I – IDENTIFICATION
The district is officially known as the Eastern Ohio Regional Wastewater Authority, acronym (EORWA). It was established on June 4, 1958, and until December, 1994, it was known as Belmont County Sewer Authority No. One.
EORWA is composed of the City of Martins Ferry, the Village of Bellaire, the Village of Brookside and the Village of Bridgeport.
The street numbering address of EORWA is:
6000 North Guernsey Street, Bellaire, Ohio 43906.
The mailing address of EORWA is:
P0 Box 508,
Bridgeport, Ohio 43912.
EORWA has adopted an official seal.
TELEPHONE AND FAX
The telephone number of EORWA is (740) 676-5911.
The fax number of EORWA is (740) 676-5912.
II – AUTHORITY, POWERS AND PURPOSE
The authority and control of EORWA is vested in the Board of Trustees, hereinafter sometimes referred to as the “Board”, which shall manage and conduct the affairs of the district and is governed by Title 6119 ( captioned Regional Water and Sewer Districts) of the Revised Code of the State of Ohio. R .C. 6119.07).
The Board has the powers, duties, and authority for the management and operation of a regional sewer district as is granted by law. (R. C. 6119.06 )
The Board is a body politic and corporate, and , as such, capable of suing and being sued , contracting and being contracted with, acquiring, holding, possessing, and disposing of real and personal property, any grant or devise of land and any donation or bequest of money or other personal property. ( R .C. 6119.06)
The power of this Board extends to those matters expressly granted by statute or those matters which may be necessarily implied from such powers specifically delegated as being necessary to carry them out.
Board members as individuals do not separately possess the powers that reside in the Board. Designated Board members may be delegated specific powers by the Board for specific purposes. No Board member shall be denied facts or materials required for the proper performance of his / her duties to which he/she is legally entitled . If such request for facts and information is administratively unreasonable, the Executive Director may withhold said facts or material until a ruling is made by the Board .
The Board has no powers when not in session, except for such powers as may be delegated by the Board to a committee thereof.
The Board, its members and employees shall be subject to all the provisions of law that apply to a regional sewer district. (R .C. 6119.0G (D))
The purpose of the Authority is for treating, neutralizing, disposing of, stabilizing, cooking, segregating or holding wastewater including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, facilities for the treatment and disposal of sewage or industrial waste and the residue thereof, facilities for the temporary or permanent impoundment of wastewater , both surface and underground , and storm and sanitary sewers and other systems whether on the surface or underground, designed to transport wastewater, together with the equipment and furnishings thereof and their appurtenances and systems, whether on the surface or underground, including force mains and pumping facilities therefore when necessary. (R .C. 6119 .011 (L))
III – FUNCTIONS
The Board shall make such rules and regulations as are necessary for the regulation of its affairs, the conduct of its business and notice of its actions. (R .C . 6119 .06(A ) )
Those bylaws and policies which are not dictated by the statutes or rules or the permits issued or ordered by Ohio Environmental Protection Agency or a court of competent jurisdiction may be adopted, amended, and repealed at any meeting of the Board .
The Board may, upon a majority vote of the full Board and where compelling reasons exist, suspend at any time the operation of a bylaw or policy herein contained, provided the suspension does not conflict with law, and such suspension shall terminate at the next meeting of the Board or at such earlier time as is specified in the motion to suspend.
The adoption, modification, repeal, or suspension of a Board bylaw or policy shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board.
Board policies consist of these bylaws, resolutions and
Motions adopted by the Board and found in its minutes and provisions contained in the Employee’s Handbook.
The Board shall exercise its executive power by the appointment of an Executive Director that will oversee the operations and administration and shall enforce the statutes and policies with respect to the operation and administration of the Authority.
The Executive Director shall be delegated the authority to take necessary action in circumstances not provided for in Board policy, provided such action shall be reported to the Board at the meeting following such action.
The Board shall exercise its operational power under the direction of the Executive Director by appointment of an Operations Manager. The Operations Manager shall enforce the statutes of Ohio, rules of the Ohio EPA, the conditions of the permits issued by the EPA, and the policies of this Board with respect to the operation of the plant.
The Board shall exercise its administrative power under the direction of the Executive Director by appointment of a Business Manager who shall enforce the statutes of Ohio, rules of the State Auditor’s Office, rules of the Ohio EPA, and policies of this Board with respect to the administration of the Authority.
The Board may assume jurisdiction over any dispute or controversy arising within this Authority and concerning any matter in which authority has been vested in the Board by statute, rule, or policy of this Board.
