Narrows Road is discussed in Rayland

RAYLAND – Village Council voted 5-1 to approve a motion to move forward with the proposed deannexation of the Narrows Road.

The proposed deannexation surfaced last year when proposed cost-cutting measures were discussed.

At the meeting earlier this month, Village Administrator Rich Bibbo explained the procedure for deannexation and again mentioned it as a cost-cutting measure.

Councilwoman Brenda Staats had the dissenting vote.

Bibbo said it would take 51 percent of the village’s landowners to approve it by petition and then it would have to be approved by Village Council. He went on to say the matter then it would be taken to the county commissioners, who would votes yes or no.

The village administrator cautioned that an impediment that might prevent the deannexation was if the Warren Township Board of Trustees opposed it.

Several Narrows Road residents were present at the meeting and made no comments on the matter.

Explaining there is a lot of work involved in the process, Bibbo asked council members if they wanted to move forward. Before a vote was taken, Councilman Roger Beck asked if there was any cost information regarding the matter.

Bibbo said there are approximately 15 houses on Narrows Road, and there are 15 street lights because of its length. As a result, it costs approximately $2,000 a year to pay for the street lights, while the real estate taxes from that area amount to approximately $750 a year.

The village administrator also mentioned other problems, noting the county engineer at one time was willing to repair a slip on Narrows Road but “was run off” by a resident, so the repair job is now the village’s responsibility. He added a problem was caused by a resident when the county was willing to use a snowplow and to put ashes, cinders and salt on the road, and this resulted in the village being required to provide a letter taking full responsibility for work on the road.

In other matters, Mayor Tammy Morelli read a statement regarding public participation, noting that members of the public are welcome to attend council meetings but there are no provisions in the Ohio Revised Code granting the public the right to speak at the meeting, and the public is not permitted to become disruptive.

She read another statement regarding the Dec. 17 meeting at which a member of the public was considered to be argumentative and combative, which allegedly disrupted the council meeting. That person prior to speaking was given a copy of the rules of conduct.

After the statements were read, a resolution was approved 5-1, with Beck dissenting. The resolution setting council rules provides that any person ejected by the mayor from a council meeting will be banned by Village Council from being in the municipal building during council meetings. Every six months, council members are to review the ban and determine if its lifted.

Fiscal Officer Rick Soos said according to state officials, Rayland had not paid its 2005 fourth-quarter payroll taxes, adding he had never been informed by the state about the matter in his two years of employment with the village.

Council took action to pay the taxes amounting to approximately $135.

Soos also reported the village owes $25,000 for several audits, according to the state auditor’s office.

He talked to the chief financial officer with the state auditor’s office and the result is a negotiated payment plan, with the village to pay approximately $12,000 of the bill in 2013.

The remainder will be negotiated further.

He presented the permanent appropriations ordinance with a total of $233,157.80, and it was adopted under suspension of rules.

In other business:

Councilman Bob Conrad was elected as council president pro-tem.

Morelli reported she hired Dustin Hilderbrand as an auxiliary police officer.

It was noted village residents now are paying $4 a month for the new streetlight fee, and it was placed on the utility bills. That fee goes into the streetlight fund, with streetlight expenditures paid from that fund.