SOUTH RUSSELL - Fiscal Officer Danielle Romanowski reported on Monday that the village funds balance is $3.24 million and will be boosted by an $11,000 COVID-19 refund from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and $3,200 from the Geauga County Auditor’s Office. This is South Russell’s portion of the $500,000 refund that Geauga Auditor Charles Walder promised to return to local tax authorities from the county Real Estate Assessment Fund.

Councilman Mike Carroll asked if the village is aware of a reimbursement from the ambulance billing company Life Force, who gave the city of Lyndhurst a $15,000 refund for Medicare. Mr. Carroll explained that it is an incentive to help cities who have lost revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the reimbursement must be used on COVID-19 related expenses.

Since Chagrin Falls High School seniors will have a virtual graduation due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Village Council agreed to hang a banner across Bell Road to honor the class of 2020.

Chagrin Falls High School Parent Teacher Organization member Chrissy Barr suggested the idea during the Zoom meeting’s public comment period.

“I am a parent of a senior at the high school and as we all know their senior year isn’t quite what we hoped for,” she said. “So, we have put a committee together to find ways to brighten their days since they’re not having the typical spring fest, prom, things that are big traditions.” She added that the PTO would pay for the banner.

Mayor William Koons suggested the banner be put up on May 26 with possible recognition to seniors living in the village. South Russell is one of several communities in the school district.

Mrs. Barr said the PTO is asking South Russell residents to tie orange ribbons around the trees in their front yards to support the class of 2020.

Councilman Mark Porter reported that the Street Committee will be conducting interviews for a new employee on May 19 at 7:00 p.m.

In other business, Village Council had a first of three readings on a resolution that would authorize South Russell to discard any unneeded dirt, grindings and mulch deemed to be no value to the village. Councilman Mike Carroll suggested that, instead of being on a first-come, first-service basis, South Russell should keep a running list of citizens who have expressed interest in picking up these assorted construction materials and distribute them appropriately.

Mayor Koons agreed, and said that it would be a good idea to print a notice in the monthly newsletter about any leftover materials. The resolution will likely have its third and final reading in July.

Trash day is tentatively set for June 6, officials said.

Council Member Chris Berger opened the meeting with a history lesson about the origins of Memorial Day this year on May 25.

“I personally find it compelling that the day, Decoration or Memorial, is not a day of governmental commemoration,” he said. “It is not an edict of the state, but started by those who lost their loved ones in the service of this country and wanted to remember them.”

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