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Village of South Point passes revision of water rates

SOUTH POINT — The village council of South Point voted for the third and final reading on a revision to its water rates, which will take effect in the new year.

The council approved the increase of $2.50 a month for water, while sewer rates will not change.

Tuesday’s meeting of council took place via teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second month in a row this has been done, as Lawrence County remains under Red Level Three on the state’s alert map.

The council heard from village administrator Russ McDonald, who thanked crews for their work in repairing a water recent main break.

He said crews were on scene at midnight in the 30-degree temperatures and in the snow and worked continuously to fix the problem.

“We are very fortunate to have crews like that,” he said.

McDonald said they have been smoke testing the sewage system in the village and that numerous violations were found. He said letters will be mailed to notify violators that they have 30 days to fix any problems.

He said the village has also been testing the water system for leaks. No main breaks were found, but McDonald said leaks were detected in homes.

McDonald was approved by the council to advertise for the purchase of a new truck for the department.

He said the current truck is from 2004 and has one million miles on it and severely diminished horsepower, making it difficult for the department to haul sludge.

A new truck would cost $150,000-175,000, he said, but said he has found a 2015 truck with 24,000 miles on it, which would cost $60,000.

In other business, the council:

• Voted to accept the $5 million budget for the village for the 2021 fiscal year.

• Approved for the fire department to use a fire recovery program to bill insurance companies for expenses.
“This doesn’t cost us a penny,” fire chief Mark Goodall said, stating the company used would keep 22 percent of the funds collected. He said only insurance companies would be billed and village residents would never be charged.“We don’t want the people of South Point to get a bill,” he said. If something happens and insurance doesn’t pay, I drop it. We do not go after the people.”

• Voted to approve the sale of a police cruiser.

• Heard from police chief Chris Mahjer, who said two open positions in the department have now been filled and that they can now meet their goal of having two officers on duty at all times. Mahjer also said his department is on trajectory to be in the black for its 2021 budget.