March 9, 2016

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

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



Minutes of 02/17/16 Regular Session

Motion to approve as presented by: Mr. Takacs                       Seconded by: Mr. Wayman

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

BILLS & PAYROLL (February 12th, 2016 – March 3rd, 2016):

Bills ($43,060.61) and payroll ($143,697.31) totaling $186,757.92 are motioned for acceptance and payment.

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

Seconded by: Mr. Wayman                                                           ROLL CALL: All ayes

Joanne Clapp, CFO, reported that she will be attending the State Auditors Local Government training on March 22nd and 23rd, 2016.

She also reported that all payroll stubs will be emailed to employees from now on.

Ms. Clapp advised the Board that Madison Fire District has been chosen for an OP&F pension examination for the year 2014. The auditors will be testing the census data for accuracy. The fee for this audit is not expected to exceed $328.

Mr. Takacs asked if the State Auditor had any indication of concern regarding reserve for retirement pension buyouts at the 2013-2014 bi-annual exit interview last year. Ms. Clapp replied that the Auditor made no mention of it, but that she and Chief Lutz have been discussing the issue as it has widely become a topic of interest. Per Mr. Vest’s request, any recommendations from the District Financial Office with regard to implementing said reserve fund will be fully documented and approved by the State Auditor and brought before the Board for their consideration. Per Ms. Clapp, if the Board decides to create the reserve fund, they will be required to pass legislation that will be filed with the Auditors Office.



Full Time and Part Time Labor Management Committees: Chief Lutz reported that he met with Fire Board members Mr. Takacs and Mr. Gauntner, Full Time representatives Lt. Tod Baker and Lt. Brian Faulhammer, and Part Time representatives FF Bill Weema and FF Joseph Purcell on February 2, 2016 and that he is happy to announce that all parties have reached common ground (Exhibit A attached) regarding the future of the District’s Transfer Program, Personnel and Staffing, Vehicles, Reduced Revenues caused by Obama Care and Medicaid, Cooperation and Transparency and Full and Part Time Contact Negotiations. All three groups have agreed to extend both current contracts until after the fall election (November 25, 2016) and have committed to showing a unified front on passing a much needed levy. Per Chief Lutz, Mr. Petronelli, Special Counsel, and SERB have been notified that labor negotiations have been put on hold.

Chief Lutz recommended that the Transfer Program be discontinued as of April 15, 2016 and that staffing be adjusted accordingly as agreed. He also recommended that Full Time and Part Time Labor Negotiations be suspended and that the current contracts be extended until November 25, 2016.

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

OLD BUSINESS:None to report.


Resolution #16-004 Final District Appropriations – 2016:

Chief Lutz and Joanne Clapp detailed the 2016 Final Budget Revenue and Expenses and answered Board questions on topics including, but not limited to, Capital Expenditures (New/Refurbished Vehicles, New Medical Equipment, Computers), Equipment Maintenance Contracts, Dispatching Contract, Annual Carryover Funds, Debt Service Fund and Staff Reduction/Wages Savings. This resolution provides for sums to be set aside and appropriated for expenditures of the Madison Fire District during the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016.

Motion by: Mr. Wayman              Seconded by: Mr. Takacs

ROLL CALL: (5) Ayes; (1) Nay

Mr. Wayman requested that Joanne Clapp issue a 5-year report (2011-2015) showing annual appropriations compared to actual expenses paid out and the carryover percentage. Mr. Takacs requested that this percentage calculation be added to the monthly financial report so they can see what percentage of funds budgeted have been used as of any given point throughout the year. Ms. Clapp reported that she will begin presenting a quarterly report at the last Board meeting of each quarter. Mr. Gauntner stated that it is his opinion that the Board not replace any vehicles until November, 2016.

CHIEF’S REPORT:                                                                                                         

1)    Inspection Report: In Board Folder.

2)    Station #2 Maintenance: Chief Lutz reported that the furnace in the Gear Room must be replaced and quotes have been obtained for installation of a new 75,000 btu unit from Penguin Heating & Cooling for $1,990.

