OTTOVILLE — Effective Jan. 1, 2019, water/sewer rates in Ottoville will officially raise 25 cents per 1,000 gallons used.

Fiscal Officer Jeanne Wannemacher said the raise will raise approximately $8,000 annually.

Reasons consist of water lines needing to be replaced, the higher cost for hauling sewage sludge and the new water well No. 7 project.

Village council read the Ordinance 2018-05 for the first time at Monday nights’ meeting. The new ordinance also states that late notices will no longer be mailed after Jan. 1. Currently, a late notice is mailed, with a second late notice mailed two weeks later before final shutoff. This is costing the village more than $200 a year in postage, envelopes and time. Beginning Jan. 1, if the bill is not paid by the end of the month, service will be shut off with a reconnect fee of $25. Several members of the council also commented that the $25 reconnect fee should be raised to match surrounding communities.

The Haviland Energy invoice for hauling sewage sludge came in much higher than was originally quoted. The council had originally budgeted $12,000 for sludge hauling based on estimates and previous years and the bill came in at $17,458.08. This invoice included hauling sludge in the spring and the fall.

“In order for us to stick to the budget, we need better quotes,” Mayor Ron Miller said. “We need to find out if it didn’t get cleaned out well enough last year or if we just have that much more sludge now. We can’t keep having an overrun of the budget. It causes frustration when we have to come up with extra money that we haven’t budgeted for.”

Wannemacher presented a resolution for a Then and Now purchase order of an additional $5,458.08 to pay the bill.

Council approved to pay the bill but discussed the fact that future quotes must be closer to the actual amount invoiced.

Two applications have been received for a new Income Tax Administrator. Council will review the applications and contact the applicants for interviews. A new cleaning person was approved for cleaning the Municipal Center at $9 per hour for 10 hours per month.

Police Chief Jay Herrick stated that “the new guys are out and about and doing well.” Councilman Darren Leis mentioned a complaint by a community member regarding a police car posting by the Black Angus and pulling people over.

“For the last 11 years we have always parked in that spot and have never had any problems,” Herrick said. “It is nothing new. We don’t just purposely sit and watch any of the bars or local businesses.”

Brian Goubeaux from Choice One Engineering presented results of the Issue 1 OPWC grant projects at the county level.

“Putnam County approved our grant project for replacing the main storm sewer line through town,” stated Goubeaux. “We were fortunate enough to be approved for that. Our project will now be recommended for funding at the district meeting on Nov. 7 so we can put that on our agenda for next year. Bids can be received but cannot be awarded until after the official letter is received and the money is released on July 1, 2019.

“Several communities did not get their grant requests in on time,” Goubeaux continued. “I appreciate you guys passing the resolutions many months in advance, and Jeanne does a good job at keeping the ball rolling.”

The village will also be requesting small government loan money for the Max Street storm sewer line project.

“There is always leftover loan money,” continued Goubeaux.

“Max Street repair is way overdue and is in a critical state,” Councilman Joe Moreno said. “We need to try to get that project done as well.”

Council approved to send a letter of intent for a small government loan down to the district meeting to vie for loan funds for the Max Street project.

Property and liability Insurance renewal quotes were received from PEP Insurance and Stolly Insurance Group. Darren Leis from the Insurance Committee recommended the Ohio Plan through Stolly Insurance Group at $15,294 premium. Council voted and approved to go with Stolly Insurance Group for property and liability Insurance.

Two quotes were received for labor only to put in a new sidewalk to connect a walking path to an existing sidewalk in Ottoville Park. Ottoville Concrete Solutions and Miller Contracting both submitted quotes: $11,150 and $8,802 respectively. The Miller Contracting quote will be reduced by a $3,000 for a discount to the Ottoville Lady Otts Club and ultimately the quote will be $5,802. The concrete and stone would be billed to the village, but the park board requested prior approval for the Village to pay 30 percent toward the labor of putting in the sidewalk. Council agreed and approved for the Ottoville Park Board to go ahead and award the job and then let the council know what their 30 percent would be if the park board needs the additional help with funding.

Wannemacher stressed that the 30-percent sidewalk reimbursement needs to have prior approval of the council before they can approve a reimbursement. Prior approval must be noted in the minutes.

“It is a minor technicality but needs to be noted in the minutes for audit purposes,” Wannemacher added.

“Another complaint has been received on the property at the corner of Otto Street where the buildings have been taken down,” Moreno reported. “Trash has been laying around for way too long and it is an eyesore. We have been more than patient with the individual, and it is time to get tough with them.”

Council agreed to go ahead and let the individual know in advance the village was going to get it cleaned up and he will be getting a bill.

Fire hydrants have all been flushed and marked by GPS. Well No. 3 has been completely abandoned with a final cost of $900. Well No. 7 passed its third testing and the EPA has mandated that a certified operator must be present at the sewer plant no less than 20 hours per week with hours logged.

A street light was knocked down beside the fire station and the insurance money received will be placed in the streets fund for the purpose of maintaining the street lights.

Council voted to go into executive session to discuss the hiring of a public employee and the meeting adjourned with no further business.

The next regular meeting of the Ottoville Village Council is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. in the village offices.