JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center Council approved an ordinance authorizing the village’s participation with the Ohio State Treasurer to apply for a bond anticipation note (renewal) to provide on-going financing for the new electrical substation on Jerry Drive. The action was taken during the Monday, July 8, meeting.
The annual practice allows for financing large projects at a lower interest rate than what might be expected through private financing; interest for the bond is expected to be around 2 percent. Securing a bond also allows for paying the interest only in the event of an emergency thereby allowing for some flexibility should a financial emergency ever occur.
Village Administrator Bruce Metz said this is just business as usual and after the principal is reduced over time the village will look for financing the reduced principal amount through private funding.
Metz reported on a variety of on-going projects around the village that are currently underway or coming up in the near future.
Metz said the asphalt work at the Westwood Estates subdivision has been finalized and two new homes are currently under construction leaving 13 of the original 15 lots available for construction.
“Things are really shaping up out there, it looks nice and offers some great opportunities for those looking for a nice place to build a home,” Metz said.
After some delay due to an oversight by the engineers who designed the project, Metz said the electric pole installation needed for the new electrical substation is finally underway. Shortly after the project was started in April, officials form ODOT, (Ohio Department of Transportation) stopped the project due to the lack of the proper paperwork and permits required for the project. Village officials were informed by the engineering firm who planned the project that they did not need a permit from ODOT, which was in error.
Metz reported it is time for Jackson Township to renew their contract with the Jackson Center Fire Department as the current contract will end this Dec. 31. The new contract will be good for five years and terms will be set at the same rate as before. Final approval will be determined by ballot in the general election in November.
Metz reported the storm water study by Choice One Engineers currently underway is going well. Statistics from the study will be used to determine storm water rates for the village, its residents, and all local industry. Currently there are no fees associated with handling storm water but in past meetings Metz indicated it was time to initiate a process to help cover the cost of the ever-growing issue of storm water disposal.
“This study will determine who is contributing what to the water problems we have during times of heavy rain or flooding and what can be done to alleviate the issues we experienced during the heavy rainfall in May and June. Things are not too bad, but they could be better and this study will help determine what direction we need to take to make those improvements,” Metz said.
The study will include Plastipak Inc. on the north edge of town. Continuing Metz said so far private industry in the village had cooperated in taking the necessary steps to control the runoff coming from their properties.
“Fortunately most of the newer industries constructed detention ponds to cover their runoff and those in compliance will receive credits in consideration for the improvements already in place. There is no better time to address the problem than when new construction is underway,” said Metz. “For instance, the developers in charge of constructing the new Airstream facility have put in several detention ponds to collect water in times of heavy rain, that kind of planning pays off in the end. The rates for residents will be low and fixed but every little bit helps and getting a good system in place will insure our residents are not hit with a big bill in the future.
“Again, planning is the key word here, we’re just making sure our bases are covered in a way that is cost effective and works for everyone concerned; no one wants to come home and find several feet of water in their basement, and while there are no guarantees when dealing with natural disasters an ounce of planning is worth a pound of cure,” Metz said.
Metz reported the solar lights are up on Hamer Drive and that project is finished and the lights are working very well. Also the concrete skirting pads and gutters are in at the wastewater plant and paving will be finished very soon. The administrator also reported the new turn-lane project on state Route 274 at the new Airstream manufacturing facility is scheduled to begin at the end of July and should take about one month to complete, weather permitting.
The new filtering media is in place at the water plant and the village staff is now fine-tuning the water treatment process and will be flushing out the water lines to remedy problems with turbidity and other water quality issues like the taste of the water. Metz thanked the residents for their patience during the time of transition noting much of issues realized out of their control but the water plant technicians are doing everything they can to provide consistently clean and good-tasting water.
Metz said Mayor Scott Klopfenstein and other village officials will be sending a letter of support to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) concerning the “Smart Mobility Project” for future planning for parts of U.S. 33 and state Route 247, both of which could have an impact on the future growth and productivity for the area. Metz said he would share more information on the project as soon as it is made available.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.