NEW BREMEN – The New Bremen Council approved a second reading of an ordinance to build a new electrical substation during its Tuesday night meeting. However, after hearing concerns from residents, council agreed to pursue a more expensive location for the substation.
Approximately 40 village residents came to the meeting to push for the new substation be located farther away from their neighborhood.
Following an executive session, council agreed to pursue a third option that would locate the substation another 400 to 600 feet to the west. This option is contingent upon the village being able to acquire the land from private property owners and is estimated it will cost approximately $6,210,000 which amounts to $1 million more than the recommended location.
The original Planning Commission proposal was a lot split to acquire a portion of land owned by Crown Equipment on Herman Street at Pearl Street. A study by electrical consulting firm GPD Group of Akron identified this location as Option 1 and the most economical option, with an estimated cost of $5,185,000.
The new substation was deemed necessary when Crown Equipment began building a new 500,000 square foot plant in the western part of the village. When some residents asked why Crown Equipment was not paying for a larger part of the project, Mayor Jeff Pape explained — in regards to economic development — a company can choose to locate a new plant anywhere they can get the best deal.
In the past, council members have pointed out that the village’s electrical service had already been approaching its maximum load with the addition of another substation anticipated in five to 10 years. However, the building of the new plant moved the plans forward.
Pape asked the audience three times if they would be satisfied with option 3, saying it seemed useless to move forward unless the neighbors agreed. Most seemed to concur with pursuing option 3. Pape said council could not identify the property owners affected until they were contacted officially by the village.
In related business, the council tabled an electrical substation loan bid until the village was able to finally choose the substation site.
In his report to the council, the mayor said sometimes next week on the village’s website the anticipated electrical rates with the cost of the new substation.
In other action, council approved a first reading of ordinances to approve the annual renewal of the village’s annual property, vehicle, and equipment insurance through Stolle Insurance and to vacate a portion of Meadowview Place. A second reading was approved to amend the employee handbook to include a policy on water plant and wastewater plant weekend coverage.
Finally, the Council approved a third and final reading to place on the November 2019 ballot a renewal of a 2 mil Ambulance and Emergency levy. The five-year levy would cost $240 annually on a $100,000 home and bring in $165,000 per year.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.