By DAVID GREEN
Fayette residents have the opportunity in May to decide whether or not to accept First Energy’s offer of a nine-year rate fix for electricity, along with a six percent discount on a portion of the bill.
Passage of the proposal would lead to a no-strings-attached donation of $50,000 to the village general fund, although the deal would tie customers to First Energy as their electrical provider for nine years.
Approval of the offer would push all village electrical customers into the program, but individuals could opt out of the deal for a $25 fee.
The discount—six percent for residential customers and four percent for small businesses—applies only to the electrical generation portion of a customer’s bill. Mayor Ruth Marlatt said an average customer would save about $36 a year through the discount.
Gary Keys of First Energy’s Wauseon service center, said the offer is being made to all Northwest Ohio communities served by the utility in order to manage long-range investment in coal. The utility wants to maintain its customer base.
Councilors Julia Ruger and Tom Molitierno voted against placing the proposal on the ballot.
There was no discussion about the issue at the meeting, but Marlatt said later that at the committee level, council members favored approving the proposal in order to meet the deadline for the May election.
Council can take a closer look at it before the election and could decide whether or not to urge residents to vote one way or another.
TOWNSHIP—Mayor Marlatt urged council members to show support for township business by attending the board meetings. She spoke of making a schedule so all councilors would attend at least one township meeting a year.
CAMP—Marlatt and village administrator Amy Metz spoke with Camp Palmer and Harrison Lake State Park officials about scheduling a joint activity in the fall that could include an overnight stay at a camp, activities such as geocaching and the ropes course, and a meal in town.
They also spoke about the possibility of a community swim at the Camp Palmer pool.
GRANT—After the village failed to obtain a grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission for the $111,000 W. Industrial Drive sewer project, Metz told council she applied to the state’s Small Government Program.
She’s also seeking funds that would aid in widening Gamble Street leading to the new school. She sees the prospect of obtaining that grant as more positive.
VOLUNTEERS—Metz thanked Mike Maginn for donating time to make repairs at the village hall. His work was valued at $500. She also thanked Collin Barnhiser for volunteering his time to help with snow clearing during the recent snowstorm.
SIDEWALKS—Councilor David Borer said that sidewalks would be examined this spring to determine maintenance needs.
DENTAL—Village employees have received no wage increases since 2005. Instead of seeking a raise now, they are asking council for the addition of dental coverage on their insurance plan.
One quote to cover the village’s eight full-time employees came in at $6,000, said financial officer Lisa Zuver, but she’s hoping to find a less expensive offer.
PURCHASES—Council approved employee purchases at Kaiser’s Supermarket and D & R Hardware without the need for a purchase order.
The previous council stopped blanket accounts, Zuver said, and it’s resulted in a lot of paperwork for something as simple as a few nuts and bolts.
RECYCLING—Council approved a payment of $600 to Gorham Township as part of a five-year contract for joint operation of the new recycling center. The payment will help with installation of an electrical line to the facility. The village will pay only a dollar in each of the next four years.
Metz thanked the volunteers who help operate the center. Proceeds from the recycled material go to the Parks and Recreation board.
ASSISTANCE—Details on the second assistance night program will be announced prior to the March event. Representatives from various area agencies will attend the session to offer information and answer questions.
APPROVAL—Mayor Marlatt said councilors should expect a few short, one-topic meetings to approve items due to the new once-a-month schedule. With required three readings, four months would be needed before legislation would take effect. For an emergency meeting, however, at least five members are required to be in attendance.