West Alexandria considers water rate increases

Council sets Beggars Night, discusses Park Grants, and more

By Nathan Hoskins - [email protected]midwest.com

WEST ALEXANDRIA — West Alexandria Village Council met on Monday, Sept. 19, and established a date for Trick or Treat, and discussed a potential park grant for the village, and an increase in water and sewer rates.

Village Administrator Adam Beneke discussed with council the water and sewer rate increase, stating the village is behind where it should be based on a recent survey into water and sewer equipment. Beneke included, in the next 10 years, several components of the sewer system would need replaced, or updated. That, with continuing cost increases, were calculated into the increasing rates.

“There’s just a lot of expenses if you look in the next five to seven years,” stated councilmember Ashley Myers. “We have a lot of money we’re going to have to spend. And at this rate, if we don’t do the increases, we’re going to be in trouble.”

According to the ten-year plan presented by Beneke, the village would need an estimated $180,000 in three years to efficiently correct and prevent water and sewer related issues. Beneke informed council they would need to approve an increase from three to six percent to “even make a dent.”

The budget and finance committee, consisting of councilmembers Zach Shafer and Geoff Justice, requested documentation of the increase to be organized and presented to council from Beneke during a prior meeting. Shafer insisted council needed “a good, hard number projected” of what the projects were going to cost before moving forward with an ordinance to increase. Shafer added, “three percent over three years is only going to be $27,000 — that’s not going to be enough to meet that.”

Councilmember Ashley Myers added, the current water fund holds a quickly decreasing $80,000. “It just keeps going down,” she said.

However, due to disagreements between councilmembers, the ordinance was tabled, with no work session date established. The issue remains ongoing as council decides how to address the increases.

Beneke also updated council on a pending ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) grant which would supply the village funds to update parks in West Alexandria.

“Basically, what we were looking at, is we’re going to have to do this in phases versus being able to use that money, or put it towards something else,” stated Beneke.

“In phase one, let’s fix what we have before we add new to it. Phase one that we were looking at was to fix the two courts, completely resurface both courts,” Beneke continued. “Also four-square hop-scotch, little kid things on the side of the courts, begin with that. Also, to do the lower side of the parking lot, to come up with some picnic tables, better seating, we were looking at metal coated tables, that way they can’t be destroyed. Benches with backs, our benches down there are getting pretty bad. Trash cans, something a little bit nicer looking than those cut-off 55-gallon drums.”

Beneke added, village also wants to add lighting and security systems to the parks, rather than having village staff and law enforcement monitor it in person. Mayor Hickey also added, the village intends to use part of the grant to fund a veterans’ memorial in East Park, similar to a memorial recently added to New Paris.

Council intends to seek funding from Veteran Services in Eaton, as well.

Currently, Beneke estimates phase one to cost $100,000, which would deplete the grant in its entirety. Once council has confirmed phase one proceedings, they intend to release a formal press release.

In other business:

• Council is currently deciding the location for benches dedicated to Carol Lunsford, who recently passed away.

• Council voted to approve the construction of a wall located at the end of East 3rd Street and Stotler Road, not to exceed $25,000. The majority of council voted in favor of the motion, stating they felt it benefitted the residents of the area. Councilmember Zach Shafer voted against, questioning how the construction of the wall, “became the village’s liability?”

• Council set this year’s Trick or Treat for Monday, Oct. 31, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Council expressed their concern for setting the date earlier due to traffic and neighboring communities partaking in the village’s Beggars Night.

• Police Chief Eric Stevens announced the American Legion has donated a flagpole to the new police department location in West Alexandria, and expressed his gratitude for those responsible.

West Alexandria Village Council meetings are public meetings held on the third Monday each month, at 7 p.m., at 8 Marty Lane in the EMS building.

Council sets Beggars Night, discusses Park Grants, and more

By Nathan Hoskins

[email protected]

Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13

Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13