By JIM MAURER
CAREY — Carey Council gave first reading to an electric rate ordinance which had been tabled at the May 20 council meeting.
John Courtney, owner of Courtney and Associates, a Findlay-based utility consulting firm, discussed the proposed changes in the rate ordinance with the council and the administration prior to the vote.
The ordinance will increase the kilowatt per hour energy charge, but eliminate the Power Supply Cost Adjustment charge, so a residential bill will remain the same. The legislation also will limit electric customers on the village’s system to a maximum of less than 10 kilowatt hours of electric generation via solar panels or pay a higher rate. The village has a 2 megawatt solar field adjacent to Waterworks Park.
Separately, notification of a loan approval from the Ohio Water Development Authority is expected by week’s end, village Administrator Roy Johnson said.
The loan will finance the wastewater treatment plant upgrade over 25 years at an average interest rate of 0.98 percent.
With the 25-year loan, the village will pay about $488,000 annually.
As part of the agreement, the state loan will only cover the cost of construction, about $10 million.
Village council approved an ordinance allowing Johnson to purchase a vacuum truck for cleaning sewer lines and a hydraulic-powered pot holer repair machine. Those two items along with engineering costs and contingency funds total about $2 million and will be paid from the sewer debt fund.
Village residents pay a half-percent income tax which funds sewer projects.
The tax generates about $712,000 annually and will have a balance of about $6 million by the time the construction is done in several years.
At its April 1 meeting, council approved a motion of its intent to award Peterson Construction Co., Wapakoneta, the construction contract for about $10.03 million, which is the lowest of three bids received for the work.
Most of the existing plant will be demolished, with the laboratory and office being left for continued use.
Council also approved a 3 percent excise tax on hotel lodging in the village. Usually called a “bed tax” the action was necessary before a hotel is constructed near the U.S. 23/Ohio 15 interchange, which is being considered.
Revenue from tax receipts will be placed in the village’s general fund.
In his administrator’s report to council, Johnson said The Carey Food Pantry will be relocating to the former electric department shop in Waterworks Park after it secures the required insurance. The area will be cleaned a before the public is notified about the move.
The village administration will notify properties requiring a new meter base and/or service upgrades before the automated meter internet equipment installation.
Also, notifications will be sent to property owners who are required to repair or replace sidewalks.
Laura Ewing, village fiscal officer, began work on May 28. She held the same position for the Village of Bluffton and replaces Alisha Wentz, who took another job.
Despite about 4.6 inches of rain recorded at several locations in the village from the weekend’s heavy storms, water never overflowed Spring Run, the storm water drainage ditch which runs through the village.
There were flooded areas in Snyder Park subdivision, on Frederick and West North Streets, Johnson said, and there were periods of hail, but no damage reported to the municipal office.