OTTAWA — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has strongly encouraged the Village of Ottawa to purchase equipment and be trained to use cyanotoxin testing equipment at the municipal water treatment plant, according to Jason Phillips, Ottawa’s Assistant Municipal Director.

During Monday’s meeting of Ottawa Council, Phillips asked council members to authorize Mayor Dean Meyer’s signature on an OEPA grant application to support the testing equipment. The equipment will be used to analyze algae on Ottawa’s reservoir.

“After the incident that occurred in the city of Toledo, the EPA will release grant money to purchase the equipment and training to do detailed analysis of the algae,” said Phillips. “For us, it makes perfect sense so we can ensure that we do not have any problems in our reservoir.”

Phillips added that Ottawa has never had an algae bloom that caused issues with Ottawa’s water supply. He said that the grant caps at $10,000 and that the equipment currently costs about $8,000. Municipal Director Jack Williams told council that the equipment cost was only going to rise in future. Phillips said that once the village has been approved for grant funding, the equipment will be purchased and training arranged. Once that is done, the village will be reimbursed through the grant. Council approved.

Phillips also asked for the mayor’s signature on the memorandum of understanding for leadership in the Blanchard flood reduction project. Council President Tim Macke expressed concern about a mitigating circumstances statement. Law Director Joseph Schroeder did not see an issue, stating that the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District was not asking to negotiate the language in the memorandum.

“As long as the Army Corps is forthcoming with the data that they have produced already that shows the benefit and with and without elevations [regarding the approach to the I-9 bridge], it should be easily understood why the project needs to happen and why it’s the best thing for the entire Lower Blanchard portion of Putnam County,” said Phillips.

Council member Dave Michel made the motion to authorize, which was seconded by Macke and approved by the other members.

Council member Jo Deskins spoke on behalf of the shade tree commission. She said they are considering 35 species of trees that can be used to replace those that have been removed in the village. She said that Phillips will be attending an academy to learn more about site tree matches in order for the village to make better choices as to what is planted in Ottawa.

Council member Troy Yant reported on behalf of the Park Board, noting that the old Memorial Park Lighting will be on the block at the public auction scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Putnam County Fairground. Meyer asked if the Memorial Park Capital Campaign organization is aware that the lights will be auctioned. Deskins, who is part of that group, said she was unaware prior to the Aug. 25 request. Yant suggested auction of the lights be made contingent upon offers to the Ottawa Baseball Association and any other groups in the park and whether or not they accept the offer. Authorization was approved with this noted.

Public Works Supervisor Dan lehamn reported that new LED lighting will be installed in Ottawa’s 20 mph signs and at school crossings at a cost of $700 for 60 light bulbs. Lehman said the money should be recouped within the first year through energy savings.

Ottawa Fire Chief Dan Rieman asked council to authorize the sale of the fire department’s 1980 Sutphen Aerial Firetruck at the auction. The ladder truck failed to pass inspection so the village has purchased a used ladder truck to replace it. Council authorized the sale at auction with a reserve to be set by the fire chief.

Other council business included:

• approval of a resolution accepting a $2,500 proposal from Bockrath and Associates Engineering and Surveying LLC for a hydrologic and hydraulic study for a second footbridge in Memorial Park;

• approval of a resolution accepting a $2,500 proposal from Bockrath and Associates Engineering and Surveying LLC for a pump replacement project at the water treatment plant;

• authorization of a resolution authorizing clerk-treasurer Barb Hermiller’s signature on a joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S Department of the Interior, to cover the three Blanchard River stream gauges that are part of the village’s advanced flood warning system at a cost of $18,500, with $1,000 of that to be reimbursed to the village by Ottawa Township and $4,00 from the Putnam County Commissioners.