Camden Council discusses residents’ concerns

CAMDEN — Camden Village Council met in regular session on Thursday, June 18, and was addressed by several community members regarding various issues within the village.

During the meeting, council discussed the policy of charging residences for water even if the water has been turned off. It has been village policy in the past to continue to charge residents who still use trash and sewage for their water, even if the water has been turned off.

Mike Perry, a resident, asked council to create a payment plan so he could pay off the $700 bill which has accumulated on the residence. Council member Kelly Doran informed Perry council is not willing to set a precedent of payment plans, but would accept one large sum within the next 30 days to avoid further charges.

Council did inform Perry they would be willing to take off the water charges which have accumulated on the bill since the water had been turned off and suggested the village should change the policy on accumulating costs of water once the service has been shut off.

Connie Richards, a resident of Camden who lives at 75 West Second Street, approached council to discuss maintenance on an alley which runs beside her property. Richards informed council that according to the Preble County Auditors Office, the easement is not a utility easement and is classified as an alley, therefore maintenance on the alley is the responsibility of the town. Residents have been doing the maintenance on the alley for several years.

After a brief discussion, it was determined by council the best option would be for the town to take over the maintenance of the alley to avoid residents disputing the alley if the village was to officially vacate the alley.

Chris Gibbs approached the council to discuss water issues he is having at his home. Gibbs, who lives on Central Avenue, said the work done on the storm catch basins by his house helped alleviate some of the water problems he was having, but caused new problems to surface at the location of the old drain.

Doran and council member Roy Ebbing suggested the village should dig a dry well, which Gibbs agreed to. Gibbs told council he had done so previously to help water issues at another location within his yard.

Council also approved two expenditures for the John Sully Park Project. They approved an expenditure to put lighting at the park at a cost not to exceed $1,000. According to Doran, the lights will help light up the basketball court, dumpster area, and help light most of the park. Rod Good has donated the pole and will help install the new lighting system at the park.

In other business:

• Council approved the purchase of two basketball rims at a cost not to exceed $2,600 total, for basketball courts going in at the park.

• Council approved a motion to install Rusty Wilson as code official, at an increased rate of pay. The position will be an interim position for the next six months.

• It was announced the village will be performing unidirectional flushing of fire hydrants July 6 through July 10.

• Steve Brewer, a new employee for the village, is willing to take OTCO classes to obtain his certification in water systems. Brewer will pay for half of the class now and the village will pay for the rest. Upon completion Brewer will be fully reimbursed, but he will be expected to pay the village back if he leaves the job before three years after completing the classes.

• Council gave direction to village staff to explore getting curbing and sidewalks along Ohio 725 and exploring North Main Street improvements from OPWC grant applications for 2016.

Camden Village Council meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month, at 7 p.m.