South Point starts new year with swearing in

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 8, 2024

Gaskin takes oath on third term as mayor

SOUTH POINT — When Village Council returned for their first meeting of 2024 on Tuesday at South Point Village Hall, they had a new member beginning his first full term.

Council member Rocky McCoy was sworn in last week for the term beginning in January, having won election in November 2023.

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While this is the first week of his elected term, McCoy has been serving on the council the past several weeks, following the resignation of Michael Lynd on Oct. 31.

Mayor Jeff Gaskin appointed McCoy who was running unopposed for one of two seats on November’s ballot to the remainder of Lynd’s term.

Also on the November ballot was Chuck Austin, who won re-election to another term for the other council seat. Austin was also sworn in by Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Christen Finley last week.

Mayor Jeff Gaskin took the oath of office at that event, in addition to the council members, having won re-election in an uncontested race in November.

Gaskin, who is starting his third term, is now the longest serving mayor in Lawrence County, following the retirement of three-term Proctorville Mayor Rick Dunfee, whose term ended in December.

The council had its first meeting of the year on Tuesday and the main item of business was hiring a code compliance officer, Gaskin said.

The position will be part-time, 12-25 hours a week, and work with the mayor’s office.

Gaskin said they hired Larry Large, a former police officer who also does code enforcement for Ironton.

The council also adjusted the benefits package for police officer at the meeting.

Gaskin said they are also looking at modifying vacation time for all village employees.

Gaskin said they also discussed the end-of-year report regarding water in the village. He said the village pumped 54 million gallons less in 2023, compared to previous years.

He said the village attributes this reduction to the completed phases of the water line replacement projects, as well as the installation of water meters for customers outside village limits.

Gaskin said they anticipate further savings when Phase 3 of the water project is completed, as well as following the installation of water meters within the village this year.

Last year, the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection ordered the village to begin using water meters, something local leaders had opposed for years.

“They estimated the village wastes 40 percent of the water we pump,” he said.

Gaskin said the village also, at Tuesday’s meeting, increased the sewer tap fee to $250 and the water tap fee to $1,500.