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Mingo storm sewer project loan discussed

MINGO JUNCTION — Village Council was updated on progress for the loan for the storm sewer separation project that is supposed to break ground sometime this coming spring.

Village Administrator Bob Smith and Scott Wangler of the Thrasher Group, the village’s consultant, updated council at Tuesday’s meeting on the latest developments in talks with the EPA and process, which Wangler called “accelerated.”

One of the topics that was discussed was a proposed capital improvements rate increase that the EPA is asking for in order for the village to be granted the funds from the zero percent interest loan for the project.

“To me, it’s like we got blindsided by this,” councilman Jack Brettell said of the development.

Wangler said the proposed contractor for the project granted an extension of their bid, holding the price until March 26.

“Nobody wants to re-bid this with the headaches and delays and the likelihood that the prices are going to come back higher,” Wangler said.

Later in the meeting, a motion for an ordinance to adjust the CI rates according to the projections was made. It will be addressed again at the March 10 council meeting.

“Be it known that this increase was brought down by the EPA as a stipulation for the release of funds for our 0 percent loan that we had prearranged and failure to do so would result in forfeiting of our loan,” said Councilman Adam Peeler. “It’s not something we want to do, but is something that has to be done.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, acting Fire Chief Jim Raha, who is serving in the role while Chief John Wright on a medical leave, discussed two buildings in the village that he issued notices of demolition for.

Both buildings have been previously condemned.

The legal process that will have to take place should the property owners not comply was detailed by .

Raha and members of council also began discussing enforcement of village ordinances about the property maintenance code.

Raha stated that the department responded to four mutual aid calls to Steubenville in January.

Kyle Moffat, chief operator of the waste water department, provided council with numbers in regards to revenue increases at the treatment plant. The plant had an increase of $81,557 in revenue generated in 2019 compared to 2017.

“I’m quite proud of that,” Moffat said.

Council also passed an ordinance to set up bridge inspections in the village.

Mayor Ed Fithen and councilman Michael Herrick were absent from the meeting.

It was announced that the village will hold a finance committee meeting in the council chambers on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Council meets again on March 10 at 7 p.m.

(Grimm can be reached agrimm@heraldstaronline.com)

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