2017-04-22 / News

Buckeye Lake picks street repair option

By Charles Prince

BUCKEYE LAKE – It was nearly standing room only at Village Council’s April 10 meeting.

More than two dozen residents turned out for the meeting likely prompted by council member Peggy Wells’ Letter to the Editor in The Beacon encouraging residents “to come and be the squeaky wheel so together we can drain our streets but not the lake!” She asked residents to give their priorities for addressing storm water drainage problems.

A Cranberry Lane resident said her garage is being undermined by the storm water lake that forms after storms in front of Charlene Hayden’s home. Water Supervisor Toby Miller said, “We have a plan in place” to address it. All that is needed is funding approval.

Another resident said storm water pools nearly three foot deep just off the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club parking lot on North Bank. “Right now it is knee high,” he explained. “I feel it needs immediate attention.”

North Bank resident Bill French told council members he had invested 40 -50 hours and some $400 trying to resolve storm water flooding problems around the Buckeye Lake Storage property.

Cranberry Bay resident Mike Cassidy also brought up “Lake Hayden.” He asked about installing curtain drains on both sides of Cranberry Lane in the affected area. Cassidy also said a new catch basin installed near the lake end of Lighthouse Lane was too high to catch much storm water.

Wells asked Miller why couldn’t curtain drains be tried. Miller said it would be useless after the first rain, noting that clay is very close to the surface in that area.

In other business April 10, Village Council members unanimously agreed to spend $50,000 from the Water Capital Improvement Fund to repair approximately 500 lineal feet of roadway on top of the water line trenches. The repair area will average eight feet wide according to the options presented to council by Miller.

The problem with roadway asphalt breaking up over the water line trenches goes back to issues raised by The Beacon during the installation of the water distribution system. Stillion Brothers, the water distribution system contractor, was supposed to use 304’s –a crushed and screened limestone – to make the trench cuts level with the existing asphalt. Specification 304’s compact very well, creating an almost concrete-like surface. The Beacon specifically questioned Public Service Director Tim Matheny at the time about the quality of the fill material Stillion was using, noting that the stockpile looked more like much less expensive crushed bank run which is not approved as a base for asphalt. Our questions and observations were ignored.

Four years later in September 2014 when village officials finally discussed whether their repaving project contractors fulfilled their obligations, Street Supervisor Mark Dymek said, “The 304’s were very dirty.” Matheny, who had retired before the September meeting but was present, agreed.

Miller presented three other trench repair options to council members.

• Option 2: Do the 510 lineal feet of trench repair in Option 1 then overlay the entire width of the road with 1.5 inches of asphalt. Cost is estimated at $75,000 with the additional $25,000 coming from the village’s permissive license plate tax. Miller estimated that 645 feet of roadway would be upgraded.

• Option 3: Replace the entire width of the roadway using $25,000 from the Water Capital Improvement Fund and $25,000 from the permissive license plate tax. Miller estimated that the $50,000 investment would produce 326 feet of totally rebuilt roadway.

• Option 4: “Repair to cross cuts in roadway where not much trench setting (sic) has occurred. This work could be done (with) village staff with asphalt replacement contracted out.” Miller suggested allocating $25,000 from the Water Capital Improvement Fund with an average cost of $800 for a 4 foot by 14 foot cross trench.

There was very little discussion about the plan to drain “Lake Hayden.” Council President Kitty Zwissler quickly cut off Wells when she asked about the details and council member Arletta Ruton pushed for a quick vote. The vote was 6-1 with Wells voting “no” because “of the way we are doing the project.”

Miller told The Beacon during council’s executive session that Law General Contracting of St. Louisville had bid $13,914.61 back in February to install two new catch basins and an eight-inch drainage pipe connecting them to the upgraded catch basin near the lake end of Lighthouse Lane.

After EMS Captain Dave Ruton asked residents to support the 9-1-1 levy on the May 2 ballot, council member Doug Poorman, DVM moved to go into executive or closed session. Wells asked that they wait until after the second opportunity for citizens comments.

Her comment was ignored and Zwissler quickly asked for a roll call vote. “Wait a minute - point of order - if you’re going to do this, do it right,” Wells said. “You must give the reason. You have to be very specific.” Zwissler said “personnel.”

“If the personnel issue is Peggy Wells, I’m not personnel but an elected official,” Wells said. “And if you’ve got something to say about me, you can say it in front of this audience. If this is not legitimate personnel issue, I will be objecting.”

Zwissler confirmed it was “personnel.” The vote to go into executive session was 6 - 2, with council member Tim Ryan and Wells voting “no.” The remaining residents were told to go outside after Wells’ suggestion that council members move over to the office area was rejected.

After several minutes in executive session, Wells came outside announcing that it was an illegal executive session and was all about her.

She was right. Ohio Revised Code 121.22 (G) (1) specifically addresses executive sessions for personnel. It is reprinted below (emphasis added);

(G) Except as provided in divisions (G)(8) and (J) of this section, the members of a public body may hold an executive session only after a majority of a quorum of the public body determines, by a roll call vote, to hold an executive session and only at a regular or special meeting for the sole purpose of the consideration of any of the following matters:

(1) To consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual, unless the public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual requests a public hearing. Except as otherwise provided by law, no public body shall hold an executive session for the discipline of an elected official for conduct related to the performance of the elected official’s official duties or for the elected official’s removal from office. If a public body holds an executive session pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section, the motion and vote to hold that executive session shall state which one or more of the approved purposes listed in division (G)(1) of this section are the purposes for which the executive session is to be held, but need not include the name of any person to be considered at the meeting.

Wells clearly requested a public hearing as outlined in the statute. Since her request was ignored, the executive session was illegal.

Wells said the session, which included Police Chief Jimmy Hanzey, concerned his threats to sue her for humiliation after she asked Mayor Clay Carroll at the March 27 council meeting about how the recent sale of 14 impounded vehicles and two police cruisers violated Ohio law and put the village at risk.

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