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South Point extends sanitation agreement

SOUTH POINT — The South Point village council voted on Tuesday to extend its sanitation agreement with Republic Services.

Under the plan, monthly billing services would be amended from $9.40 to $10.40 a month.

The council had a first reading on the issue in March and, at this month’s meeting, voted to suspend the three-reading rule and accept the amended agreement by voting to take the first steps in putting a renewal of it 3 mil operating levy on the ballot for the fall election.

The council voted, 6-0, to get an estimate of property tax revenue certified from from the county auditor.

Mayor Jeff Gaskin said, by law, the village can not have a continuous levy and it must be renewed every five years.

“We would be in a world of hurt if it doesn’t pass,” Gaskin said, noting that the levy amounts for half of the village’s general fund.

In other business, the council:

• Heard from village administrator Russ McDonald, who said demolition on the old parts of the sewage system’s clarifiers will begin by the end of the month. He said the new parts should arrive around May 1.
McDonald also said the switch of the water system to automated meters is complete.

He said this new system would provide a more accurate recording of water usage, noting that a village worker could plug a laptop into the meter and see exactly how much water a home used down to the hour.

“That way they can find leaks,” McDonald said.

Gaskin said this would eliminate waste and help reduce costs.

“This makes us much better stewards of our water,” he said.

• Heard from Scott Belcastro, of Trebel, LLC, a national energy consulting company.
Belcastro said he was attending the South Point meeting after meeting with Fayette Township’s trustees, where he had discussed the company’s proposal to help villages and townships gain purchasing power on electricity. No action was taken following his presentation

• Heard from council member Bill Patrick, who put forward a motion that would require that South Point would no longer hire outside of the village, as long as qualified people are available. The motion was not seconded and no action was taken, and some questioned the legality of such a proposal.

There was some tension in the closing minutes of the meeting, when Patrick raised the issue of campaign signs during this year’s primary election.

Patrick accused Gaskin of being “arrogant” in not allowing his posting of signs. Gaskin said Patrick’s signs were posted “willy nilly” and were in the right of way in front of private property and he had not consulted with the individual landowners.

In response, Patrick said he had checked with the state about the issue and, in the process, had discovered an agreement the village had to maintain U.S. 52 between the corporate limits, which is currently being handled by the state.

A few members of council asked Patrick why he was raising the issue and what it had to do with the policy on signs.

Patrick said he was not pursuing the issue, but had only discovered it when researching the issue of signs.

After some discussion, the council voted to move on from the topic and no proposals were put forward.

UPDATE: Gaskin provided the Tribune on Friday with a copy of the ordinance relating to U.S. 52, No. 92-13, which dates to 1992. The ordinance granted the Ohio Department of Transportation the authority to maintain U.S. 52. Gaskin said Patrick had misinterpreted the ordinance.