$8,000 basin avoids $1.5 million plant upgrade
BALTIMORE – Village Council members will decide at their July 9 meeting whether to approve a resolution and companion ordinance asking voters on November 6 to approve an additional 0.75 percent tax on income for police protection.
The proposed resolution and ordinance were read at the June 11 and 25 council meetings. The proposed tax levy would be only assessed on “earned income,” which is defined as “wages, salaries, tips, other employee compensation and self-employment income from sole proprietorships and partnerships.” Retirement income and income from investments would not be subject to the proposed tax.
Village Administrator Scott Brown had good news for sewer customers. He said village employees completed an expansion of the equalization (storage) basin at the wastewater treatment plant. Storage capacity for high flows caused by heavy rains was increased 500,000 gallons, doubling current capacity.
Brown said the village’s largest overflow (dumping untreated water directly into the receiving stream) had been 200,000 gallons so the additional capacity will eliminate any future overflows. He added that Ohio EPA had recommended that the village upgrade the plant at an estimated cost of $1.5 million to prevent future overflows. The cost to expand the storage basin was just $8,000.
In addition, the earth excavated from the expanded basin was used to construct a backstop for a 300 yard rifle range for the police department.
Brown also reported that he is talking with a contract street sweeping company about developing a street sweeping program in the village. He said, besides making the streets look better, sweeping keep grit and other debris out of the sanitary and storm sewers, decreasing the chance of costly clogs.
Brown said the final draft of the regional Request for Quotes for residential waste collection will be reviewed this week. The project will be bid in July and the new contract will start on Jan. 1, 2013. The intent is to get better prices from contractors by collectively seeking proposals, rather than each entity doing it by themselves.
“We’re trying to piggyback with them,” Mayor Bob Kalish explained.
Brown said it may be possible to cut the use of electricity at the wastewater treatment plant by 10 12 percent. That would represent a $11,000 - $14,000 annual savings. One blower has been shut down and the plant is totally shutting down for several hours per hour during low flow periods. Brown is unsure whether the plant shutdowns can continue during wetter weather.
In his report, Kalish said he had been elected to his third three-year term as the representative for villages on the District 17 Public Works Integrating Committee. District 17 covers Delaware, Fairfield, Knox, Licking, Morrow, and Pickaway counties. The committee scores requests for grants and loans from the Ohio Public Works Commission’s two infrastructure programs.
In response to a question, Police Chief Michael Tussey said there have been “no issues of any sort” with the Lucky Me skill games parlour that recently opened in the Baltimore Market IGA plaza. He estimated that 80 percent of the patrons have been Baltimore residents.
The controversial FOG (Food, Oil and Grease) ordinance is still tabled. Service Committee chair Jim Hochradel said it is currently being reviewed by the village’s building code consultants. He added that commercial and institutional (schools, churches etc.) food operators would be surveyed to determine whether they will be required to install a grease trap. He expects a revised ordinance may come back to council next month.
Hochradel added that a resident owning a duplex that hasn’t been rented for five years still isn’t happy that he is now receiving a water/sewer bill for the long-vacant unit. However, he now understands the rationale for the extra bill.
Council members will hold a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. before the regular council meeting set for Monday, July 9. The hearing concerns the village’s 2013 Tax budget.