Housing Commission approves minutes despite multiple delays

Skip Schulz/For the Daily Mining Gazete Members of the Ontonagon County Housing Commission meet to discuss a myriad of issues including minutes approval and flooring improvements.

ONTONAGON — In most organizations the approval of meeting minutes is a quick, unanimous decision that is simply a formality. This was not the case with some summer meetings of the Ontonagon Village Housing Commission (OVHC).

For the past two months, the OVHC Board debated the wording of special, closed and open meetings going back to August.

With board members voting 4-1, meetings on Aug. 14, two meetings on Aug. 21, Oct. 9 and Oct 11 were finally all approved Monday. Board Member, Richard Ernest was the lone dissenting vote.

“I did not read the minutes,” Ernest stated during the motion to approve the Aug 14 special meeting minutes. Ernest also did go with the other board members in approving the Oct. 11 meeting.

Payments from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the OVHC are dependent upon the approval of minutes. During the Oct. 11 meeting OVHC Director Sally Jarvey reported that HUD has had a slight increase in their payments to the OVHC.

During a question-and-answer session with Mark Hannula of the Hannula Insurance Agency, the topic of HUD regulations was brought up dealing with the classification of employees of the OVHC when it came to workman’s comp and liability insurance. This issue deals with Jarvey and Sue Lockhart, OVHC secretary, doing inspections of the living units.

Due to HUD and insurance rules, Jarvey and Lockhart were under a specific classification, which determines the workman’s comp liability rates.

Previously, either Lockhart or Jarvey did the inspections to save money. However, Hannula reported that due to the decrease in claims, workman’s comp insurance has decreased. This prompted the board to have Jarvey do the inspections in place of Lockhart. The inspections are done on an annual basis, according to Jarvey.

“I’m willing to do this,” she said. “We’re trying to keep costs down.”

Hannula and Jarvey complimented Lockhart on her work in getting the grants and assistance from the Hannula Agency in security cameras.

“Having those cameras also saves you money on insurance charges. For us this is a risk deduction,” Hannula said.

New flooring for one of the units and 40 new humidistats were discussed. Of three businesses contacted for the humidistats, one was willing to sell the humidistats — Hegg Plumbing and Heating of Ontonagon. However, the OVHC would have to hire an electrician to install them.

The board approved having Jarvey contact electricians for the installation.

“We can put that (installation) in our budget for next year,” Jarvey said.

As far as the flooring, carpet and vinyl, Lockhart has been working on getting the best prices. This includes working and contacting local flooring providers.

This prompted Ernest, who has his own construction company and an extensive background in flooring to respond, “I think it would be good to contact businesses outside of the local area.”

At past meetings board member Dot Phillips suggested holding a meeting between residents and the OVHC Board. This was on the agenda, but when Phillips was asked to address the issue, she stated she has not had time to pursue this due to health reasons.

The topic will be on the Dec 11 meeting.

“Our meetings are scheduled every month, and the residents are welcome to come to those meetings and address the board,” Jarvey said.