Mingo talks water, loan extension

MINGO JUNCTION – Village Council Tuesday discussed brown water, pool water and extending a loan on a completed bridge project until 2044.

Village Administrator Steve Maguschak said old water lines have broken in the area of the Lincoln Avenue sewer project. Because the lines feeds the Hillsboro water tank, many areas of the village are experiencing discolored water. He said the water lines along Lincoln Avenue will be replaced as part of the sewer project, but another line nearby will have to be replaced by the village.

Council also heard from a resident who put 30,000 gallons of water into his swimming pool and was told he had to also pay sewage costs. The resident said he had to replace the pool’s liner and completely fill the pool.

Council voted to allow residents to borrow portable meters that can be attached to the hose filling the pool from a resident’s outdoor spigot. The resident will only have to pay for the water costs and not the sewage.

Council a couple years ago changed the policy to also charge sewage fees on the water.

“I’m totally in favor of it. I know we need the funds, but we have to be fair,” said Mayor John Fabian.

“Why bill someone for a service if they are not using it?” asked Councilman Adam Peeler.

Councilman Michael Herrick said the policy isn’t fair, but the village has to have regulations in place as to how the meter is used.

Residents will only be allowed to use the meters in the spring to fill pools and not to top off pools during the summer.

Village Clerk John Angelica said the village owes about $37,500 for its share of the $250,000 bridge replacement on Commercial Avenue that crosses Cross Creek. He told council the village was given a 0 percent loan from the state for the village’s share. The bridge was completed three years ago.

Angelica asked for council’s input bout whether the village should pay the amount all at once or take the loan, which will come with a annual cost of about $1,300 for 30 years.

Herrick said council wasn’t aware there was a local share of the project’s cost. Fabian said the village should take the 30-year loan.

Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday for a finance meeting, where the issue will be further discussed.

Village Fire Chief John Wright asked Fabian to appoint a committee to decide if the village will seek a fire and emergency medical services levy. Village Solicitor Ernest Wilson said council needs to quickly act on the levy issue, since the filing deadline is in Aug. 16.

Fabian said the committee needs to determine the levy amount and how much it will generate. He appointed Peeler, Herrick and Councilman George Irvin, in addition to Wright and Jim Raha of the fire department.

Council will discuss the matter further at the finance meeting.

Wright said council needs to determine if the levy will be used only for wages or for wages and ambulance replacement.

Wright and Wilson said they are working on updating the village’s open burning regulations to comply with current state regulations. Wilson said the new state regulations are more liberal and allow for portable fire pits, which are currently now allowed under the village’s open burning regulations.

Maguschak said he has been receiving numerous complaints about pothole patching. He said the village service department has put down 110 tons of asphalt patch this spring. He said some of the areas patched are starting to develop new potholes.

Council also approved an ordinance creating the position of part-time laborer in the village at a pay rate of $11 per hour. Fabian wants to hire a person for the summer months to help with grass cutting and other jobs, especially when full-time workers are taking vacation time.

(Law can be contacted at mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.)