Council awards project contract


MINSTER – The Dues Ditch storm sewer project was set in motion at the Minster Village Council meeting Tuesday night, June 21.

Village Administrator Don Harrod said three bids were offered, with R.D. Jones submitting the lowest bid of $1,071,636.95. Council agreed to accept the low bid, passing it by emergency measure. The work is expected to begin in August of this year and be completed by May 2023.

The village has been awarded $235,000 in Ohio Public Works Commission (State Issue I) grant money to help defray the cost of the Dues Ditch work. The project would alleviate flooding during heavy storms at the intersection of Seventh Street and Line Drive.

Some Minster homeowners will begin to receive letters about the need to replace their sidewalks now that an ordinance had a final reading last night. The village administrator said over 400 sidewalks in the town do not meet village standards. The work is expected to begin on the east side of town. If the resident cannot afford to fix or replace their sidewalks themselves, the village would do the work and bill the resident.

A second reading intended to annex a sec was approved that will make the village one acre larger. Harrod said Harold and Diane Reithman had requested the annexation of the state Route 119 property from Jackson Township. Once the village approves the annexation, final approval will come from the Auglaize county commissioners,.

With local commercial business Spring Creek Building Supply intending to add more equipment, Harrod said the village needed to purchase a larger transformer. Council approved purchasing a 150 KVA transformer at a cost of $49.850. He said the smaller transformer being replaced will be repurposed elsewhere.

In regards to House Bill 171, a new fireworks law that allows adults to use consumer grade fireworks on private property, council agreed to adopt a wait and see attitude this year, rather than attempt to create any sort of regulations. The periods that allow fireworks are New Year’s Eve and Day, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends and July 3, 4, 5 as well as the three-day weekends before and after July 4.

Council agreed to pay a $32,139.50 to Duncan and Allen law firm bill as part of an ongoing lawsuit with a solar company. The amount covers legal work through April of this year. The village had decided in 2020 to cancel the solar contract, citing the solar company missing deadlines. Harrod said a trial will be held in mid-August in Toledo federal court to decide the matter.

Tim Cordonnier, a representative for the Minster Alumni tournament, received permission to use Four Seasons Park the weekend of August 12-14.

Tyler Stueve with the American Cornhole Association Softball Team received permission to use Four Seasons Park for their softball tournament July 29-31.

In other action, Council approved a final reading of an ordinance establishing a handicapped parking area in front of the Eagles on W. Fourth Street.

Also approved via emergency was an ordinance allowing new fiscal officer Brittany Hemmelgarn to establish residency outside of the village limits.

Council approved the May income tax report as submitted by the city of St. Marys. The report said the village received $317,584.15 last month, for a year-to-date total of $1,910,476.79.

Under employee action, council accepted the resignation of Derek Siefring from the Police

Department and approved the transfer of Adam Olberding from the Public Works department to the Parks department.

In his report to council, Harrod said work on Seventh Street continues with the paving now completed. Crews will begin hauling in top soil and will be reseeding the disturbed areas within the next week or so.

He also said last week, two inverters at the second solar field burned up, but since crews were on site at the time, were able to shut the solar field down before a larger problem developed. Most of the solar field is back up and on line and representatives from Etri Foundry and Madison Energy have been on site developing a plan to replace the inverters that caused the problem.

Buehler Asphalt has begun the minor street resurfacing, he said. The company has ground off a couple of the streets and are expected to be back this week to finish the grinding of the streets and parking areas. Paving will take place the week of June 27.

AES/DP&L has completed the installation and the transfer of wires that will reroute a portion of their feed that comes into the Ohio Street electrical substation, so both feeds from AES/DP&L are no longer on the same set of poles in front of the utilities building.

Crews have removed most of the building at the Berger Farm. Crews till need to remove a couple of concrete building footers and cap off a couple of tiles and the work at the farm should be completed.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

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