MINSTER – Minster Council met May 4 to hear about plans for the village’s water supply and upcoming road projects. Also, the dates reopening village recreation facilities were revealed.
Village Administrator Don Harrod said they are beginning to plan for the repairs to be made to the Ohio Street Water Tower. After discussions with Danone and tower repair company Worldwide Industries, he said the week of June 7 will be when they can drain the water town and complete leak repairs. At that time, he said, Danone will also be in their maintenance shut down period, reducing their need for water.
In related news, Harrod said consulting firm CDM Smith continue to work on the engineering to develop the new water tower. He said they have provided them the potential locations chosen by council and have arranged for CTL Engineering to conduct soil borings at the sites.
Other water quality issues included ongoing discussion with the Ohio EPA over controlling dissolved solids coming out of the water treatment plant. He said they have scheduled a teleconference with representatives from the Ohio EPA for Thursday, May 6, to discuss what options would be acceptable to the EPA in dealing with total dissolved solids at the wastewater treatment plant. He added that CDM Smith has developed a list of potential solutions that will be presented to the Ohio EPA in order to facilitate discussion on which solution would be acceptable to both the Ohio EPA and the village.
Harrod said the village electrical department will be doing a planned power outage on Sunday, May 16, 2021, between 6 and 8 a.m. for residents and businesses north of Seventh Street. The outage is being undertaken in order to switch over and replace new wires and poles in the Seventh Street-Main Street Area.
The electric department is working with SecurCom and New Knoxville Telephone to install security cameras at each of the three electrical substations. These were budgeted in this year’s appropriations. These security cameras will allow prevention of unlawful entry into the substations by non-village personnel.
Choice One Engineering is finalizing the plans for the reconstruction of Seventh Street east of Main Street. Plans should be completed in the next couple of weeks. Harrod said he will have a resolution of necessity for council to consider at the next council meeting. Once the resolution of necessity is passed, the village can establish a bid date for the project.
The electrical department will begin to change out the poles on the east side of state Route 66 north of Bensman Road when it was discovered that the tops of the existing poles are starting to show some rot. New poles have been placed along the right-of-way in anticipation of replacing the existing poles.
As the summer season approaches, he said May 8th will be opening day for the parks. In preparation, he said the parks department is working at the Four Seasons Park for the upcoming baseball/softball season. That work includes prepping fields, opening the concession stands and shelter houses and giving the park a general clean-up from winter.
The parks department will soon begin preparing the pool for this summer. Harrod said that within the next couple of weeks, the pool will be drained, cleaned and refilled in preparation for a Memorial Day weekend opening. He added that residents can purchase a pool pass on the village’s website. Closer to the opening of the pool, they will begin to sell passes at the pool.
The Four Seasons new playground resurfacing was delayed. He said Minster Concrete Coatings have given the village notice that there are some delays in getting the rubber material to complete the playground resurfacing at the Four Seasons Park due to the CoVID-19 pandemic. They are planning to have the project done by June 1, said Harrod.
In financial news, he said the Auglaize County Tax Incentive Review Council met to review the enterprise zone agreements that are in place within the Village. This yearly meeting makes sure that those businesses who have an enterprise zone agreement remain in compliance with the terms of the agreements. Both of the agreements that are in place in Minster were recommended to be continued.
In related action, council approved an adjustment to the Nidec 2018 Enterprise Zone agreement. Originally, the company had requested a $6,050,000 reduction of their tax obligation to allow repairs and expansion of the Nidec complex. Since all the work was not completed as planned, Nidec asked to have the tax reduction changed to $3.65 million. The County Commissioners will be next to approve this change.
Renewable energy strategies that would include guidelines implementing a community solar program were also discussed. Toward that end, Harrod said the village will participate in workshops with the National Renewable Energy Labs/American Public Power Association’s Community Solar Working Group.
In official Council action, approved was the first reading of an ordinance vacating various alleys and streets within the village of Minster as plans are put into place to create the new Steepleview subdivision at the northeast corner of the village. The vacations would involve portions of 6th and Webster streets and some alleys between Paris and Hamilton.
Council also officially voted to give final approval to an ordinance amending the Enterprise Zone Agreement with Nidec Minster.
Council also approved a $49,683 invoice from Duncan and Allen for legal services for ongoing litigation. The village is being sued by a former contracted solar provider — EnPower — for $10.5 million over what the company considered a breech of contract by the village. The village had canceled the contract with EnPower when the company did not meet deadlines for construction of an additional solar field.
In reaction to an Ohio Supreme Court ruling, council approved joining other municipalities pursuing a lawsuit seeking reimbursement of fees collected by the state of Ohio for collection of Business Net Profit Taxes. The court had declared collection of the half of one percent fee unconstitutional
Council approved a motion to hire 30 part time and seasonal employees for the pool and another 5 seasonal employees to work on park maintenance for the summer. In addition, it was agreed to hire Trent Langenkamp for the summer to aid the Public Works department in collection of GIS data for the village. Council also approved creating a new position for hiring an employee for the Public Works Department to assist with meeting new EPA guidelines.
It was reported that village receipts totaled $ 1,631,281.60 while invoices amounted to $875,152.01.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.