Water rate woes: Rossford councilmen gets earful during walks
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 09:43
ROSSFORD - Councilman Jerry Staczek has taken to walking around the city both for exercise and to find out what citizens are thinking.
Monday he told City Council that he's gotten an earful of water rate complaints.
Last year, the city joined the Northwest Water and Sewer for water and sewer services.
Staczek said some people were so frustrated they were considering leaving the city.
Council President Larry Oberdorf, however, said tat he's gotten fewer complaints of late about the rates. "That indicates to me things are settling down," he said.
He said he's had good response when working through Leonard Michaels, the city's representative on the Northwest Water and Sewer board.
Councilman Mike Scott said that the district hasn't done a good job communicating to residents about the reasons that rates are going up, alms all out of the district's control.
Scott explained that the City of Toledo has increased how much it charges for water to everyone outside the city. Also Toledo had lagged in its billing procedures. That meant when Northwest took over the system it had to bill to catch up for the missing revenues.
Also, residents water and sewer bills now include a charge for maintenance and service, something that was not done previously.
That lack of maintenance, Scott said, meant the city was close to having the Environmental Protection Agency order the city to improve its system.
The district is now putting money into infrastructure.
Cleaning up the property after such projects, though, is their responsibility, Scott said.
Staczek said he heard a complaint from a homeowner whose newly planted landscaping was torn up for waterline work, and months later has still not been fixed.
Mayor Neil MacKinnon III said he would ask the district to hold two informational meetings in the city.
Also at the meeting, City Council approved spending money to paint and equip a new police vehicle, but decided to wait to approve money to buy the vehicle itself.
The department is looking at buying a Chevy Tahoe. The resolution that passed approved a supplemental appropriation of $8,000 to go toward the total $13,000 it'll take to get the new vehicle ready for the road.
Police Chief Glen Goss said most of that money supplemental appropriation would be used to purchase, install and mount the computer into the vehicle.
He said the department was looking into the Tahoe because the SUV would have more room to carry equipment and would be better in winter weather.
Also, it could serve as a backup for the Tahoe the department recently purchased for its canine patrol.
However, Councilman Robert Ruse amended the supplemental appropriation ordinance to take out any reference to a Tahoe.
Councilman Chuck Duricek, who operates an automotive service business, said he wanted a little more time to look at the maintenance records of the vehicle.
The department tends to keep its vehicles for four to five years.
Goss also said that the department will keep the Crown Victoria the new vehicle is supposed to replace. The equipment in the cruiser could not be transferred to the new vehicle. Maintaining the old car in the fleet will help the department spread out the usage over an extra vehicle.
The cost of the Tahoe would be $27,500. The money was approved last yea and is already in the budget.
Council also voted to spend up to $15,535 on a new telephone system for the municipal building, public works, fire and police.
Roach -Reid, Inc. will install the new equipment.
Duricek reported that competitive bidding was waived for the project even tough the cost was above $10,000, because that would have added $5,000 to the cost.
The current system is 17 years old. Roach-Reid also provided the phone system to the Recreation Center.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 09:53