Session 5, March 7, 2022
Mayor Robert Benson called the 5th Regular Session of Council to order on Monday, March 7, 2022. Mayor Benson began the meeting with a prayer and led the Pledge of Allegiance. This public meeting is being recorded. Members answering roll call were Abby Gallion, Joseph Kammer, Justin Cline, Daniel Rouse, Josh Smith and Derek Netzly. Also attending the meeting were Village Administrator Zachary Wisselgren, Clerk-Treasurer Anne Johnson, Village Solicitor Attorney Terry Seeberger, Police Chief Chad Shetler, Captain Matt Amendola, Jeremy Lampley and family, residents Ron Kirby and Robert Ludwig. Abe Highben, Charles Shafer and Vance Weiks from Falcon Baseball and Softball were also present.

Mr. Netzly moved to approve the minutes of the 4th Regular Session of Council held on February 28, 2022. Mr. Smith seconded. Gallion yes, Kammer yes, Cline yes, Rouse yes, Smith yes, Netzly yes. Six yes votes. Minutes approved.

Ron Kirby expressed concern over all of the commercial vehicles on Market Street. Trucks are not following the posted speed limit and are never pulled over. Captain Amendola responded that the majority of speeding tickets in the Village are issued on Market Street, it’s a thoroughfare in the Village. Attorney Terry Seeberger will look into possible weight limit issues.

Falcon Baseball and Softball said a local recreational league would like to use a field in Navarre, but stated they have yet to provide proof of liability insurance. Brewster has an ordinance that states Falcon Baseball and Softball have priority to the fields. There are many outside and travel teams wanting to use the Village fields. Falcon Baseball and Softball would like to prevent a situation occurring in that a team shows up to play when a Falcon Team is scheduled. Attorney Terry Seeberger advised he will prepare an ordinance similar to Brewster’s ordinance regarding same. Any other teams will need to thru the Association to schedule use of a field. The road to Ruritan Field is washed out and unpassable; the Gully Field needs regraded. Falcon Baseball and Softball requested the fields be mowed twice a week in the Spring, advising there were multiple complaints about ticks last year. One child developed Lyme Disease. The Police would like the league to contact them if a situation arises.

Police Chief Chad Shetler introduced Jeremy Lampley who is currently employed with Holmes County Sheriff’s Department. He was previously employed with the Village part-time and would like to come to the Village as an auxiliary officer. Mayor Benson appointed Jeremy Lampley to the Navarre Auxiliary Police Department and requested Council’s consent. Gallion yes, Kammer yes, Cline yes, Rouse yes, Smith yes, Netzly yes. Appointment stands. Mayor Benson swore in Officer Lampley.

Clerk-Treasurer Anne Johnson gave council a copy of today’s check register, the bills and claims and February financial statements.

Ordinance 8-2022, an ordinance approving the replat of lots of Kenneth Diehl and Mickie Diehl. Mr. Kammer offered and moved to accept Ordinance 8-2022. Mr. Smith seconded. Gallion yes, Kammer yes, Cline yes, Rouse yes, Smith yes, Netzly yes. Six yes votes. Motion carried. The first reading was given.

Village Solicitor Attorney Terry Seeberger made remind of the Zoning and Economic Development Program meeting on March 12, 2022 at 8:30 am.

Mayor Robert Benson read the following 2022 State of the Village:

This State of the Village has been difficult to complete because there have been actions taking place that I wanted to include in my yearly update to Council and the Community.

As always, the financial state of the Village is sound. Although Village Council has been very much involved this last year examining and learning the actual cash flow of the village.

In the past Navarre increased our Income Tax amount from 1.5% to 1.75% and committed the .25% additional revenue to the street updating and maintenance. This action has proven to be a positive and our streets are being resurfaced according to seriousness of disrepair. (We have updated the areas to the north that hasn’t had attention for over 20 years). As funds are available streets will be resurfaced, again, according to the seriousness of the disrepair of the street.

Most residents are aware that the cost of living is increasing outrageously and everyone is attempting to adjust to the challenge. The Village is no exception.

The Village is very proud of our Navarre Police Department and especially so, since we moved it into the previous Bank structure on Main Street. The village was fortunate to have money available to purchase the building and property but did struggle at times with unexpected and previously unknown repairs that were required to the building.

Allow me at this time to commend Chief Shetler and the 5 other officers for the hours and sacrifice they have personally allocated to designing and rebuilding the interior of the building. They have utilized the space and made it adaptable to the Department’s needs. Their work has saved the village thousands of dollars. I have to also thank Lowe’s Home Improvement, Massillon for the generous donations made to our Navarre Police Department, for this renovation.

With that being said, I have to explain that the Police Department is the expense that is most strenuous to the village’s budget. I quote Judge Elum “Police Departments are expensive”. There are many reasons this is so, but with the previously mentioned cost of living increase and attempting to stay current with Police technology, at times Navarre struggles finically.

Council put on the ballot to increase our income tax from the 1.75% to 2% in an attempt to address this challenge.

After the residents denied this with a ringing NO! Council accepted their resonance and resolved to address the situation with better financial management. Some Members on Council felt that we didn’t adequately explain to the citizens that the shortfall was mainly with our Law Enforcement expenses.
I believe that we, Navarre are blessed to have a Police Department. Many communities our size is not able to maintain a Police Department, and this is a vital asset that will grow along with the future growth of our Village. We will make it work.

Looking ahead, for Navarre, with the development of Navarre’s Prospect Industrial Park, our impending future is quite positive.

Now located in the Industrial Park is Hendrickson, USA. Hendrickson facility with land purchase and equipment was about 50 million dollars. Hendrickson will also have as projected 300 full time jobs.

