter drunk driving, the MP Police Dept. will once again receive an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for 2007, to be presented in January 2008. (2) And for participation in various 2007 State of Ohio safety projects, the Dept. received a new radar (valued at $1,500) and will receive another (valued at $2,600) in early 2008. (3) In March, we accepted a portable intoxilyzer S-D5 breathalyzer (valued at $670) for participation in the Click It or Ticket program. (4) Additionally, the OVI participation will qualify the Dept. to be in the running for a chance to win a brand new, fully equipped police cruiser, so keep your fingers crossed for April 2008. In September, Police Chief Bobbie Hillard celebrated his 30th anniversary of service to the Village.
Collaborative efforts with area agencies help keep our Village safe. Our 2007 statistics are as follows:
|Assist Area Agencies||475|
|Breaking & Entering False Alarm||18|
|Breaking & Entering||1|
|Burglary in Progress False Alarm||13|
|Domestic Disputes or Violence||13|
|Passing Bad Checks||8|
|Receiving Stolen Property||4|
|Stolen Vehicle Recoveries||0|
|Traffic Warning Citations||27|
By Charlene Garabrant, Clerk of Courts ... The public is invited to attend Mayor’s Court, held on every other Tuesday at 4:00p. The 2007 statistics are as follows:
|# of Court Cases||373|
|Paid to the State||$6,100|
|To MP Computer Fund||$1,260|
|To MP General Fund||$30,067|
fire department - ems
By Chief Rick Hoechstetter ... The Fire Department responded to 280 runs in 2007, which represented a small increase over the number of calls in 2006. Within the 2007 data, 11% of the calls originated from an address in Minerva Park, 19% from Blendon Township, 52% from Columbus, and 17% from Westerville.
Members served a total of 5,361 hours in 2007. About half of this represents volunteer hours; the rest is paid time. We will track volunteer and paid hours separately in 2008. We were required to adopt the Franklin County Fire Chief's Association's Standard Operating Policy 7-28 if we wanted to continue to operate in the Franklin County Automatic Response Area, which requires all Advanced Life Support vehicles to have, at a minimum, two part- or full-time paid paramedics on duty. In July 2007, we made 17 Department medics Village employees. I wish to thank Clerk-Treasurer Suzanne Coulter for her efforts to make this transition as smooth as possible. I also want to thank the entire Department their patience and support through this challenging year.
I wish to congratulate Tina Quinn,
formerly our Training Coordinator, on her promotion to Captain, and Tony
Williams on his promotion to Training Lieutenant.
Tina's new duties include assisting Tony with training, medication, and equipment
purchasing and few of my Departmental administrative responsibilities.
We replaced our Physio Control LifePack 10 heart monitor with a Phillips MRX bi-phasic, 12-lead monitor for $15,500. Our old monophasic monitor was nine years old and had been ruled obsolete with the release of the 2006 American Heart Association Cardiac Guidelines. We also replaced our Dept. phones ($3,000). AT&T told us that the last technician capable of repairing our phone system had retired several years ago, and they could not fix the two of three hand sets that had lost their voice transmitters. We also replaced the vehicle radio ($3,000). And we required a new line item approved in the Village budget for Medic wages: $14,000 in 2007 and $30,000 in 2008.
The Fire Department witnessed the completion of the first step in the removal of the underground gas tanks from the Payless QuickStop Gas Station property at 5620 Cleveland Avenue, with the oversight of the Ohio Fire Marshall Bureau of Underground Tanks Regulations (BUSTR). The tanks have been removed, but the contamination around them has not yet been remediated. The trenches that resulted from the removal of the tanks have been temporarily filled in for safety reasons, and core sampling will be conducted as soon as the weather permits to determine the necessary remediation steps. The credit for the successful effort to move that property into compliance with current zoning standards belongs with both BUSTR and our Fire Inspector, Tom McClannahan.
The 2007 Runs are as follows:
We are proud to serve as your Fire Department.
By Arlene Stuart, Zoning Clerk ... I would like compliment all of our residents on the beautification of their homes. It is always a pleasure to drive through the Village and see the landscaping and various steps you have taken to beautify your homes and add to the uniqueness of our Village.
I wanted to advise you of some changes that have been made in the Permit procedures that took effect on July 1, 2007. Village Council passed a resolution on July 9, 2007 to accept a contract with the Franklin County Building Department to do all of our residential building inspections. As a result, all permit applications will still be brought to this office for zoning approval. Once the Planning & Zoning Commission has reviewed your application with you, a Certificate of Approval will be issued. That certificate and your construction then can be taken to the Franklin County Building Department. All requirements for the submission of your building plans will be addressed by the Franklin County Building Department. A copy of the name and telephone number of the person to contact can be obtained at this office. If there are minor repairs and or electrical, heating, or waterline requests, you will still need to come to this office on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9a to noon to fill out the necessary paperwork.
We will do everything possible to make this transition simple and painless. The process will aid in getting your inspections done in a timely manner. Any effort taken on our part is always for the good of the Village. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter any further, please do not hesitate to call me at 882-5743.
Garage sales - You will need to stop by this office and get a permit for $7 to erect a sign directing people to your sale. Garage Sale signs can be erected out of the right-of-way at the main entrance leading to your residence. They cannot be tacked to telephone poles, trees, traffic control signs, or any of the Village monuments. Letting us know when the sale will take place helps our Police Department when they are patrolling the Village. They are also there if you have any need for their help if a situation arises. I hope you are able to wait until our annual garage sale, to be held in August 2008. Your sale will be advertised in the suburban papers, and the Village will be decked out in all its splendor on the day of the sale. Your participation will be your contribution to the Community Association to continue to beautify your Village.
