Bellaire council and Southpoint Industries reach resolution

T-L Photo/GAGE VOTA Bellaire Mayor Edward Marling, from left, Fiscal Officer Marla Krupnik, Councilman Mike Doyal and Solicitor Paul Stecker discuss the possibility of getting an ordinance resolved.

BELLAIRE — Southpoint Industries and the village of Bellaire reached a resolution to dismiss a lawsuit Thursday.

Council voted Thursday evening to pass an ordinance to pay Southpoint Industries for its past work that has not been paid for.

In December 2023, council had passed Ordinance 20-23-17, which was an ordinance to appropriate funds and authorize the drawing of a warrant for the payment of invoices for work done on behalf of the village in regards to Southpoint Industries. At the time of the ordinance, there was a tied vote and Mayor Edward Marling cast the deciding vote to break the tie to approve the ordinance so that the invoice could be paid to Southpoint Industries. A few members of council voiced concerns that it would be unethical for Marling to vote due to a potential conflict of interest with the particular issue. As a result of the potential conflict of interest, the ordinance was never acted on, leaving Southpoint Industries without receiving payment for the work it did for the village of Bellaire.

Councilwoman Janet Richardson asked Marling Thursday if he wished to resend his original vote.

“I shall resend my vote,” he replied.

Recently the village of Bellaire received legal documents that stated it was being sued for the payment of invoices owed to Southpoint Industries.

Richardson said she believes it would be prudent to make a motion to bring the ordinance to a vote to potentially resolve the matter and to avoid legal fees. Fiscal Officer Marla Krupnik asked for council to discuss the issue more before a vote is determined.

Krupnik said she was directed by multiple auditors not to pay the invoice.

“If the auditors come in and that it is invalid, I am still on the hook, so I would like to ask if we could add into the ordinance that the council would be responsible financially for the payment,”

she added. “It’s easy to sit up here and everyone say go, go, go pay this guy, but then it comes back to me and I’m on the hook for it.”

Village Solicitor Paul Stecker said he has no issue adding that into the ordinance.

Councilman Robert “Bubba” Kapral interjected and said that he agrees that Krupnik shouldn’t be personally held financially responsible for the matter.

“We’re glossing over the fact that the procedure wasn’t followed and I’m not going to vote for that, and if I vote no I’m certainly not going to be tied into any liability for anything that has absolutely nothing to do with nothing that I’ve done,” Councilman Mike Doyle said.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Dugmore replied, “I don’t think we’re glossing over that fact. We acknowledged that fact,”

Doyle interjected that he didn’t hear any mention of acknowledgement of the procedure not being followed.

“I’m certainly not going to assume the incompetence of somebody else,” he added.

“The way I look at it, I did absolutely nothing wrong but yet I’m the one getting sued, that’s not right,” Krupnik said.

Stecker said he would change the verbiage in the ordinance, which led to the council being able to vote on the resolution of the ordinance. Ordinance 20-23-17 was passed, directing payment to Southpoint and saving the village additional court fees.

Council ended the meeting by planning a personnel committee meeting for 10 a.m. May 28 at the municipal building.


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