MIDDLEPORT — The Middleport Council recently met for its regularly scheduled meeting discussing the water department budget and an upcoming public meeting.
Village Administrator Joe Woodall told council the water budget is not in good shape as the prices for materials and projects continually increase. Woodall explained the village has been fortunate to receive grants and funding through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but just this year alone $20,000 worth of repairs had to be made.
Fiscal Officer Sue Baker added a few years ago the appointed council decided to do away with a 3 percent inflation increase on water and sewage payments. She said the village is in good hands with Woodall with his experience and certification, so the money management is being done properly, but without the village having an inflation increase on water and sewage, the budget is not fiscally sound.
Baker and Woodall suggested a 9 percent increase to water and sewage payments with an additional 3 percent increase on Jan. 1, 2019. Woodall commented the average total increase would be between $5-$7 on residents’ bills.
Council Member Emerson Heighton requested Baker send the figures of the water department’s budget to the council, so they may look over the information.
The council will address the issue at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Woodall stated a public meeting will be held at the Middleport Village Offices, Tuesday, May 29, 6 p.m. to discuss phase two of the sewer project in order to bring residents up to par. He said the last bit of pipe is being laid for phase one of the project.
In other business, Jail Administrator Mony Wood discussed with council the need for a pay increase once correctional officers are certified. The council approved to give correctional officers a $0.50 pay increase to their start pay of $9.75 upon completion of certification that must be done within a year. If a correctional officer is hired and already certified, the officer will have a starting pay of $10.25.
Police Chief Bruce Swift shared the Middleport Police Department will be undergoing Crisis Intervention Training (CTI) as well as a search warrant prep. Swift added in early June officers will be going through re-certification. May 13-19 is National Police Week, explained Swift, and on Saturday, May 19 the prosecuting attorney’s office will be holding an appreciation breakfast for all Meigs County officers.
Building Inspector Mike Henderson told council the Zoning Board of Appeals needed a new committee member. The council nominated Bill Lambert.
Henderson has had to send out grass violations. Mayor Sandy Iannarelli said a special meeting will be held soon to discuss lawn care, a date is to be decided.
Iannarelli asked council for permission to use the Depot at Dave Diles Park free of charge for Mayor’s Group and the council approved. Mayor’s Group will begin in June continuing to August and will be held on Thursday’s. Iannarelli explained there will be free entertainment and food for guests.
Iannarelli announced the creation of a new committee where the members will have open communication with Swift, Wood, and Fire Chief Jeff Darst. She appointed herself, Heighton, and Council Member Brian Conde to the committee. Iannarelli said the committee’s first meeting will be held soon.
Conde inquired about the batting cages and soon to be installed basketball pole at Middleport Park. He also asked if any clean up week would be held this year. Iannarelli said there will be no clean up week, but clean up in the town is encouraged from residents on their own terms.
Conde explained his concerns regarding unpaid taxes in the village and was informed that issue is a county issue. Henderson commented a land bank meeting will be held in the near future.
The council approved to apply for a bank loan which will be reimbursed by the Nature Works grant.
The next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 28, 7 p.m. at the Middleport Village Offices has been cancelled due to Memorial Day. The council will meet again on Monday, June 11, 7 p.m. at the Middleport Village Offices.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.