Last Wednesday, at the rescheduled May 21st village council meeting, council approved Ordinance 2014-13. The new ordinance will increase water rates 7% on July 1, 2014, another 7% on January 1, 2015 and another 7% on January 1, 2016. The Ordinance then allows for a 2% annual increase beginning January 2017. These increases are for water rates only and will not affect sewer rates. The increase in rates will help build cash reserves that are needed for replacement projects and any emergency repairs. There are still some sections of 100+ year-old pipes awaiting replacement.
Council did say at the previous month’s meeting that they do have the authority to suspend a scheduled future increase and said they will if sufficient funds are in reserve for capital improvements and repairs.
Mayor Patrick announced that the Portage County Commissioners awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to the village. Funds from the grant will be distributed in 2015 and will provide for streetscape improvements on Main Street that include new 14-foot wide sidewalks and new lighting. The CDBG grant requires no matching funds from the village. The village applied for the grant as part of an effort to rebuild Main Street after the devastating fire on March 22 that destroyed one quarter of downtown Main Street buildings. The grant has nothing to do with the GARRETTSVILLESTRONG efforts for rebuilding organized by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce.
In other business, council tabled Ordinance 2014-14, an Ordinance pertaining to compensatory time, and approved the following: Ordinance 2014-21, pertaining to compensation for the village solicitor when acting as the zoning inspector, Ordinance 2014-22 allowing the mayor and village clerk to sign plats for recording the Fox Hollow subdivision, and Resolution 2014-23 authorizing a temporary change in employment status for the head dispatcher while she attends the Police Academy. Council also approved a motion to allow the mayor to accept repaving bids for Brosius Rd.
Mayor Patrick announced that it is a “done deal” and Pizza Hut will be starting construction soon for their new store in the west end of Garfield Plaza.
If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community attend a meeting. The next regular Village Council meeting is scheduled for June 11, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.