WEST MILTON — Residents in West Milton will soon see an additional charge on their water bills that will be used to pay off water tower improvements.
At their meeting Tuesday night, the village council approved an ordinance that will establish a fee for paying off the debt on the water tower improvements. This will be added to the water meter debt fee and the fund will be renamed to the water capital debt service fund.
“Although we are not raising the rate of the water, there is a small fee that we are going to have to associate with all of the customers,” Municipal Manager Matt Kline said.
The fee will increase by $3 per month for all meter sizes. Those with a five-eighths-inch meter, most residential property owners, previously paid $2.85 per month, which will increase to $5.85 per month.
Kline said both of the village’s water towers were in very poor shape, with rusting and peeling interiors and exteriors. Work on the north tower was completed this fall, which included cleaning and repainting with UV-resistant paint. A new logo was also added.
Work is anticipated to begin on the south water tower next year. Combined, the work on both towers is expected to cost $600,000.
The village was able to secure a 10-year, low interest loan from the Ohio Water Development authority, Kline said. The $3 monthly charge will go toward paying off this loan.
“Without these towers being properly maintained, distribution to each of you would be nearly impossible,” Kline read from a letter that will be sent out to residents.
Council also approved an ordinance amending 2017 appropriations to account for several unanticipated expenses, including the refurbishment of the North Water Tower at $300,000.
“It’s a typical house-cleaning item,” Kline said. “It’s a little higher than normal and that;s because we did some things we did not anticipate.”
The adjustments also included park and playground improvements and work on Forest Avenue.
Council also approved the 2018 budget. Three projects in 2018 (totaling about $1.2 million) will push the village’s budget up higher than in previous years, including the refurbishment of the south water tower, the construction of a booster pump station for Stillwater Crossing and the engineering for the sanitary sewer extension to Ludlow Falls.
“If you take those three items out of the budget, the budget is essentially almost 2 percent more than what our full budget was in 2016,” Kline said.
The village received a grant from the U.S. Army Corps of engineers for just over $1 million for the Ludlow Falls project. The village will pay $250,000 for engineering, which will be reimbursed by the grant.
Council also tabled a parking ordinance after members of council had more questions about the particulars of the legislation. The ordinance would prohibit parking motorized vehicles on lawns or any non-driveway portion of the front yard.
The proposed ordinance also stipulates that all vehicles must be parked on a hard surface like asphalt or concrete which must encompass the entire vehicle, and that all vehicles parked in a driveway must have current registration or license plates.
Kline also noted that Tuesday’s meeting was the sixth anniversary of the meeting when council approved his hiring. He thanked departing councilman Jason Tinnerman, the last member of the council that hired him, and wished him well.
“As many of you may know, this is Jason’s last council meeting,” Vice Mayor Anthony Miller said. He described Tinnerman as a true leader and a thoughtful person. “Without his leadership, thoughtfulness and business acuity, we would not be where we are today.”
He also added that the first council meeting of the new year will be held on the first Tuesday of the month, Jan. 2.
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