LEIPSIC — It’s a truism that progress comes at a cost. For a Gilboa couple burdened with water issues quite possibly caused by Leipsic’s waterline project, it’s a cost they won’t have to bear.



During last Tuesday’s meeting of the Leipsic Village Council, Vanity and Keith Ellerbrock addressed council regarding their concerns.

“At this current moment, we can’t drink our water,” Vanity told council. “We can’t even bathe our ten-month-old son because there’s so much peroxide and softener in our water just to make it usable in our house, just for Keith and I to bathe. We are currently using drinking water we bought at the store for Isaac, just to kind of protect him. We do have some very serious issues that need to be addressed, regardless of whether it be Leipsic’s fault or Kirk Brothers or the engineers. We can’t long term live in our home with the current water situation that we have.”

These issues, she explained, only recently occurred.

“We didn’t have these water situations until about half way through the digging process for the water project,” Ellerbrock said. “We would think, logically, that would have something to do with it. We are not far from the hole that is actually dug for the water project.”

Vanity estimated the distance at 700 feet from the construction site to the family’s well, a distance her husband, Keith, downplayed to just 70 feet in a whispered conversation with his wife.

“We are really not far,” Vanity concluded.

The Ellerbrocks requested that a survey of the site be performed, with the village assuming responsibility for the cost, estimated at $6,200.

“We’re aware of the problem,” Mayor Kevin Benton responded. “If it’s something we’ve caused, we certainly are going to rectify the problem. In the meantime, save your receipts for your water and whatnot, and you can either turn them in monthly or whatever, but we’ll make good on that.”

Responding to a question put forward by Councilor David Heitmeyer as to when the study would start, Village Administrator Justin Barnhart said, “They’re prepared to get started with at least doing the research this week. By the first of October, we should have everything completed. I’m going to ask them to trickle the information to us as it becomes available so we can start to address these issues and know the outcome as soon as possible so we can take action.”

A resolution presented to effect the study through Egan & Associates was unanimously approved by council and passed as an emergency.

Council also heard about this weekend’s upcoming Main Street USA Festival.

Kyle Stechschulte — a part-time police officer with the village, proponent of all things Leipsic and a principal driver of the festival — offered council members nothing but good news.

“This is the last time I’m going to be up here for the Main Street USA Festival next weekend, September the 15th,” Stechschulte said by way of introduction. “It’s going to be great, so long as we get some cooperation from Mother Nature. Our band is excited and ready to roar. I came up here mainly to let you know how awesome our businesses are in this area. I am over the level of where I was there last year, and businesses just keep giving and giving and giving.”

A major component of that giving, according to Stechschulte, is providing free ride wristbands to first-comers at the festival. Last year, donations provided 1,000 area kids the opportunity to ride for free. This year, Stechschulte professed a desire to provide more.

That sentiment rang true with council as Councilor Brian Reynolds offered a motion to commit a combined $500 from council’s and the mayor’s discretionary funds as a donation to that end, a motion that received unanimous approval from council.

The next regular meeting of the Leipsic Village Council is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the village offices.