Three guests spoke Jan. 17 at Fayette village council’s committee of the whole meeting.
Gene Beaverson expressed concern about the sidewalk repair and replacement project adversely impacting village finances.
Village administrator Amy Metz responded that the initial cost was covered by the $50,000 grant from Toledo Edison that was part of the electrical aggregation agreement. Property owners not paying for the work themselves would be assessed for the cost through their taxes. In the case of foreclosed properties, Beaverson doubted the village would be repaid.
Metz said many positive comments have been received about sidewalk repair. Councilor Mike Maginn added that in his neighborhood, children often walk and ride their bikes in the street because of the condition of the sidewalks.
Council member Rodney Kessler agreed with Beaverson that the sidewalk project should slow down due to current economic conditions.
Beaverson wondered whether residents were asked if they wanted new walks. Metz stated that a sidewalk maintenance ordinance has been in place for years, but it was never enforced in the past.
Beaverson asked if a plan existed for street repair. He also said that downtown buildings need to be brought up to code.
Beaverson commented on the number of people employed by the village. He suggested sharing administrative staff with another nearby community and contracting with the sheriff’s department instead of maintaining a local police department.
Beaverson believes that some jobs, such as mowing, could be completed by volunteers.
He spoke against increasing water and sewer rates, stating that it would drive people away. Resident David Layman agreed with Beaverson about utility rates.
Mary Johnson of Morenci, a co-owner of Eagle Auto Wash, also spoke against the water and sewer rate increase. She said their business would probably have to close if rates were to increase. The issue was referred to the committee level for examination.