By DAVID GREEN
Higher water and sewer rates could be on the horizon for Fayette residents as concern continues about paying for the services provided.
The issue was discussed in June, but a vote by acting mayor Craig Rower broke a tie and killed a motion to increase rates.
The village utility fund went into the red in 2008 and money from the enhancement fund—designated for maintenance and replacement costs—has been used to pay for operation of the water and sewer system.
Councilors heard the first reading Thursday of another proposal to bump up the rates. The issue is expected to be discussed at the Oct. 8 meeting and voted on at the Oct. 22 meeting.
Village administrator Amy Metz will be available next week to hear questions and concerns about the increase. Because of her other duties, she asks citizens to make an appointment by calling 237-2116.
The rate recommended by council’s Finance Committee calls for a monthly increase, for example, of $2.89 for a residence using 7,000 gallons of water and $3.94 for 10,000 gallons.
The rate increase would allow the water and sewer services to operate on a break-even status and not accumulate funds for future needs.
If accepted by council, the new rates would take effect Jan. 1, 2010.
Comments about the rates will be collected and given to council members to review for the Oct. 8 meeting.
HALLOWEEN—Trick-or-treating is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31. An extra hour was added due to requests from some residents.
POOL FENCE—Metz read a letter from Fayette resident Jacob Barnes who is employed as the zoning enforcement administrator for Springfield Township.
Barnes said that drowning is the second leading cause of death for children and he was surprised to read that council is considering removing the ordinance calling for fences around swimming pools.
Why have fencing around an electrical substation, he asked? Why not just post a sign that says “Keep out”?
Barnes said he doesn’t see the fence ordinance as an infringement of personal rights, but rather for the protection of village residents.
DONATION—Council acknowledged the receipt of a donation of $5,000 for capital projects from Frank and Nancy Roach.
LEAVES—Metz reminded residents that village workers will not collect loose leaves this fall. The crew will pick up leaf bags—available for sale at the village office—every other Monday. Residents can transport leaves themselves to an area near the village barn.
The decision to curtail leaf collection was made due to village financial problems.
SUPPORT—Rep. Robert Latta wrote letters of support to the USDA Rural Development agency regarding Fayette’s efforts to obtain grants for sewer system upgrades.
He also wrote to the Ohio EPA asking for completion of the combined sewer overflow project in 2017 rather than 2013.
He noted the high rate of unemployment (15 percent), the high rate of home vacancy (11 percent) and incidence of rental units in the village (40 percent).