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South Point Village Council amends water shutoff proposal

Lawn ordinance changes passed

SOUTH POINT — Members of South Point’s village council voted to amend an ordinance on water cutoffs on its second reading at their meeting on Tuesday.

The proposal was created to ease costs of sending village workers to turn water off for homeowners.

Currently, there is no fee for such work and village administrator Russ McDonald has said he routinely receives requests from homeowners who do not have their own shutoffs and are doing plumbing work.

The council set the cost at $50 for weekdays during normal hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and $75 for weekends, holidays and after hours.

The council voted to pass the amended proposal, 6-0, and a reading is set for March.

The council also voted to pass changes to a weed ordinance, which would call for citations for grass that is more than eight inches tall on residential property and 12 inches on commercial land. The council voted to suspend the three-reading rule to pass the proposal.

“We decided to put some teeth into it,” Mayor Jeff Gaskin said.

He said the fine would be $100 for a first offense and $500 for second in a year. The cost if the village has to cut a resident’s grass would be $100.

In other business, the council:

• Discussed the idea of putting up a wrought-iron fence around White Cottage Cemetery.
Council member Bill Patrick said he has spoken with several businesses and has $5,000 pledged toward the estimated cost of $36,000.

Patrick asked village solicitor Randy Lambert what steps he would need to take to collect donations.

Lambert advised a presenting a letter explaining the project, which he said he would put together, while the council and Gaskin agreed to set up a fund for the fence project.

“I really want to get this done,” Patrick said.

The fence would not use village funds and would be paid for through donations, grants or profits from the sale of lots at the cemetery.

The village recently purchased land adjacent to the cemetery and has been selling new lots from the expansion.

Gaskin said eight lots have been sold since they went on sale last month at a cost of $1,000 each. Those interested can contact the mayor’s office.

The council also discussed the possibility of allowing people to sponsor sections of the fence, as well as installing plaques for donors.

• Heard from Kelli Smith from Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague’s office, who provided information on programs available to the village.

• Voted for Chris Smith as mayor pro tempore.

• Voted for Jerry Boggs as village chaplain.

• Adopted the 2019 legal code for municipalities for the state of Ohio, which take place each year and repeals ordinances in conflict.

• Heard from McDonald, who said the village recently had an inspection from the EPA and that no reprimands were issued. They discussed putting up fences around village wells and tanks. McDonald said he will get an estimate on the matter.

McDonald said the clarifier replacement project for the sewer plant is complete and they are preparing to start a generator project. He said plans are complete and they are waiting to purchase parts.

• Heard from police chief Chris Mahjer, who said the department’s K-9 unit will be ready by June. He said they have received several thousand of dollars in donated supplies for the dog.
Mahjer also spoke of the need to update and increase fines, as was brought up at January’s council meeting. He said he will have a proposal ready by next month’s meeting.

• Voted to payoff the remaining loan for village hall, rather than refinance. Gaskin said refinancing would have cost $6,400 in fees and the interest rate would have gone up one percent.

“We think this is the time to pay it off,” Gaskin said of the administration’s position.

The remaining loan was approximately $201,578.58 and the council voted 6-0 to pay it off.

“This saves us a $72,000 a year payment,” Gaskin said.

The next meeting of council is set for Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.