OTTAWA - As one of its cost cutting measures, the village of Ottawa has discontinued its village leaf pickup for this year.
Councilwoman Deb Bauer explained that currently the public works department consists of four employees but is down one employee.
According to a report created by Municipal Director, Jack Williams, leaf pickup requires about 720 man hours to complete. Williams noted that when the village was doing its own mowing it had seven full-time public works employees and four seasonal and part-time employees. Currently, the village employs four full-time public works employees and two part-time employees. The village now contracts its mowing out and no longer has the manpower to complete the leaf pickup while maintaining current duties.
Williams noted in his report that in 2011 certain street repairs were not able to be completed due to employees spending time on leaf pickups.
The village is also without a leaf machine and has been for two years. According to Williams' report, it would cost the village about $25,000 to $30,000 to purchase the proper equipment for leaf pickup. For the last two years, the village was using its sewer jet vactor, the street sweeper, a front end loader, backhoe and two dump trucks. Last year the village spent $10,129.34 for repairs to the vactor and street sweeper. The village was also required to contract some of its sewer work out in 2011 due to the vector being out of commission from picking up leaves.
Council asked that people not rake their leaves to the curbs this year, but stated that residents can continue to take leaves to the mulch pile at the city garage. Hours for dropping off leaves and other yard clippings are daily from dusk until dawn.
Separately, village council was asked to prepare legislation that would allow for golf carts to be used in the municipality.
Former councilman, Bill Roberts approached council during the meeting on Monday to discuss the possibility of utilizing the golf carts. He said that Ottawa is the only village in Putnam County that does not allow golf carts in the village. Police Chief, Rich Knowlton said according to state law, the vehicles must be inspected prior to being used. Knowlton said the sheriff's department can inspect them along with Pandora Police.
As a result of the request, Mayor Dean Meyer formed a golf cart committee to discuss the rules and regulations the village should set for the use of the vehicles. Currently, Ohio State law does allow for the use of golf carts on public streets, however villages are allowed to create ordinances that would act as guidelines, with state laws, for the use of the vehicles within the village limits.
The committee formed consists of Bill Roberts, Rich Knowlton, Jack Williams, Mayor Meyer, Barb Brickner, Joe Schroeder, Joe Deskins and Troy Yant. The committee has agreed to meet within the next couple of weeks.
Water Director, Jason Phillips gave updates on the east main waterline project, Walnut Street pump station project and aid by FEMA from the June 29 wind storm. Williams stated that the materials to continue with the reconstruction of the Walnut Street pump station are expected to arrive in the next couple of weeks which allows him to remain optimistic that the station will be back in operation before the end of the year.
Council president, Tim Macke asked for further discussion on the non-payment of water bills. The topic was brought up during a previous council meeting when two landlords in the village asked if Ottawa could assist with tenants not paying their water bills. Law director, Joe Schroeder is looking at what other municipalities are doing for non-payment of the utilities and will bring some ideas to a later meeting.
Other items passed during Monday's village council meeting include:
The passing of a resolution that accepts a proposal from Ward Construction for $3,000 for the adjustments of four manholes in the village.
A resolution that accepts an additional proposal from Ward Construction for $4,4530 to repair a trench on Blackthorn Drive.
A resolution that sets the costs for village machinery, materials and resources for work performed by village personnel. This is an annual resolution brought before council.
Council passed a proposal from Bockrath and Associates Engineering and Surveying, LLC for $2,800 for services related to the wastewater treatment plant digester aerator replacement project.
Community Development Director, Jeff Loehrke was granted council's blessing to increase the contracted price from Shelly Company by $126,000 to extend the State Route 65 and Williamstown Road intersection project.
Council gave the authority to move a stockpile located at the wastewater treatment plant to the front of the facility. The village would like to mound the dirt in front of the facility and plant evergreen trees to attempt to cut down on the odor being emitted from the facility.
The next council meeting will be held on Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. at the Municipal building.