Fayette village council 10.28.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s water and sewer service is expected to stay out of the red next year after council members approved a rate increase last week.

A six percent increase in water rates coupled with a 27 percent increase in sewer rates was approved unanimously Thursday, with Mike Maginn and Craig Rower absent from the meeting.

Village administrator Amy Metz has pushed in the past for a rate increase to keep the funds from losing money, but an effort in June was voted down.

A past proposal would have brought in enough cash to bring the funds into the black, as well as put money into the maintenance fund. The measure passed last week will allow the funds to break even, Metz said, but not contribute to maintenance, replacement and emergencies.

Dr. Thomas Brown, a guest from the Northwest Ohio Mayors and Managers Association, spoke to council members about the tough decisions needed to keep municipal services operating.

When he was mayor of Port Clinton, Brown said the decision was made to double water and sewer rates to stop sewer overflows and to add a four percent increase in the maintenance fund.

Brown said he has many state and federal contacts from his days of serving as an aide to Sen. Paul Gillmor and he will continue to help Fayette obtain federal funds for its sewer work.

CAR WASH—Council voted 5-0 to terminate a 10 percent water discount for Eagle Car Wash.

Mark Pilbeam, co-owner of the car wash, asked council to continue the discount, noting that he uses about 10,000 gallons of water a month and is often forced to leave water running in the cold weather to prevent freezing. He told council that the discounted water rates provide more income for the village than if the business discontinues operation.

Council member Jerry Gonzales said he didn’t think a small community could continue to subsidize the car wash. Councilor Paul Shaffer said he considered the discount as start-up help when the business opened, but not a permanent rate.

Council president Ruth Marlatt said she appreciates the business being in town and she would pay an extra dollar for a wash, if necessary.

Council decided to give Pilbeam until the end of March 2010 to erect a fence at the back of the car wash, as stated in village zoning law when a commercial business abuts a residence. The renter in the house behind the car wash has requested the erection of a fence.

“I just want to be sure you understand,” Metz told council. “We’ve already given him time. We gave him all summer.”

ZONING—Council approved a change in zoning from commercial to residential at the corner of S. Cherry and Main Street. No one attended a hearing on the issue.

Jacob Barnes was appointed to fill a vacancy on the zoning board.

OEPA—Village utilities director Bob Seigneur is composing a letter to send to the Ohio EPA proposing a major change to the village’s long term control plan. The plan is designed to eliminate illegal overflows of sewage into streams.

The new plan would eliminate Phase I because it is completed; eliminate Phase II, construction of a new sewage treatment plant; and move Phase III from 2017 ahead to 2010. Phase III addresses the remaining combined sewer overflow issues and calls for the separation of storm water from septic sewage lines. This will prevent a heavy precipitation event from flushing sewage into streams.

LEAVES—Metz requests that residents not blow or place leaves onto the street where they will often clog storm drains, sewer lines and lift stations.

Due to the concern about the build up of leaves in the sewer, village workers will begin collecting leaves Monday.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
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    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
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    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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