Dr. Tony Forshey, Chairperson
Mr. Charles Prince, Vice Chairperson
Mr. Richard Moore, Member
Mr. Randy Weekly, Member
Mr. Randy Wolf, Member
Mr. Clifford L. Mason, Fire Chief
Ms. Amanda N. Perkowski, Fiscal Officer
Present from the Public:
Present from the Public: The meeting was made public via live stream on RCFD’s Facebook page. Three-hundred two (302) people were reached. Leslee Herro attended in-person.
Location: Refugee-Canyon Fire District, 111 Basin Street, Hebron, OH
Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Chairperson Forshey who led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Comments from live-stream listeners were directed to be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments were received from Ryan Cottrill and Patty Costello via email and Chairperson Forshey provided responses to each as was attached to the agenda.
Leslee Herro thanked the board for allowing in-person interaction. She stated she was surprised to not see the levy on the agenda and asked the board if that was due to not having the 2021 estimated revenue from the County yet. Dr. Forshey confirmed. Leslee also asked the board to what they attribute the failing of the levy. Dr. Forshey allowed Ms. Perkowski to comment, and she expressed that some residents had provided feedback claiming the ballot language was confusing, specifically, having to use the term “additional levy” rather than replacement or renewal. Some interpreted this to mean an additional fire/EMS levy which is incorrect. Leslee asked the question to the board again. Dr. Forshey stated his personal opinion is that there was a lot of misinformation that was put out and RCFD was not able to stymie those efforts. Discussion on the misinformation specifically identified two fliers published by Union Township for Public Safety:
- One flier claimed RCFD used more than $850,000 of Union Township tax dollars for the substation located on SR 37, including staffing costs. Chief Mason stated that RCFD has not spent that amount. Leslee Herro confirmed stating, “…they came from a combination of Refugee-Canyon, Union Township, and Hebron…”
- Another flier claimed the chief would receive a 14% pay increase. Leslee claimed “according to the numbers Amanda gave for increases for salary, it was a 14.1% increase”. Perkowski explained that the numbers provided to Leslee were budgeted numbers for 2020 and 2021 and not a comparison of actual salaries. The proposed budgeted salary amount for the chief’s position provided in the 2021 budget reflected a 10% increase to the current actual salary. Furthermore, it was a budgeted amount and should not have been used inappropriately to suggest that a pay increase would come to pass dependent upon the levy passing.
Leslee asked when the board will decide whether or not to put a levy on the ballot for the May primary election. Mr. Prince stated that the deadline is 100 days before the primary and that the board hasn’t discussed the matter yet. The board is waiting on estimates of revenue from Licking County. Leslee asked what will happen if a levy is put on the ballot for the primary election and fails. Mr. Moore said the fire district will continue to operate; Ms. Perkowski added that it will continue to operate with existing levies. Mr. Prince explained that Leslee is asking very speculative and hypothetical questions to which the board doesn’t have enough information to provide appropriate responses. Discussion would better serve the residents after information on revenue is received from Licking County.
The minutes from the previous regular meeting held 08 October 2020 were reviewed. Mr. Weekly moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Prince seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0 (Chairperson Forshey and Mr. Wolf abstained).
The minutes from the previous regular meeting held 22 October 2020 were reviewed. Mr. Prince moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0 (Mr. Weekly and Mr. Moore abstained).
Clerk/Fiscal Officer’s Report:
The September 2020 bank reconciliation was reviewed and approved. Mr. Moore moved to approve the report as submitted, and Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
The October 2020 bank reconciliation was reviewed and approved. Mr. Prince moved to approve the report as submitted, and Mr. Moore seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Ms. Perkowski requested the board to approve the health insurance HRA renewal with Burnham & Flower. Mr. Moore moved to approve the HRA renewal for 2021, and Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Chief Mason informed the board of employee resignations: Brad Essick, Ethan Walker, and Chris Shoup.
A thank you letter was sent to Buckeye Lake Eagles 2801 who made a $4,000 donation to the fire district. The funds are expected to be used to purchase thermal imaging cameras.
A request for the October 2020 fire/EMS activity report was submitted to the Licking County Regional Communication Centers shortly after the first of November, but they indicated they are too busy to provide it.
Annual employee evaluations are underway and nearly completed.
Chief Mason presented a document to the board identifying the runs from Station 352 since March 7, 2020. The document shows the count and average response times for the different service areas. RCFD Station 352 responded to 253 runs since March 7, 2020 by having available three additional staff and two pieces of equipment located at Station 352. Dr. Forshey gathered from the data that, of the 253 runs, there have been 49 runs in the area previously serviced by Granville Township for payment of approximately $300,000.
Update on Station 352: Mr. Prince informed the board that the concrete floor has cured and the engine and medic have been moved into the apparatus bay. The electrical work is progressing. The Union Township road crew has added gravel and will also be digging a trench for the gas and water lines.
The board has had several weeks to review proposed changes to policies. Ms. Perkowski asked the board to approve the changes effective January 1, 2021. Mr. Moore moved to approve the policy changes as presented effective January 1, 2021, and Chairperson Forshey seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Chairperson Forshey moved to declare the temporary building at 6265 Lancaster Rd. as surplus, contingent upon occupying the permanent structure, and authorize sale by auction in compliance with Resolution #09-2020. Mr. Weekly seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Chairperson Forshey moved to declare a copier (photo presented) as surplus, and authorize sale by auction in compliance with Resolution #09-2020. Mr. Weekly seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Ms. Perkowski presented an intra-fund budget modification. Mr. Moore moved to approve Resolution #17-2020, and Mr. Prince seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Ms. Perkowski presented information for the 2021 proposed interim budget. Information included 2020 projections, 2021 projected personnel costs, and 2021 proposed revenue and appropriations.
Operational Items: Mr. Wolf’s term as a village representative on the RCFD board is expiring at the end of this year. Mr. Moore confirmed that Mr. Wolf has been re-appointed by the Village of Hebron to serve a two-year term on the RCFD board. Mr. Prince’s term is also expiring at the end of this year, and Union Township will be responsible for filling that position.
Mr. Weekly is anxious to see the estimated revenue from the Licking County Auditor.
Mr. Prince thanked the voters who supported the levy and also thanked the volunteers who helped with the campaign. Particular thanks to the Firefighters’ Association for their contribution to fund the billboard, Julie Lamp who volunteered as the treasurer of the campaign committee, and Brad Essick for his many years of service to the fire department and the community.
Mr. Moore shared that Santa Clause is coming to the Village of Hebron on December 13, and a memorial service will be held December 10 to honor Scott Walters, former village council member.
8:02 PM: Mr. Wolf moved to enter into executive session pursuant to ORC 121.22(G)(3) for the purpose of conferring with an attorney (via phone) for the public body and to excuse Trustee Weekly and Trustee Prince from the executive session. Mr. Moore seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0 (Mr. Prince abstained).
8:28 PM: Mr. Moore moved to return from executive session. Chairperson Forshey seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
The next regular meeting will be December 17, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the RCFD station.
Mr. Moore moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 PM, and Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.