Planning & Zoning Commission - The Planning & Zoning Commission had a busy year. The following is a list of the number of hearings that were held for Zoning Compliance ($375 in revenue):
|Commercial Sign||4 approved
1 not approved
|Residential Room Addition||2 approved|
|Residential Fence Permit||2 approved|
|Residential Desk||1 approved|
|New Windows Installation||1 approved|
|Home Businesses||2 approved|
|Desk & 2 Raised Entrances||pending|
The Commission reviewed the final copies of (1) Chapter 1273 Building and Property Maintenance Code and (2) Chapter 1272.08 Portable Structures and forwarded them to Council for their consideration for passage.
In addition, the following permits ($302 in revenue) were issued:
|Hot Water Heater||5|
By Dick Busick, Code Enforcement Officer ... During 2007, there were 40 violation notices written, and 6 citations were made into mayor's court. Many problems were handled without formal letters. Of those receiving violation notices, 1 out of 4 were for sign code infractions, usually in stores on Cleveland Ave. In residential violations, more than 30% were related to storing unlicensed or inoperable vehicles. Parking on the front lawn and high weeds each accounted for approximately 15% of the sent notices. The 6 citation cases involved trash in the yard, unlicensed vehicles, dead trees constituting public safety hazards, and illegal activities related to home occupations.
Looking at the Village's future code enforcement efforts, we will apply the recently approved Building Maintenance Code to the long-term accumulation of trash around homes and to seriously deteriorated paint situations and will monitor the use of trash dumpsters and storage pods. They are permitted, but their duration is limited.
Please continue your own excellent efforts to keep our Village a place where we can be proud to live. When code violations occur, we try to resolve the issues in a respectful and even-handed manner. We try to prevent situations that, if they were allowed to exist throughout our community, would result in Minerva Park becoming a less desirable community.
By Bob Gale, MPCA President ... The MPCA continues to have steady membership of Village residents. As of December 2007, we had 72% of Village households as dues-paying members. In 2007, the MCPA hosted more than 20 activities paid for by your $15 MPCA dues, advertising in The Villager, and 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, Founders Day, Children's Christmas Party, Publicity Committee, Candidates Night, Northland Community Council participation, Annual Resident Directory, Festival of Lights, Holiday Carriage Rides, Scholarships, Dog Dip, Family night at the pool, Adult Sip and Dips at the pool, and “The Villager.”
During 2007, Marilyn Herboltzheimer received the 2006 Duck Award for her continued work with the annual membership drive and other Association activities.
Your MPCA was busy in 2007, and we expect to continue our activities at the same pace in 2008. We need volunteers to help. Many thanks goes to current members of the MPCA board, including Sharon Bierman, Dick Busick, Karen Cogley, Suzanne Coulter, Lisa Craddock-Thitoff, Lynn Eisentrout, Marilyn Herboltzheimer, Tina Cates, Kristan Onofrio, Gretchen Pershon, Dianne Poncinie, John Rue, Kent Stanley, Amy Szlapak, Steve Thitoff, David Way, and Greg & Natalie Wittmann.
the mayor’s office
By Mayor Lynn Eisentrout ... Although 2007 wasn't as eventful as 2006, we were still busy.
In February, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) notified us that, after conducting a gypsy moth egg mass study, the south side of the Village would need another treatment at a cost of $747.60.
In March, Joshua Homes representatives notified me that they opted to not renew their contract with the golf course property owners. They cited the housing market and their inability to partner with another builder/developer. We, of course, continue to speak to the property owners about any future plans and of our desire to annex the property into the Village. That same month, we received word that the Northland Plaza property was purchased by New York-based Nassimi Realty, which historically rehabs "old and tired centers" and had pledged to maintain the property as a retail center.
In May, we accepted Councilman Chuck Gibson's resignation because he moved to Georgia to accept a director's position in the Regional Library System. Minerva Lake Road resident Dave Way subsequently was appointed at the July Council meeting. As mentioned in Clerk-Treasurer Coulter’s report, we had a very successful pool season with the highest membership in many, many years.
We received word from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in September that our grant application for $34,350 was approved through their NatureWorks Program. Much-needed repairs to the concrete decking around the pool should begin when the pool closes in 2008.
In September, we submitted our grant/loan application to the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) for first-round consideration in the Local Transport Improvement Program (LTIP). The total cost for this project is $164,100. We have asked for $73,845 in assistance ($32,820 in grants and $41,025 as a no-interest loan) with the Village's contribution of $90,255. The areas to be milled and filled are East Shore and Kerrwood Drives, the remaining area on Ponderosa Drive, Berry Lane, East Shore, and North Lake Courts, and Farview Drive.
We have turned our attention the earthen dam renovation project. Mandated orders from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for tree removal, a dam and spillway safety study, and implementing an emergency plan if the dam breaches. The Village's expenditures in 2007 were $13,120.
Notable promotions and achievements - Congratulations to Police Officer Matt Fenstermaker on his promotion to Corporal, EMS Training Coordinator Tina Quinn to the rank of Captain, EMT Tony Williams to Training Lieutenant, and to EMS volunteers Tony Fernandez and Jon Studnek for being invited to present a continuing education session at the National 25th Annual EMS Today Conference in Baltimore MD.
In closing, I would like to thank you for your support and encouragement this past year. I urge you to volunteer on any one of the many committees of your Minerva Park Community Association. Volunteerism is the lifeblood of communities such as ours—it is no small feat to maintain our historical uniqueness and neighborhood atmosphere.