Impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the Village of Swanton were discussed by Council at its April 13 meeting.
Fireworks Fest is slated for June 27, and it remains up in the air whether the event will be held. There’s a chance that could cost the village money.
The cost of this year’s fireworks display is $25,000. The village has already paid $12,500 of that, with the other half due after the show.
Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle spoke to American Fireworks, and they indicated there would be no financial impact on the village if the fireworks are moved to a different date in 2020. If the fireworks were canceled for 2020, the village would be able to use half of the $12,500 for a 2021 fireworks show, with half being lost to a cancellation fee.
Village Solicitor Alan Lehenbaur said Swanton may be able to avoid paying the fee because the cancellation would be out of the village’s hands.
“I can tell you that a lot of communities are really evaluating,” said Hoelzle. “Because even if the stay-at-home order has been lifted there’s still precautionary measures that are probably going to be recommended.”
Those could include continued social distancing and limits on large gatherings.
“I would suspect we’re still going to have some serious concerns relating to social distancing well into June or maybe even into July,” said Mayor Neil Toeppe.
With so much still up in the air, Council decided to wait until the April 27 meeting to make any decision.
Other financial impacts are also being felt.
Council approved a motion to postpone employee wage increases until the village has a better handle on the effects of the pandemic. The village will also be waiting to hire seasonal workers, according to Councilman Mike Rochelle.
Fiscal officer Jennifer Harkey said the utility revenue for the village was the same as 2019 through March 31. She added that she expects an impact to revenue with the May bills.
Also at the meeting, Council approved the temporary hiring of fire and rescue personnel because of the pandemic. Chief Tony Schaffer will be able to hire temporary personnel to assist if there is a surge in calls or current staff are ill.
• Council approved an emergency ordinance authorizing and directing the mayor or village administrator to enter into an agreement with Jones and Henry Engineers for engineering services for the Project 8 and 9 sewer separation.
• An emergency resolution was approved for the village to participate in the ODOT salt contract for the 2020-21 winter season.
• Council approved the first readings of ordinances to proceeds with street lighting and leaf collection assessments. Overall, there will be a 50-cent decrease for property owners.
• Council approved hydrant meter usage related to the Project 10 sewer separation and Ohio Turnpike construction.
• Hoelzle reported that all applications for the village’s Downtown Facade Enhancement Program were recommended for funding. The total funding request was $8,060, while $30,000 was budgeted for the program.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010