IV – MEMBERSHIP
The Board of Trustees shall consist of four (4) Board members, one representing each of the four participating municipalities. (See paragraph 1.2 above)
Each member of the Board shall, before entering his/ her duties of office, take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Ohio and to perform faithfully the duties of his/her office.
Each new Board member shall be invited to meet the Board President, Executive Director, Operations Manager and the Business Manager to discuss Board functions, policies, and procedures.
The initial selection of a member and his/ her selection after the initial term are both done in the same way. The mayor of the appropriate municipality nominates his candidate. Thereafter the nominee is approved by the Commission of Mayors consisting of the Mayors of the participating communities and finally is confirmed by the judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Belmont County, Ohio.
Appointments must reside within the municipality and may not be an employee of any municipality.
The term of each Board member shall be three (3) years commencing April 1 of the first year of appointment and ending March 31 of the third year.
Vacancies, created by death or resignation, or created for any other reason, on the Board shall be filled at a regular or special meeting of the Commission for the completion of the term of the member who has died or resigned or otherwise has left as a Board member when more than 1 year remains in the member’s term. If less than 1 year remains in the member’s term, his/ her successor shall be appointed by the remaining members of the Board of Trustees for the balance of his/ her term. (Item F of Amended Petition Case No. 17920 Court of Common Pleas of Belmont County, Ohio.)
The Board shall fix the compensation of its members which must be reflected in its minutes.
In the event that a member of the Board of Trustees is absent two or more consecutive times from regularly scheduled monthly meetings, he shall receive no compensation after the first meeting. In the event that a member of the Board of Trustees is disabled by sickness or injury, he shall receive no compensation beginning with the seventh consecutive regularly scheduled monthly meeting that he has missed . (Adopted minutes of November 13, 1990.)
Public official’s liability insurance is carried on behalf of the trustees and employees of the Authority. (Minutes of October 6, 1986; Section 2744 .08 O.R .C.)
V – ORGANIZATION
At the first meeting in January, the Board shall proceed to the election of a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Officers shall serve for one (1) year or until their respective successors are elected.
The Board shall at the first yearly meeting :
designate a newspaper of general circulation in the county as the official newspaper;
designate a day, place, and time for regular meetings which shall be held at least once every two (2) months;
In July of each year the Board shall designate depositories for the funds of the Authority.
Committees of Board members shall, when specifically charged to do so by the Board, conduct studies, make recommendations to the Board and act in an advisory capacity, but shall not take action on behalf of the Board.
2)Committees shall consist of no more than two (2) members.
Committee members shall be appointed by the President who shall serve as an ex-officio member on all committees.
A member may request (or refuse) appointment to a committee. Refusal to serve on any one committee shall not be grounds for failure to appoint a member to another committee.
Ad hoc committees may be created and charged at any time by the President.
Members of committees shall serve until the committee is discharged.
VI – MEETINGS
The parliamentary authority governing the Board of Trustees shall be Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, in all cases in which it is not inconsistent with statute, administrative code, or these bylaws.
1)Three (3) members present at a meeting shall constitute a quorum, and no business shall be conducted in the absence of a quorum.
The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board. In the absence, disability, or disqualification of the President, the Vice President shall act instead.
NOTICE OF MEETINGS
1)A schedule of the time and place of all regular meetings shall be published annually in the official newspaper and posted in the administrative office. (See Article VIII)
Notice of the time, place, and purpose of each special meeting shall be given to the official newspaper and to such news media as have requested such notice 24 hours in advance of the meeting, except that such 24 hour limitation may be waived when an emergency requires the immediate official action of the Board. (R .C. 121.22)
Notice of meetings at which a specific type of public business is to be discussed shall be sent to all persons requesting such notice, provided such persons supply the Board with stamped , addressed envelopes for that purpose and pay any fees required for the same.
The business office staff shall notify all Board members of each regular Board meeting one day in advance of the meeting. Such notice shall include the time and place of the meeting.
Regular meetings of the Board shall be public. (R .C. 121.22)
It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Director to prepare an agenda of the items of business to come before the Board at each regular meeting.
Communications to the Board should be in the hands of the Executive Director ten days before a regular meeting of the Board to permit inclusion in the agenda.
