Minster Council tables Dannon request

By Sandra Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

MINSTER – Yogurt maker Dannon’s request to significantly raise their wastewater output many years earlier than planned had Minster village council members concerned over the initial proposal’s vague wording. The resolution, which had called for suspending the usual readings and declaring an emergency, was tabled during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Due to anticipated expanding business, Dannon is negotiating with village officials to allow the yogurt company to raise their maximum wasterwater output to 1.1 million gallons per day. Currently Dannon wastewater output is limited to a maximum of 880,000. Environmental Protection Agency regulations require that Dannon reach an agreement with the village allow this increase.

Mayor Dennis Kitzmiller said the original plan was for Dannon to take 20 years to reach the 1.1 million gallon mark but that the company is reaching that limit in seven years.

Village Administrator Donald Harrod explained the tentative proposal has penalties for Dannon should they not be able to stay within agreed limits. For example, when going over their 1.1 million gallon limit for 90 individual days, the company would immediately pay $100,000 toward a study to pay for design and engineering costs to upgrade the wasterwater collection facilities. Further, Dannon had offered to pay up to $9,000,000 to expand the current facility to manage the extra load. After 90 days of overages, fines for going over the 1.1 million gallon limit would be $25,000 per instance.

The majority of council were in agreement that the wording of Dannon’s role in dealing with overages was too vague, that time limits for going over the limit too long, and that no provisions were made for details such as inflation of costs over the years. There were also questions about how well the wastewater treatment plant would handle the extra load.

It was agreed that Dannon officials would be asked to attend the next council meeting to talk over concerns that the village council has.

In new business, council made a motion to accept the February 2018 income tax report total of $206,705.74, as submitted by the city of St. Marys. Harrod said that the total since Jan. 1 is $545,286.99. The council also approved payment of $783,319.43 in invoices.

In his report to council, Harrod said:

• Beaverdam Construction has completed pouring of most the curb and gutter and were setting up to install sidewalks.

• Village crews have almost completed water line work to the industrial park, despite weather delays.

• Seventh Street should be open to traffic within the next week, as Sommers Excavating completes work at the Wiegandt Subdivision.

• Grace Butler, daughter of Pat and Becky Butler, was the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship from American Municipal Power. This is the third year a Minster student has received this scholarship.

Council then went to executive session to discuss land purchases. They did not expect any decisions at this meeting.

By Sandra Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

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

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