Sewer, water contracts in Thornville's hands
THORNVILLE- The Perry County Commissioners have approved the terms of water and sewer contracts with Thornville, and now it's up to the village to give its final approval, said Perry County Commissioner Lonnie Wood. "I'm tickled to death," he said. "It looks good for us and for them."
Wood hopes the village council will approve a sewer contract, which was two years in the making, to provide sewer service to residents along the south bank of Buckeye Lake, mainly near Honey Creek Road. Currently, the county is installing the sewer infrastructure necessary to service the south bank, but will need to find an alternative processing source (possibly an upgrade to the existing Crown Wehrle sewage treatment facility) if a contract with Thornville is not approved.
"I think we're very close," said Thornville Mayor Beth Patrick. "It's positive." But, of course, nothing is final until council approves. She expects the council will hold a special public meeting to cast its votes on the Honey Creek sewer contract and a contract to provide fresh water to Perry County at a rate of $2.75 per 1,000 gallons, retroactive to Jan. 1. The village has previously charged Perry County $2.01 per 1,000 gallons.
Patrick said there is no date or location set yet for the public meeting, but believes it should take place within the next two weeks. "Everybody needs to be informed and have a chance to voice their opinions," she said.
"It's as close as it's ever been," said Village Administrator Ron Koehler. "I think it's beneficialfor everyone. We've pushed it both ways." He added that copies of the proposed contracts may be presented to council as soon as Monday night's council meeting, but he wasn't certain. Wednesday, Koehler said that there were still a few "small items" to be worked out, but, "I don't think they'll be a problem."
He said council members will not waive the three reading rule when they vote on the contracts. Council members want citizens to have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and make statements.
Koehler wasn't willing to release any details of the proposed sewer contract until council reviews it, but he did explain that the contract does not cite a specific number of homes or properties to be serviced by Thornville. The limit, he said, is based on flow. Once the Thornville sewage plant would reach a certain level of its capacity, it would stop serving additional properties. "That's down the road quite a ways," said Koehler. He believes the main goal for the county is to serve the south bank properties the EPA is requiring it to service, and then go from there. "It depends on the growth," he said.
The dilemma of providing sewer to the portion of Buckeye Lake's south bank in Perry County goes back to the 1970s, when Ohio EPA offered to install a public system, but the county commissioners who were in officeat the time refused the service. After determining that some septic systems in the area were leaking into Buckeye Lake, the Ohio EPA placed a moratorium on additional construction in the area. Frustrated property owners haven't been able to build on lakeside lots for years.
The sewer infrastructure currently being installed along the Perry County portion of Buckeye Lake's south bank, called the Northern Perry County Fireman's Park/Holiday Harbor project, consists of a combination of gravity and force main sanitary sewers with a total length of nearly 33,000 linear feet of pipe; two lift stations (one along Honey Creek Road and one along Township Road 496); 332 service connections with 180 individual grinder pumps; and other equipment. The sewer is being installed along the following roads: Honey Creek Road, Point Beautiful Road, Park Place Avenue, Park Place Court, South Shore Drive, Shady Nook Lane, Rustic Lane, Bay Point Drive, Copper Penny Road, Township Road 500, Township Road 1074, Township Road 1073,
Township Road 1071, and Township Road 1072.