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Village gets $25,000 grant for radio read meters

BALTIMORE – It was a quick post-holiday council meeting Tuesday night. Council members wrapped up business in about 20 minutes.

In his brief report, Village Administrator Scott Brown reported the award of a $25,000 grant to purchase new water meters. The balance of $90,000 for the $115,000 project comes from a 2 percent, 30-year loan. The project means every water tap will be monitored by a radio read meter.

Brown also reported that the swimming pool pump failed last week. A temporary pump and motor were rented to keep the pool in operation. The failed pump was purchased just four years ago so Brown is checking with the engineer who designed the pool to ensure that it is properly sized before repairing it. He also reported that he and the wastewater treatment plant operator are working with Ohio EPA to revise the village’s discharge permit to allow the bio-solids to be land applied rather than landfilled. The change, if approved, would significantly reduce sludge removal costs.

Council legislation was very brief. Members heard the second reading of the village’s pay plan ordinance. The proposed FOG (food, oil and grease) ordinance is still tabled. It regulates the discharge of fats, oils and grease into the village’s wastewater treatment system from any establishment preparing or heating food using any method except microwaving. Service Committee Chair Jim Hochradel expects to take it off the table after committee members make their final revisions to ordinance at the next Service meeting. That meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12.

Members also learned that a skill game hopes to open in a couple of months in the former HER Realtors space in the Baltimore Market IGA shopping center. Village Solicitor Jeff Feyko confirmed that the village has an extensive and updated ordinance addressing skill games. Brown confirmed that he had made the prospective operator aware of village regulations.

The development of a J. Gumbo’s Cajun restaurant on North Main Street is proceeding. The biggest issue right now is how to remove the bank vault – it formerly housed First National Bank – without damaging the building’s structural integrity.

Council members brought up four issues under new business. Hochradel asked why Ohio Power had placed a new utility pole right in the middle of the sidewalk at 924 West Market St. He added that the pole could have been placed in the grassy area between the sidewalk and street. Hochradel said a resident called him about the removal of the sidewalk at 221 Oak St. The former sidewalk connected to sidewalks in good condition on both ends. Brown said Ohio law is quite clear about removing a sidewalk and it wouldn’t be permitted in this case. Council President Judy Landis said she received several complaints about vehicles parked facing the wrong way on Oak Street. She wants the police department to take a look at the situation. Council Member Dwayne Mohler wants the Service Committee to discuss the abandonment of taps on vacant lots. It will be added to the committee’s agenda for their June 14 meeting.

Council’s next regular meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 11, at the village hall.

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