Mr. Randy Weekly, Vice Chairperson
Mr. Richard Moore, Member
Mr. Jeff Sharps, Member
Mr. Randy Wolf, Member
Dr. Tony Forshey, Chairperson
Ms. Amanda N. Perkowski, Fiscal Officer
Mr. Clifford L. Mason, Fire Chief
Present from the Public: : The meeting was made public via live stream on RCFD’s YouTube channel. There were fifty (50) views. Also, there were ten (10) attendees in-person (refer to sign-in sheet).
Location: Refugee-Canyon Fire District, 111 Basin Street, Hebron, OH
Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Vice Chairperson Weekly who led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Weekly administered the oath of office and welcomed Mr. Jeff Sharps as Union Township’s appointee to the RCFD Board of Trustees, term expiring 31 December 2022.
Mr. Wolf moved to appoint Christie Ratcliff (FF/EMT), Bradford Rybak (FF/EMT), and Brylan Taylor (FF/Paramedic) to part-time positions effective 01 May 2021, contingent upon successful completion of CVSA and remaining hiring process. Mr. Moore seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0. Mr. Weekly administered their oaths of office and welcomed them to RCFD.
Comments from live-stream listeners were directed to be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. None were received by email, and no comments were made by the public.
Clerk/Fiscal Officer’s Report:
The minutes from the previous regular meeting held 25 March 2021 were reviewed. Mr. Moore moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0.
The bank reconciliation for February 2021 was reviewed. Mr. Moore commented that the cash balance was getting low and asked about the status of the first half of levy funds. Ms. Perkowski reported that the Village of Hebron expected to write a check for the funds April 14, and she had not heard anything from Union Township yet. It was also reported that Union Township still has carryover funds (2019 and prior) and some 2020 levy funds that were retained. Hebron Mayor Layton asked about the terms of the joint resolution stating he believed all fire/EMS funds were to be transferred to RCFD with exception for funds to pay remaining bills. Mr. Weekly responded stating he believed all funds had been transferred to RCFD. Ms. Perkowski shared data from a Union Township financial report dated 2/19/2021 showing Union Township had approximately $108,000 of fire/EMS funds that had not been transferred, and approximately $14,000 of that amount was encumbered. Mr. Weekly added that there are some outstanding bills to be paid. Mayor Layton expressed an understanding of needing to pay outstanding bills but wants to ensure both parties are following the terms of the agreement. Mr. Weekly moved to approve the report as submitted, and Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0.
The bank reconciliation for March 2021 was reviewed. Mr. Weekly moved to approve the report as submitted, and Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0.
The March 2021 fire/EMS activity report was presented.
RCFD has entered into a data sharing agreement with ODMAP. ODMAP provides near real-time suspected overdose surveillance data across jurisdictions to support public safety and public health efforts to mobilize an immediate response to a sudden increase, or spike in overdose events. It links first responders and relevant record management systems to a mapping tool to track overdoses to stimulate real-time response and strategic analysis across jurisdictions.
Engine 351 will be going to Cummins for repairs to the generator. The service is covered under warranty. The truck will be out of service for a day.
Chief Mason thanked for board for appointing the three new firefighters and said interviews for part-time positions are on-going.
The Greenbriar fire that occurred a couple weeks ago remains under investigation.
Next week, Cleveland State is providing confined-space training; classroom portion will be held at Station 351 and hands-on training will be conducted at MPW.
