N. Baltimore to study water rates
Written by JENISE FOUTS Sentinel Staff Writer
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 09:07
NORTH BALTIMORE - Residents may see two changes in the near future.
During council's meeting Tuesday, members discussed a possible traffic light change at State and Main streets as well as a rate study for water and wastewater utilities. Sometimes rate studies result in rate increases.
Councilman Mike Julien reported from the economic development committee that a meeting was held with Wood County Engineer Ray Huber, a representative from the Ohio Department of Transportation and others. Traffic and transportation issues regarding the CSX intermodal gateway were discussed, including possibly changing the four-way blinking red light at Main and State streets to a regular traffic light.
The concern among citizens was whether drivers would be "stuck" on the tracks during red lights.
Council members authorized Administrator Kathy Healy to send a letter to ODOT, requesting a traffic study for the possible light change.
Julien also reported from the meeting that a grant application for $5 million has been submitted to the state, and its status should be known after Jan. 1, 2010. Part of the funding would be applied to "all kinds of traffic studies" and other surveys needed to best route the increased trucking traffic which will be traveling between the gateway railyard and major roadways.
"It is an eight-to-10-year cycle before finalization," he said. "We may have to reroute State Route 18, redirect it." Julien added, "There are several proposals we recommended, but their (ODOT's) expertise will move it forward."
Council approved the recommendation from the public utilities committee to accept Poggemeyer Design Group's bid to conduct a rate study for water and wastewater utilities. It was the lowest of three bids submitted and not to exceed $7,450.
"We need to take a look at loss and price," said Councilman Tony Damon.
Mayor Ned Sponsler added that the village is selling less water, in part because of a loss of industry, and the resulting downturn in revenue requires the new study. He indicated the village "may need a rate hike."
"Going back to the citizens for an increase? I'd like to make sure that's our only option," stated Councilman Aaron Patterson.
But before they see a change in traffic lights or rate hikes, residents will have a new floor in the town's recycling center to replace its current unsafe, "deplorable" one.
Skip Baltz, the liaison between the Wood County Solid Waste District and the village's recycling center, announced he "did a little talking and arm twisting," and the Solid Waste District deemed the floor's replacement an emergency which it will fund at 100 percent.
After several council members and officials expressed pleasure about the announcement, the gift of the new floor was officially accepted.
Baltz said the center would be down for a couple weeks to let the concrete cure.
"If you send a video of your arm twisting ...," Sponsler began.
"We'll put it on YouTube," completed Julien.
B'Hillz Excavating was the successful bidder at $226,963 for the Deweyville Road project, including raising the road and paving it. The project is expected to be completed by Nov. 30.
Solicitor Chet Marcin announced the annexation petition for the former properties of Hancock-Wood Electric has been filed, and a hearing will be held in mid-November on it. The village already provides water and sewer services to the properties, and will add police and EMS services as well as some others.
Marcin said the property is a hybrid since technically it remains part of the township, and services are shared with the township.
Fire Chief Doug Ebright explained the fire department's reasons for wanting to replace two tankers with a pumper-tanker instead of a pumper-aerial truck. He said a crew has to be available day and night, and trained, to operate an aerial truck, plus it costs $500,000. He estimated the cost for a pumper-tanker at $250,000, and the firefighters can get a lot of use out of it.