September 16, 2015

CALL TO ORDER @ 7:00 pm

ROLL CALL x Mr. Anderson x Mr. Takacs x Chief Lutz

x Mr. Frager x Mr. Vest x Ms. Clapp x Mr. Gauntner x Mr. Wayman x Ms. Dame



Minutes of 08/19/15 Regular Session

Motion to approve as presented by: Mr. Vest Seconded by: Mr. Gauntner ROLL CALL: All ayes

BILLS & PAYROLL (August 13th – September 9th, 2015):

Bills ($50,058.40) and payroll ($166,581.69) totaling $216,640.09 are motioned for acceptance and payment. Chief Lutz detailed a few notable expenditures.

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

Seconded by: Mr. Frager ROLL CALL: All ayes

OPENING PUBLIC PORTION: Ken Cahill, 710 Jonquil Lane, Madison Village, addressed the three Madison Village Councilmen on the Fire Board and asked when they first discussed that the July 21st , 2015 Special Fire Board meeting was necessary. To the best of his recollection, Mr. Takacs explained that, due to Fire Board members being out of town, the June 17th Regular Session had to be cancelled and the July 15th Regular Session had to be moved up to July 8th so that the Board could attend to business issues with approaching deadlines, namely the 2016 Tax Budget and the possibility of putting a levy issue on the November ballot. Mr. Takacs then read the following excerpt from the July 8th minutes:

“Mr. Takacs recommend that the Board schedule a Special meeting for Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 @ 7:00 pm to allow the Board adequate time to digest the budget numbers and give consideration to Madison’s current continuing levies, the proposed changes in manning and services and the question of whether to approve putting a replacement levy on the November, 2015 ballot. Chief Lutz committed to emailing to the Board all District budget information, as well as information received from the County pertaining to millage projections.”

Mr. Cahill asked when the July 8th minutes were published. Mr. Gauntner reminded Mr. Cahill that minutes are not official until approved by the Board, and answered that the minutes of the July 8th Special Public Budget Hearing, followed by the rescheduled June Regular Session, were approved by the Board at the August 19th Regular Session.

Mr. Cahill stated that he was just trying to make sure of the fact of when they were published because his follow up question was: “We had a Village Council meeting on July 20th and at no time did any of the Village Councilmen, at any time, say ‘By the way, there is going to be a meeting tomorrow night, a Special meeting tomorrow night’. My question is, “Why not? Why, at the Village Council meeting, wasn’t it announced?”

Mr. Frager commented that he does not recall ever announcing Special meetings or Fire Board meetings at Village Council meetings. Mr. Cahill stated that his concern is, “From what Mr. Takacs just read, there is apparently financial distress in the Fire District to the point where you have to have a Special meeting on July 21 where you are going to increase the taxes. You know (Frager), and Mr. Vest knows, and Mr. Takacs knows that there is going to be a meeting within 24 hours of our Village Council meeting, and nobody tells us. I’m just asking why?” Mr. Frager, again, stated that he did not recall any pattern of announcing to you (Cahill) when the Fire Board was having meetings. Mr. Frager asked Mr. Cahill to remind him of any meeting earlier in the year when he has ever announced Fire Board meetings. Mr. Cahill reiterated that “apparently there is financial distress in the District, and this is a Special meeting, and no one thinks it’s appropriate to say at the Village Council meeting, ‘By the way, tomorrow night we’ve (the Fire Board) got a Special meeting planned’, and nobody announces that.”

Mr. Vest explained that the Board did not know on July 20th what the tax valuation was going to be and questions and answers regarding the financial position were not known until the July 21st meeting. Mr. Cahill replied, “I agree with that, but the fact of the matter is, on July 20th, you knew you were going to be in this building (St. #3) 24-hours later and you never said anything – I just think it should have been announced, but let me go on to my next question.”

Mr. Cahill questioned the Fire Board, “Are all of the Board members satisfied that there was adequate legal notice given in papers with general circulation on July 31st for the Saturday, August 1st Special meeting? Are you all satisfied that that was done?”

Mr. Vest stated, “I wasn’t present – I was out of town – so I cannot answer that question. Mr. Cahill replied, “Fair enough”.

Mr. Wayman stated, “I was satisfied”.

