The Council of the Village of Riverlea met on the above date at the Old Worthington Library. The following Council members were present: Mayor Dan E. Schlichting, Jeffrey Amick, Janet Heidkamp, Emily J. Saving, and Suzanne Surface. Also present were Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer, Leah Reibel, Solicitor, and Bryce Jacob, Planning Commissioner. Guests of council was resident Mary Rose. At 6:30 p.m., the Mayor called the meeting to order.


The minutes of the Council meeting of April 15, 2024 were not read since each member had received a copy. Amick moved and Saving seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion carried (4-0).

Report of the Clerk-Treasurer

Surface moved and Saving seconded the motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial reports for April 2024 as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion carried (4-0).

Report of the Mayor

  1. The Mayor reported that there had been no recent communications with the City of Worthington on the Melbourne connector and that he would notify Council when this project starts.
  2. The Mayor reported that he had sent an email to the Worthington Police Department to receive monthly reports on activity in the area. He received these reports for recent months and will get them going forward. He will also pick up reports containing similar information for recent years from the police station.
  3. The Mayor stated that he had received comments from residents on the rotted wood on the entrance signs to the Village at Riverglen and Southington. He also has concerns about a dead branch on a tree in the Circle Park. Both items are on the agenda for further discussion.
  4. The Mayor stated that he has concerns about the language around enforcement in the deer ordinance. He had sent some proposed policies about this to Council members, and this will be discussed during discussion of the ordinance.

Report of the Solicitor

The Solicitor reported that she had discussed the potential deer ordinance with the Law Director for the City of Worthington. The Director stated that the City has no language in their ordinance around timelines for notification of violations. They also stated that Worthington has only had one reported violation of this ordinance to date and this violation resulted in the sending of a letter to the resident and no additional follow-up required.

Report of the Street Commissioner

The Street Commissioner was not in attendance at the meeting.

Report of the Planning Commissioner

The Planning Commissioner stated that there had been little activity this month. The Commission had approved a slight modification to a window in a prior approved plan and the Commissioner had received a call from the potential buyer of a lot for sale about the Village’s rules around home construction.

Comments from Residents on Agenda Items

Resident Mary Rose addressed Council concerning the proposed legislation prohibiting the feeding of deer in the Village. She stated that she has lived in the Village for 30 years and she is opposed to ban. She currently feeds the deer and other wildlife from her home on Olentangy and feels that if deer are not receiving food close to the river, this will force them further into the Village and closer to High Street. She wondered if the ban on feeding deer in Worthington has forced the deer into Riverlea to receive food. She questioned if birth control is a viable option to prevent the numbers from growing and stated that she is willing to contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to work with them on the issue. She asked Council to consider other alternatives to preventing the feeding of deer.

Old Business

  1. Committee on Infrastructure


  1. Schlichting, the Chair of the Committee, reported that the Committee had met and discussed the asset management plan and plans to start implementing that plan this summer with the sealing of cracks in the roads. The Committee estimates that these initial activities will cost no more than $25k. Burgess & Niple will send requests for quotes to area contractors and the Committee hopes to review these at the June meeting.
  2. The Chair reported that the lift station had recently been cleaned. This had been a larger job than normal because it had been about 1 ½ years since the last cleanout, contributing to a lot of sediment buildup.
  3. The Chair stated that with the construction of the new house at the end of Olentangy, the Village will need to relocate the exhaust from the lift station to vent on the other side of the building. He also suggested that when this is done, The Village should also install a timer that would vent this during off hours to prevent complaints about the smell of this exhaust.
  4. The Chair stated that the Village needs to plan for the inspection of stormwater sewers and the force main. No one has ever inspected the force main, and it is unknown what this will show.


  1. Web Manager

The Web Manager was not in attendance.

  1. Communications Committee

The Chair of the Committee was not in attendance. The Mayor stated that the Chair had asked Council to approve an amount for the printing of the Village directories. Saving moved and Heidkamp seconded the motion to authorize no more than $2,000 for this printing. The motion passed (4-0).

  1. Ordinance 01-2024

Ordinance 01-2024 – An Ordinance to Add a Section 90.17 to the Ordinances of the Village of Riverlea to Prohibit the Feeding of Deer had its third reading.

Surface stated that Worthington’s web site has information around their ordinance and asked that Riverlea’s site contain similar information if the ordinance is passed. Surface also responded to the earlier comment from resident Mary Rose concerning the use of birth control, stating that studies on this have shown that it is not effective on a widespread population, given the difficulty in distributing this. Surface stated that there had been no increase in deer-related crashes since the implementation of Worthington’s deer ordinance, seeming to indicate that this was not forcing deer closer to High Street. She stated that she understood Rose’s concerns but felt that the deer population had gotten out of control and needed to be dealt with.

The Solicitor stated that she had also researched the usage of birth control to maintain deer populations, and this requires the use of a sharpshooter to administer these doses, making it unwieldy in an urban environment. The Solicitor also questioned whether residents would continue to feed other wildlife, with deer having access to this food as well. Saving replied that the ordinance contained language prohibiting the unintentional feeding of deer as well, so the Village could deal with this.

The Mayor stated that he would like to clarify when and where a resident would report a violation. The Solicitor noted that Worthington’s ordinance does not contain any similar language and that the language in the current ordinance should be sufficient. She stated that criminal ordinances do not usually contain more specific language, because that would invite more opportunities for the challenge of the law. Saving stated that she also felt that more general language is appropriate, and Council could work on policies around the enforcement of this once it has passed.

Amick felt that the Village needs to make it clear to residents that it will be their responsibility to pursue prosecution and to document any violations if necessary.

Surface mentioned that Worthington had passed their ordinance but delayed the effective date of enforcement pending notification to residents. Council agreed that this is a standard the Village should follow. Saving moved and Surface seconded the motion to pass the ordinance as written. The motion passed unanimously (4-0).

New Business

  1. Flag Lighting

Amick stated that he had reviewed options for the lighting of the flags in the Circle. The two main options would be to have a light shine up on the flags or shine down from the top. Council agreed that having a light shine up would be the easiest to install and maintain. Saving moved and Heidkamp seconded the motion to authorize no more than $250 to purchase a solar light to shine on these flags. Amick will research and purchase this light.

  1. Entrance Sign Maintenance

The Mayor stated that he had received comments on the condition of the lampposts at either entrance to the Village along High Street, at Riverglen and Southington, and of the sign at the south entrance to the Village along Olentangy. The Mayor will inspect the sign on Olentangy to determine the condition of this. He estimated that the wood on the High Street entrances can be replaced for less than $800. Council will investigate whether it makes more sense to repair these existing entrance signs or replace them with something new.

  1. Dead Tree Branch

The Mayor stated that there is a large limb that is dead on one of the trees in Circle Park. He will contact a vendor for a quote on removing this dead limb.


Saving moved and Surface seconded the motion to authorize the following expenditures:

$5,030.00 – Chucks Septic Tank, Sewer, & Drain Cleaning – Lift station cleanout

$   358.60 – Gudenkauf Corp – Water & gas line locating

The motion was approved (4-0).

Comments from Residents on Non-Agenda Items

There were no comments from residents on non-agenda items.

Next Meeting Announcement

The next regular meeting will be Monday, June 17, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Worthington Library.


There being no further business, Surface moved and Heidkamp seconded the motion to adjourn.  The motion was approved unanimously (4-0). The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.


Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer

Daniel E. Schlichting, Mayor