JC residents advised to check gas prices

By Matt Clayton - For the Sidney Daily News

JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center Village Administrator Bruce Metz suggested village residents check the status of their natural gas pricing to make sure they are getting the best deal. Metz made the suggestion at Monday night’s village council meeting.

During discussion in unscheduled business Zoning Officer Ed Maxwell asked if other council members received a letter from Volunteer Energy. Maxwell noted not everyone he had talked to recently had received a letter offering a better rate on natural gas and if they wanted to lock in the best rate they needed to call Volunteer Energy to make sure they were included in the gas aggregation pricing.

“I’ve had several people call wanting more information as they had never received a letter,” said Metz, “We are going to post the phone number to call on our Facebook and Twitter pages to get the word out, residents should call soon and ask to talk to the person in gas aggregation so you can get the $0.375 per ccf price. The number to call is 800-977-8374. The new prices take affect Oct. 1, so I would not wait too long to make that call and get in on the lower price.”

In old business council heard the second reading of an ordinance which will change the zoning of 2.95 acres located in the 600 block of College and Pike Streets from R-1 Residential to R-3 Multi-Family residential district.

The Jackson Center Planning Commission met on July 23, 2018, to consider the requests from Todd C. Ratermann, Scherer Post 493 American Legion, and Kevin and Jill Bergman to rezone their properties located at 619 E. College St., 627 E. College St. and 624 E. Pike St. respectively from R1, Single Family Residential District to R3 Multi Family Residential District. The Ratermann property is being purchased for the construction of a multi-family apartments on existing employ lots. The plans include off street parking and single floor, 2 and 3 bedroom units. The American Legion property pre-exists as a non-conforming “Conditional Use” in a R1 District. It would be a “Permitted Use” in an R3 District. The Bergman property is a non-conforming, pre-existing multi-family apartment complex in a R1 Single Family District. Rezoning would bring the properties into compliance.

Upon consideration of all of the above, the Planning Commission of the Village of Jackson Center unanimously recommends that the village council approve the rezoning. Council will have the third reading of this ordinance on Sept. 24.

Council then passed a resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the Shelby County Auditor. This resolution is the annual legislation that must be certified to the County Auditor before the first day of October each year.

The Shelby County Auditor has provided an estimate for the amount approved by the Budget Commission inside the 10 Mill Limitation of $50,219 and has estimated that the amount to be derived from the levy outside the 10 Mill Limitation of $46,425 for a total estimate of $96,644. This will be the third of three readings of this resolution. There have not been any changes made to this resolution since the last meeting held on Aug. 20.

In new business council heard a report for Metz about two quotes he received for the replacement of media in the filters at the water treatment plant. “Artesian of Pioneer has the better price and we would like to use the Maris Media project. Their quote for the Maris media is $19,300 for each filter. We would like to move ahead with the Artesian quote and will present legislation at the next meeting to move forward with the replacement of the media in the filters.” Metz said. Council members agreed to move forward with Artesian.

Council discussed setting a date for Trick- or-Treat. After some input council decided to go with Sunday evening, Oct. 28, from 6 to 7 p.m.

“We had several calls suggesting we go with this night,” said Metz, “It will be before the time change and be safer for our kids and a little easier on everyone considering it’s not taking place on a school night.”

Council discussed a change in the village utility billing software with Metz sharing an overview of the situation.

“We have been having problems with the CMI Utility Software. We have had issues getting information from the software that we need when doing rate studies. We also have a hard time getting support from CMI when we run into problems,” said Metz. “We have looked at several different options and Muni-Link is one of those options.”

Muni-Link is a municipal billing software that has the unique distinction of being designed with input from municipal authorities. This software boasts what is called Account Central.

“Absolutely all information you might need access to for a customer account, all billing and accounting information, work orders, etc. is available from one screen. This software will integrate seamlessly with our meter and accounting systems,” said Metz.

Muni-Link is a cloud based software, billing runs and batches can be run from any computer that can access the internet. Utility customers will have the ability to sign up for e-billing and make payments from the web portal. Customers will also be able to access their payment and usage histories on their utility accounts online on the web portal.

The cloud based software is hosted at a Tier-4 world class data center, which means that the data is safer than it would be at a typical brick and mortar building. Backup and disaster recovery is built in and included in the monthly subscription fee. The Muni-Link software is continually being enhanced on a monthly basis, based on customer feedback, any updates or upgrades will not cost additional money or down time.

In the village administrator’s report, Metz reported on several on-going projects around the village and noted things were going well and according to schedule.

In his electrical department report, Metz pointed out that he was extremely pleased with Village Electrical Superintendent Dave Overman’s performance in the Annual AMP (American Municipal Power) Lineman Rodeo. Overman competed in the AMP Lineman Rodeo and finished second place in the hurt-man rescue event, second place in the insulator change out event, first place in the obstacle course event, third place in the rope toss event, second place in the cutout-change out event and finished first overall in the Individual Journeyman competition.

“Dave was the overall winner of the Journeyman’s Division and we are very proud of his accomplishment and dedication to his position. This is quite an honor for Dave and our town and we appreciate all his efforts at the competition and on his great service to our community on a regular basis,” said Metz.

The next JC Council meeting will be held in the council chambers on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.

By Matt Clayton

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.