Gaskin: Water meters are encouraging conservation

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 7, 2022

SOUTH POINT — Water meters that were installed for South Point water customers who live outside village limits are encouraging conservation, Mayor Jeff Gaskin said Thursday.

“It’s not about revenue,” he said. “It’s about usage.”

Gaskin said that of the 300 customers who had meters installed, 20 found that they had leaks that they were not previously aware of.

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And, because the village had not been charging for usage, he said customers had no incentive to watch for leaks or fix t hem.

Gaskin said that one customer, in the Sheridan area, had a leak that bringing usage for his residence to 83,000 gallons per month.

“And he didn’t know about it,” Gaskin said.

For comparison, Gaskins aid an average home uses 5,000 gallons per month.

Gaskin pointed out that if 10 homes had a leak of that magnitude, it would cost the village about one million gallons per month.

The mayor, along with village administrator Russ McDonald, has called for better stewardship of the water system, which they say is pumping more water per month than it should.

Gaskin said if customers outside village limits are asked to “pay for what you use,” it curbs usage.

South Point’s village council met for its regular session on Tuesday. Gaskin said they discussed revising and simplifying the village’s ordinance on trailers and modular homes and he expects a first reading of a new ordinance at next month’s meeting.

“This is to update and solve confusion,” he said, noting that the existing rules have not revised in some time.

In other business, the council:

• Passed an ordinance for COVID-19 sick leave for village workers. Gaskin said, with a lab positive test (rather than a home test), a worker can get one five-day time off in addition to regular sick leave.

• Discussed a paving loan. The mayor said the village is set to borrow money for street paving, which will be repaid with the $10 fees on vehicle tags in the village. Such funds can only be used for paving projects, he said. He added that, with oil and gas prices rising, projects may have to be smaller this year.

• Spoke with the village police department about the need for upgrades to the department’s building, including dressing rooms and bathrooms.

• Heard from the fire department, who recently received a rating from the Insurance Services Office. Gaskin said the “5” rating was “about the best a volunteer department can do.”

• Discussed Phase II of the water line project, which should begin in mid-March. This project will cover the area from the sewage plant to the railroad bridge and County Road 1 to the river. Phase III is still in the planning stages and cover County Road 1, from Giovanni’s to the village limit and from North Kenova Road to the railroad bridge.

The next meeting of South Point council is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4.