Being constructed and anticipated to be in operation at the end of this year is the Tractor Supply Distribution facility. Currently being built is the building which encompasses almost 900,000 square feet of warehouse and Offices. The building and equipment investment is in the area of 70 million dollars.
Tractor Supply will employ an approximate 375 full time jobs when fully operational.

The Council, with the denial of the income tax increase, have determined that with this future increased income tax revenue, and the hope of additional development in the park adding to that revenue, and being conservative with spending, Navarre will be able to endure.

Many do not realize that Navarre in attracting this business, is required to offer tax abatement. That abatement will be for the first 10 years. We only collect about 40% during that first 10 years. The Navarre Streets and Parks at the end of the 10-year period will be given the opportunity to be developed to their full potential.

I am currently serving out my last term of being Mayor. What an honor this has been. It’s difficult for me to comprehend that it has been 37 years; 10 years as a Council Member and 27 as Mayor. My seven terms of Mayor have always supposedly been my last, but there has always been just a few more projects that I wanted to be a part of. Unfortunately, this time, because of my age and this time in my life, it really is my last.

The last project I would like to see completed or almost completed is the expansion of our waste water plant. We currently have a capacity of one million gallons per day and our new plant will be at least two million gallons per day. This expansion isn’t for the village residents as much as it is for our Industrial Park.

With this added capacity, Navarre can offer a food processing or other type of industry that will require a vast amount of water and consecutively waste water use.

A few of the things I would like to see in Navarre’s future are:

I would like to see Park Street redesigned like Market Street and come out to 21 and 62 (Main Street) at an intersection. I believe this is doable.

I would like to see our current Civic Center building redesigned, since we don’t have the Fire Station in the building. This design would keep our current Civic Center room as a smaller room and the new design would add a large room to the North that would share a nice kitchen facility. New restrooms would also be added.

I would like to see an aggressive annexation of land adjacent to Navarre that can be developed as residential.

I would like to see our Historical Society become more of a Village operation. This I believe would be achievable but would take some serious planning. It would begin with the village hiring a Curator that would take on the management of the operation.

The Historical Society is a valuable and very much underappreciated element of Navarre and Bethlehem Township. Because of Don Cook and the people now involved we still have the valuable connection to our rich heritage. We must work to keep it.
There are things on my wish list, like the lot where the old school was located could be a lovely spot for a park with a giant gazebo in the middle.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an area of the Industrial Park for a recreational park with a number of ball fields?

Claudia Anderson and I have talked many times about developing the Canal Lands between Anderson’s and Village Hall as a walking park. We will call it Basin Park. That area was a basin during the Ohio Erie Canal days that the Canal Boats could turn around in.

In closing, I feel this Council that I have the pleasure of working with now is the finest group of people that have voluntarily committed themselves for the betterment of our community.

The level headedness and common sense amongst their collective thought is inspiring.

One thing I like to point out in this annual report is the value of our employees. Navarre IS our employees. I include our great men and women of our combined Navarre Bethlehem Township Fire Department, Erie Valley Fire and Rescue.
We have people who every day work to make Navarre a good place to work and live. I’m speaking about the Police Department, the Street Department, the Waste Water Plant, and the Water Plant. All of the employees work together with pride and dedication.

And I don’t forget our Village Hall people. Anne Johnson our Clerk-Treasure, who for the last seventeen years has kept our balance sheet clean and Audit certified. Also, let’s remember Anne’s Clerk duties of maintaining all records and correspondence. Her experience and knowledge of the duties of Clerk-Treasure is sometimes taken for granted.

Working with her in Village Hall is our Secretary and Income Tax Administrator, Heather Maloon. It is Heather’s personality that Navarre presents to the public. That personality is representative of Navarre’s desired pubic identity. Heather’s work ethic, efficiency and personality are a great asset to our work force and we are proud to have her as Navarre’s public distinctiveness.

Navarre is Blessed with such people, from our Police to all of the employees.

Our near future is bright and the far future is even brighter.

God Bless our Navarre, and the wonderful residents and businesses that make Navarre the friendly hometown at the bend of the river.


Mayor Bob Benson

Village Administrator Zachary Wisselgren reported that he met with the owners of Canal Street Pub. He advised we are going to pull the two-hour parking signs and put in no parking from 7 am – 2 pm/unloading zone signs, however, the Sarta sign will remain.

Stark County Soil and Water met with DeHoff Associates and a plan was devised to address the catch basin issues at Prospect Park.

There was a water leak last week on Bender Street. Tree work is done in the Village. Village employees will fill in the stump holes.

Ms. Gallion said Spring soccer will be played at the midget football field, and that the soccer association requested the midget football field be mowed very short.

Mr. Smith stated he would like to move the Street Committee Meeting scheduled for March 21, 2022 to April 4, 2022 at 6:30 pm.

Mr. Netzly reported a Finance Committee Meeting was held tonight. He said the Village needs to hire another full-time officer and order another police cruiser. Mayor Benson said he spoke with the Police Chief today and noted that he is in charge of the Police Department.

Mr. Cline moved to approve bills and claims in the amount of $400.00. Mr. Smith seconded. Gallion yes, Kammer yes, Cline yes, Rouse yes, Smith yes, Netzly yes. Six yes votes. Bills and claims approved.

Ms. Gallion moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Kammer seconded. Gallion yes, Kammer yes, Cline yes, Rouse yes, Smith yes, Netzly yes. Six yes votes. Meeting adjourned.

______________________________ __________________________
Anne L. Johnson, Clerk-Treasurer Robert L. Benson, Mayor

March 21.….….…………………….…………….....….........Council Meeting 7:00 pm