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Tom Parker joins Carrollton Council

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
FPS Reporter

Carrollton had a full council seated shortly after the meeting began Monday night.

Tom Parker of 358 Woodside Dr., Carrollton, was appointed to fill the remaining term of Luke Grimes who resigned due to relocating.  Parker’s letter of intent noted he is a village resident, neighbor and business owner.  Having lived 36 years within the village, Parker has a vested interest in the community. 

He has been employed at businesses within the village starting as a junior in high school at Carrollton Hardware, a machinist at Huntsman Films and now as a partner of D & D TV & Appliance on Canton Rd.

“As a councilman, I would see my job as that of a representative of the people, a spokesman and policy maker for the taxpayers...,” he wrote in his letter.  “...Councilmen should work together as a group through consensus.  Consensus is achieved by a willingness to accept the differences that all of the Councilmen have and to put aside any personal views...It is only by questioning various proposals and giving input that Council can bring about a very effective and open Government.”

Parker will finish Grimes’ term, which expires Dec. 31, 2013.  Council received two letters of intent, from Parker and from James Painting.  Councilman Dan Locke made the motion to appoint Parker and Andy Gonda seconded.  Wilma Lambert made the motion to appoint Painting but did not get a second on the motion.  She abstained during a role call vote for Parker.

During the Public Works Committee meeting held earlier in the evening, Jonathon Winslow of Advanced Power - Carroll County Energy, told council his company is in the process of possibly building a power plant.  He was available for questions from council, the public and the media during the actual meeting. 

The power plant would be located a half mile east of SR 9 and 2 1/2 miles north of the village on 77 acres of optioned land adjacent to the county Commerce Park.  Winslow said the plant is an $800 million investment and would take around 2 1/2-years to construct once permits are issued which takes at least six months. Once the project is completed, they could possibly hire up to 50 employees. The company addressed council about a water reservation agreement. 

The power-generated plant would be very efficient and use less fuel to operate.  Winslow admitted the company’s biggest concerns are water supply and community support.  At peak usage, between 300,000 -350,000 gallons of water would be required for the facility per day along with 200,000 - 250,000 gallons of wastewater. 

Lambert asked Winslow what happens if the village enters into an agreement and cannot provide enough water.  “We are not trying to get the village to sign up for something they can’t deliver,” stated Winslow.  “Our request will be reasonable and not put the village out.”

Another option would be for the company to receive water from Malvern.  Ralph Castellucci of Carroll County Environmental Services attended the Public Works Committee meeting along with Carrollton Water and Sewer Superintendent Mike Leslie. 

Gonda made a motion to move forward with negotiations with Carroll County Energy to come up with terms for a water reservation agreement.  Company representatives said the company will do an energy feasibility study during negotiations.  Results would be available before any contracts were signed. 

A motion was also made to enter into negotiations for a discharge water reservation.  The village has the greater capacity to treat the water than to supply.  Both motions passed.

In an unrelated matter, the public hearing for the 2014 Budget was held right before the meeting began at 6:45 p.m.  When it was brought up for approval during the meeting, council members did not make a motion for an extended length of time.  Finally Lambert motioned to accept the proposed budget which has projected expenses totaling $3,722,155.

When no one immediately seconded the motion, Mayor Frank Leghart asked Judi Noble, clerk-treasurer for the village, what the consequences would be if  the budget was not accepted.  She said the village could lose around $70,000 in local government funding.

Locke stated his problem was with the appropriating of gas and oil revenues. (Council approved the signing of a gas and oil lease for nearly one million dollars with Rex Energy during the Sept. 10, 2012 meeting. The lease included a bonus payment of $3,500 per acre and 20 percent of the gross royalties for leasing 268 acres of village-owned property.) At the June 13 meeting, after several minutes of silence, confusion and discussion, council finally approved an emergency resolution to appropriate gas and oil money to several village departments.  A total of $400,000, split equally, was dispersed to the sewer, water, street and fire departments. 

The sewer department money was appropriated to the utilities and supplies fund for sewer deficit; fire department funds were appropriated for a new brush truck (approximately $42,000) and turn-out gear for firemen which was not covered by a $20,000 Community Development Block Grant from Carroll County Commissioners.  A portion of the street department money would go for the purchase of a new one ton dump truck. 

Leghart noted the police department was also allocated $100,000 but since their needs (a cruiser, bullet-proof vests and five officer-worn cameras) were not immediate needs, they were included in the departments regular budget. 

It was also noted extra funds will go toward paving since the village needs to rebuild the entrance to Carroll Meadows Golf Course and needs extensive work going into the Paul Guess allotment. 

When questioned regarding the village keeping a portion of the gas and oil funds for a “rainy day fund” Noble explained the village has to spend down funds or local funds could be taken away.

Gonda seconded the motion and reluctantly, it appeared, it passed.  Locke voted no and Parker abstained.

In other business, council:
-REMINDED residents the town wide garage sale will be July 11-14.  No permit will be required on those days.

-PASSED an ordinance prohibiting parking  of vehicles on Lincoln Ave. from 5th St. NW. to 8th St. NW.  Signage will be placed or curbs painted yellow to note the ordinance.

-APPROVED a request for a water tap at 337 Steubenville Rd., SE., Carrollton.

-ACCEPTED the resignation of Jeff Herron from Carrollton Village Fire Department.

-SET a Public Works Committee meeting for July 22 at 6 p.m.
-LEARNED of a damaged sanitary sewer line at the intersection of Moody Ave. and Courtview Dr.  It appears the line was damaged by a company installing underground fiber optic lines.

-HEARD work is continuing on the annexation of 4.098 acres of property owned by Genuine Auto Parts adjacent to their warehouse on Mace Rd.
-THANKED the police department and fire department personnel for their help during the 5K race held June 29.

-RECEIVED two requests to extend storm sewer facilities on 12th St. and 4th St., SE.

-SCHEDULED an exit conference on the 2012 audit for Aug. 12 at 6:30 p.m.

-PAID bills totaling $32,832.30 for vendors and $31,103.57 for payroll.
-SET the next council meeting for July 22 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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