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New Franklin approves stipend for finance director

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent

NEW FRANKLIN After some debate, New Franklin City Council, during its Feb. 3 meeting, approved a $3,500 stipend for Finance Director Susan Cooke for overtime hours spent keeping track of the city's portion of CARES Act funding.

Mayor Paul Adamson, during the Jan. 20 council meeting, talked about paying Cooke the stipend to compensate for hundreds of hours worked on reports regarding the $1.5 million the city received.

City Council received a letter from a citizen who questioned whether the city was using modern software to get these reports done.

Cooke said the software is up to date and added the city was instructed by Summit County officials to use spreadsheets.

Councilman Andrew Fetterman said he is a salaried employee and said he takes on special projects all the time and when “you take a salary position, you expect it.”

Councilwoman Andrea Norris said her staff at her business took on a lot more than expected this year and sometimes it does warrant a little bit more than a salary because “you are going to recognize the above and beyond that employees did and especially this year.”

The resolution passed with a 4-3 vote with Jim Cotts, Judy Jones and Andrew Fetterman voting against the stipend.

Cooke thanked the members of council for passing the resolution and said she would be meeting with 

 that the next day she would be meeting with Julian & Grubb to begin the GAP program to review any new regulations. The audit will begin in June and it will contain two separate audit reviews, one for the regular yearly audit and the other that pertains to the CARES Act funds. She also said if residents receive a form from RITA (Regional Income Tax Agency) and have any questions to contact her at the administration office.

In other business, council:

• Authorized the city's portions of the funds for the South Summit Council of Governments new dispatch center with the city of Green.

• Approved a resolution for the city to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Summit County Health District for storm water services through 2025.

• Approved for the city to take all actions deemed necessary to accept Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) Energized Community Grants.

• Approved to enter into an agreement with Sun Life Financial for life, voluntary life and voluntary vision insurance for New Franklin’s self-insurance plan.

• Approved a resolution for a then and now purchase order for an outstanding invoice from Northstar Asphalt in the amount of $127,108.16.

• Approved a resolution declaring the need to advertise for sealed bids for the 2021 road paving project.

Announcements:

• The deadline for proposals to manage and coordinate operations for the Tudor House has passed and Adamson said numerous letters and publications in the newspaper were submitted and published to advertise for proposals. One proposal was received, and discussions will continue with the interested party.

• Aqua Ohio continues to run water lines in the city. A Resolution will come soon regarding the contract replacement Aqua Ohio has submitted. The first phase of the project, Ohio EPA agreed to pay $2 million and Aqua committed to $1.5 million. The City of New Franklin would pay the remainder of $500,000. Consequently, Aqua has agreed to now finance and New Franklin will no longer have a financial obligation.

• Two members of council were appointed to the Firemen’s Relief Board, David Stock and Judy Jones.