Water issues dominate Botkins council meeting


By Patricia Ann Speelman - pspeelman@aimmedianetwork.com



BOTKINS — Water tower maintenance was the topic that comprised much of the discussion by Botkins Village Council members during their regular meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 14.

A proposal by Utility Services Co. Inc. for seven years of maintenance, including exterior painting, of the Hickory Street tower was considered. The contract would cost the village $1,500 in the first year, $72,656 per year for the next five years, and $35,066 for the final year of maintenance. Thereafter, the fee would increase by up to 5 percent each year. The current maintenance contract ends this year.

Councilmen asked Village Administrator Randy Purdy to request of Utility Services a maintenace schedule and a chart of the cost for the next 15 years.

In other action, the council approved a five-year contract with the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) in the amount of $1,512 annually for cooperative GIS services. Purdy reported that the Ohio EPA has required all villages, cities and counties to annually map their water distribution systems, noting where lead is present in pipes or soldering. Botkins has contracted with an engineering firm to create the map this year. Participation in the RCAP program will permit the updating of those maps to be done in-house.

Council also approved a proposal presented by Anna Village Administrator Wayne York to share employment of Jon Hulsmeyer, a Class II wastewater treatment plant operator. Hulsmeyer had been employed full time by the village of Botkins. The village of Anna doesn’t have a Class II operator, but its Class I operator is studying for the more advanced license and is expected to have it by June. The Anna wastewater treatment plant, however, requires a Class II operator. York proposed that Hulsmeyer work in Anna two hours per day, for which Anna would reimburse Botkins the cost of his salary and benefits. In addition, Anna plans to hire Hulsmeyer as an independent contractor for an additional four hours per day.

“It’s a mutual aid kind of thing. If the shoe were on the other foot, we’d try to help out, it that happens,” York said.

Council also approved a request by Botkins High School FFA to use areas of the village park as test plots during the 2017 year and gave first reading to an ordinance that would permit the sale and consumption of alcohol on village streets during the Carousel festival.

Without taking action, the council discussed whether to ask for help from a local business to cover the cost of softening the village’s water. The softeners, which are needed by the business but not by the rest of the village, account for 90 percent of the water cost, said Councilman Josh Meyer.

Purdy reported that new recycling bins will be delivered throughout the village by Boy Scouts and the new recycling will begin March 1. He also noted that there will be an audit of street lights that have been going out.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

pspeelman@aimmedianetwork.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.