Village to absorb increase in costs
By Deborah Stone
and Kathy Sands
The Enfield Village board voted to keep water rates the same, even though Hamilton County Water District is raising the rates on the village. Mayor Harbour read a letter from the water district, stating that rates will go to $4.24 per 1000 gallons on May 1, 2019, an .08 cent increase. The board discussed whether to pass the raise along to their customers and ended up nixxing the idea. The Village will absorb the increase for the time being.
The April meeting of the board convened at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at the Village Hall. Present was Mayor Tom Harbour, Clerk Debbie Stone, Treasurer Angela Carter and trustees Terry Harrison, Mary Dormer, Jim Bolin, Jeanie Palmiter, and Aaron Dauby. Others present were Village Secretary Tammy Jones, Utilities Superintendent Steven Bishop, utility employee Nathan Poor, and Scott Mareing of WROY/WRUL Radio.
Minutes from the March meeting were approved, as was the Treasurer’s report. The bills were approved for payment.
In old business, Mayor Harbor noted that David Newman, Michael Doogan and James Steele all made court appearances on their trash and litter violations. Each was fined $700, but the village does not receive any of that money. The Mayor has spoken to village attorney Turpin about the property owned by V. Gupta. Several attempts have been made to work out a reasonable solution to this problem, but Mr. Gupta has not responded as he claimed he would. The board voted to move ahead with condemning that property.
The option to allow utility customers the ability to pay their bills online or by credit card has been under discussion. The Mayor attended a meeting with First Bank, which has this program and it would not cost the village for its use. There is a small fee charged by the service to pay this way. The fee is a % of the amount of the bill. Customers can pay at the office or online at www.govcard.org/Enfield.
Connie Welch inquired about the burn ordinance in the village, what hours, what could be burned, notification of neighbors, etc. The secretary was asked to provide her with the ordinance after which time she asked to address the board again. She reviewed the ordinance and then had questions about a plan being in place regarding the burn. Apparently some damage was done to her outbuilding and she wanted to know who was responsible for it. Jim Bolin stated that he and several others were on the scene, but that no plan was in place. He stated that the homeowner is the one who sets the fire, and the fire department is only there to control the burn. She asked when the debris left will be cleaned up and said it is still smoldering and the stench was horrible. The Mayor said he would check into the situation and discuss it with the homeowner.
Mayor Harbour stated that, although it will require a little more time, he would like the have the water at the park only on for requested functions, noting that it has become costly to leave the water on at all times, as there are people filling jugs of water, bathing and kids are wasting water.
The police department has been suspended.
Utilities Superintendent Bishop has prepared a “2029 Application and Permit for Excavation/Construction in Public Right of Way.” The village has an ordinance that regulates excavation, but it was adopted several years ago, and the fees need to be changed to coincide with the new permit. The current ordinance is found under Street Regulation 33-4-1. In Section 33-4-3, the fees are .25 per share foot for each type of excavation. The fees in the permit are these: “A fee of sixty-five dollars ($65.00) shall be charged for a permit issued under provisions of this chapter for an excavation of twenty five square feet or less. For excavations larger than twenty-five square feet, an additional permit fee of thirteen dollars and fifty cents ($13.50) shall be charged for each additional twenty five square feet or fraction thereof.” In the same ordinance, section 33-4-5 states the amount of deposit with no excavating involving pavement is $250.00 and $1000.00 if pavement is involved.
The board voted to revise the Street Regulations ordinance to reflect the above fees as set forth in the “new application and permit,” as well as raising the amount of insurance required to $1,000,000.00 (One Million Dollars).
Bolin also reported that a new road grader is needed to grade the shoulder of the streets and pull the soil back so water doesn’t run along the edge of the streets, causing deterioration. He will contact the Enfield Township Road Commissioner Joe Allen to see if he will hire to do this.
At 8:37 p.m., the board went into Executive Session to discuss personnel and came out of session at 9:15. The subject of a raise for village employees was tabled for the time being.
The Easter egg hunt is Saturday at 1 p.m.
The board adjourned at 9:25 p.m.
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