Hebron nets $252,000 for pipeline easement
HEBRON – Village council members unanimously approved a $334,700 payment from Enterprise Products Partners February 13 for an easement to cross the village’s wellfield just north of I-70.
Enterprise is building a 20- inch pipeline to transport ethane from Pennsylvania to Texas. The company originally offered Hebron $16,000 for the right to cross the wellfield. Mayor Clifford Mason and Village Solicitor Wes Untied sought outside counsel to handle negotiations with Enterprise. William Goldman of Goldman & Braunstein LLP represented the village.
Efforts to have Enterprise move the pipeline route out of the wellfield were unsuccessful; Enterprise wanted to parallel an existing easement for a natural gas pipeline. However, Hebron will receive nearly 16 times Enterprise’s original offer plus an insurance policy ensuring that the well field will be restored if it is damaged by the pipeline or an accident and free training for first responders to an accident or break. Mason said that training is currently being scheduled and will be offered to other area fire departments as well.
Goldman & Braunstien LLP specialize in eminent domain actions and represented Hebron on a contingency basis, receiving $82,175 out of the $334,700 payment.
In other business last Wednesday night, Mason and council member Jim Friend reported that fire station expansion/renovation project should be completed by March 1. Punch list work is expected to start the week of Feb. 18. Mason said contractor agreed after considerable discussion to replace the flooring material in the hallways and radio room at no cost to the village. The sheet flooring is coming apart at some seams and appears to have been improperly installed in some areas.
Mason gave Fire Chief Randy Weekly a written directive to prepare a detailed written plan by May 8 to address the effects of the loss of more than $200,000 when Union Township Trustees unilaterally cut its 2013 payment for fire/EMS services. “You are expected to define who, what, how, when etc. cutbacks will be made as definitively as possible,” Mason wrote. The plan is to be effective July 1. “We can’t close 2013 and carryover just $171,” Mason explained.
Hebron is draining its fire fund reserve and EMS billing income that had been set aside for capital improvements to maintain current staffing levels.
Council members unanimously agreed not to object or seek a hearing on an application for a D-1 and D-2 liquor license for the Buckeye Eatery. The restaurant wants to reopen The Tap Room. The licenses are for on-premises consumption only.
Mason and Income Tax Administrator Mindy Kester will represent the village on the Tax Incentive Review Committee.
In his report, Village Administrator Ralph Wise announced that he appointed Linda Nicodemus as permanent Community Development Coordinator. She had been serving as acting coordinator. Wise said 11 candidates applied for the position and six were interviewed. He is reviewing the job description for Nicodemus’ administrative assistant post before recruiting a replacement.
Council members unanimously approved Wise’s recommendation that the village contract with AEP Energy for its electricity. He reviewed proposals from five firms. The village will pay 4.992¢ per kilowatt hour for the next 15 months. The contract is expected to save the village about $4,500 a month or $54,000 a year. The village had been paying a range of 7 - 9¢ a kilowatt hour.
Council members didn’t object to Wise’s proposed utility bill adjustment policy so it will be effective March 1. Water customers will have an opportunity for some relief on the sewer part of their water bill if they experience an undetected water leak.
Wise said the Kelley/Westview Street Improvement project fell short in the most recent round for Ohio Public Works Commission funding. This $490,000 resurfacing project was scored 43rd highest, but only 41 projects were funded. He is working with the village’s outside engineering firm to see if the project could be funded through the Small Government Program.
The next regular council meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Starting with this meeting, council will meet at 7 p.m. rather than 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.