Two senior citizens came to the Montpelier Village Council complaining of the increase in their garbage bill and the village will go to bat for them.
Max Trisel and another gentleman spoke during public comment time. Their point was that the new service through ARS of Archbold has increased their monthly cost from $1.40 per month to $11. Trisel said he didn’t understand why the village felt it was necessary to make the switch.
Village Administrator Kevin Brooks explained the village was facing some tough financial decisions such as the need to purchase a new garbage truck and fire truck. Each vehicle comes with a six-figure price tag.
Also, the village was going to be losing money soon on the garbage pickup and it would have had to substantially increase the fees it charged residents next year anyway.
“We would have raised rates Jan. 1,” Brooks said. “We wanted to see alternatives.”
The village wanted to explore having lidded containers as a way to prevent garbage from blowing around the neighborhoods and it wanted one-day collections, Brooks said. Since it couldn’t get the latter right away, the village and ARS stayed with the multiple day pickup as people transition to the new service, he said.
The number of collection days will be reduced as the transition continues, Brooks said.
No one who was working on trash collections will lose their job, Brooks said. In the spring they will be transferred to the parks department to help the current staff.
Mayor Steve Yagelski said the village, like other small towns across the state, saw a funding source disappear when the state Senate went against local communities on HB5.
As a result, with tighter finances and looming purchases, a decision had to be made on priorities, Yagelski said.
Brooks told the men he would talk to ARS and see if anything could be done for senior citizens.
Council members Cheri Streicher and Chris Kannel had some concerns about the installation of utility poles at the police department’s shooting range.
The shooting range is located west of town at the Wastewater Department.
The council had discussed improvements at the gun range at its Sept. 12 meeting.
“It was my understanding nothing would be done until spring,” Streicher said. “(To give us time to) look into it more.”
In the last month, utility poles were erected, much to the council’s chagrin.
“(They) were going out before we knew it,” Streicher said.
The appearance of the poles was an unwelcome sight for one council member.
“We had told the public no decision had been made,” Kannel said.
Police Chief Daniel McGee said he understood that work had stopped but had asked Kevin Brooks about the poles. Brooks sent the request through channels, McGee said and when it came back, he got the go ahead.
“The light poles were installed because we had a break in the schedule and time permitted those to be set now,” Brooks stated via email.
“Council had over six weeks to provide feedback on the proposed idea and 100 percent of the response was positive (admittedly not all responded).”
All the individuals raising issues are not residents of the village, Brooks said.
The resolution was we will try to better inform council of projects in the future, he said.
The range is strictly for law enforcement personnel, McGee said. It is being constructed according to recommendations of the NRA. It’s purpose to help officers achieve and maintain qualifications.
It is not operational and won’t be until spring 2017.
Montpelier’s income tax collections are at a 3-year high through September.
The village has collected $1,682,767.70 in the first nine months of the year, according to village documents. That compares to $1,443,397 in 2015 and $1,400,407 in 2014.
This year’s 9-month total is more than the collections through October the last two years.
The village took in nearly $1.87 million a year in 2014 and 2015.
The village council approved Ordinance 2211 to create a new fund for tax payments made by cash or credit card to be sent to the proper agency.
The village has entered into an arrangement with the Central Collection Agency for such payments. The fund will be called “Income Tax Clearing Fund” and is authorized by the Ohio Revised Code.
The documents now go to the State Auditor for approval.
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org