Village approved for loan for sewer upgrades

Published 10:03 am Thursday, October 5, 2017

South Point to crack down on delinquent sewer bills

SOUTH POINT — The Village of South Point has been approved for an $810,000 loan to replace the aging clarifiers of the sewer system.

Mayor Jeff Gaskin announced the news at Tuesday’s meeting of council.

“We’re ready to go,” he said of the project, which the village has been working toward all year.

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The loan, from the Ohio Water Development Authority will go toward Replacing the clarifiers, which date back to the 1970s.

Gaskin said the new ones will last at least 30 years.

“And we’ll be putting in better equipment than we had,” he said.

The mayor and council also discussed the issue of delinquent sewer bills.

“We’re concerned about what can be done to collect on these,” village solicitor Randy Lambert said, noting the village agreed at the meeting to send notices to those with significant balances, some of which total $1,000-$3,000.

“They will have 30 days to make a payment arrangement or be disconnected,” he said. “And there would be a fee to reconnect.”

Lambert said the village is also exploring the possibility of publishing names of those with large balances.

Gaskin also asked the council to consider the method of funding work on storm sewers.

He said that he has called Ohio Rep. Ryan Smith, who suggested that officials from the Environmental Protection Agency visit South Point to explore possibilities.

“He’s working on getting them to come here,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin also gave an update on the effort to upgrade the village park.

He said that he has spoken with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources about the possibility of repurposing a $38,000 grant, originally intended to build a spray park, for use toward upgrades, including purchasing handicapped-accessible playground equipment.

He said that, after speaking with DNR, officials, paperwork has been sent and approval appears likely.

In order to use the funds, construction would have to be completed by year’s end.

Funds collected from tickets during a crackdown on speeding in the village over the summer will also go toward the park effort.

Gaskin said a special meeting of council would be called to select from options on possible equipment, which will include two swing sets and two merry-go-rounds.

In other business:

• The council approved the village budget for 2018. Gaskin said there were no major changes from the previous year.

• The trick or treat date for the village was set for Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 6-7:30 p.m.

• The council listened to a question from a resident, regarding high weeds along a fence at The Point Industrial Park, adjacent to residential areas. Gaskin said he would discuss the matter with those at The Point.

• Gaskin said a total of $40,351 was raised from the village’s recent surplus sale, in which a number of cars and trucks were sold. He said a few vehicles, such as a fire truck, did not sell and the village was considering the possibility of bidding them out or donating them to a fire department in need.

• Police Chief Chris Mahjer told council of the Sept. 12 arrests in connection with an alleged theft ring in the village. Seven were charged in connection with the investigation.

• Fire Chief Mark Goodall spoke on the extrication class, which took place the fire department on Saturday. A simulated school bus accident was set up and crews worked to removed more than 40 people from the vehicle.

“It’s something that could happen,” Goodall said. “They learned how to get the kids out safely and where to cut and where not to cut.”

Goodall said the department would be taking part in Fire Prevention Awareness Week at South Point Elementary, setting up a smoke house to teach children how to evacuate a burning home.

He said such events have proven to be beneficial.

“They take the literature we give them home and share it with their parents,” he said.

• Village administrator Russ McDonald said work is being done to repair pipes in the water and sewer plants. He said work continues on efforts to get water and sewer maps onto computers. Water system information is online.

“We recently finished with storm sewers and we are starting on the sewer system,” he said.

• Gaskin reminded residents that the village’s fall yard sale will take place on Saturday. He said a shredder truck will be set up at the former Family Dollar lot next to village hall and that residents can dispose of paper documents there.

The November meeting of council was scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m., as the usual monthly date conflicted with the general election.