by DAVID GREEN
Fayette has a new police officer on duty and a new council member in place.
Council voted 4-0 July 24 to hire Kevin Howard as the third full-time police officer following the resignation earlier this month of David Richmond and Chris Garcia, and the hiring of Robert Bartz. A resignation letter from part-time officer Josh Rodriguez was also approved by council.
Council member Julia Ruger was absent from the meeting.
Council accepted a letter of resignation from councilor Diane Brubaker who is leaving council due to health reasons. Her term was to expire at the end of the year and she did not plan to seek another term.
Council appointed Scott Wagner to fill the empty chair, noting that he is the only resident—other than incumbents—to file a petition to become a candidate in the November election.
Wagner must first resign as president of the park board before he's sworn into office.
Council voted to table a decision on a request from four residents on the north side of George Street to have a sewer issue become part of the combined sewer overflow project. Councilor Mat Johnson abstained from the vote because of a similar situation on his property.
At the four George Street residences, a private sewer was constructed out the back of each house. Each joins a common line that connects to the village interceptor. Sewage backups are now occurring at two of the properties.
So far, said village administrator Steve Blue, the sewer project has included 25 private party sewer line relocations where new residential lines were installed during construction. Blue said he isn't sure if the George Street system fits into the same category. Blue expressed his concern that council's action could set a precedent.
"This could start to snowball," he said. "If we say 'yes' to the people on the north side of George Street, the people on the south side of George Street might say something."
Other residents who paid for line maintenance on their own might request that the village repay them for the expense.
One solution to the problem, Blue said, is for residents to seek funds through the Maumee Valley Planning Organization (MVPO). Funds are set aside for Fulton County residents. George Street resident John Martin spoke with the organization and learned that it's likely he will receive money to have his sewer line relocated.
The Methodist Church parsonage, one of the four properties on George Street, would not be eligible to receive funding from the MVOP.
Blue said efforts have been made to be consistent in decisions about private property issues, but situations vary widely. He is also concerned about running out of contingency funds from the project.
Max Snow, representing the church, said a private contractor gave a price to correct all four properties that is much less than the cost given by Gleason, the contractor for the sewer project.
The issue was tabled until more information was received from Maumee Valley.
COLLECTIONS—A council committee continues working on a utility collection policy. Suggested changes include:
• Notifying landlords of a tenant's past due account;
• Posting water shut-off notices on property doors 48 hours before shut-off;
• Stopping past-due notices when a customer has an active payment plan in effect;
• Giving a 30-day notice of an impending shut-off if payments are not made.
PAVING—Blue said the low bid from Gerken Paving for street widening near TRW came in lower than estimated, but the bid for repaving village streets not affected by sewer construction is $34,000 more than expected.
Council must decide whether to apply for another loan or reduce the number of streets involved. Council Rodney Kessler wondered how the issue was described on the ballot when residents approved the project. Blue said he's always been careful to say that not all streets would be paved.
A special council meeting was scheduled July 30 to discuss the issue after hearing from the Arcadis engineering firm.
VALVES—Council voted to spend $5,039 for three water valves that should be replaced before S. Fayette Street is paved. Blue said the cost might become part of the sewer project because of vibrations due to construction.