Preliminary agreement reviewed

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LIBERTY CENTER - Village council Tuesday learned progress on an agreement for a proposed water treatment plant project is continuing.

Sewer Superintendent Frank Godwin reported, while there are issues that need cleared up, the village has been provided a preliminary construction report and a preliminary agreement. He said the items contain many of the same items detailed before, including the county contracting with the City of Napoleon to operate and maintain the plant, having a debt assessment on property taxes and forming a committee to determine water rates.

Godwin said a copy of the preliminary agreement has already been forwarded to the village solicitor.

He added a number of figures are still unclear as with more municipalities, such as Malinta and Florida, buying into the plant, more customers will be added to the plant. Godwin also said lots with no water service were discussed, saying if the property’s owner wanted to have the service in the future, they can be included in the assessments.

“With everything we’ve seen so far, (the plant) will be better for all of the communities involved,” Godwin said.

Godwin said he believed there are no other “viable options” for the communities involved. He said the situation has the communities “participating or going off on their own.”

Looking at the village’s current water distribution rates, Godwin reported to council the City of Napoleon is currently reviewing an ordinance to raise rates by 3 percent as the result of findings from a rate study. As the village currently purchases water from the city, these charges will be affected if the ordinance is approved.

Godwin also reported the village’s meter system has encountered a few minor issues in getting readings transferred from the handheld devices that record data from the meters into the billing system. He said the new meters are working better than the originals and once the issues are fixed, it will cut the time employees spend reading meters by more than half.

Council also:

•Discussed progress on establishing a budget for 2014. Mayor Max Fetterman said the village has a “healthy start” on the process. Fetterman said, currently, the 2014 budget is nearly identical to the one approved for 2013, with only a $1,000 difference so far.

•Approved a donation of $90 in gift certificates for the upcoming Christmas Open House scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7. Council also learned decorations are planned for the downtown area.

•Approved an increase in general fund appropriations for the purpose of law enforcement coverage, a street light project, clerk salary and medical premiums. Funds raised from the Fall Festival were also moved to a transfer account to be deposited into the parks and recreation fund.

•Approved a quote of $765.50 from Koenig Security for a software upgrade for the village’s security camera system. The upgrade will correct the current system for accessibility, so the feeds can be accessible to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

•Heard a report on a recent zoning board meeting. Council member Bryan Rogers reported junk cars in the village and a matter involving continuous garage sales are being reviewed. Rogers said no ordinance is established in regard to continuous garage sales, but the matter could be enforced through zoning if one were drafted. The matter was initially discussed due to state enforcement of sales taxes on such garage sales.

•Heard from Clerk Sally McEwen, who reported on a recent conference featuring the state auditor.

•Reviewed an official letter of resignation from council member Cheryl Mann. Mann did not seek re-election Nov. 5 for the council seat expiring at the end of the year. The ballot only had two members running for four open seats. Fetterman previously explained Rogers is not eligible for ballots because he is an employee of the State of Ohio; however, in the event of a vacancy, he is eligible for appointment. At Tuesday’s meeting, Rogers indicated he was interested in re-appointment. Council has one seat open for appointment and reviewed a letter of interest from Roger Fisher.

•Learned the next budget meeting will be held during the regularly-scheduled finance meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m.

Liberty Center Village Council will meet again in regular session Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

E-mail comments to aaron@northwestsignal.net .