CONTINENTAL — During its meeting on Tuesday, the Continental village council handled a few legislative items in addition to talking about the condition of the village’s water meters.
In an update to council, Mayor Mathew Miller explained that the village’s new remotely read water meters that have been installed are working “fantastically.”
Miller added that, currently, about half of the village’s 500 water meters are on the new system and he is hopeful that the village can begin to replace the others.
“In the short term the easy fix is that when (one of the old) meters need fixed, let’s just go ahead and just upgrade them,” said Miller. “The cost to do that upgrade is about $100-$125. And as of right now we’re looking at having to replace a handful each quarter. The sooner we can get to the end game of having them all replaced the better off it will be for the village.”
In addition to water meters, village officials also discussed the possibility of changing billing for water service from a quarterly basis to a monthly basis in addition to giving residents the option of going to an online bill payment system.
Miller noted that while nothing is concrete at this point in time those are options village officials will consider. He also explained that village officials have begun having discussion about increasing the village’s cost of operation fee that is currently part of the residents’ water bills.
The current fee is $29 and Miller noted that even an increase of a couple dollars may mean a change in the bottom line.
“We’ve talked about it and kicked it around. It has been suggested that we can use an increase in that fee to help with capital improvement projects,” said Miller of what additional collected monies might be used for. “Our water bills help cover not only the water but our sewer, so (additional fees) could also help with sewer projects.
“It’s something that at just a couple (added) dollars per bill, could bring in something like $12,000,” explained Miller. “That’s a significant amount of income and revenue that we could use for continued water, or even sewer, projects. When you collect revenue from constituents, you have to make sure you’re making the most of that money and putting it back (into the community).”
Officials agreed to continue the talks about future changes, but set no date on possible legislation.
In other business, council:
• thanked the village’s firefighters that volunteered and took part in battling the scrap yard fire that began Monday in Delta. “I’m appreciative of the couple guys that we had take our tanker up there,” said Miller. “Several departments in our county were represented and many throughout the northwest Ohio area were involved. I’m just thankful for all of the efforts of all of those involved.”
• discussed the village’s trick-or-treat date. Officials noted that they will get in touch with Lions Club officials about the exact date of the event.
• scheduled a zoning committee review session for Sept. 24 at 6:15 p.m. Council’s regularly-scheduled meeting will be held following at 7 p.m.
• approved a pair of building permits.
• noted that stop signs on East Rice Street have been replaced with yield signs. Officials noted that they have also informed Continental school officials of the change.
• learned that the fire department has received grant money from the Bureau of Workman’s Compensation. The funds will be used to buy new hoods and gloves.