South Point water rate raise approved

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2023

Will go toward paying off loan on line replacement project

SOUTH POINT — The village council voted on Tuesday to raise the flat water rate to $28 a month, a move Mayor Jeff Gaskin said was done to begin paying off a loan for water improvements.

Gaskin said the village must begin paying off the loan for phases I and II of its water line replacement project by 2024 and the raise will go toward that effort.

Email newsletter signup

The rate increase will take effect in January 2024, he said.

Gaskin said the council also voted to borrow $1 million for the purpose of installing water meters in the village.

The village was notified in the past year by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that it was not in compliance with regulations and needed to curb water usage. The agency mandated the village move to a metered water system to come into full compliance.

The EPA requires all systems to report and control water loss.

Gaskin said the EPA required the meters, for which the village will need to install 1,200, but provided no means to pay for them.

He said the meters must be installed by July 2024.

He said they will radio-read, which will allow workers in the office to detect leaks and problems quickly and can save customers large bills from such issues.

The council’s vote to move forward on funding also covers phase III of the water line replacement project.

In other business, the council:

• Authorized the police department to look into purchasing two new cruisers. Gaskin said the village bought four vehicles three years ago and the plan was to take the two highest mileage vehicles, sell them and buy two vehicles, keeping a rotation of two new cruisers and two used ones.

• Heard from residents of Fitzpatrick Heights subdivision, who were concerned about traffic lights at the site of the Tiffany Lane roadwork project. Gaskin said the village has notified the contractor that the lights must be removed by the Aug. 16 start of the school year. Gaskin said the road project is slightly behind schedule, due to issues with underground utilities, but workers are catching up from the delay.

— The council was set to meet in a special session on Friday (before The Tribune’s press time). Gaskin said this meeting was to approve the inclusion of an operating levy on the November general election ballot. The 3 mill levy is a renewal for five years and funds street lights in the village.