By JIM MAURER
CAREY — Carey Council approved a motion Monday to prepare legislation for the long-term maintenance of the elevated water tower on Ogg Street and the standpipe in Waterworks Park.
Estimates are being sought and work will include refurbishing the interior and exterior of each. Previously, the village would alternate doing the interiors and exteriors of each tower over several years. But it has been seven years since any work has been done on either tower, village Administrator Roy Johnson has said.
The administration will contract with SUEZ Water and Technology Solutions for work on the two water towers. The company, headquartered in Atlanta, has employees in Huber Heights. The work will cost more than $1.4 million, payable over 10 years.
New water towers are estimated at $4 million. The Ogg Street tower was constructed in 1958 and the standpipe in Waterworks Park is more than 100 years old.
Last year, residents began paying the fourth 20 percent increase on their water bills, implemented yearly to improve the account’s financial balance.
Separately, a transient guest tax, or “bed tax,” is being considered. The tax is charged on individuals who stay in hotels/motels. There have been discussions of a possible hotel/motel locating in the area near U.S. 23 on the southern edge of the village.
Johnson also told council the federal government grant reimbursement for 50 percent of the electric substation construction near Continental Structural Plastics will put $541,475 back into the village’s electric fund. The project cost more than $1.08 million.
Separately, the sewer fund and the “green fee,” which funds curbside recycling, the yard waste transfer station, fall leaf collection and brush grinding, continue to have declining balances.
Sewer rates for village residents are about $280 annually, while the average statewide is about $677 annually, Mayor Jennifer Rathburn said.
Rates have not been adjusted since 2011, Johnson said, while the green fee has “never really covered its own weight with respect to operating expenses,” Johnson said.
“As with all the other revenues, costs have gone up, and rates need to increase to cover them,” he said. “They remain ‘nonprofit centers,’ but losing ground is not acceptable.”
The administration will continue to review both rates and will bring recommendations to council.
Separately, the administration requested “modifications and upgrades” to the village website. Council approved a motion for legislation on the issue. It will cost about $200 per month through Muni-Link. The village spends about $1,100 annually now for “GovOffice” hosting and software, which is hard to update, Johnson said.
The new vendor works with government agencies, and residents will have the opportunity to sign up for alerts of emergencies and notification of power outages and flooding conditions.
The program will be “more user-friendly for updates, as well as more readily linking to our primary information routes in social media,” Johnson said. “There is a cost for these services, but it would be partially offset by discontinuance of the current GovOffice templates and their web hosting fees.”
“We have already secured the web domain name for several years ahead (careyohio.org), and that would continue on with the same name and emails.”
Separately, council approved an ordinance to advertise and seek sealed bids for the sale of unneeded vehicles owned by the village.
The village has three vehicles — a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria and a 2003 F-250 truck — which will be sold.