December 17, 2014

CALL TO ORDER @ 7:03 pm


ROLL CALL           x Mr. Anderson                             x Mr. Takacs

x Mr. Frager                                    x Mr. Vest                x Chief Lutz

x Mr. Gauntner                              x Mr. Wayman        x Mr. Szeman





Minutes of 11/19/14 Regular Session

Motion to approve by: Mr. Gauntner                Seconded by: Mr. Anderson

ROLL CALL: (5) ayes; (1) abstain (Takacs)


Bills ($58,137.49) and payroll ($199,736.96) totaling $257,874.45 are motioned for acceptance and payment. Chief Lutz detailed several expenditures.

Motion to approve bills and payroll as presented by: Mr. Anderson

Seconded by: Mr. Frager                                       ROLL CALL:   All ayes


COMMITTEE REPORTS: None to report.


District Personnel: Mr. Joe Szeman, District Legal Counsel, reported that on November 25, 2014, Mr. Tony Long was found guilty of two (2) first degree misdemeanor charges for unlawful interest in public contracts while serving as Chief Fiscal Officer for both Madison Village and the Madison Fire District. These charges pertained to the sale of office products and supplies sold to both entities through his companies, namely Lakeside Forms and JLS.

OLD BUSINESS (cont.):                                                                                    12-17-14

Mr. Szeman also stated that Mr. Long violated the 2011 Madison Fire District’s Ethics Policy (Resolution #11-030) which prohibits District employees and their families or other business associates from entering into public contracts with the Madison Fire District, and that strict compliance was a condition of employment. Mr. Szeman stated that Mr. Long engaged in a course of conduct throughout his employment where he ignored Ohio Law and District policy which is a violation of the public trust.

Per Mr. Szeman, Mr. Long has paid all fines, prosecution costs and restitution to both the Madison Village and the Madison Fire District (approximately 25% of the contract amount). Mr. Szeman recommended that the Fire Board terminate Mr. Long’s employment as Chief Fiscal Officer of the Madison Fire District.

Mr. Vest inquired whether resignation or any condition of employment was required as part of the sentencing process. Mr. Szeman replied that no such conditions were included.

Due to Mr. Long’s conduct, which was clearly in violation of the Fire District’s Ethics Policy and Ohio Law, a motion was made that the Board terminate Mr. Anthony Long’s employment as Chief Fiscal Officer of the Madison Fire District per the recommendation of District Legal Counsel.

Motion by: Mr. Gauntner                         Seconded by: Mr. Frager               ROLL CALL: All Ayes

NEW BUSINESS:                                                                                                           

Resolution #14-023 Transfer of Funds:   As Acting Fiscal Officer, Chief Lutz requested that the Board authorize the transfer of $80,000 of non-appropriated funds to the General/EMS Service Funds.

Motion by: Mr. Wayman              Seconded by: Mr. Anderson         ROLL CALL: All ayes

Resolution #14-024 – 2015 District Annual Appropriations: As Acting Fiscal Officer, Chief Lutz submitted the 2015 Budget and Annual Appropriations figures for Board approval and requested that these sums be set aside to provide for current expenses during the fiscal year ending December 31, 2015.

Motion by: Mr. Takacs                  Seconded by: Mr. Gauntner         ROLL CALL: All ayes

2014 District Budget:Chief Lutz summarized the 2014 Fiscal Year and reported that Property Tax and Rollback revenues ($93,464.72) and EMS revenues ($119,031.63) fell short of original estimates which resulted in less carryover to 2015 than was expected. An amended 2014 District Appropriations has been submitted to Lake County for certification. The District will be receiving an EMS payment in December that will reduce the shortage by approximately $41,000, however, there is also one more payroll in 2014.                                                                         


2015 District Budget:In an effort to make a successful transition into 2015 and on into 2016, Chief Lutz reported that he will be re-routing $25,000 earmarked for the Capital Fund in 2015 and place it in a contingency line item fund which hopefully will be left untouched. He also proposed that District manpower be reduced by 36 hours per day to reduce payroll costs by $7,800 per payroll in 2015 which will also be held in the contingency fund. Minimum manning will remain at 8 personnel and this change will not affect the service given to Madison residents. These two adjustments should save the District a total of $215,000 that will be held aside specifically for 2016 carryover.

Mr. Takacs commented that reducing the funds going into the Capital Fund in 2015 will not affect the long term Fleet Maintenance and Replacement Program. He also stated that the estimated revenues for 2015 are considerably more accurate now that the 2014 tax adjustment has been finalized and there should not be a shortage for 2015. Lastly, Mr. Takacs stated that using a contingency reserve fund is a good step forward because it gives the ability to move around within the general fund as needed. He commented that these changes can be re-evaluated after one full year cycle and see where we go from there.

Chief Lutz further reported that the amount estimated in the 2015 Budget for EMS revenue has been reduced from one million to $950,000 to more accurately reflect anticipated revenues ($600,000 for EMS/$350,00 for debt reduction).

Mr. Gauntner asked if the proposed 2015 budget is a temporary budget or the final budget. Mr. Takacs explained that the 2015 Budget is an annual budget, not an interim budget. Chief Lutz further clarified that these are only temporary annual figures until all 2014 business has been concluded and reconciled (12/31/14). A final budget will be submitted for certification once hard figures are available for 2014.

Mr. Gauntner asked why the 2014 estimated revenues certified by Lake County were so far off.   Chief Lutz answered that, because of the levy renewal adjustment, the numbers that were given to us by Lake County were $75,000 less than originally estimated in the budget. This reduction was never reflected in the 2014 District Budget. Chief Lutz reiterated that an amendment has been submitted to Lake County for certification to reflect this shortage. Mr. Gauntner and Chief Lutz also discussed the probability that there will be a Tri-Annual tax adjustment in 2015 that will, at some point, need to be incorporated in the 2015 budget.