Mr. Gauntner stated, “I am, it was in the paper, it’s required. The law states a Special meeting must be announced in the newspaper, that’s what the law say, Ken, you know the law.” Mr. Cahill agreed that the Special meeting was in the paper, but asked if “the substance of the meeting – the levy – was that put in the paper?” Mr. Gauntner stated he would have to go back and look at it.

Mr. Gauntner stated that if Mr. Cahill has a problem with the Madison Village Councilmen, he should bring it up with them. “Don’t campaign, because everybody knows you’re running for office – don’t sit here in front of all these firemen and campaign in front of this Board, because I’m not going to put up with it. I am not a Village Councilman and I’m not going to take your bologna. Do not waste this Board’s time.”

Mr. Cahill objected and stated that 2 weeks ago he tried to ask this very question at the Village Council meeting. “I was told, Mr. Gauntner, that I had to come here where apparently all these firemen now are, so I’m just asking, “Would you agree that the substance of the July 31st notice was adequate?” Mr. Gauntner, again, replied, “I think by law the notice was adequate.”

Joanne Clapp, District Fiscal Officer, stated that the notice that was sent to the newspaper included the date, time, location and purpose of the meeting – “to facilitate a public hearing to discuss Fire District Levies”. The same notice was published on the website, on Facebook and at Station #3 District Headquarters. Mr. Cahill asked the Fire District Legal Counsel if posting on the website and on Facebook constituted legal notice. Stacy Dame, District Legal Counsel, stated that we have answered your questions to the best of our abilities and we have also answered your private inquires to the best of our abilities, and we have provided you with the information requested.

Mary Ann Froebe, 1841 Bennett Road, Madison, asked the Madison Township Fire Board members if they announce Fire Board meetings at the MadisonTownship Trustee meetings. Mr. Wayman replied that they typically do not.

COMMITTEE REPORTS: Chief Lutz reported that he has met with both the Full Time and Part Time Labor Management Committees and that all issues have been resolved.


District Owned Properties – (2) Adjacent Lots on Burns Road:

Mr. Gauntner reported that the (2) adjacent lots on Burns Road in Madison Township were purchased on June 4, 1997 from Joan Turek for $24,500. Both are Commercial Properties, Zoned B2 – Regional Business. One parcel (#14) is .763 acres with 110.75 feet of frontage and is appraised by the County Auditor at $11,290. The second parcel (#15) is .694 acres with 100 feet of frontage and is appraised by the County Auditor at $10,180. Mr. Gauntner reported that the County Auditor’s appraised value is usually lower than the actual value. He commented that Chief Lutz has voiced concerns that these properties might be in the wetlands, and Mr. Gauntner stated that he has contacted the Lake County Planning Commission who is currently researching the question. If the Board is interested in possibly selling the properties, Mr. Gauntner suggested that they hire an appraisal firm that handles commercial properties to get an updated value. The Board instructed Chief Lutz to research appraisal companies and obtain a ballpark cost to have the Burns Road properties appraised by the next meeting. 4

NEW BUSINESS: 09-16-15

Resolution #15-025 – Amounts and Rates:

This resolution accepts the Amounts and Rates as determined and certified by the Budget Commission of Lake County, Ohio.

Mr. Gauntner requested that the language “Council” in the second paragraph be replaced by the language “Board of Trustees”.

Motion to approve as amended by: Mr. Takacs Seconded by: Mr. Gauntner

ROLL CALL: All ayes

The Board requested that, in the future, all new legislation/resolutions be included in the Board Folders on the Friday prior to Board meeting so that members have adequate time to review their content.


1) Inspection Report: In Board Folder.

2) Financial Overview: Chief Lutz reviewed changes being made to the Chart of Accounts that will make the monthly Financial Overview report easier to understand. Copies of these reports are available in the District Office.

3) District Hospitalization Insurance: Chief Lutz, Joanne Clapp and union representatives met with EBI of Lake County to review insurance options. The Ohio Consortium Group and Dawson Companies are also compiling plans and quotes for District review.

