Village prepares for upgrades, solar payments

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

MINSTER – Preparations for upgrades to sewage treatment, potential payments for residential solar production and the future needs of the fire department were all part of the discussion at the Tuesday night, Mrch 2, Minster Council meeting.

Village Administrator Don Harrod said CDM Smith submitted a proposal to help the village with engineering work to handle the amount of total dissolved solids that are released at the waste water treatment plant. He said the Ohio EPA has notified the village that they needed to explore treatment options to reduce the amount of total dissolved solids in the effluent. Harrod said the instances of going over the limit of 1516 mg per liter happened perhaps three to four times a year and that the overage amounted to 400 mg. The options CDM suggested included chemical treatment, reverse osmosis, or a lagoon-type system.

The council recognized the advent of individual solar power production as they approved the first reading of an ordinance establishing a small power production rate schedule as well as establishing the rates to be charged electric consumers for services supplied by the electric system of the village of Minster. Harrod explained that the village would pay for power produced by residentially-installed solar equipment at the average cost of the rest of the power the Village purchases. He added the customer would have to install a bi-directional meter at their own cost to participate in the program. The program would go into effect around May 1.

In committee reports, council member Craig Oldiges said they would be meeting with the fire department in two weeks to discuss their future needs. The fire department’s three year levy will expire at the end of 2021 and Oldiges said the decision needed to be made whether to put a renewal on the ballot.

In his report to council of village activities, Harrod said a small hydrogen leak has developed on the new transformer at the northwest substation. A crew from Delta Star has been in the village trying to identify the leak and have been replacing bushings and pop-off valves in order to try to isolate the leak. To date he said they have been unsuccessful in finding the leak, but are continuing to test various pieces of the transformer to locate it. The transformer is under warranty.

Harrod said a final set of construction plans have been received and approved by the village for the Steeple View Subdivision and for the second phase of the StoneGate Subdivision. Choice One Engineering has reviewed the plans and agree that plans for both subdivisions comply with the Minster Design Standards.

He reported that the Electric Department ordered two back-up generators which will be placed at the Parkview Lift Station and the Line Drive Lift Station. The two generators cost $17,574 and $17,713. He explained that these two sewage pump stations were not equipped with any back-up power generation, therefore, if the power does go out, crews need to take a portable generator to each lift station for them to operate. Placing permanent standby generators will alleviate the need for this. The Village will landscape around the generators to help them blend into the surrounding area.

Finally, Harrod commended the village crews for the job they did removing snow from the streets during the last heavy snow fall. He said they have received several positive comments about the snow removal.

In other action, council approved the purchase a $12,314.20 Kubota 72-inch commercial zero turn radius mower for the Parks Department. Also approved was the purchase a $148,616 2021 Freightliner Dump Truck with a stainless steel bed from State Purchasing for the Public Works Department.

Approved payment of invoices over $3,000 included two electrical transformers for $12,125, a GIS annual licensing payment of $4,450, and for two batteries for the Fire Department’s Jaws of Life at a total cost of $7,454.

Council also approved a $61,833 payment to Paulus Excavating for work completed on the storm sewer at the corner of Seventh Street and Main Street.

Council also approved the January 2021 Income Tax report as submitted by the city of St. Marys, which amounted to $338,359.97. They also approved village receipts of $2,098,421.76 and invoices of $ $837,212.02.

Also approved was a second reading of an Ordinance levying a special assessment for the improvement of Second Street from Garfield Street to the Miami-Erie Canal and a portion of Garfield Street from Third Street to Second Street in the village of Minster, Ohio, such improvements shall include curbing and gutters, sidewalks, drive approaches, asphalt and other facilities.

Finally, council reaffirmed an ordinance awarding small business grants through the village of Minster’s COVID-19 Business Relief Grant Program Using Cares Act Funding. The original approval late last year was found to be short of a quorum.

By Sandy Rose 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.