CHIEF’S REPORT – Chief Gene Lutz:                                                                    

Inspection Report: In board folders.

FEMA Grant: Chief Lutz reported that an agreement was never made with the Grant Genie discussed earlier in the year, but he personally submitted a grant application for Hose, Hose Washer, Hose Tester and Hose Dryer to be used for basic fire service in the amount of $47,526.00 ($43,206 to be paid by grant; $4,320 to be paid by MFD).

CHIEF’S REPORT (cont.):                                                                               12-17-14

Madison Schools Fire Lanes: Captain Kloski commented that complaints have been received regarding people parking in fire lanes on school grounds after hours. Upon inspection of all the schools, Captain Kloski reported that current signage (“No Parking”) is inadequate, and that new signage (“No Parking/Fire Lane”) needs to be installed in designated areas where access by Madison Fire District is mandatory (i.e. fire hydrants, entrances, fire department connections). The new signage will make it a ticket-able offense to park in fire lanes and will better enable the School Resource Officer to deal with parking issues. Weather permitting, the project is scheduled to be completed in January, 2015.

River Road – Water Line Extension:Captain Kloski reported that a 12” water line extension is being constructed under Rt. 528 towards Bates Road to just past Bailey Road where an additional 6” extension will be run to a restaurant/winery property on River Road. The project is completely financed by S & G Winery – no public funds are involved. Work will begin in the next week or so and the anticipated completion date is by the end of January, 2015. Once completed, Lake County Department of Utilities will perform ongoing maintenance on these extensions.

Medicaid Onsite Screening: Captain Kloski reported that Chief Warner has advised him that Medicaid is doing audits on providers who are billing patients for EMS services and they are checking to make sure certain Ohio Administrative Codes and standards are being met. Some examples include OAC #5160-45-07, Section E1, E2 and E3, which states that fire departments must do BCI background checks on all employees every 5 years. FBI background checks are required for only those employees who have not lived in Ohio for the past five years. Chief Lutz explained that, because we handle federal and state money, Medicaid wants to make sure that anyone who works for the District has a clear record. As a matter of policy, the District currently does background checks on all new employees. To ensure that employees are monitored by OAC standards and that personnel files are kept up to date, the District will have Lake Health Systems do necessary background checks (approx. $30) as part of the annual physicals. Other codes being reviewed include Driver’s License checks that need to be conducted annually which, in the past, have been done by the insurance companies. An Ohio Inspector General Exclusion check is also required and was recently completed for all employees by Captain Kloski online, at no charge, with no significant results to report. HIPAA Requirements and Records Retention policies are required and have been in effect at Madison Fire for many years.

Opticoms: Per Chief Lutz, Chief Vince Gildone of NAD in Geneva has approached him regarding splitting the cost of an opticom at Countyline Road and Rt. 20. He requested and received board approval to research pricing and report his finding back to the board.

Chief Lutz reminded the board that the intersection of McMackin and Rt. 20 is being reworked and that an opticom is planned as part of that project.  Mr. Gauntner reported that, per his recent discussion with Mr. Lee Bodnar (Madison Township), ODOT is in the process of going out for bid on the turn lane issue and, because all the specs and drawings are already completed for the new signals, ODOT wants to wait until the project is done before addressing the opticom issue.

CHIEF’S REPORT (cont.):                                                                               12-17-14

November Reconciliation:November 2014 monthly reconciliation was reviewed and signed off by the Board for audit purposes.

Fire & EMS Report Writing Software: Chief Lutz reported that the Lake County Fire Chiefs have decided to stay with the current Firehouse writing software.

Additional New Business:

District Medical Insurance: Chief Lutz and Mr. Takacs recommended that the Board approve the renewal of the District’s current Medical Insurance policy with Medical Mutual at a 5.9% rate increase over last year.

Motion by: Mr. Takacs                  Seconded by: Mr. Wayman           ROLL CALL: All ayes

Mr. Takacs further commented that insurance costs will continue to skyrocket in the coming years and that it is imperative that the upcoming contract negotiations address this costly issue. The current contracts state that the new insurance policy each year will be “equal to or better than” the previous policy. It is clear that this language needs to be amended to give the District the flexibility to choose alternate choices (i.e. higher deductibles, etc.) that will allow us to provide adequate insurance without it becoming too cost prohibitive.

Open Chief Fiscal Officer Position: Mr. Takacs requested that the board implement the process of finalizing a job description, advertising the opening, accepting applications and initiating an interview process to fill the part-time Chief Fiscal Officer position by the end of February, 2015.

Motion by: Mr. Takacs                  Seconded by: Mr. Anderson         ROLL CALL: All ayes



Mr. Frager asked who would be contacting Mr. Long to advise him of the board’s decision regarding his employment. Mr. Szeman agreed to contact Mr. Long’s legal counsel.

Mr. Vest reminded everyone that the 2015 Reorganizational Meeting will be conducted before the January 21st Regular Session @ 7:00 pm at St. #3, 840 River Street, Madison.

Executive Session:                                                                                              12-17-14

Motion to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel@ 8:25pm by: Mr. Anderson

Seconded by: Mr. Frager                                       ROLL CALL:   5 ayes; 1 nay

No Regular Session business to follow Executive Session.

Executive Session adjourned @ 8:54 pm.

_______________________                           _______________________

Mr. Mark V. Vest, Chairman                                 Nila Brass, Clerk