Council approves project bills for property owners

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

MINSTER – Property owners within the latest Seventh Street reconstruction project will begin receiving bills for their share of the cost of the project after a vote by the Minster Village Council at their meeting Tuesday night. Also, the Trick or Treat date and time was set.

By an emergency vote, bypassing three readings, the ordinance calls for special assessments to be sent out soon for the property owner’s share of the cost for the $1,231,760 Seventh Street reconstruction project between Main and Hamilton streets.

The total assessment to property owners amounted to $190,076.55. Village Administer Don Harrod said the property owners will be given the option to pay the assessment directly or allow the village administration to apply the bill to their property taxes, which would be paid over a 10 year period. The village will need to borrow money for those who do not pay directly.

Council also declared that children in the village will be able to tour the neighborhoods for goodies on Trick or Treat night from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 27.

The water treatment plant will receive two new parts following the acceptance of low bids by council.

Council approved by emergency an ordinance to accept the low bid of $337,000 from Peterson Construction for the pressure sand filter replacement. Two other bids were submitted, one by SS Builder for $513,322 and National Water Service for $549,945.

Also approved by emergency was an ordinance to accept a low bid of $191,600 from H20 Innovations for replacement of the water treatment plant’s membrane.. A second bid was submitted by Process Solutions Inc, for $195,050.

Harrod said he was happily surprised by the low bids. His office had estimated the new membrane would cost approximately $400,000.

Harrod reported he and Police Chief David Friend had planned a Sept. 12 visit to Arcanum and New Bremen Police Departments to gather design ideas as they prepare for a Minster Police Department building expansion and renovation, estimated to cost $1.1 million. The police department is located at 126 W. Fourth St. in the village.

A share of local government funding from the state was accepted when council approved distribution of local government funds through the Auglaize County Budget Commission. The total funding will amount to $92,172.56. Harrod said this was an increase of $15,000 from last year.

A separate measure was approved to accept from the budget commission’s assessment of the income from property tax levies. As a result, the general fund will receive $267,784 and the fire department $296,015. The measure was also passed by emergency, bypassing three readings.

Council approved an ordinance agreeing the village will participate in a 2022 solar energy schedule with American Municipal Power Inc., should the rates be acceptable. Harrod said AMP had originally planned to build its own solar fields should enough local municipalities agree to participate in purchasing the power. However, he said, AMP found that the cost of materials would be too expensive, and so AMP is now asking for participation as AMP purchases solar power from other companies.

Harrod reported progress continues on the new water tower. Landmark Structures are expected to return this week to start building and placing the concrete rings for the tower. Shinn Brothers have backfilled the concrete base and build the pad for the crane around the tower base.

The tennis court improvements at the Seventh Street Community Park also continue now that Homan and Stucke have poured the concrete for the east tennis court project. Harrod said his office have contacted Schubert Tennis and the company is expected to begin installing the fence and coating the concrete surface.

Village crews removed a total of seven dead trees along Fourth Street over the past week or so. The village administrator said new sunset maple trees have been planted in their place.

He said there was an issue with a communication board that operates one of the membrane feed pumps at the water treatment facility on Friday, Aug. 26. This communication board failure resulted in the village having only one skid operating for a few hours on that Friday. With the help of CDM Smith, Buschur Electric and a couple of Danone’s employees familiar with communication boards, the problem was identified and they were able to change out the communication board to get both skids operating again.

The problems with the Dues Ditch project’s new retention pond are still being addressed, with the village working with RD Jones Excavating to get additional prices on drilling a well to empty excess water. The problem occurred when a sand vein was unearthed while building the new pond.

Other work has continued, according to Harrod, with RD Jones shaping the retention basin and the overflow swale. It is expected that RD Jones will be able to start building the headwalls on the retention basin and then start laying pipe.

Harrod also said they have put together a job advertisement for the pool manager’s position for next year and have begun to advertise the position on social meeting, Hometown Opportunity and the village’s website.

He said results have come back from the total dissolved solids test well done by Alloway and National Water Services. The reports have been submitted to CDM Smith for their review and analysis.

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.