Mantua – At their last meeting, Mantua Village Council discussed proposed Ordinance 2017-21, which would amend the zoning ordinance relating to site and grading plan regulation. The proposed changes would require that where the existing grade of a lot or building is proposed to be changed by more than six inches, the property owner must request a permit from the village zoning inspector, in addition to any other village, county, or state permits that are required. The new proposed permit would require that the village engineer ascertain whether the proposed modification would adversely affect sanitary sewers, waterlines, storm drainage and existing grade of adjacent properties and buildings. While this legislation was proposed in order to reduce flooding within the village, according to Councilwoman Paula Tubalkain, “it creates an unnecessary burden.” Councilman Ben Prescott agreed, stating his concern that it would, “create excessive costs for residents.” Councilman Bob Gaglione remarked that the village, “should have a vehicle in place, in case a homeowner makes changes to their property that cause hardship to their neighbors.” Mr. Prescott agreed, but implored that the proposed legislation be “toned down”. Mayor Clark asked council for permission to return the proposed ordinance back to the Planning Committee in order for that group to consider revisions for council’s review.

In similar news, after much discussion about two ordinances that would raise sewer and water rates in order to fund rising maintenance costs of those plants, Council tabled the motions. It was noted that the incremental rate increases that have been approved in recent years have not kept up with maintenance needs at both plants, and that the majority of repairs have been implemented through the acquisition of grants. A rate increase of 15% was discussed; a suggestion was made to consider, once necessary updates have been made, that rates could be held. The topic requires more discussion, therefore, Ordinance 2017-24 & 25 were tabled and returned to the Service Committee to recalculate the numbers and give consideration to the issues that were raised.
In other news, council approved a resolution allowing Fiscal Officer Jenny August to enter into an agreement with Pivotal Payments, Inc. that would allow the village to accept credit card payments from residents seeking to make water, sewer or other payments to the village. It was noted that a service charge of 3% would be added to help defray the cost of administering the program.
Lastly, Mayor Clark asked Council to consider whether to pursue a potential OPWC grant, using matching funds saved when the water plant is paid off at the end of 2017. She reasoned that if matching funds could be accrued in order to potentially win the grant, the village could potentially replace water lines and add new valves prior to ODOT’s 2019 Main Street paving project, which will encompass the south end of Main Street to the north end of the village limits.

The next regularly scheduled Village Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 19th at 7 pm; residents are encouraged to attend.