MIDDLEPORT — A first step toward entering into an agreement with the Meigs County Board of County Commissioners for operation of Rutland’s water-sewer system was taken by Middleport Village Council at Monday night’s meeting.
The first reading, given to an ordinance authorizing the village of Middleport to enter into the agreement with the Commissioners for the purpose of administering the Meigs County Water and Sewer District which includes the Rutland operation, was passed by a unanimous vote of Council.
The ordinance states that the “Commissioners desire to take advantage of economic and operational efficiencies of contracting with the Village of Middleport for the performance of operation, maintenance, accounting and billing of the Meigs County Water and Sewer District, and whereas the village of Middleport desires to create an additional stream of revenue to benefit the residents of Middleport.”
It was emphasized by Clerk-Treasurer Susan Baker, that the project must “benefit Middleport financially from taking over the operation of the Meigs County Water Sewer District.”
She went on to state that she is confident that everything to protect the village has been written into the agreement and that the village is covered financially.
Meeting with Council was the village solicitor, Mick Barr, who discussed some of the legal aspects of the agreement, and advised that Council could give all three readings and adopt the ordinance during that meeting or take time to study it which was the way Council agreed they wanted to go.
“You don’t vote on something you don’t understand,” was the comment of one council member.
While a first reading was given to the proposed ordinance, several Council members raised questions which they felt needed to be answered prior to signing any agreement. Since three readings must be given to the ordinance, there will be time for some answers to those questions before any contract is signed by Mayor Michael Gerlach and Council president Rae Moore. A second reading of the proposed ordinance will be given at the March 25 meeting.
Meeting with Council were Tim Ihle, president, and Mike Bartrum of the Board of County Commissioners who have the responsibility for operating the Rutland sewer/water system.
During the meeting Council passed a resolution authorizing appropriations of $2,922,1808 for 2013. Appropriated expenses include the general fund of $37,334; special revenue funds of street, $156,187, fire truck fund of $60,272, tree planting fund of $1,782, disaster relief fund, $2,943, fire equipment fund of $17,700, refuse fund of $275,505, Mayor’s computer fund of $12,000 and FEMA wind storm fund of $6,000.
Permanent funds of cemetery endowment fund, $3,578; enterprise funds of water operating, $472,6709, recreation fund $2,515, meter deposit funds of $20,000m sewer improvement fund, $218,000, sewer operating fund of $571,825, cemetery fund of $7,249, leak insurance fund of $10,000 and water cap improvement fund $358,000. and agency funds from mayor’s court $88,537, for the total.
Douglas Dixon met with Council to again discuss the percent of the water rate increase which went into effect recently. He contends that it is higher than the three percent the village reports.
The mayor reported on the trip he made to Washington, D. C. recently as the guest of Rep. Bill Johnson (R). He said that 10 mayors from Johnson’s District were there and noted that a staff representative will be in town next week to discuss a river port since more freight will be coming up the river and more ports are needed. The mayor said that Middleport has been identified as a “green site” by the Ohio Department of Transportation and has other assets which fit into the port equation.
It was announced that the Department of Jobs and Family Services will be hiring summer youth workers who will be available to do work like cleaning up debris and mowing at no cost in the village.
Attending were Council members, Roger Manley, Emerson Heighton, Penny Burge, Craig Wehrung, Sandy Brown, and Rae Moore.