OTTAWA - Ottawa's new way of mowing saved the village nearly $13,000 over what it spent in 2011 for mowing.

Rich Knowlton, the village's safety services coordinator, who is also in charge of the mowing for the village presented council with an analysis of what was spent in 2011 for mowing village properties with a comparison of what was spent this year.

In 2011 the village spent $52,061 whereas in 2012 the village reduced its mowing expenditures to $39,170. This is due to the method of which the village mows. Earlier this year, council adopted a plan proposed by Knowlton to divide the areas throughout the village that need mowed into three levels. Level one are the highly visible areas which must be mowed more often. Some of the locations in level one area include the Wastewater Treatment plant, the municipal building and the ESC building.The village paid $27,280 to have level one areas mowed.

Level two includes areas that are not as highly visible but still important to keep the grass mowed. These areas were only to be mowed upon the request of a village official. These areas included the back of the Wastewater Treatment plant, the back of the municipal garage and other less visible areas in the village. THe village paid $11,780 to have these areas mowed this year. Level three areas were only to be mowed twice per year and included three areas that were utility easements and the village paid $110 to have these areas mowed.

Money was also saved when the village eliminated the mowing of right-of-ways that were not owned by the village. Knowlton said that areas along the road such as along Road J-6 was formerly mowed by the village and is now the responsibility of either the state or the land owner.

Seperately, Ottawa's Fire Chief, Dan Reiman gave an update to Ottawa Village Council regarding the use of the village's ladder truck after a countywide levy was voted down earlier this month.

Rieman noted that a committee was put together to create a recomendation on the use of the ladder truck for mutual aid and although the committee is continuing to put together figures and stipulations on the use of the ladder truck, Rieman said they are looking at charging other municipalities when they need the ladder truck for mutual aid.

Rieman said that his recomendation would be to charge a mobilization fee and an hourly fee. The mobilization fee could be a flat rate charged when the truck is called and then the hourly fee will be based on the time the truck was called and continue until the truck is back in service.

Rieman said the time can be tracked by using the dispatchers because they record the call times and then are notified when the truck can be put back into service. During an earlier council meeting this month Rieman voiced concern over the age of the ladder truck and the amount of money it costs to maintain it.

Council asked Rieman to have his committee draft a proposal that not only spells out the stipulations for the use of the ladder truck but how much they feel should be charged. Council will then review his proposal.

Other items discussed during the Ottawa Village council meeting include a sidewalk that will be installed next to the Putnam County YMCA located on Putnam Parkway in the village. Council decided to install a sidewalk in front of the YMCA after a concern was brought to them regarding children walking to school and to the YMCA by using the street.

Councilman Dave Becket gave an update on a regionalization meeting that was held earlier this month. Becket said and are looking to put a committee together similar to what Wood County has.

Council also noted that the aggregation of public utilities was voted down by voters. Council noted how close the vote was and felt that the public needed more information on what aggregation was.

The next village council meeting will be held on Dec. 17 after a meeting being held by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding a tentative plan for flood mitigation.