2007-08-04 / News

Hebron agrees to negotiate possible water sale

By Charles Prince

HEBRON - Last Wednesday night council members unanimously approved the third reading of a resolution of intent to discuss the bulk sale of water to the Village of Buckeye Lake.

There was no discussion before the vote. Several members reportedly expressed some concerns about a possible deal at a combined council committees meeting earlier in July. Buckeye Lake Village Council approved a similar resolution in June. The approvals set the stage for more detailed discussions.

Licking County Commissioner Marcia Phelps suggested the resolutions as the next step following a May 29 meeting in Hebron where both sides and others discussed the pros and cons of a potential water supply agreement. The basics are already in place. Hebron has significantspare capacity. The village recently completed a water treatment plan expansion based on the Ohio EPA-required 20-year projection. Plant capacity is now 2.2 million gallons per day. Hebron's daily demand, including the up-to-120,000 gallons per day sold to Licking County, is about 650,000 gallons per day. Most of the water sold to Licking County goes to Harbor Hills. Buckeye Lake expects to use 300-350,000 a day to serve some 800-900 customers.

In other business Wednesday night, council members gave their blessing to Lakewood parent Tracy Linger's efforts to organize a end-of-summer, beginning of school parade on Saturday, August 18. She hopes to include the band, the football team, cheerleaders and students.

Fire Chief Randy Weekly said the department had 127 runs in June - 104 EMS and 23 fire. Runs for the first half of the year total 611 - 454 EMS and 157 fire. That averages out to 3.4 runs per day, which Weekly called "about average."

Police Chief James Dean said the recent incident where a man barricaded himself in a trailer off Ohio 79 cost the department about $1,500 in additional costs. It cost the firedepartment about $800 extra. On a positive note, he told council the surplus cruiser was sold for $3,100 via sealed bids. Council members unanimously approved spending $18,832.36 for four new lap top computers for the cruisers.

Council members also approved a pay range for the newly created position of village fiscal officer. The post replaces the previously elected position of clerk/treasurer. The pay range is set at $42,500 to $60,000. With the approval, the position is now being advertised.

The village's pay plan was also unanimously amended. The plan, which sets minimum and maximum pay rates for each job, was done fiveyears ago. Village employees have been getting automatic three percent annual cost-of-living raises and have the opportunity to get up to three percent more based on performance evaluations. Recently some employees couldn't get any raises - cost-of-living or merit - since they were at the maximum rate in the pay plan. After determining that the Consumer Price Index locally increased about 16 percent over the past four years, council members increased the minimum and maximum rates by about 20 percent.

Council President Annelle Porter and Mayor Clifford Mason both expressed their appreciation for the 45,000 sq. ft. addition being added to Harry & David's, formerly known here as Bear Creek Corporation. "We're fortunate as a community to have Harry & David," Porter said.

"They're happy with what they have here," Mason added.

Council continues on its summer schedule next month, meeting just once on Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m. The combined council's committee meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, August 13.

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