Village council voted unanimously on Monday to hire an engineer to advise it on sludge build-up problems at the wastewater treatment plant.
Acting on a March 7, letter from the Ohio EPA, Council President Collen Ritterspach suggested an engineer "to properly and cost-effectively" fix the problems. "Until we have someone come out and look at it we're just shooting in the dark," she said.
The letter, written by Environmental Engineer Joseph E. Trocchio, set a March 23 deadline to respond, noting that the 3,000 gallons of sludge produced a day isn't being removed "as fast as necessary."
Trocchio noted that during a Feb. 22 plant inspection the two 36,000 gallon aerated digesters are filled in less than a month and the two 20-foot by 60-foot sludge (drying) beds hold 12,000 gallons.
"Then the operator (Utilities Superintendent Brian Gudat) must wait for them to dry before he can manually clean them to reuse them.
"This only allows him to empty one third of a digester."
The EPA said the plant "only appears to have problems with high flows due to storm events."
It wanted the village to respond with all steps it will take to eliminate overflows, adding it should evaluate if a new infiltration and inflow study is warranted, "and decide whether to potentially expand the plant or flow equalization tank."
It said the village "should" pass legislation to remove existing I & I (infiltration and inflow) from the system; and evaluate the solids handling facilities to study additional sludge dewatering and holding.
The EPA said the facility, located at 415 Boston St., appeared to be well maintained and operating in a satisfactory manner.
In other business, Mayor Will Jones, responding to input from resident George Boston, promised he would "get this town cleaned up."
Boston said he was former village councilman and noted "papers were flying all over the place ... have somebody look into it and straighten things up."
Jones said, "I agree with you. We are looking into ordinances and would like to see this village cleaned up.
"I'd like to challenge all the people in Washingtonville to take care of their place the way you do."
Boston also noted two large holes on his street and that there should be no hunting or shooting in the village.
Assistant Police Chief Mark Husk noted that he might have been referring to a recent incident with a resident firing a weapon in the village.
"We have a village resident going to court tomorrow (today) on charges," Husk said adding that if residents witness or hear of other incidents they should let the police know.
Also, in other business, council is still studying a proposal to issue gasoline credit cards to the police and street departments.
The village currently uses a locked gas tank outside the government building.
Ritterspach said the tank is filled once a month and was just filled up costing $389.
Jones said they are still checking into the credit cards.
Road Supervisor Ed Garrett requested an additional three tons of hot patch that is needed on a "sooner the better" basis. Council approved a purchase "up to three tons" unanimously.
Husk said he obtained another, "more reasonable" estimate from computer company for a department computer and said four safety vests at $38 each plus $10 shipping had arrived.
Council also approved the purchase of safety lights for the street department truck for $1,082 plus labor.
In other business, Ritterspach said the section of wall that fell at the Lutheran church cemetery belongs to the church.
About three weeks ago the northeast section collapsed into Church Street and onto the ground along Washingtonville Road.
"The church does own the cemetery wall," she said, explaining it would cost $2,000 for repairs but $20,000 "to fix it properly."
She added they don't have that kind of money to fix it and were looking at help due to it's historical value.
Also, High Street resident Kevin Williams asked for assistance regarding a storm grate in front of his house that has been an issue "for the past several years."
He said the grate had dropped below street level by several inches causing damage to vehicles using his drive.
Williams presented photographs and Jones said they would have the road supervisor look at it.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org