Ms. Perkowski informed the board Union Township delivered an amendment to the previously executed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). She also presented a document outlining the progression of events related to the MOU. While the executed MOU established authority for RCFD to open new utility/service accounts for Station 352 effective on the last date of signing, Union Township passed an amendment to establish RCFD would be responsible for certain expenses back to the date of occupancy (March 7, 2020). Ms. Perkowski informed the board that this language was already reviewed in negotiations between legal counsels for RCFD and Union Township `and was rejected. RCFD’s legal counsel advised the board not to take action on the amendment and to address these expenses in the negotiations for the long-term lease agreement that is currently being drafted. Mr. Sharps, as a new member on the RCFD Board of Trustees, asked for more background information on how this issue began and asked who had been paying for the utilities/services. Mr. Weekly stated that a third party, a Union Township Trustee, had been paying for some of the bills. The issue first arose after RCFD occupied Station 352 and when Union Township asked RCFD to transfer accounts from Union Township to RCFD and pay incurred expenses. Because the bills were not in the name of RCFD, Ms. Perkowski asked RCFD’s legal counsel for advice on paying such expenses. The legal opinion received (dated 5/13/2020) stated that, without a written lease agreement, RCFD did not have a legal obligation to pay expenses related to a building owned by Union Township. There was an effort to amend the joint resolution between Union Township and the Village of Hebron to address the matter; however, RCFD is not a party to that agreement, therefore, could not amend that agreement. This issue became more urgent when some utilities/services were shut off. Mr. Sharps asked to clarify that the problem is not a lack of funds. Ms. Perkowski confirmed that there are sufficient funds and that RCFD is trying to establish legal authority to pay certain bills related to a building owned by Union Township. In regards to RCFD occupying a building owned by the Village of Hebron, the joint resolution specifically provides RCFD authority to pay such expenses. Mr. Sharps asked about the current situation of the bills being paid. Ms. Perkowski stated that natural gas and electric services have been taken over by RCFD; however, the Spectrum accounts (phone, internet, and cable TV) are still in a residential account under Randy Weekly’s name. Mr. Sharps asked Chief Mason if RCFD would still get dispatches at Station 352 without internet. Chief Mason confirmed that the firefighters would get the dispatch on their cell phones. No action was taken on the amended MOU.
Resolution #09-2021 in the matter of certifying funds was presented. Mr. Wolf moved to approve the resolution, and Mr. Moore seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0-1 (Mr. Sharps – Abstain; Mr. Weekly – Yes; Mr. Moore – Yes; Mr. Wolf – Yes).
Resolution #10-2021 authorizing disposal of surplus. This annual measure is required in order to re-auction the temporary building. The temporary building was previously declared surplus and was sold at auction; however, the winning bidder defaulted. Mr. Weekly moved to approve the resolution, and Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0.[The agenda item for Resolution #11-2021 was held for next meeting.]
At 7:50 P.M., Mr. Moore moved to enter into executive session pursuant to O.R.C. 121.22(G)(1) to consider the discipline of a public employee. Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0. At 8:05 P.M., Mr. Moore moved to return from executive session, and Mr. Weekly seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0.
Mr. Moore reported the village administrator, John Trujilo’s wife died unexpectedly. He also asked Chief Mason about the construction at the Lake Forest subdivision. Chief Mason shared that RCFD crews have gone on-site to go through building construction and talk to project managers to get familiar with the housing. Also, the Village of Hebron has advertised the U.S. Route 40 road closure for the culvert project on Facebook, and it is also posted on RCFD’s Facebook page.
Mr. Sharps wanted to clarify some comments made in the discussion of his appointment during the previous meeting regarding his stance on the formation of the fire district. He confirmed that he doesn’t agree with the formation of the fire district, a decision that was made by Union Township. At the time, he didn’t think another governmental entity needed to be formed. But now the fire district is formed and its services protect his house, family, friends, neighbors, and the township. Because he felt his background and education aligned with the position of trustee on the board, he submitted an application. He made clear that his mind wasn’t changed, but that he is serving on the board to work collectively with the other members to provide oversight for the district. He is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities. Mr. Sharps also mentioned that while he was at the station meeting with Amanda, he introduced himself to the firefighters on duty; they were very cordial and polite and it was a great reflection and first impression of the fire district.
The next regular meeting will be April 22, 2021 at 7:00 PM at the RCFD station.
Mr. Wolf moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:11 PM, and Mr. Moore seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0.