JACKSON CENTER — Plans to install a new emergency stand-by generator at the Jackson Center water plant came one step closer to fruition as council authorized a resolution allowing Village Administrator Bruce Metz to secure a loan for its purchase. The generator will insure the operation of the water plant in times of power failure as well as being utilized as a tool to curb power usage in time of electrical peak-demands thus keeping power costs at a lower rate for residents and manufacturers year-round. The two-year note will be obtained through The Peoples Savings and Loan Company in Jackson Center at a rate of 3 percent interest.
After council approved the authorization for acquiring the loan for the generator they then voted to authorize Metz award the contract for purchasing and installing the generator to the lowest bidder who is C & J Electric Inc. of Anna, Ohio. C & J submitted the lowest bid amounting to $84,245 for the purchase and installation of the emergency generator. “There will also be additional costs associated with Vectren running a feed line from the gas main to the generator and the hook-up done by licensed plumbers. All things considered the total cost for the project will be around $100,000,” Metz said.
In other business council heard the second reading of an ordinance authorizing the adoption of rates, terms and conditions for the electric service provided by the village. Mayor Scott Klopfenstein asked if there were any major changes or additions made in the context of the ordinance, Metz said there were none at this time.
Council next approved the adoption and enacting of three ordinances dealing with Ohio municipal codes. The Administrative, Traffic, and General Offenses codes were all approved. This approval process is done on an annual basis and covers the year of 2018.
During the discussion segment of the meeting council heard a report from Metz concerning the upcoming audit report. This audit is done every two years and Metz reported things look fine at this point and he would report on the findings at a later point.
Council also heard a safety committee report from Leisha Elchert who reported on the mandatory replacement of 13 helmets for members of the fire department.
“The helmets have to be replaced every 10 years to meet safety codes and requirements” Elchert said. She also noted the Soup Supper held recently and thanked all those who helped and attended for making the event a success; monies generated by the event are used to help local residents in need. Elchert also mentioned the upcoming JC Fire Department fish fry slated for March 17.
Council member Jesse Fark head of the Public Property Committee shared future plans for tours of the new solar energy field and newly constructed storage building and laboratory at the wastewater treatment plant sometime in the spring when weather conditions are more favorable.
In other business Fire Chief Jerry Davis reported Jackson Center will remain a designated “4” in its ISO classification resulting in continued savings for the village concerning insurance costs.
“We had a situation where we were going to be bumped up to a level ‘5’ which would increase village insurance costs, however, we were able to make the necessary corrections in time to avoid the change. There was an issue with the length and size of the fire hose on one of our engines, we are now in compliance,” Davis said.
Klopfenstein commended Davis and the department as a whole for addressing the situation in a timely manner resulting in a significant savings for the village and residents of Jackson Center.
”Jerry, we just want to thank you and the department for doing a fine job and for all the behind-the-scenes things that take place but often go unnoticed, you’re always one step ahead and we appreciate all you do,” Klopfenstein said.
Before going into executive session for the purpose of discussing the purchase or sale of real estate, council heard from Police Chief Chuck Wirick concerning the need to replace a police cruiser and outdated computer equipment.
“Last year the village replaced two laptops. At present we still need two desktop computers for our offices and one laptop for our cruiser so as to have a computer in each car,” he said. “Our equipment is outdated and needs to be replaced so we can provide the best service available to our residents and community in our day to day operations as well as in time of an emergency.”
Council then approved the purchase of the computers and heard a report from Wirick on the police vehicles.
“We’re at a place where we need to consider getting a new cruiser, we have spent $11,500 on repairs in the last 30 months for our 2005 Crown Victoria, it has served us well but realistically it’s time to replace it before another major repair. I have been looking for a replacement and there are two ways we can go; either we buy from the state contractor in Lebanon, Ohio, or go with ‘municipal pricing’ and buy local. I would prefer local to keep our business in our county and if we can get someone to match or better the price here we’ll do so,” Wirick said. “I am currently looking at a 2018 Ford Explorer SUV, preliminary research indicates the cost for the SUV to be will be around $27,300 with an additional costs to equip the vehicle for police work at around $13,477.78. There would be an additional $3195 for an extended warranty if we chose to go that way. The warranty is for 5 years or 125,000 miles which ever come first.”
Metz asked whether the warranty was for actual driving miles or the amount of the time the engine is running.
“I have seen some warranties that consider the time the engine runs the same as if it were driving down the road, if that’s the case the warranty may not be worth it.” Metz said.
Wirick said he was not sure but would look into the details and report his findings. Council agreed to look further into the situation as more information is made available.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.