Fayette village council 2012.07.18

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette needs some money to save some money, but village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver says that cash is getting tight.

The village has the opportunity to accept a grant for street repair, but it’s a matching grant with a 50/50 split. The village’s share would initially come through a zero percent loan.

Zuver opened the conversation at last week’s committee-of-the-whole meeting by telling council members, “We have to get control of spending. It’s getting way out of hand.”

The streets, parks and water enhancement funds, in particular, are quite overdrawn, she said, and several other funds are also currently in the red. If nothing changes, there will be no carryover of funds into the next year, she warned.

That presents a problem immediately as far as streets are concerned, Zuver said, because she learned from the Ohio Public Works Commission that a grant sought by former administrator Amy Metz was approved. The grant would pay for repair of village streets not involved in the impending sewer project. 

“We received half grant, half loan,” Zuver explained, “but the problem is I don’t know how to pay for the loan. We’d be stupid not to take advantage of it. We’re not going to get an opportunity like this again.”

Zuver told council she wishes they had approved the income tax reciprocity measure discussed in January 2011. Several area communities add 0.5 percent to the income tax for residents who pay taxes to the communities where they work. Otherwise, none of the income tax paid returns to the village where the residents live.

Although the measure was expected to bring in $25,000 annually, council took no action on the proposal at that time, noting that water and sewer rates would be increasing.

Zuver explained that the reciprocity money would have been placed in a debt service fund that could be used only to pay off debts, such as the loan for the street work.

Fayette mayor Ruth Marlatt asked Zuver to find out when the village must decide whether or not to accept the grant. She would like the finance committee to take a look at the issue and also at spending in general.

CAR WASH—Eric and Mary Johnson, co-owners of Eagle Car Wash along with Mark and Michelle Pilbeam, told council that the car wash was expected to be back in business July 12.

Eric repeated a request made in the past: Permission to install a well at the site on the edge of the village. He said the facility uses between 800,000 and a million gallons of water a year. Switching from village water to well water could keep the car wash in operation due to the cost savings.

Wastewater would still go through the village sewer system, but maintenance coordinator Tom Clemensen pointed out the problem with that: Sewer rates are based on water usage. There would be no way to track usage unless a flow meter were installed. Clemensen said he would investigate the cost of a meter.

Johnson said he wanted the village water connection to remain in case the ground water supply was not always sufficient.

MAINTENANCE—Clemensen said that street repairs and stump removal would focus on the parade route for the Bullthistle Festival.

In his report, Clemensen mentioned that brush pick-up is now scheduled the fourth and first weeks of the month; that sections of the village water system are in poor condition, such as on Ohio Street where the scars of five digs can be seen in a two-block area; and that village worker Matt Moats is doing an excellent job with record-keeping involved in maintenance of village equipment.

Clemensen said he asked ARS refuse about curbside recycling and learned that it would cost each customer $3 a month. Residents would save money in collection costs because of less trash, he said, but they would have to pay for the recycling service.

The park board, he said, needs to decide if it wants to provide labor at the village recycling center and continue to receive monthly payments from the sale of recyclables.

The next phase of tree removal will focus along the creek where falling branches have slowed the flow.

In regard to the county water resources plan, Clemensen suggested that Fayette—the only county community with large water resources—should hire a consultant and make its own comprehensive water plan.

SHOOTING RANGE—Responding to concern about potential liability issues at the village shooting range on the sewage lagoon property, police chief Jason Simon said that for at least 10 years residents have been allowed to use the range only with permission from the on-duty police officer.

Over the years, he said, a few people have been removed from the site because they had no permission. A “no trespassing” sign is in place on a gate, however, the gate is not always closed.

Administrator Steve Blue suggested that a formal policy should be approved by council rather than giving tacit approval. The issue will be discussed at the committee level.

OFFICERS—Chief Simon said a shortage of part-time officers exists and it will get worse in the second half of the year. He will check at a police academy for potential part-time officers.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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