4) Medicount Management Billing: Chief Lutz reported that there has been a drop in the number of ALS runs billed over the past couple of years. Per his request, Medicount Management has recently audited over 400 runs billed since 2014 . It has been determined that coding errors have been made by both Medicount personnel and Fire District personnel. Corrective actions have been initiated on both sides and it is estimated that an additional $13,000 will be recovered as a result of resubmitted billing. Both groups are committed to making sure all employees are adequately trained to process the required documentation properly. Mr. Frager requested that Chief Lutz continue to follow up, in a few months, to ensure that the corrective measures are still in place and that billing is being properly processed.

5) FEMA Grant: Chief Lutz reported that the District was granted $12,000 of a $50,000 grant applied for through FEMA. The $12,000 will be used for several different sizes of new hose that the District needs (600’ of 1-3/4″; 500’ of 2-1/2″; 750’ of 3″; 1400’ of 5″). The fee for accepting the grant is 10% of the amount granted so $1,200 will need to be paid out if the Board chooses to accept the grant.

Motion to accept the FEMA Grant by: Mr. Gauntner Seconded by: Mr. Vest ROLL CALL: All ayes 5

Chief’s Report – FEMA Grant (cont.): 09-16-15

Chief Lutz stated that he originally applied for additional grant monies to purchase a Hose Washer, Hose Dryer, Hose Power Roller and Hose Tester, but that part of the grant was not approved. He stated that manually rolling heavy water-soaked hose continues to be a risk management issue for District personnel and asked the Board to consider approving the purchase of a Hose Power Roller ($8,195) out of the Capital Fund to reduce the risk of injuries to personnel. Since these purchases are not in the current budget, Mr. Vest suggested that the Board consider the Chief’s request for next year. The Board agreed.

6) Squad #2112 Refurbishing: Chief Lutz reported that he is currently working on plans to refurbish Squad #2112 which will take about 4 months to complete. It is his intention to remove and refurbish the back section of the ambulance and re-mount it on a new 2016 chassis which should give the District another 10 years of service. The cost for this will be $95,671. A new squad will cost +/- $180,000. Even though this year’s budget includes funds for replacing a squad, Mr. Gauntner also suggested that the Board consider the Chief’s request for next year. The Board agreed.

7) Fire Corp Volunteers: Chief Lutz met with Bob Rohrbaugh who has a Master’s Degree in EMA and Public Safety Management. This is different than the service group discussed a few years ago. The role of this Fire Corp is to gather a small army of retired people within our community to volunteer to help with minimum to medium risk non-emergency tasks (+/- 1,700 calls/year). We will train them to do public education in the schools, do fundraisers, as well as assisting our seniors with home safety inspection issues like installing smoke detectors and CO detectors. We are targeting our mentally unstable patients, nursing home residents, repeat EMS patients and repeat invalid assist sign offs due to falls in the home. Some of our Madison residents are not prepared to handle small emergencies, let alone large emergencies. With Mr. Rohrbaugh’s training, he can do training courses on how to prepare for 48-hour, 72-hour and weather-related emergencies. Due to Obamacare regulations, hospitals are now fined and are not paid for services rendered when discharged patients return to the hospital within a 30 day period. The Fire Corp can follow up on patients who have been recently discharged from the hospital, take their vitals and check to see that they are taking their medications, changing wound dressings, and following up on take-home information. This will create a strong bond between us and the residents of Madison.

The Board requested that Chief Lutz present a detailed, full-scope, written plan for Board and Legal review.


Craig Winkleman, 444 Oak Hollow, asked about the union’s involvement in the review process for choosing District Hospitalization Insurance. Chief Lutz reported that Full Time union representatives are included in these meetings and that their input is valuable in helping to keep costs down when choosing an insurance plan.

Mr. Winkleman asked about the coding errors made by District personnel and Chief Lutz explained the difference between Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advance Life Support (ALS) calls which are billed out at different rates. If the documentation is not clear or complete, an ALS run can get billed out as a BLS run in error.


Mr. Anderson requested that the Board meet in Executive Session to discuss negotiations.

Motion to adjourn to Executive Session @ 8:00 by: Mr. Gauntner

Seconded by: Mr. Anderson ROLL CALL: All ayes

No regular business to follow Executive Session.

_______________________ _______________________

Mr. Pete Wayman, Chairman Nila Brass, District Clerk