Several items were discussed at length at the first Delta Village Council Meeting for the month of June Monday night.
However, the most debated issue was a resolution in new business regarding the use of the Wastewater Treatment Plant as a temporary impound lot for impounding vehicles ordered towed by the village. The matter is necessary for the village to be able to enforce its nuisance abatement policy — which was discussed at the previous Council meeting.
According to Village Administrator Brad Peebles, in the village budget for this year money was put up for creating a fenced impound lot at an operation located on Madison Street. In an effort to trim the budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peebles said he spoke with Police Chief Nathan Hartsock about temporarily utilizing the Wastewater Plant for this process.
“Part of the reason why we’re trying to do this now, is because as we work towards our nuisance abatement and enforcement of our zoning code, we don’t have any place for cars that are considered abandoned or need to be addressed by the police department. We don’t have any place for those to go,” Peebles said. “So by doing this, it gives us that opportunity to have those cars towed to our impound lot.”
A pair of Councilmen, Chad Johnson and Michael Tanner, would like to see the Madison Street property be used for this function sooner rather than later.
Peebles said their hope is to use the Wastewater Plant for a period of no more than two years, until such time they can get adequate funding — likely an additional $20,000 — to install fencing at the Madison Street location.
Johnson and Tanner each voted no on the resolution, but it passed by a 4-2 margin.
The other order of new business was a resolution allowing the village to apply for funds — as advised by the United States Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) — to assist with construction of water, sanitary sewer and roadway infrastructure to serve a new industry within or adjacent to the 109 industrial corridor.
The aforementioned business is Nova Tube and Steel, which is set to begin construction this summer at a site on County Road H.
Previously, the EDA aided the village with putting in water lines at Nature Fresh Farms.
Peebles says the village intends to apply for a $3-million dollar grant from the EDA. Thus there will be little or no cost to the village; any costs would be taken on by Nova Steel.
This resoulution passed 6-0.
Council did have a village resident address their body. Bill Pacak brought up a severe backup in the sewer system on Main Street approximately a week and a half ago. He called it “the worst I’ve ever encountered in my house.”
Pacak says he ended up with over a foot of water backed up into his basement. The culprit was a tree at a nearby house and its roots that had grown into the system.
“My problem is that I don’t think that we have a program that addresses that situation,” said Pacak. “I know we’ve made some improvements in the system, but still, being proactive is certainly a lot better than being reactive. Because when they did finally clear the roots up, it cleared the whole system real quick. And so all I’m asking is that we do a better job (at maintenance on this issue).”
Peebles addressed Pacak’s concerns directly in his report to Council.
He said they are proactive at these types of issues. The village budgets $10,000 annually for Duke’s Root Control to come in and foam treat problem areas such as the one Pacak referenced.
However, he also stated the sewer line in question was last treated seven years ago by Duke’s; therefore, they will be back next week to evaluate the problem and likely re-treat it at no cost to the village.
Additionally, the administator reported that the owner of the property where the tree is located has requested it be taken down.
“It will be removed. It’s scheduled to be removed in the next three weeks, as soon as All Seasons (Tree Care) has time to get in there and take care of it,” said Peebles.
“So I’m not saying we couldn’t do more, but we are working towards, ultimately, trying to eliminate this problem.”
Peebles then informed Council the village intends to crack down on residents who are severely delinquent on their utility payments. He was given a report that approximately 30 people in town are drastically behind on their utility bills.
And, although Governor Mike DeWine is prohibiting village’s from shutting off residents’ water for lack of payment during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the violators in Delta were behind on payments prior to the pandemic affecting Ohio, Peebles says.
“We are trying to reach out to them; we are going to try to get payment plans. But, there will be a point with two or three, who I am confident we likely are not gonna get responses out of, we are probably gonna be forced to either shut their utilities off or take legal action against them,” he said. “When I say getting behind, we’re talking like three, four hundred dollars behind. So it’s not just one or two months; we’re talking multiple months.”
Council also passed two items of old business.
They first approved the third reading of a resolution authorizing the village administrator to enter into agreements with Taylor Excavating for improvements to various intersections along Main and Madison streets.
Also approved was the second reading of a resolution declaring it necessary to place a levy on the November ballot for the purpose of recreation. The legislation is a renewal levy that lasts five years.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010