EATON — Preble County Commissioners recently approved the issuance of a promissory note for the Ohio Public Works Commission, for financing of the upcoming Sewer District 6 project.
The county will also need to get temporary private easements from property owners in Sewer District Six, according to officials. Commissioners, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Katie West and Engineer Kyle Cross discussed the need for the easements during a Wednesday, Aug. 9, meeting. Cross also introduced David Rourke of Rourke Acquisition who will be helping in the acquisition of the easements.
“It does involve you guys as a board and it was more informational, to kind of walk you through the steps and what the process would be along with Katie for the legal side of it, with the filings that will be done at the end of the process,” Cross told commissioners.
“So I’m going to be working with him on acquiring easements for the sewer project and one of the challenges we have in a project like this, because it’s the urgency of being mandated, is that we don’t have quick take authority, because the nature of this project. If it was a right-of-way, that we know is no big deal we just file and we have access. Because it’s a sewer we don’t have that ace up our sleeve, so to speak,” Rourke said.
He continued, “Kyle mentioned that there’s one particular owner that really is opposing this, and we showed him the plans that we have an easement that we need and it sounds like he’s kind of spreading his disdain for this project to a couple of his neighbors. If the alignment stays as it is, potentially three or four of these property owners may end up requiring appropriation. The challenge is that in this case is that because we don’t have quick-take authority? We can’t do any work on your property until we actually have a settlement. Which means that could take who knows how long?”
Such cases could delay the sewer project, but Rourke said the contractor could work on other parts of the project until the cases were settled.
“My question is, are the commissioners comfortable filing for appropriation, possibly? That would be required if the property owner is not agreeable to any settlement — and then who would be handling it, in house or outsource it?” he asked of the legal work.
“There is an existing easement,” he added. “But as the plans currently show, there’s a temporary easement needed in addition to the existing one.”
Later in the meeting, commissioners approved a resolution regarding the issuance of the promissory note.
“This was the contract that you all okayed for Kyle to enter into for you,” West said. “It states within it that our chief financial officer, who is Lavon (Wright, Auditor) will sign a promissory note in the amount of $1 million. A promissory note is a security interest and as a security interest, you have a resolution.”
The resolution noted: “The OPWC has provided the Preble County Engineer with the Project Grant/Loan Agreement for the State Capital Improvement Program, i.e., the Sewer District 6 Project, wherein Preble County will receive $500,000 in grant monies and $1,000,000 in loan monies to partially fund the project,” the resolution noted. “The Promissory Note terms state that it is for $1,000,000 at 0 percent interest to be paid back over a thirty-year period with the beginning date of July 1, 2023, and that payment is to begin on the last day of January or the first day in July following the date of the project’s completion; and should Preble County fail to make payment within 60 days, then the amount of the default will bear 8 percent interest per annum from the date of the default until the date of the payment. Should Preble County be in default, and having paid the default or not, OPWC may cause the rest of the note to be immediately due and payable and the Director of OPWC able to direct the Preble County Treasurer to make payment from the local government fund with all costs of collecting on the note payable by Preble County.”
Commissioner Rachael Vonderhaar made the motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner David Haber seconded. Vonderhaar and Haber voted to approve, and the motion passed. Commissioner Adam Craft was not in attendance.
Continuation of meeting
Preble County Commissioners will have a quarterly Sewer District #6 update meeting at Grace Brethren Church in West Alexandria on Monday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. This will be a continuation of the regular Monday, Aug. 21, regular business meeting.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.