Middleport discusses call program, water and sewer

By Lindsay Kriz - [email protected]

MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Council on Tuesday approved the waiving of three readings of Ordinance 99-15, which would officially create the position of water/wastewater superintendent.

However, according to Fiscal Officer/Secretary Sue Baker, two-thirds, or four out of the the six elected members of council, must vote in favor of the ordinance, and three-fourths, or five out of six elected officials, must vote in favor of the ordinance itself. Because of the absence of member Penny Burge, Baker said the ordinance issue will be brought up next meeting, and will be voted upon when all council members are present.

Middleport Police Chief Bruce Swift spoke about the “Are You OK” program, which automatically calls anyone who subscribes at certain times of day to check if that person is OK. According to their information, this program can apply to the elderly, the handicapped, home-bound individuals and latch key children, or children who are home when their parents are at work.

Swift said the program will have a one-time $1,000 payment for the programming, and monthly cost for the program’s own phone line will be needed as well, which can come from the village’s budget or donations. Council took no action on the program and said that someone should look to see if the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office can do the program. As of Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff Keith Wood said he’d not yet heard about the project.

Baker presented council with preview of the 2016 budget, minus appropriations. Council looked at the documents and told the mayor and Baker that they would discuss the budget next meeting.

Fred Hoffman again spoke to council about concerns of his basement flooding during heavy rains in late June. He provided a letter to council, the mayor and Baker from the EPA regarding Middleport violations. The letter was dated Aug. 12, 2015. Council asked the mayor if he knew about the letter prior to that moment, and he said yes. Council said they had no idea about the letter until it was placed in front of them by Hoffman.

According to the EPA letter signed by Marco Deshaies, environmental manager in the Division of Surface Water, writes in the letter that Middleport needs an adequate number of water/sewer employees, that there was a violation because water entered basement homes and that the village must provide the EPA maintenance records from Jan. 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015, by mid-September of this year. During the meeting, Hoffman said he wanted council to repair the check valve, which pours rainwater into the river during flooding and will close off river water from coming into the village during flooding, Gerlach said.

The mayor said that the village had found some partial sediment blockage that had already been taken care of, as per local EPA employee Fred Snell, and that the check valve in question, which had some partial damage around the rim, would be replaced, with no official timeline in place yet. He added that the sediment issue mentioned by Hoffman had already been taken care of. The hydraulic capacities of this check valve must also be inspected, according to Joe Woodall, water/wastewater superintendent. Woodall said it’s up to the village to decide if they want to inspect the hydraulic capabilities or to have an outside entity do it.

To do this, the mayor said the village may have to file for an extension. The mayor added that pipes that handle rainwater during heavy rains are usually equipped for the undertaking, but that the rain in question, which occurred June 26, 2015, was 3.8 inches within an hour, according to measurements. Hoffman said his measurements only measured 2 inches of rain. Hoffman also claimed that equipment for the problem had not been used to its full capacity. Woodall responded that this was the case because the department was understaffed at the time, which was also an EPA violation.

Lawrence Powell asked when the Board of Public Affairs meets, and Baker told him that they meet the second Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in Middleport Village Hall’s conference room.

The next council meeting will be Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall.

Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155. EXT 2555.

By Lindsay Kriz

[email protected]