Coalton Village Council has approved emergency legislation which will bring added revenue into the village in the form of a video service provider fee, which is paid by the cable-TV service provider from surcharges assessed to the customers.
At the Monday evening, April 3, meeting of Coalton Village Council, at the request of Mayor Kim Milliken, council unanimously voted to pass an emergency ordinance establishing the video service provider fee, which amounts to 5 percent of the gross revenues derived from providing service to customers in the village.
Cable-TV service providers in the village - Spectrum is the current provider - have been collecting the additional fee from village customers since at least 2009. However, according to Mayor Milliken, previous councils did not pass the necessary enabling ordinance to actually receive the revenue and the cable companies have assessed the allowable fee without having to pass it on to the village.
Mayor Milliken is hopeful the village can somehow recoup the revenue which was generated from the fee prior to the passage of the ordinance, and asked Solicitor Shannon Weber if that was possible, but he is uncertain on this possibility.
"One battle at a time," Weber responded.
Fire District, Cemetery Legislation
Coalton Council is also considering other financial-related legislation concerning the operation of Coalton Cemetery and the possibility of creating a new fire district with Coal and Jackson townships, which would benefit the village-operated Coalton Fire Department.
Council was scheduled to take a third and final reading on the fire district ordinance, but voted to table (postpone) it since decisions have not yet been made by the two townships. Coal Township Bob Davis actually dropped by the meeting on another matter and when asked about the fire district issue, he said "we're still mulling it around."
Currently, the village has fire protection contracts with both townships. If established, the fire district would involve all three entities as equal partners with its own governing board and budget and would operate much like the Madison-Jefferson Fire District in the southern part of the county.
"It takes two to tango," Councilman Jim Milliken remarked after proposing that the fire district ordinance be tabled. There is no reason to establish a fire district if the village has no partners, he pointed out.
Solicitor Shannon Weber noted that the ordinance could be tabled for one meeting.
Regarding the cemetery-related measures, council took the first reading of a resolution to do away with the village's Perpetual Care Cemetery Fund, which was established by a resolution in 1978. The purpose of the fund was to provide revenue for the perpetual care of the cemetery with 80 percent of sale price of cemetery lots or plots to be deposited into the fund.
However, the principal of the fund is not to be used, only the interest and dividends to be used and with the current interest rates, the fund is providing minimal available cemetery operation funds.
If council approves the resolution, the money in the Perpetual Care Cemetery Fund will be transferred to the village's Cemetery Fund.
Also, council took the second reading of an ordinance regarding proposed changes in fees for the opening and closing of graves at Coalton Cemetery.
The following topics were aired at the Coalton Village Council meeting of Monday, April 3rd:
-- Mayor Milliken reported that progress continues to be made at Rosey Jones Park. "A lot of work has been done in the last two weeks," she said. "It's coming along nicely."
-- Mayor Milliken expressed her condolences over the death of well-known Coalton resident Allan Brown, who was the father of Coalton Fire Chief Chris Brown.
-- Council passed a motion unanimously to allow Administrator Tom Woltz to proceed with the purchase of new Badger Meters to replace the current radio-read meter readers. Woltz said the upgrade would cost about $7,700 and was something the village was "not able to get around." Woltz said the village could use its CIB (sales tax) funds to make the purchase.
-- Coal Township Trustee Davis was present to report the township had received a grant to replace traffic signs and that the village could be included for only the labor costs. Council passed a motion to take advantage of this opportunity.
-- Administrator Woltz reported that he feels the village could get a couple of years more service out of the backhoe by investing about $1,400 in repairs.
-- Council voted unanimously to approve allowing utility services to be split in a house in the village which is being converted into a duplex.
-- Fire Chief Brown once again announced the Coalton Fire Department is looking to add volunteer firefighters and currently has nine on the roster.
-- Chief Brown asked for and received council's blessing to proceed on a roof replacement project for the fire station. There is money available in the budget for the job.
-- Coalton Council Clerk Annetta Lewis announced she would be one of the leaders of a new Truth Seekers organization for youth ages toddlers up to age 18. The group will meet at the Coalton Baptist Church on Sunday evenings, but the group is open to the public, not just church and other Coalton youths. The goal is to be up and running by the first Sunday in May. Group members will perform service projects and engage is such activities as music and dance.
-- Mayor Milliken announced the annual Coalton Historical Society Banquet would be held Thursday evening, April 20, at the James A. Rhodes Community Center with a speaker yet to be determined.
-- The annual Cleanup Day in Coalton was scheduled for 9 a.m. until 3 pm. on Saturday, April 22. Residents can dispose of unwanted items, excluding tires, by simply showing their water bill as proof of residency.