Minerva Police Chief Chris Miller announced at village council's Jan. 24 meeting that the project to connect Minerva with Stark County's computer-aided 911 emergency dispatch system is finally nearing completion.
Miller said the village's records management system vendor, CODY, told him recently that it had completed work to make software connections with the CAD system. An information technology specialist with Stark County will work on the final software programming for Minerva's connection to the system.
Setting up Minerva's connection to the CAD system has not been an easy process.
Village Council first learned of Stark County's project to set up the CAD in March of 2015, when project manager Joe Concatto and former Minerva police chief Robert First presented information about plans to set up the system.
Although Concatto anticipated that the system would begin operating in October of 2015, Minerva's connection to it lagged for more than a year owing to software glitches that prevented CODY from sharing 911-related data with the CAD system, which Stark County purchased from software vendor Tyler Technologies.
According to information that Concatto and First presented, the CAD system links nearly every law enforcement agency in Stark County with the goal of enabling first-responders and dispatch offices to share geographical mapping data as well as information related to emergency calls and responses.
When the project is completed, Minerva's police department and the Sandy Creek Joint Fire District will be connected to the system, which also includes the Stark County Sheriff's Department and other police and fire departments.
Equipment, computer software and hardware, and personnel training for the CAD were paid for by the Stark County Board of Commissioners to the tune of $1.4 million. The county also signed a five-year maintenance agreement for the software at a cost of $499,000 with portions of that fee paid by the county sheriff's department and other law enforcement agencies.
Minerva, like other communities linked to the system, will pay an annual support share for the CAD system based on the size of its population. Finance Director Patti Willoughby confirmed that the village paid a share of $2,077 in December with a portion also paid by the Sandy Creek Joint Fire District.
The village also paid a one-time fee of $16,968 in April last year for software and work to connect CODY to the CAD system.
In other business, council:
LEARNED that the late June McConnell, a Minerva resident born in New Franklin, bestowed three large gifts to support Minerva upon her death late last year.
Mayor James Waller said McConnell's niece and nephew had recently surprised him and Village Administrator Dave Harp with the presentation of a $50,000 check for playground equipment in the parks, $50,000 for the village's cemeteries, and $25,000 for the police department.
"It was really nice of her...thinking of the village...and her heirs to fulfill her wishes," Waller commented.
He noted that during her lifetime, McConnell anonymously contributed "a substantial gift" to renovate the Roxy Theater and for work on the theater's marquee.
"If it hadn't been for her, I don't know that the marquee would have ended up the way it is today. We thank that family for their nice gifts to the village," said Waller.
McConnell resided in Minerva before moving to the west coast, but she returned to the village during her final years.
DISCUSSED continued work to review the possibility of reinstating the job of village service director. Harp agreed to provide information regarding what percentage of funds would need to be transferred from the village's capital improvement fund to pay the position's salary. He said he had distributed a job description to council members for their review.
HEARD Police Chief Miller state that the police department ordered new body cameras at a cost of just under $5,500, which was below the original estimate of $8,000 because of a trade-in program for the department's old cameras.
HEARD Harp report that he and Willoughby had recently met with the Rural Community Assistance Program for a water rate study. The results of the study are anticipated to be released by April this year.
Harp said the study is being conducted to determine whether the village should change rates for utilities such as water service.
"It's just something that we need to look at as far as our utilities. This will be looked at from an outside perspective...so they can be more objective," he said.
Harp stated that the village's water rates, which are below state guidelines, have presented a challenge to obtaining state-awarded grant funds for utilities-related projects such as waterline construction. The state uses a particular calculation to determine funds that municipalities receive for such projects based on the utilities rates that an average family in the community pays, said Harp.
HEARD Harp invite members of the public to contact City Hall with suggestions for, or questions about, streets for possible paving this year. Council members are reviewing a list of streets that Harp has proposed for paving. Harp said about $300,000 has been earmarked for paving projects this year.
APPROVED second readings of six pieces of legislation authorizing inter-fund transfers of interest to village funds, the movement of monies from one line item to another within the village's budget, and authorizing Harp to receive bids for milling and resurfacing of streets and to apply for state and federal funds used for outdoor recreational facilities.
HEARD Councilwoman Becky Stoller report that village employees attended a Jan. 11 training session with Full Spectrum Marketing to learn about the village's new website.