Watershed agency seeks continued support

By BRIAN LESTER
STAFF WRITER

BLUFFTON — Representatives from the Blanchard River Watershed Partnership spoke to Bluffton Council on Monday night, asking the village to renew its deal to provide funds to help with the agency’s efforts.

The village has been giving $1,000 each year and that deal ends this year. The partnership asked that the amount be considered as Bluffton plans its budget for 2015. The partnership asked that council continue providing the $1,000 over each of the next three years.

The partnership said the agency has undertaken projects such as helping rural areas repair and replace septic systems, and conducting tests of water quality.

No action was taken by council Monday night.

Separately, the village’s insurance provider has approved an initial payment of $146,646 to help cover damages to the town hall. The building was damaged in May when a broken sprinkler head on the third floor sent a signal to the building’s fire pumping system that water was needed. Roughly 2,000 gallons of water poured into the building before the pumping system was shut off.

The amount paid to the village was based on an original claim of $174,379, which was submitted by an adjuster. The amount was reduced by $1,000 because of the deductible, and another $26,733 was taken off the total because of depreciation.

Village Administrator James Mehaffie said there are still outstanding invoices and estimates that have been submitted or will be submitted after work is complete.

Separately, council discussed the possibility of putting cameras outside the service building because of a recent string of attempted break-ins. The most recent incident involved items being taken from a vending machine that was broken into inside the building.

No action was taken Monday and more information was expected to be gathered regarding cost and options before a decision is made.

Separately, the council plans to meet later this month to go over the rules for filling a vacant seat.

Monday marked the last meeting for Mitch Kingsley, who has served on council since 2000, including the position of council president earlier this year. He is stepping down due to changes in the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System that will take place in 2015.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sept. 3. The meeting will be on a Wednesday because of Labor Day.

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