PERRYSBURG — City council reluctantly met on March 17.
“This meeting should not be taking place,” Councilwoman Deborah Born said at the beginning of the meeting, referring to coronavirus concerns.
Council made adjustments to the meetings calendar.
Law Director Laura Alkire said the council must hold two meetings per month, per city charter. Council then unanimously voted to cancel the April 7 meeting and hold two meetings back to back on April 21.
Like other municipal meetings throughout Wood County there was already modified seating to accommodate social distancing. Instead of their normal seats, Alkire and Councilman Cory Kuhlman were seated in the public section and much of the public seating was removed.
Council President Jonathan Smith recommended canceling all committee meetings, which he took the lead in doing with the public utilities committee. All the other committee meetings were also canceled, except the safety committee and the planning and zoning committee. Councilman Barry VanHoozen decided that cancellation that night was unnecessary because it could be canceled later. Tim McCarthy followed suit with planning and zoning.
A Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area petition was submitted by the Downtown Perrysburg Liquor Permit Holders group to the mayor and city council. It has not been reviewed for recommendation by the mayor. A recommendation needs to be made for council to make motions related to the application.
From the Finance and Economic Development committee, council passed (6-1), as an emergency measure on the second reading, the ordinance amending appropriations for the current expenses and other expenditures for the year beginning Jan. 1, 2020 and ending Dec. 31, 2020 in the budget. General Fund total in the budget is for $31.8 million, as reported by Financial Director Dave Creps.
Born opposed passing the ordinance as an emergency because she said due to the COVID-19 restrictions the third reading was necessary for public review.
“I would add that the law requires that we pass this by April 1 or we are no longer allowed to operate the government,” Creps said.
The Rotary Park pavilion will now total $82,000, with $35,000 as carryover from the 2019 budget, and an additional $47,000 for utilities.
The budget also reallocated $100,000 for HVAC needs that recently emerged. The salary line item of $65,000 for a school resource officer, approved the day before by the board of education, was already in the appropriations.
Born, again, voiced her objections to holding the meeting.
“We should not have met, given all the restrictions by Ohio and federal governments. The mayor and city administrator endangered the health and safety of every person required to attend,” she said. “The only reason the mayor and administrator pushed to have this meeting was to fast track the 2020 budget which was unnecessary. The (Ohio Revised Code ) requires three readings for financial documents and this was only the second reading. The unfortunate timing of this meeting prevented a proper review by the public which is the reason why three separate readings are required.”
In other business, council unanimously authorized an agreement with Delta Dental for the provision of dental insurance coverage for the city for the period of April 1 through March 31, 2021.
A resolution authorizing an agreement with the Fort Meigs YMCA for the management of the city swimming pool was also passed unanimously.