Botkins goes ahead with new water upgrade plan

By Alexandra Newman -

BOTKINS — The Botkins Village Council talked about their big water upgrade project, and agreed to a new trash and recycling bid at their meeting on Tuesday night.

Village Administrator Ryan Piche presented to the council a new funding option for the water project. The water plant is in need of upgrades, including new softeners.

As they were putting together the 2017 budget they were accounting for a $275,000 grant from the state to do about the half of the project. Since then they have been awarded a $500,000 zero interest loan.

“We were first to submit the project. There was competition throughout the region, and by the time everything was awarded people had turned down parts of different loans, and there was $500,000 sitting on the table, and we were in the best position to take it,” Piche said.

The council spent some time milling over options and ideas, including whether taking out more loans was worth it.

Piche assured the council their debt situation is okay, and if they don’t use all of it, or get more grant funding for the project in other sources, they would just have to give the loan money back, with no other commitments or strings attached.

If the project were to come in under budget, it saves everybody money, Piche said. Their only commitment is to the percentages of where the money for the project comes from.

“This is infrastructure, this virtually has to happen,” Council Member Steve Heuker said.

“If these softeners go belly up tomorrow, we’re going to have a problem. … If we don’t buy a new fire truck, we can still operate on one fire truck,” Council Member Josh Meyer said. “If we don’t build a new fire station, we can still have a fire department.”

So the council decided to go ahead with the new plan to accept the zero interest loan and went ahead with more of the project in 2017.

The council also decided to accept the final bid with the North Central Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) for trash and recycling hauling through Republic.

Currently their residents are paying $14.97 a month for a cart and $2.25 for a bag. Under the new contract that price would go down to $12.90 a month for the unlimited plan with or without a cart, $2.20 for a bag, and $3 for recycling with two 18-gallon totes.

Under this unlimited plan, whatever residents put out on their curb – they will take. Whatever requires a tag now, will be taken in this plan. One of the recycling totes is for paper products, and the other is for all other recyclables.

This new plan requires all residents to enroll in the recycling, but residents can still use the bag system if they don’t want to do the unlimited plan.

The cost of the recycling will be applied to the resident’s utility bills, and will be assessed to their property tax if not paid, just like with their utility bill.

The final contract will hopefully be ready by the next council meeting for the council to officially pass.

Piche announced the Edgewood Street finally payment has been submitted to the state. Final project numbers in relation to the final budget amount will be reported at the next meeting.

By Alexandra Newman

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; Follow the SDN on Facebook and Twitter @sidneydailynews

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; Follow the SDN on Facebook and Twitter @sidneydailynews