Village Council

Village Council— New water lines funded

Village Council approved the first reading of a resolution committing the Village to about half of the cost of a municipal water line improvement to increase water flow and fire safety to the village. Having received notification of a $400,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission to pay for half the project’s cost, Council committed to funding the remaining $450,000 to complete the work.

“This is a badly needed project, and it’s nice to have someone help pay for it,” said Interim Village Manager Kent Bristol during the Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 7.

The project is part of a plan known as the Water System Loop Completion Project, a plan to eliminate water system bottlenecks that has been on the village agenda for about five years. The work was recommended by Village consulting engineer John Eastman, who has said that parts of the village, including Antioch College and the village’s southern business district, are at serious risk of inadequate fire flow without it.

The portion of the project the Village won grant funding for and is therefore starting with includes three segments. The first adds a new line from the corner of Herman Street at Xenia Avenue west to the Village water towers. The second adds a connector from the corner of Livermore at South College over to Corry and Glen streets (routing through the Antioch College campus). The third segment replaces the 6-inch line along Corry Street from Xenia Avenue to Dayton Street with a 10-inch line.

If the project wins final approval by Council next month, the design and bidding will likely occur through the winter and spring, with construction slated for summer 2014, according to Eastman.

According to the resolution, the Village will first use available resources from the water fund to pay for the project at the appropriate time. Any additional resources will come from the general fund, which is healthy enough to support it, Bristol said during the meeting.

To fully eliminate bottlenecks in the village, according to Eastman, the remaining parts of the Water Loop project include installing a water line along Xenia Avenue between Herman Street and Kahoe Lane, near YSI. That area currently receives enough water flow for residential fire safety, however the flow is inadequate for commercial fire safety, according to Eastman. The Village has no current plans for that portion of the project but anticipates looking for other grant funds or loans to complete the project in the future.

According to Eastman the Village was very fortunate to have received the OPWC grant for the initial stage of the project. The Village had applied twice before for a grant with no success, and Council member Karen Wintrow said that highlighting the partnership with the college this time could have helped.

“Overall the goal is to add the final piece of the project to break the bottleneck and make a substantial improvement in the fire safety for the downtown, Antioch College and the residential areas around the college,” Eastman said.

In other Council business:
• Council approved the $250,000 five-year lease-purchase of a new Jet Vac truck for cleaning and maintenance of sanitary sewer lines. The previous truck was over 23 years old and less effective at managing the sewer needs, whereas the new truck dislodges and remove blockages, grinds tree roots, holds up to four times the water, and locates water lines with much less risk of damaging them.

“It’s a necessity to maintain the lines and stormwater system as well,” water superintendent Jason Hamby said.

• Council approved a “declaration of intent” to repay up to $900,000 in federal bonds it may use to finance the infrastructure for the Center for Business and Education. According to Bristol, the resolution does not incur debt or commit the Village to following through with CBE construction, but it is required by the U.S. Treasury to receive the loan. The contract was vetted and recommended by both Village Solicitor Chris Connard and bond attorney Margaret Comey.

• Council authorized Interim Manager Bristol to contract the Village’s accounting needs to Clark Schaefer Hackett. The regional accounting firm stepped in for the Village after Village Finance Director Sharon Potter retired in August. The firm has completed the Village’s audits for the past three years, and is therefore familiar with the budget, Bristol said. The firm charges the Village an average of $1,000 per week for its services.

• Council plans to hold budget discussions through the fall and approve a draft budget by December. Once elections have occurred and the new Council is in place, Council will take up the budget in earnest in January to get a final budget submitted to the Greene County Auditor by April.

Contact: lheaton {at} ysnews(.)com

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