3)    FEMA Safer Grant: Chief Lutz advised the Board that he is applying for a FEMA grant for $270,000 to hire (3) additional Full Time staff. Provisions of the grant, which the Fire Board will need to agree to and sign off on (if awarded), stipulates that the District is not permitted to layoff or let anyone go during the 3 year life time of the grant. After the 3 year grant period, the District will need to pick up the cost of these additional wages which will not be an issue if the levy passes in November. Mr. Vest commented that, if the levy does not pass, he is not necessarily comfortable with the thought of having to layoff personnel that we have trained for 3 years. Chief Lutz stated that the grant will be awarded at the end of this year (around election time) and, if we are awarded the grant and the levy doesn’t pass, the Board can choose not to accept the grant funds.

4)    Firehouse Subs Donation: Firehouse Subs donated $500 for the District’s Senior Program for (25) Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

5)    Local Government Safety Capital Grant: The District has applied for a $48,000 Local Government Safety Capital Grant for (20) sets of firefighting gear and a Hose Roller. The East End Fire Chiefs applied for $300,000 to replace the Aerial Truck.

6)    Squad Replacement/Repair – #2132: Burgess Ambulance estimated $71,000 -$75,000 to repair squad #2132 which was damaged in a rollover accident in February. Chief Lutz stated that the unit is a 2005 Ford E Series – 2WD – with 110,000 miles and it would, in his opinion, be a waste to repair the squad. Chief reported that he and a few Fire Board members looked at two new squads for consideration, either to be purchased through Burgess Ambulance;

New Chevy McCoy Miller – 2WD – 7.3 liter – Diesel 6 to 10 mpg – $158,000 – Standard warranty – District out of pocket = $83,000 to $87,000.

New Ford F Series 450 – 4WD – 7.3 liter – Diesel 8 to 10 mpg – $185,637 – Premium 5 year, 200,000 mile, chassis warranty – District out of pocket = $110,637 to $114,637.

Both units would be outfitted with all useable equipment (Opticom, O2 Lift, Air Horns) from the damaged unit and will be painted and striped to match our red units. The District will need to purchase a radio for either model.

Chief Lutz recommended that the Board consider using the insurance money to replace rather than repair the damaged unit. All medical equipment involved in the accident has been evaluated and VFIS has been informed of what needs to be replaced (Cot, Stair-Chair, O2 Holder, LifePak-15 Holder).

Mr. Donaldson asked if the current budget reflects the reduction of personnel wages from 8 to 7 per shift (due to eliminating the Transfer Program on April 15th). Chief Lutz replied that the budget still reflect 8 staff/shift.

Joanne Clapp stated that there is $300,000 in the EMS Capital Fund for vehicle updates:

1)      $150,000 x 2 for replacing squads;    or

2)     $95,000 x 2 for refurbishing squads #2112* (white) and #2132** (white) with some money left over.

Mr. Takacs asked to see a summary of the condition of all District ambulances and anticipated replacements/refurbishments that will be required over the next few years. Chief Lutz explained that, since the Transfer Program will be eliminated as of April 15, 2016, the District will only need (4) squads, therefore:

1)      #2112* (white – problem Ford) will no longer be refurbished and is now slated for sale which will leave $95,000 unused in EMS Capital Fund.

2)     #2162 (oldest white Ford), as originally planned, will be sold as surplus. The estimated sale price for these (2) surplus units should be approximately $5,000 – 9,000 each.

3)     Chief Lutz further explained that, since the February accident, #2132** will either be repaired using the insurance money or replaced using a combination of the insurance money and the $95,000 earmarked for refurbishing the unit.

4)     That will leave the District with (4) squads:

1)      #2122 (pink) – 106,000 miles – next to be replaced in 1-2 years.

2)     #2132 (white) – new or repaired as the Board decides.

3)     #2142 (red) – good for another 4-5 years.

4)     #2152 (red) – good for another 4-5 years.

By Board consensus, the decision was made to hold off on squad #2132’s replacement vs. repair issue** until the actual insurance check is received.

7)    Chief Lutz reported that there will be a public meeting to discuss drug related problems in the community on March 30, 2016. Many organizations will be there to assist in training the public on how to deal with the issues they face: Madison Fire District, Madison Village Police, Madison Township Police, Sherriff’s Department, Madison Local Schools and Lake Health Hospital Systems. Everyone is welcome to attend.

CLOSING PUBLIC PORTION:                                                 

Craig Winkleman, 444 Oak Hollow, asked again what the Board is going to do to restructure the District and the Board in an effort to change the people’s minds about the levy. He commented that those on social media are concerned about what will happen to the fire department given the recent budget adjustment, as well as all the problems in the Village. He asked if the Board has a plan to move forward and what the Board is going to bring to the public so we don’t get the same result as last time.

