Possible solutions to flood-prone areas and sanitary sewer issues were two of several topics addressed at the March 3rd Mt. Gilead Village Council meeting,
Village Administrator Dan Rogers told council he received notification that the village will be funded on Round 28 in regards to the jack and bore underneath the railroad which caused the flooding in the Chartwell Greene subdivision this past year. The grant and the match will increase the tile size and cleaning of the ditch. He noted that this will be an extensive project but should alleviate the problems with flooding that was experienced in the past.
Rogers also reported that there are a lot of dead end sewer lines in the village that do not have a manhole, so there is no way to get to them. Some of these lines are now causing problems and there is one in particular having problems now. As soon as weather permits, they will put in a six inch Y with a stand pipe. They will film it going the other direction, dig the other end, locate the Y and put in a stand pipe. He said they can’t justify putting in a manhole at this time. He said there are many more all over town and it is a matter of time before trees start to infiltrate them.
As for street repairs, Rogers said cold patching potholes is tough to do during the cold weather but they have started the work.
Work at the water plant is basically normal maintenance and planning ahead. Rogers said that the new ceiling is in, insulation is in, and it is much improved with heating now.
Dan Deville, Area Manager for First Energy, attended to ask council if they had any concerns. Council member Ed Kline mentioned that residents have been reporting that street lights are out.
“Winter time is brutal on those streetlights,” said Deville. He noted that the goal is to get the lights re-lit within three days of them being reported, however ,when it is brutally cold, they do not ask the crew to work on streetlights or routine tasks.
“The focus during extreme cold is emergency restoration of power.” Deville said.
Kline requested pricing or possible grants for decorative antique lighting. Deville replied that the type of lighting being described would be something the community would be responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining. He stated that First Energy would provide a metered location and whatever consumption of power would fall under the budget of operations. Deville noted that they do have a standard box style colonial post lamp that goes on a fiberglass pole that some communities find acceptable and in fact they are in use in the Chartwell Greene subdivision. Kline requested an estimate on the cost of that type of lighting. Deville noted that he would work with Village administrator Rogers to develop a request and estimate.
Deville shared that Ohio Edison has made the commitment to invest 475 million dollars in the Ohio Edison service area. The investments are happening primarily in the transmission systems. This will benefit our community. One of the lines that feeds into the Bingham substation is on the list of items to be rebuilt.
Chief Young asked about a report of the closing of some power plants. Deville explained there is a grouping of power plants that are primarily coal-fired that under EPA rules do not meet federal guidelines and, as a result, they are being turned off. Some were done last year, some will be this year and there is a schedule over the next two to three years. Young asked, “as a result, our electric bill will go up?”
Deville responded that, “As a result of those plants being decommissioned, yes there will be an increase at approximately the 2016 period of time.”
Councilwoman Kay Hines mentioned that several years ago, First Energy offered a lock-in on rates. She asked what will happen to those rates? Deville responded, “Hang on to those rates.”
Chief Young reported that since the last council meeting, the fire department has been a little quiet. He reported seven responses during the cold weather, two motor vehicle accidents, two fire alarms, two calls to assist other units and one structure fire. He shared that the back up engine 15 is in Columbus with an engine problem. He did not know how serious the problem is at this time.
Councilman Jim Gress, streets committee chairman, shared that at the last committee meeting they discussed the road levy value. He gave a breakdown to the council on how much was Township and how much was village residents. Mayor Mike Porter shared a letter drafted by village council Matt Griffith requesting a percentage of the millage from the township on the roads levy. Hines asked for clarification that the funds that the village is requesting were from the most recent levy in November. It was clarified that the request is only from the most recent levy.
Mayor Mike Porter reported that he needs to appoint someone to the recreation board. Member Lorena McAvoy has indicated that she does not want a new term on the board. It is a five year term. He has received two recommendations but he asked the council to make a recommendation if they knew someone who would be interested. They meet the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. He will make a decision once he receives their input. There is one position open. He noted that as mayor, he can only appoint someone that lives within the village limits. The superintendent has appointees that he can appoint and they can reside within the school district. This position is Mayor-appointed, so they must live within the village.
Porter shared that he met with the group of self-advocates from Whetstone. March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness month and the mayor issued a proclamation. He did urge all the council members to look carefully at the upcoming levy, as there is a lot of need. He explained that he has attended several meetings with the community partners which is a group that has formed to help Whetstone.
“They (Whetstone) do a lot of things that I didn’t realize they did,” he said. “I didn’t realize that at the high point of funding they received 7 mils and now they are down to 1 ½ mils. The new one would still only be half of what they had when they were at the peak.”
Kline added that this is the first time in years he has seen a lot of energy from the commissioners, in particular, Tom Whiston. “He has been very proactive and that is refreshing to see,” Kline said.
Porter mentioned the great need and how many years some people have been waiting for services, “a lot of them have been 12 to 15 years or more. It is amazing that there is that kind of a wait.”
Council President Emily Shaffer mentioned that for adult industry services, there are at least 40 adults on the waiting list because they do not have the staff to serve those individuals.
“So they are just sitting at home,” she said.
A motion was passed to move forward with the Solar Planet agreement.
A motion was passed for a seconded reading of ordinance 1696 amending and fixing compensation for certain village employees effective May 5th. It was clarified that this is in reference to a full time employee retiring and making the position part time.
A motion passed a motion to pass to second reading ordinance 1697 amending traffic control map page one no parking area East Center Street amending traffic control map East Union Street.
Motion passed to pass to second reading of ordinance 1698 amending chapter 351 parking generally, repealing section 351.12 all night parking prohibited in business district, amending 351.15 limited parking areas, amending section 351.16 waiver citation of codified ordinance of the village of Mt. Gilead, Ohio
Mount Gilead Village Council meets on the first and third Mondays of the month at 7:00 p.m.