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South Point continues push to renew levy

3-mill operating levy must be approved every five years

SOUTH POINT — The village of South Point took another step Tuesday toward putting renewal of an operating levy on the fall general election ballot.

The council voted, 5-0, to adopt a resolution declaring the 3-mill levy tax necessary.

The levy, which expires on Dec. 31, must be renewed every five years.

Mayor Jeff Gaskin said there is nothing different in what is sought for the fall ballot.

“This is the same levy we’ve had for 30 years,” he said, adding that, if the levy failed to pass, the village would have issues funding the police department and providing street lighting.

During the public comment period, the council heard again from Scott Belcastro, who represents Trebel, LLC, a national electric consulting company.

He was present at last month’s meeting of council, in which he proposed that South Point adopt a plan with the company for purchasing power on electricity.

Belcastro said he had just attended the meeting of Fayette trustees and that the township had voted to put such a plan before voters on the fall ballot.

He was following up to see if there was any interest in South Point doing the same.

After some discussion on the matter, Gaskin asked council if they wanted to take any action or had interest.

After they declined, Gaskin said the village was focused on the operating levy renewal and it not “want to cloud the issue” for voters on the fall ballot. He invited Belcastro to visit early next year and they would be willing to discuss the matter again.

In other business, the council:

• Voted 5-0 to grant a waiver to the owner of property at 804 4th St. E., where there was three feet of encroachment onto village land.

The property owner sought the waiver in order to get financing approved by a bank for renovations. The encroachment was reported to be a back porch on the building.

• Heard from village administrator Russ McDonald, who said demolition had started on inner components for clarifiers at the sewage treatment plant, and that replacement parts will arrive on Monday.

McDonald also cited three village employees, Mike Jones, Mike Kelly and Ralph Bond, for their work in repairing a village truck, used to take sludge to the dump.

He said the three, using web searches and how to videos, in addition to pooling their expertise and were successful.

“These guys did a heck of a job,” he said.

• Heard from council member Bill Patrick, who said he is seeking grant funds for the upgrade of White Cottage Cemetery on Solida Road.

The village purchased land earlier this year, adjacent to the cemetery, in order to expand the grounds and sell plots.

Patrick said he is hoping they can install a wrought iron fence around the grounds, with stone columns and a gate at the entrance. He pointed to a cemetery in Portsmouth, which has a similar fence that he said is aesthetically pleasing.

“The cemetery is the first thing people see when they come into the village,” Patrick said, noting the age of some graves, dating back to the 1800s. “I think it’s a way we could show respect for the people buried there.”

Patrick said, in order to pursue the grants, he would need to get an estimate, and sought the mayor and council’s approval, to which they agreed. Patrick said the estimate would come at no cost to the village.