By: Bill O’Connell
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Delta mayor Dan Miller called to order the meeting of the Delta Village Council on Monday, 3/21/16 at approximately 7:00 PM. In attendance were council members Lynn Frank, Art Thomas, Ashley Todd, Tony Dawson, Bob Gilbert, and Richard Maurer as well as Law Director Cara Wall, Clerk of Council Stephanie Mossing and Village Administrator Brad Peebles. After accepting the minutes from the previous meeting the floor was opened for a public hearing.
Energy consultant Rich Bohon from STEP Resources was first on the floor and gave an update on the Municipal Electrical Aggregation Program which was previously approved in a vote by the residents of Delta. Mr. Bohon reported that a Plan of Governance on how the program will be conducted was developed and was presented to the public during a hearing two weeks ago and this night.
“The village will adopt the plan. This plan will then be filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio(PUCO) in Columbus, said Bohon. In the meantime, Step Resources will solicit rates and program options from various suppliers. An Opt Out letter will then be mailed to all residents and the program will go into effect 21 days later. “Overall, the general target savings is usually, from the average household, about $100 a year,” Bohon estimated.
The Public Hearing was then closed and the floor was opened to any visitors wanting to address the council. Councilman Bob Gilbert asked to speak, not as a council member but as a citizen of Delta.
Mr. Gilbert asked the council for their input, feedback and vision on the topic of the some of the village’s infrastructure items including the streets, sewers, waterlines, sanitary sewers as well as the drains. He went on to voice concerns he has heard from the residents and village employees over the years including several sewer line failures due to age and the kinds of materials used in their construction.
“This town has celebrated its sesquicentennial so a lot of these infrastructure items are 150 years old, some of them,” said Gilbert. “So we talk about doing something with the streets but I think we have to do something with the infrastructure. Just to cover the streets is not going to solve the problem of what’s underneath.”
He emphasized the urgency of the problem by recommending something be done in the immediate future and asked for each council member’s response.
“I think it’s something we all already know about and we’ve all talked about it,” said Councilwoman Frank. It’s just a matter of finding the money but, yes, we need to start now.”
All other council members agreed including Mayor Miller. “We’ve been wanting to do this but we have to fix the infrastructure underneath before we put new asphalt down on top,” commented Miller. “If we have to take a block at a time, we’ll fix a block at a time. When money is available and we start going forward we’ll do that. We do have a short term plan in place with the street department. We have a mid-range plan with the Fernwood Project next year and a long term project. So we have put the stepping stones in place to start going forward.”
There was further discussion on the issue including how to fund the various projects but the general consensus was it needs to be one of the council’s top priorities.
The council moved on to committee reports and Councilman Gilbert informed everyone that a Mexican restaurant, with other locations in Archbold and Defiance, is working on moving into the building that previously housed the Pizza Box. A time frame for it’s opening is unknown.
Following the reports council heard first and second readings of seven proposed ordinances and voted unanimously to accept all. Each ordinance will be revisited at the next meeting with four looking for final approval.
The last order of business dealt with a proposed contract between the village and York Township regarding a section of the township that was recently annexed by the village. The Mayor addressed several “sticking points” within the contract including the length which could possibly run as long as 149 years. All council members and the administrator agreed that contract negotiations were warranted.
Prior to the end of the meeting a motion was put forth to pay all of the village’s bills. It was seconded and passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 7:31 PM.
Bill O’Connell may be reached at