The order of business shall be as follows, unless altered by the presiding officer or a majority of those present voting:
Call to Order
Minutes of Previous Meeting
Approval of Bills
Special meetings of the Board shall be public. (R .C. 121.22)
Special meetings shall be called by the President or the Secretary or by any two members of the Board by serving a written notice of the time, place, and purpose of such meeting upon each Board member at least two days in advance of the meeting.
The order of business shall be as follows unless altered by the presiding officer or a majority of those present and voting:
Call to order
Reading of notice of meeting
Transaction of business for which meeting was called
Public Participation as provided
The Board reserves the right to meet privately in executive session solely to discuss one or more of the following issues exempted from public sessions:
Consideration of the appointment , employment , dismissal, discipline, promotion , demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official;
Investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee or official , unless such employee or official requests a public meeting; except that consideration of the discipline of a Board member for conduct related to the performance of his/ her duties or his/ her removal from office shall not be held in executive session ;
Consideration of the purchase of property or sale of property at competitive bidding, if premature disclosure or information would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to a person whose personal , private interest is adverse to the general public interest ;
Discussion, with the Board’s legal counsel , of disputes involving the Board that are the subject of pending or imminent court action;
Preparation for conduct or review of negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of employment ;
Matters required to be kept confidential by federal law or rules or state statutes;
Specialized details of security arrangements where disclosure might reveal information that could be used for the purpose of committing or avoiding prosecution of a violation of law.
No official action may be taken in executive session.
An executive session will be held only at a regular or special meeting. After the meeting is convened any member may make a motion for an executive session, stating therewith the purpose of the session . Upon receiving a second to the motion, the Board will go into executive session.
All motions shall require for adoption a majority vote of those present and voting, except as provided by statute, or parliamentary authority. Upon demand of any member of the Board , the vote shall be recorded by roll call . Abstentions shall not be counted as votes, but shall be recorded and are deemed to acquiesce in the outcome of the vote.
At least a majority of the quorum voting affirmatively shall be required to pass a resolution or motion.
The Secretary shall keep reasonably comprehensive minutes of all Board meetings showing the time and place, the members and other persons present , the subjects considered , the actions taken , the vote of each member, and any other information required to be shown in the minutes by law, which shall be available to the public. Minutes of executive sessions shall reflect the general subject matter of discussions. (R.C.121.22 and 149 .43)
The Executive Director shall provide each Board member with a copy of the minutes of the last meeting no later than two days before the next regular meeting.
The minutes of Board meetings shall be considered at the next succeeding meeting where they shall be read (unless waived by law), corrected, and approved. The approved minutes shall be signed by the Secretary and the President and shall be filed in the Executive Director’s office in a prescribed minute book as a permanent record of official Board proceedings.
VII – PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN BOARD MEETINGS
The presiding officer of each Board meeting at which public participation is permitted shall administer the rules of the Board for its conduct . The presiding officer shall be guided by the following rules.
Public participation shall be permitted at the discretion of the presiding officer.
The Board requires that public participants be residents of this district, an employee of this district, or anyone having a legitimate interest in the actions of the Board.
All persons wishing to participate in a public Board meeting shall send a letter of their intent to the Executive Director ten days in advance of the meeting and include their name, address, group affiliation if appropriate, and topic to be addressed.
Participants may be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface their comments by signing the register showing their address and group affiliation, if appropriate, and by announcing their name and group affiliation, if appropriate, prior to speaking.
Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to five minutes duration.
No participant may speak more than once on the same topic unless all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard.
All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no participant may address or question Board members individually.
The presiding officer may:
interrupt, warn, or terminate a participant’s statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene, or irrelevant.
request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum
request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly person when that person’s conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting
call for a recess or an adjournment to another time with Board approval when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action .
The portion of the meeting during which the participation of the public is invited shall be limited to twenty minutes .
VIII – PUBLIC MEETINGS
(Cross Reference Section 121.22 O. R .C.)
The Executive Director will inform the news media in December of each year of the time and place of the regular meetings of the Board. If at any time during the calendar year the time or place of the regular meetings , or of any regular meeting, is changed on a permanent or temporary basis, a statement of the time and place of such changed regular meetings shall be provided the news media that have requested notification immediately , or at least , twenty-four hours before the time of the first changed regular meeting.
Upon the adjournment of any regular or special meeting to another day , the Executive Director shall promptly inform the news media , who have requested such notification , and give them notice of the time and place of such adjourned meeting.
Except in the case of an emergency meeting, the Executive Director, not later than twenty-four hours before the time of a special meeting of the Board, shall give the news media, that have requested notification, a statement of the time, place and purposes of such special meeting.
