Put-in-Bay Village Council met on Monday, April 13th. Along with Mayor Ruth Scarpelli, five of six members were present, Kelly Faris, Michael McCann, Jeff Koehler, Dee Dee Duggan and Melinda McCann. Jake Market was not present. One of the first things to pass was the decision to spend $18,342.81 on body cameras for the Put-in-Bay Police Department. Funds for the purchase will come from the general fund rather than from the 2015 police budget.
Village Council accepted the resignation of Fiscal Officer (Village Clerk) Joy Cooper who has held the position for the last seven years. She is leaving to take the position Kit Knaser is retiring from at Put-in-Bay School after 26 years.. The position will be posted so a replacement for Joy can be found and trained before she leaves on July 31st.
Rod Karr from Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial presented Mayor Ruth Scarpelli with two awards from the National Park Service recognizing the outstanding partnership between the community and the Park Service.
Ed Fitzgerald from Commodore Resorts voiced concerns about the Island Gross Receipts Tax and how island businesses were being audited by the tax department. The question of how the Island Tax is reflected in a purchase was clarified. It cannot be added to a bill like the sales tax but must be paid from the gross sales of the business. The tax has been confusing since its inception. Over the years, the tax department has not been consistent from administration to administration about how it is reflected in a purchase on the island.
An action was taken to collect past due water bills from several businesses.
Among other topics discussed by Village Council were rules for the Put-in-Bay public docks, a controversial legal fee bill, and liquor service training for employees from the Liquor Department. There was a discussion about security in the public locker area at the park bathhouse. There have been concerns about people putting liquor and/or drugs in the lockers. It was suggested video surveillance be installed or signs posted about what is not permitted to be stored in the lockers.
Earlier this year, Village Council voted to have a public hearing on a liquor license transfer from the old Crescent Tavern to the new T&J’s. After some discussion about the grounds for requesting the public hearing, Council voted to rescind the request for a public hearing. Council went into executive session with the Village’s legal counsel George Wilber, to discuss personnel and pending litigation.