Rayland finances in good shape

RAYLAND – The village’s debt is the lowest it has been in several years, Fiscal Officer Rick Soos recently told Village Council.

He said the village’s annual insurance premium of $6,455 has been paid, marking the first time in recent history the entire premium was paid in full and on time.

A substantial payment had been paid to the state auditor’s office, according to Soos. This amounted to $8,829.64 for the 2010-11 audit.

In other matters, Mayor Tammy Morelli and Village Administrator Rich Bibbo reported on a grant and grant applications.

Morelli said a JB Green Team grant of $1,000 had been approved for environmentally friendly mulch for Mazeroski Park.

The mayor also said she is finishing paperwork for a recreational grant for the park and will have it submitted to the county commissioners by the end of the month. The grant from piggyback funds is being sought for new swingsets.

Morelli reported she is going to meet with representatives of Black Diamond Blacktop about proposed walking track repairs previously discussed.

She also is obtaining pricing for an additional project to alleviate a standing water issue at the concession stand and to construct an elevated path to the gazebo. The elevated path is needed because of a marsh-like area.

Regarding the proposed sewer project, Bibbo told council he plans to meet with Jeff Vaughn of Vaughn Coast and Vaughn and examine the job site where plans are proposed to alleviate an infiltration issue extending from the end of Grandview Street to state Route 150 and then through Mazeroski Park.

Since that meeting was held, the two men walked the site and learned that 1,200 feet of sewer pipe needs to be replaced. They also discussed the proposed rebuilding and updating of the Warren Street pump station, another part of the project.

Vaughn is doing some preliminary work concerning the project, and Bibbo plans to meet next week with Sherry Loos of the Rural Community Assistance Program about the grant application.

Morelli asked about a motion concerning dues for the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission. Bibbo said the village hasn’t be a part of that commission, but is a member of the Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission, which is more involved with local issues. No action was taken regarding a motion.

Bibbo said Bill Cole, village street worker, still is not working because of a non-work related injury, and Bud Pyle volunteered to help when necessary during Cole’s absence.

A call was received by Bibbo from a resident asking if a shade could be put on an Ohio Street streetlight, which has been discussed at several meetings. He said it could be put on pending a motion by council. A motion to install a shield on the west side of that light was approved unanimously by the five council members present.

Councilman Bob Conrad asked who to call when streetlights are out, and it was noted the lights are to be reported to Bibbo who will notify AEP.

Reporting on a website for free American flags with only shipping costs to be paid, Councilwoman Carolyn Tolonese asked what size is needed, adding she would order it and pay the shipping costs.

Tolonese asked about annuals, and Councilwoman Brenda Staats said Janice Pyle, a member of the beautification committee, is handling the matter of obtaining flowers. The committee is a private organization and not part of village government.

In answer to a question from Tolonese about the status of the possible deannexation of the Narrows Road, Bibbo indicated he is obtaining some information from the Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission.

Staats asked if everyone is paying the streetlight fee. It was noted a few had not paid the fee, and some residents hadn’t paid the utility bill at all, which includes the fee among other costs. Three residents, according to the discussion, had crossed off the fee and paid the rest of the bill.

Bibbo said the streetlight fee will be reviewed in six months, and a decision will be made about keeping it, increasing or decreasing it. Also at that time, council can decide what to do about those not paying the fee. He added non-payers’ water could be shut off, fees assessed to their property taxes or they could be taken to small claims court.

Council’s next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the municipal building.