Mr. Vest responded, “Of course we do, but the plan right now is to pass the budget so we know what kind of money we will need. It is premature to have a serious discussion about the details of a levy.” Mr. Vest commented that social media is “a cancer” because too much of what is being said is false. He stated, “As hard as these people work on Committees and Councils and Trustee Boards, it sickens me to read the mis-truths being written on social media that is designed to tear people apart.”

Chief Lutz suggested that the Labor Management Committees meet to decide what the District needs and then discuss levy details.

Mr. Gauntner stated that he has been involved in many levies in the past and he is confident that everyone in the District has agreed to work together to pass this levy. But he stressed that this involves the community too. He suggested that Mr. Winkleman get on the committee and become involved rather than just sitting back and criticizing. “Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.” Mr. Gauntner stated that anyone who questions why this Board is made up the way it is needs to educate themselves on the history of the Fire District. In his opinion, that is the only way anyone can understand the effort it took and the strategy used to combine the resources of the Village and Township when the District was created back in 1970. “After 46 years, that formula still works pretty well and the Board knows what they are doing – there is no need to restructure. Yes, we are currently having some financial issues but we are going to pass the levy. Mr. Vest is right, social media does nothing but make uneducated predictions, pass on false rumors and divide the community with uninformed opinions. For example, one lady posted “Well, they did this to the police department, next thing you know they will do it to the fire department”. Mr. Gauntner replied incredulously, “Come on! – the Fire District has been one for 46 years – that’s how little some of the people of this town know – they are basically clueless. The cost of operations has gone up and the thing that people miss is that the State of Ohio has cut back local government funds. There is not a local government right now that is not hurting. Madison Township’s funds were reduced by $500,000 and the Fire District’s by $427,000. That’s a huge hit! It’s not your (Winkleman) fault, it’s not our (Board) fault – it’s the Governor’s fault. He boasts a $2 billion dollar surplus because he’s not giving the funds back to local governments. He takes money from local governments and doesn’t give it back. In 2014, Senator Eklund told me that we weren’t getting any more money back and that we should collaborate and combine our services to reduce costs and find other ways to pay for things. The people don’t understand that. The State of Ohio created a website called Go online and read it!” Mr. Gauntner further commented that it seems Mr. Winkleman has the “ear of a lot of people” and suggested that he get that message out there.   Mr. Winkleman agreed that there are dozens of people on social media who do not come to Board meetings and don’t listen to the Board.

Mr. Winkleman stated that he wants to help and doesn’t want to see people lose their jobs. He doesn’t want anything in the community to change regarding public safety. “Unfortunately, everyone’s perception is that we just built a new fire station, we just gave a new levy, and now you want another levy which is why the levy didn’t pass the last time. All I’m saying is that something dramatic is going to have to be done. Although many people are tired of paying more taxes, they want the levy to pass because they know that costs have gone up. Spend a couple of bucks to tell them why you need the additional money and what they will be giving up if the levy does not pass. I’ll be more than happy to help get the levy passed, but the community is not just going to roll over and say let’s vote yes for the levy.”

Mr. Gauntner replied that the Board has not yet had a chance to sit down and talk about the levy. “We have to tell the community the reality we are dealing with because I’ve read it a dozen times on social media and they don’t understand. Governor Kasich has taken a lot of money away from local government. He campaigned that he would balance the state budget without raising taxes and he did. But guess what? He took it away from everybody else – the cities, the villages, the townships, the counties and the schools. Columbus doesn’t care. They have dumped it on the local elected officials to solve the problem. Unfortunately we don’t have an industrial tax base in this town and levies are the only way to generate revenue. The people of Madison will have to determine what level of service they want and we need to develop a game plan to get the word out. Maybe the Village Police issue wasn’t quite handled the right way, but the truth is, in the next ten years, Madison will have just one police department in this town because the State is going to force the issue. You are going to see it happen just like in 1970 when the Fire District was created because the Village and the Township couldn’t afford to have two departments. People need to wake up!

Mr. Vest thanked Chief Lutz for the excellent communication between the District Office and the Fire Board over the last couple of months.

Mr. Vest reminded everyone of the April 20th and May 18th, 2016 Fire Board Meetings @ 7:00 pm in the St. #3 Training Center.

Motion to adjourn @ 8:27 pm by: Mr. Gauntner        Seconded by: Mr. Anderson        

ROLL CALL: All ayes