OTTAWA - Eleven residents of the Pohl Road Sewer District, accompanied by Putnam County Commissioners President Travis Jerwers, appealed to Ottawa Council Monday night with a request for individual meters to make the final call on how their wastewater rates are determined. The request was made after eight years of contention between the village and Pohl Road sewer district residents who live outside the village on Roads J-6, 8 and I-7.
On behalf of the Putnam County Commisioners office, Jerwers presented council members with a letter which stated that they "do not have a problem with each resident obtaining an approved meter from the Village of Ottawa, having the meter properly installed and subsequently using these monthly meter readings to calculate billing for each household."

Road J-6 resident Ed Suter stepped forward as the representative of the residents themselves. "We're being billed at the enhanced rate; we understand that, which would be for a usage for each one of us, for 7,500 gallons a month. We feel that's just an outrageous amount of water. We pay $81.70."

Mayor Dean Meyer responded, "I don't think $80 per month is outrageous for a county resident."

Council Member Jo Deskins pointed out that residents in Ottawa's District One are paying $85 per month.

Meyer and Village Administrator Jack Williams acknowledged that there are issues with infiltration and inflow into the system in the area. Clerk-Treasurer Barb Hermiller stated that this is being taken into account during billing cycles.

"Would you say, Jack, that their sanitary system is also serving as a storm water system?" asked, Council Member Deb Bauer.

"Absolutely," said Williams.

"Why can't we put in water meters?" asked Suter.

Deskins asked the rest of council what opposition exists to these residents installing some meters. Council Member Tim Macke expressed concern that the meters used by the village will not work with well water because well water is corrosive.

"If we do something on our own, are you willing to work with us?" asked Suter, to which council agreed with the understanding that these residents will work closely with Water Director Jason Phillips during their investigation.

Other council business included:

• hearing a presentation by Marc Hollinger, a representative from energy brokerage Aspen Energy, on his company's opt-in aggregation program

• discussion of a plan to replace leaf pick-up equipment for 2014 or contract with a service to do so

• whether or not to allow a Santa display to be erected in Lord's Park

• approval for Ottawa Fire Chief to pursue a FEMA grant to purchase new or refurbished equipment for the fire department