September 22, 2008



The City of Union council meeting was called to order by Mayor Goudy on September 22, 2008, at 7:30 p.m., Monday evening. 


          Attendance was taken and the following council members were attending the meeting:  Mr. Bruns, Mrs. Kyle, Mayor Goudy, Mr. O’Callaghan, Mr. Blackwell, and Mrs. Perkins.


          Other city staff members present were John P. Applegate, City Manager, Denise Winemiller, Clerk of Council, and Joseph Moore, Law Director. 


Mayor Goudy said that Mrs. Terry had broken her foot and was unable to come to the meeting.  She moved to excuse Mrs. Terry from attending the council meeting.  Mr. O’Callaghan seconded the motion.  All concurred and the motion was passed.  Her absence was excused.


          Mayor Goudy called for a moment of silence.


          1.       Mayor Goudy asked if there were any additions or corrections from the minutes from the September 8, 2008 council meeting.  Mr. Bruns asked that part of the discussion concerning the salt prices be included in the minutes, particularly that the price of the salt was $51.00 per ton last year and due to the shortage, is $154.00 per ton this year.  Mr. Bruns moved that the council minutes be accepted with the addition of those figures on the salt shortage. Mayor Goudy seconded the motion.  All concurred and the minutes were accepted.


          2.       Mayor Goudy recognized Opal Sweda who wanted to address the council in the citizen’s and visitor’s portion of the council meeting.


She asked if the city had any kind of a contingency plan for emergencies, like when the power was out.  She said she was without electric from Sunday to Friday and did not see any law enforcement on her street.  She said they “keep to themselves” and had no contact numbers and no phone. 


Mr. Applegate said the city did have an emergency plan and had one for years ever since the first blizzard in 1978.  The city had kept the water and wastewater treatment plant operating and had the city building open using a generator.   He said they had spent money towards keeping their systems operating during an emergency.   He said that he had called in all of the police, fire, and maintenance crews.  Mr. Applegate said the city had water, fire protection, ambulance service, an operating wastewater treatment plant, and the city building was open.  He said they have no control over Dayton Power and Light, but they checked in with the city every day and once the power was up, they emailed reports of the outages every day. 

He suggested that everyone needs to have a plan and sometimes people need to get with their neighbors and they should find a way of charging their phone. 

Mr. Applegate said they made sure that emergency equipment could get to everyone.  They held off on picking up the limbs until the power was back up because they have a small work force and were keeping other services running.

He added that he had personally been out to Mrs. Sweda’s area several times and that servicemen, police, and the fire department were all working and available to offer assistance if there were any problems.  He said that he had personally been in touch with Dayton Power and Light every day. 

Mr. Applegate commented that they had the police on extra patrol during the outage.  Mr. Applegate said they have a plan in place but they all learn from every emergency, including the public, on what they need to do as individuals, to be prepared for an emergency.  He said that he would be meeting with the Director of Public Safety and Dayton Power and Light.

Mr. Applegate said the street department drove down every street on Sunday and Monday, looking for limbs that were down.  The city would also be offering a service of picking up the branches for the next two to three weeks.


3.       Open Agenda


Mayor Goudy asked when the last day for picking up the branches would occur and Mr. Applegate said they would wait and see, depending on how many limbs were put out and how long it took people to get their properties cleaned up.  Mr. Applegate said that the number of limbs that were down was the biggest problem and if a limb had taken down a house’s individual power line, that home would be one of the last to have power restored.  Mr. Applegate said that they need to help themselves.

He said that after one of the past blizzards, the city learned that they needed to have four wheel drive vehicles and now they do. 

Mayor Goudy said that she worked in another town and the way that Union handled the emergency exceeded what she had seen done in other places.


Mayor Goudy also stated that she welcomed comments from residents but that she needed the person’s name and phone number.  She said if she receives an anonymous letter, there is no way she can answer them.  She said if the person would provide a name and phone number, she can call them back.


Mrs. Winemiller thanked all the volunteers that helped at the Toll Road Festival and she thanked everyone for coming.


Mr. Applegate said he was glad that the wind did not come on Saturday, during the festival.  He said that the clean up crew worked until 1:30 p.m. and then were called out again at 2:45 p.m.  He said they did a great job.   


Mr. Applegate said that Mayor Goudy had received an unsigned complaint saying that Mr. Applegate had used city crews to clean up his yard and brush.  Mr. Applegate said he never allows the city crew to pick up his tree limbs and no employee has touched his property or equipment.  He said that never happened and that he and his wife had cleaned up all the brush and paid to have it hauled away.  He said he wanted to make that clear and that he does not get special treatment from the city.


Mr. Applegate said the rebid for salt did not go well and the price was still high at $144.48 per ton to $168.97 per ton.  He said the city bins were full of salt and the city would not pay that price.  (the cost was $51.00 per ton last year)  He said there is a shortage of salt, not just this year but possibly for next year.   Mr. Applegate said they usually tried to conserve salt and used a ratio of two parts salt and one part sand.  He said this year they would probably do one part salt and two parts sand.  He said they would also plow more, and start plowing at one inch of snow.  He said they might just treat the main streets and not salt the flat residential streets. 


          Mrs. Perkins was concerned that it could be a bad winter.  Mr. Applegate said the city could not afford to pay the price for the salt and there were no guarantees offered and the bids were for foreign salt.  He said they were lucky that they had filled up their salt bins the previous year.


          Mr. Applegate said that the city was working to be reimbursed from the state for the expenses that the city had for the wind damage clean up.  He said they were getting all the figures together to apply for aid for overtime, additional fuel, etc.


          The Homearama in Union will be opening this week.  Mr. Applegate said the ribbon cutting would be at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 25, 2008.


          Mr. Applegate said that at the last meeting, they talked about applying for a grant to purchase a new fire truck.  He said they were turned down on the grant so they will be going out for bids for the truck.


          He said that the street contractor doing the slurry seal was behind and some of the streets might not be done.  A few of the streets might not be crack sealed because the city crews were busy picking up all of the brush. 


          Mrs. Perkins said she had received calls last week concerning the city’s response during the power outage and most of the calls were complimentary and callers said the city was doing a great job. 

          Mrs. Perkins asked if the city had put anything on the radio.  Mr. Applegate said they had not but they could look into it for next time.   Mrs. Perkins asked the council for more ideas on how to help people. 


          Mr. Bruns said they could get a list together and put it in the city newsletter and remind people what they would need to have on hand for an emergency.

          Mr. Applegate said the majority of people were very helpful and reacted well.

          Mr. Applegate stressed that the city cannot remove downed power lines.  He said they are looking into offering limb removal, chipping, etc. and keep from services being knocked down with branches being knocked down and would help prevent some problems from windstorms.


          Mr. O’Callaghan thought that the Toll Road festival went very well.  He thanked all of the volunteers, city workers, and council.  


          Mrs. Kyle thanked Mrs. Winemiller and Mr. Applegate for all the work done on the festival. 


4.       Mr. O’Callaghan moved that the council meeting be adjourned.  Mr. Bruns seconded the motion.  All concurred and the September 22, 2008 City of Union council meeting was adjourned


Respectfully submitted,




Denise A. Winemiller, Clerk of Council



Michael O’Callaghan, Vice Mayor