By JIM MAURER
CAREY — Maintenance of two water storage tanks in Carey and hiring a school resource office for Our Lady of Consolation School were approved Tuesday during council’s regular meeting.
Utility Service Co., Lowellville, will inspect, maintain and repair the 250,000-gallon water tower on Ogg Street and the 175,000-gallon standpipe in Waterworks Park over the next 10 years. The work will include interior and exterior repairs, cleaning, coating and painting. The village will pay more than $1.4 million over the 10 years.
There have been discussions about a possible new tower constructed near the U.S. 23/Ohio 15 intersection on the southern edge of the village to service the area where new residential and commercial development is underway. No action has been taken on the proposal.
Council’s action on a school resource officer for the Catholic elementary school follows previous approval for a resource officer in the public school. The agreement allows Mayor Jenn Rathburn and Village Administrator Roy Johnson to contract with the school and Police Chief Rich Kesler for an officer to be at the school four hours daily.
The school received a $2,500 grant through the state attorney general’s office to fund half the cost. The village will pay the remainder. The school will pay $20 per hour, which is what the public school pays for all-day coverage.
The village has three trained resource officers who will rotate between the two schools.
Earlier Tuesday, the administration opened bids for reconstruction of the village’s wastewater (sanitary sewer) treatment plant, and the three bids received exceeded the engineer’s estimate.
The project estimate is $9 million, as determined by Jones and Henry, the Toledo-based engineer handling plant design. The lowest bid was $11.4 million from Kirk Brothers Construction, Alvada. Peterson Construction Co., Wapakoneta, bid $11.5 million, and Mosser Construction, Fremont, bid more than $12.89 million.
State law allows an acceptable bid to be no more than 10 percent above the project estimate.
The bids will be reviewed for acceptability by Jones and Henry personnel over the next few weeks and a recommendation will be made by the March 4 council meeting. It’s likely bids will have to sought again, village Administrator Roy Johnson said.
The village collects a half-percent income tax which funds sewer debt projects. The tax generated more than $706,000 last year, according to village information.
Village employees began a trial period using a computer-based service TimeClock Plus to record their work hours via smartphone or computer, as well as filling out time cards so the administration can gauge the accuracy of the system.
Police Chief Rich Kesler said it will take getting used to because he’s never used a time clock. Also, he has “dedicated officers” who do what’s necessary, no matter the time, to complete their work.
Mayor Jennifer Rathburn said the change is not punitive, nor is it to avoid paying overtime. It will allow better tracking data of employee work hours.
The administration realizes it will take time for employees to get use to the change.
Also, the administration will wait for installation of new electric and water meters later this year before determining increases in water and electric rates. It’s hoped the new meters will more accurately charge for usage and create additional revenue.
The sewer fund is a major concern as operations and maintenance costs have risen.
Likewise, the “green fee” which covers curbside recycling, brush grinding and the yard waste transfer station, is about $20,000 below expenses annually, Johnson said. An increase in the fee would be acceptable to a majority of the public, he said, if necessary to continue the services.