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Water usage is issue in South Point

SOUTH POINT — High water usage, which has been an issue in the village of South Point for the past year, remains a problem.

Village administrator Russ McDonald told Tuesday’s meeting of council that the village pumped 25 million gallons of water in the past 30 days.

“That’s almost as much as in the summer,” Mayor Jeff Gaskin said following the meting. “Why are people using that much water?”

McDonald has said many times in the past year that the current level of usage is unsustainable for the village’s aging system and has recommended the use of water meters in the village to curb usage.

McDonald said that a system the village is considering would cost $150,000 to implement, would be guaranteed for 20 years and that it would pay for itself in three years.

In other news, McDonald said work has started on the sewer department’s trickling tower and that backup generators are being put in place in water and sewage facilities.

“If there is a power outage, we would have backup power,” he said.

McDonald also spoke to the council about the village’s vac truck, which he said has gone out.

He said the truck, which sees heavy use dealing with backups in the sewage system, has a bad blower.

He asked the council to consider the options of replacing the truck, buying a used truck or replacing the blower.

“This is very needed equipment for a sewage system of our size,” Gaskin said.

Tuesday’s meeting of council took place via teleconference, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gaskin opened the meeting by asking council member Brad Adkins, who is a pastor at Chesapeake Church of the Nazarene, to lead a prayer for village chaplain Jerry Boggs, who was absent due to an illness in his family.

The council started by passing a raise in salaries for a police officer and the village’s fiscal officer, and then approved the annual revision of Ohio’s Municipal Code.

The council then passed an ordinance regarding the village’s spring and fall clean up days.

It had been the policy for village street crews not to do pick ups of items during clean ups at apartment complexes, due to past abuse by some business owners, but after discussing the matter at last month’s meeting, the council agreed to expand the pick ups to all residences, which was the subject of Tuesday’s vote. Council members have agreed to assist in watching for any abuse of the policy.

In other business, the council:

• Heard from fire chief Mark Goodall, who asked the village to consider purchasing an aerial drone for the department. He said it could be useful equipment, pointing to a news story where fire crews in one department were able to locate a man on an ATV who was lost in the woods as an example.

• Heard from Gaskin, who gave an update on renovations to the village’s community center. He said bids opened on the project Feb. 10 and that he recently met with contractors. He said crews from the village have already torn out the parts that are to be redone. They hope to have the project completed by July.

• Discussed the need for an ordinance dealing with gutter draining into the street, which continues to be an escalating problem.

The next meeting of council is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2.