Mingo step closer to electric aggregation program

MINGO JUNCTION – Village Council on Tuesday took another step toward the village having an electric aggregation program and agreed to place a 6-mill replacement levy for garbage service on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Council approved a governance plan for the electric aggregation program. John Ney, an energy consultant with World Energy, said the governance plan, which sets forth how the program will be operated, will be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for approval. Ney said that process will take about a month. In the meantime, Ney said he will start collecting bids from electric suppliers for rates.

Village voters earlier this month in the primary election approved the electric aggregation program. Two public hearings have since been held on the program.

Ney said he believes the average electric user in the village will see a savings of at least $150 a year.

He said the program will be up and running in July.

Council also approved placing a replacement levy on the general election ballot for garbage collection.

Village Clerk John Angelica said the current levy generates about $150,000 per year. The replacement levy will generate about $238,000. A replacement levy is based on current property values.

Councilman John Bracone was the only council member voting against placing the replacement levy on the ballot, saying he believes the residents can’t afford an increase in property taxes.

Council also approved a policy for how funds will be allocated to pay for the village administrator. Under the ordinance, 25 percent will each come from water, sewer, general and community development funds.

Police Chief Steve Maguschak is serving as temporary village administrator. He will receive an extra $1,000 a month for working as administrator.

Council also presented Howard Armstrong of Wellsburg a resolution of appreciation for serving as village administrator without pay for five months.

Maguschak, as administrator, said a couple valves blew out on the village’s new splash pad at the swimming pool. He noted the valves will be fixed in the next several days.

A resident asked if the swimming pool was going to be heated this summer, because it is used by many senior citizens for exercise in the morning. Councilman Mike Herrick, chairman of council’s recreation committee, said the pool will be heated once repairs are made to the pool’s filtering equipment.

Herrick also commended the Mingo Revitalization Committee for work done in the past couple weeks. He said Indian Creek High School students planted flowers at the clock on Commercial Avenue and painted a mural at the park. He said the committee also did work at the Veterans Memorial on Commercial Avenue for the Memorial Day service and cut weeds and grass at the cemetery.

Herrick said the committee also received a $2,000 grant from the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation.

The revitalization committee meets at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of the month at the Municipal Building. Herrick said residents are asked to join.

Council also heard from resident Ed Connors of 123 Parr Ave. about boats parked in the front yards of residences. Council had approved an ordinance making it illegal for boats and recreational vehicles to be parked in front yards. Connors was told the code enforcement officer from the village fire department is investigating the complaints.

Connors also said he is against the transfer of $362,999 out of the community complex fund into the general fund. The money is collected from 0.25 percent of the village’s 1 percent income tax.

The village has made application to Jefferson County Common Pleas Court for the transfer, saying the complex fund is no longer needed. A judge has taken the request under advisement.

Connors said he voted on the income tax, and believes the money could be used for improvements at Aracoma Park.

“I voted for that,” he said.

Connors said there are other cuts needed and urged council to practice “penny pinching.”