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Rawlins appointed to South Point Village Council seat

SOUTH POINT — Members chose to fill a vacant seat at Tuesday’s meeting of South Point’s village council.

Chris Smith announced his resignation at October’s council meeting, citing personal commitments. The decision to fill the seat went to the council, who had 30 days to name a replacement or it would fall to Mayor Jeff Gaskin.

Council members decided on former member Eric Rawlins, who was confirmed for the position.

Tuesday’s meeting of council was a reschedule from the usual time for the monthly meeting. The council typically meets the first Tuesday in each month, but, as that fell on Election Day, the meting was moved back one week.

Gaskin said the council also voted and approved a second reading of a proposed water rate increase, with a third reading needed to pass set for next month.

The increase would be for $2.50 a month and would take effect in January, Gaskin said.

Gaskin said the village is also getting ready to start two water line replacement projects in coming months, which will then be followed by sidewalk installation, for which the village received a grant.

Gaskin said the village has also rented water data receivers, which they are using to listen for leaks in the village.

The 10 devices will be used by crews in the hours of 2 a.m.-3 a.m., when water usage is at its lowest, and can pinpoint a leak to a specific house.

Gaskin said the equipment has already helped to identify one leak, on a homeowner’s property, which the residents were not aware of.

He also said they also have learned, through those in the village who have volunteered to use water meters, that the average usage in South Point is 6,000 gallons a month, more than the national average of 4,000 gallons.

The council has discussed the possibility of installing meters village wide to cut down on usage, as village administrator Russ McDonald has warned that it is excessive and not sustainable.

Gaskin also said that he is going to incentivize police officers, in their time off, to go out and collect money for outstanding traffic warrants.

He said there is $537,000 in 900 warrants owed to mayor’s court and officers will go out in two-person teams and either arrest or collect the money.