MINGO JUNCTION - Village Council approved Tuesday the purchase of a trash compactor, which will save the village more than $40,000 a year and allow village workers to spend more time on other jobs.
Village Administrator Charley Bowman said the village will pay $800 a month in lease fees for the Ewusaik property in the 1900 block of Commercial Avenue, which will include the land, construction of a concrete pad, providing electrical service and maintenance of the compactor for the village. The fee also will include the hauling of the compacted garbage to a landfill.
Bowman said the village doesn't have a signed agreement yet, which led Councilman James Morrocco to vote against the purchase of the trash compactor. Morrocco said the agreement should have been signed first before the compactor purchase.
Village Clerk John Angelica said the village will save $42,000 during the first year with the trash compactor - $26,000 in landfill costs and $16,000 in maintenance of equipment. The village will now only need one garbage truck, instead of two.
Bowman said the village also will be able to reclaim 32 man-hours per week. He said village workers who normally transported the garbage to a West Virginia landfill now will be able to do other work in the village, such as cutting grass.
Council, with the exception of Morrocco, voted to purchase the trash compactor for $63,500 from Refuse Equipment and Truck Services Inc. of Ashtabula. Bowman said the purchase was done without competitive bidding because the equipment is unique and not readily available at a better price.
Mayor Ronald DiCarlo said he visited a similar operation in Toronto. He said there was hardly any odor.
Bowman said the compactor will be washed out on a regular basis.
"There isn't much odor with it," he said.
Councilman John Fabian said he believes there will be considerable savings with the trash compactor.
Morrocco did say he believes the trash compactor will be a great asset to the village.
Bowman also announced a council finance committee meeting at 2 p.m. on Nov. 26 to discuss the 2013 budget and the need for water and sewer rate increases. He will meet with council at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 27 to outline the increases and council, at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27, will hear the first reading of an ordinance stating the water and sewer rate increases. A public meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 4, when an explanation of the increases will be given to residents, Bowman said.
Councilman Michael Herrick updated council on work being done to eliminate streetlights as a cost savings.
Herrick said James Huggins Jr. of AEP is using company maps of the streetlights and will make a recommendation of which lights should be turned off.
Herrick said the village pays about $50,000 a year for 579 streetlights.
Herrick said there are two factors to be considered with turning off the lights. He said the first is a cost savings, and the second is safety. He said lights will be kept on at intersections.
"Not all the lights will be turned off," Herrick said.
Council previously said residents can pay AEP directly for a light to be installed outside homes.
Council also approved an ordinance for James White Construction of Weirton to do emergency repairs on sewers on Helenka Drive and George Street and emergency repairs on equipment inside the sewage treatment plant. The cost is $48,500. Bowman said the repairs have to be made before winter weather.
Council also approved an ordinance transferring $11,500 around in various village accounts. The ordinance includes transferring $9,000 so the village can purchase fuel for the remainder of the year.
Fire Chief John Wright said a recent spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the senior center generated about $3,000.