By DAVID GREEN
Half a dozen construction companies submitted bids for Fayette's sewer separation project, and the low bid for each of the three contracts involved in the work came in below estimates.
Based on projections by the village's engineering firm, the total cost should come in about $400,000 below the estimate, village administrator Steve Blue told council members last week. Council will wait for a recommendation from engineers before accepting the bids.
The largest portion of the work will be covered by the $4.9 million bid covering all but two facets of the project. A second contract will pay for manhole liners—a bid that came in far below the estimate and doesn't appear to meet the specifications advertised—and the final bid covers the cost of rehabilitating a few sewer lines that won't be replaced in the project.
When the work is complete, Fayette's sanitary sewer lines will be separated from the storm water lines and should prevent overflows of raw sewage into Spring Creek. This explains the description of the project known as a combined sewer overflow (CSO) project.
Council is expected to meet for a brief special meeting to approve the bids after the engineer's recommendations are received. The final bid package must be delivered to the Ohio EPA office by Nov. 8 in order for loan approval Dec. 3.
Blue said that all property owners who didn't initially agree to an easement request for sewer work have now agreed to sign easement documents.
BACKHOE—Village maintenance coordinator Matt Moats has collected prices to buy a new backhoe. Council's public works committee will examine the bids.
POLICE—Officer Chris Garcia was granted time off through the Family and Medical Leave Act. The village doesn't employ enough people to be subject to FMLA regulations, but the employee handbook indicates that FMLA rules will be followed.
Council hired Michael Polley to serve as a part-time officer. Police chief Jason Simon will soon be the only full-time officer with Garcia gone and another officer leaving for a job elsewhere. Simon has résumés from three other candidates and expects additional part-timers will be needed. Council voted to give him permission to hire additional staff.
Chief Simon told the village finance committee that he would like to have a physical fitness requirement as part of an officer's contract with the village.
TAX ADMINISTRATOR—Fayette's tax administrator Dee (Potter) Lawrence has announced her retirement at the end of the year. She would like to work as an independent contractor when needed, such as when water bills and tax statements need to be mailed.
Council member Julia Ruger suggested that council should determine how much time she would be needed rather than hiring her back immediately. Village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver said she could handle a portion of Lawrence's work.
INSURANCE—Hylant insurance company's bid for village insurance came in at $19,532 which is less than a year ago.
BANKING—Because Huntington Bank is no longer offering a free checking account for the village, council discussed switching to another bank. Ruger said she would be in favor of the change, but not before speaking with Mike Figgins to see if he can overrule the announcement by Huntington. The preference is to continue as a customer of the local bank.
ORDINANCES—Council heard the second reading of a proposal to change the zoning fee schedule and the first reading of a proposal to change the ordinance regarding oversize and overweight vehicles to conform with state law in regard to penalties. Council also passed a resolution to hire the Arcadis engineering firm to oversee the sewer project.
MEETING—Council voted to change the date of the December meeting to Dec. 19, the third Wednesday of the month.