The statement under this section and any notifications under an emergency shall state such specific or general purpose or purposes then known to the Executive Director to be intended to be considered at such special meeting and may state, as an additional general purpose, that any other business as may properly come before the Board at such meeting may be considered and acted upon .
PROCEDURE FOR NEWS MEDIA NOTIFICATION OF SPECIAL MEETINGS
Any news media organization that desires to be given advance notification of special meetings of the Authority shall file with the Executive Director a written request therefor.
Except in the event of an emergency requiring immediate official action as referred to in subsection (f) hereof , a special meeting shall not be held unless at least twenty-four hours advance notice of the time, place and purposes of such special meeting is given to the news media that have requested such advance notification in accordance with subsection ( c) hereof.
News media requests for such advance notification of special meetings shall specify: the political subdivision that is the subject of such request ; the name of the medium; the name and address of the person to whom written notifications to the medium may be mailed or delivered ; and the names, addresses and telephone numbers , including addresses and telephone numbers at which notifications may be given either during or outside of business hours, of at least two persons to either one of whom oral notifications to the medium may be given .
Any such request shall be effective for one year from the date of filing with the Executive Director or until the Executive Director receives written notice from such medium cancelling or modifying such request, whichever is earlier. Each requesting news medium shall be informed of such period of effectiveness at the time it files its request. Such requests may be modified or extended only by filing a completely new request with the Executive Director. A request shall not be deemed to be made unless it is complete in all respects, and such request may be conclusively relied on by the Authority and the Executive Director .
The Executive Director shall give such oral notification or written notification, or both, as the Executive Director determines, to the news media that have requested such advance notification of the time, place and purposes of each special meeting, at least twenty-four hours prior to the time of such special meeting.
In the event of an emergency requiring immediate official action, a special meeting may be held without giving twenty-four hours advance notification thereof to the requesting news media . The person calling such meeting, or any one or more of such persons or the Executive Director on their behalf , shall immediately give oral notification or written notification , or both , as the person or persons giving such notification determine, of the time, place and purpose of such special meeting to such news media that have requested advance notification in accordance with subsection (c) hereof. The minutes of any such special meeting shall state the general nature of the emergency requiring immediate official action.
INDIVIDUAL NOTIFICATION; FEE
Any person, upon request and as provided herein, may obtain reasonable advance notification of all meetings at which any specific type of public business is scheduled to be discussed.
Such person may file a written request with the Executive Director specifying: the person’s name, and the address and telephone number at or through which the person may be reached during and outside of business hours; the specific type of public business the discussion of which the person is requesting advance notification; the political subdivision that is the subject of such request; and the number of calendar months, not to exceed three, which the request covers. Such request may be cancelled by written request from such person to the Executive Director. The decision of the Executive Director as to the necessity of notification shall be final and binding.
Each such written request must be accompanied by cash, a certified check or money order payable to EORWA in the amount of eight dollars ($8.00) for each month covered by the request, which amount has been determined by the Authority to represent a reasonable fee to cover costs of providing such advance notification .
Such requests may be modified or extended only by filing a completely new request with the Executive Director. A request shall not be deemed to be made unless it is complete in all respects , and such request may be conclusively relied on by the Authority that is the subject of such request and the Executive Director.
The contents of written notification under this section may be a copy of the agenda of the meeting.
WRITTEN /ORAL NOTIFICATION
Any notification provided herein to be given by the Executive Director may be given by any person acting in behalf of or under the authority of the Executive Director.
The Executive Director shall give notification under the provisions hereof by written notification or by oral notification, or both, as the Executive Director determines. Oral notification means notification given orally either in person or by telephone, directly to the person for whom such notification is intended, or by leaving an oral message for such person at the address, or if by telephone at the telephone number of such person as shown on the requests to the Executive Director.
A reasonable attempt at notification shall constitute notification in compliance with these rules.
MINUTES OF MEETINGS
Minutes of all regular and special meetings of the Authority shall promptly be recorded in writing and, once approved by the Board as its minutes, open to the public for inspection. Minutes of executive sessions of such public bodies need only reflect the general subject matter of discussion in such executive session.
Minute books for the Authority shall be kept in the administrative office and, upon request and reasonable notice shall be available for public inspection during normal business hours in that office.
If copies of specific minutes are requested they shall be available at a cost of $1.00 per page. The total cost for such minutes must be paid in cash, certified check or money order. (Adopted Minutes October 5, 1995.)