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Apr
20
2024
Village Council

Village Council checks in on water projects

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At the Tuesday, June 20, Village Council meeting, Council members discussed delays in two water projects the Village was hoping to complete by November 2023: the King Street water main extension project and the HB168 galvanized line replacement project.

The projects, which were contracted out to JNT Excavating services in January, are currently in default after JNT Excavating ceased operations and declared bankruptcy in May. In his report to Council, Village Manager Josué  Salmerón said JNT Excavating’s assets have been repossessed by Merchants Bank.

Salmerón said he has been in contact with the village solicitor and bond companies to see about the Village’s options.

“We are trying to have the Village [budget] made whole by the bonding company,” Salmerón said.

The two projects were part of the Village’s strategy to repair aging infrastructure throughout the Village. While the $86,660 King Street project was funded through the Village, the project to replace galvanized lines was paid for by a 1.2 million grant from the state.

“We must deliver [the galvanized line replacement] project by November 2024,” Salmerón said.

If the project is not completed, the Village could lose the grant funds awarded by the state.

Salmerón said he is exploring the feasibility of continuing the projects with a different contractor.

“The Village reserved all rights available under the contracts and bonds, including the right to secure the project sites and back charge any costs incurred by the Village to complete the projects due to JNT Excavating’s default,” Salmerón wrote in his report, which was included in the Council packet. “If the cost to complete the work and related claims, costs, losses, and damages exceeds the unpaid balance, JNT Excavating is obligated to pay the difference to the Village.”

In other Council business, June 20:

Cliff Street PUD

Council members heard a first reading on a piece of legislation to rezone 144 Cliff St. as a planned unit development, or PUD. According to Planning and Zoning Administrator Denise Swinger, the underlying zoning for the area would be B-2, or general business, but the PUD would allow for more flexibility in the space. Part of the building houses The Warren, a community space owned by local residents Ezra and Ryan Stinson.

Council member Marianne MacQueen voiced her support for the rezoning, saying she was happy to see new businesses in the village.

“It’s great that the property is being reused by young people who live here,” she said. “I think it’s very exciting.”

Micro-mobility vehicles

Council members passed three emergency ordinances that would disallow the use of “micro-mobility vehicles,” such as electric scooters, in addition to bicycles and skateboards on sidewalks in the downtown area. The first ordinance adds and defines micro-mobility devices, and the other two ordinances repeal and replace old language in the Village ordinances that the new micro-mobility ordinance covers.

According to Village Solicitor Amy Blankenship, the legislation, which gives no concessions for small children, provides clarity to those using wheels to get around the village.

“It spells out some specificity of how we want to handle things in the village,” Blankenship said.

The legislation defines the downtown area as Xenia Avenue from Limestone Street to Corry Street;  Short Street from Walnut Street to Xenia Avenue; Glen Street from Xenia Avenue to Keith’s alley; Corry Street from Dayton Street to Kieth’s alley; and Dayton Street from Walnut Street to Corry Street. Council previously decided to update and pass the ordinances as an emergency in response to a new e-scooter rental business that opened in Yellow Springs earlier this spring.

Renewable Energy Credits

Council gave a second reading to and unanimously passed an ordinance allowing for the sale of Renewable Energy Credits, or RECS, which are generated by the Village’s use of renewable energy sources.

“We are looking to leverage the RECS we get,” Salmerón said. 

Part of the legislation dictates that 85% of the revenue generated by the sale of RECs go toward electric enterprise infrastructure projects. The other 15% will be used for projects that will lower the Village’s greenhouse gas emissions and address equity issues among electric customers.

Water tower maintenance

Council passed a resolution allowing Salmerón to enter into a contract with Dixon Engineering and Inspection services for a planned water tower repainting project. Dixon Engineering will provide inspection services through the duration of the project.

“Their job is to ensure the work is done well,” Salmerón said.

The cost to the Village is $88,725 for the inspection of both water towers with a change order allowance of 15%.

Tax budget

Council passed a resolution allowing Finance Manager Amy Kemper to submit a 2024 tax budget to the Greene County Auditor. This is the first step in the 2024 budgeting process.

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