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Utilities board OKs loaning funds for sewer line

September 12, 2012

SALEM - The city Utilities Commission agreed Tuesday to loan the money necessary to fund the balance of the cost of the Perry Township sewer line extension project for Painter Road/Brooklyn Avenue and Depot Road.

Commission Chairman Geoff Goll stressed that all they're doing is loaning the money to the trustees so the project can be done. He said the commission is not trying to take over the project.

The city will ultimately own the lines and take on the residents as customers.

"I think it's a win-win for everybody," he said.

Earlier this summer, Perry Township Trustee Chairman Cliff Mix had said he talked to Goll about the project and Goll had indicated the commission's willingness to help fund the project up front and have residents repay the cost through an assessment.

The initial deal discussed was for 5 percent interest over 10 years, but during a recent public hearing with affected residents, Goll said the payments could be stretched out over 15 years so they could have lower payments. The interest would remain at 5 percent.

During the hearing, residents voted to move ahead with the project, which has been in limbo for awhile after initial bids came out higher than expected and were rejected by county commissioners. The residents had to decide if they wanted to go forward at the higher cost. During a previous public hearing in May, they wanted to see if the cost could be placed on their taxes as an assessment before taking a vote on going forward.

The county Engineer's Office is still handling the project for trustees and will rebid it. The cost was originally estimated at $199,000, with the trustees contributing $84,000 from their share of Ohio Public Works Issue 2 money. Initial bids came in at a cost of $242,238 leading to them being rejected.

In other business, the commission held off on two sanitary sewer tap applications for two properties on North Madison Avenue, asking for more information and for someone to have discussions with a third property owner on the street who was being asked to join the project.

Apparently the three properties are the only ones on the street without sanitary sewer and one of the properties is having problems with their septic system.

The commission gave permission for Utilities Superintendent Don Weingart to enter into contract with a fencing company for up to $19,000 for installation of a perimeter fence and gating across the front lawn of the Salem water plant. There was an estimate for $16,495 from one company

for an 8-foot fence, drive gate and manway gate, but commissioners wanted him to get some more estimates.

The project does not have to be put out for bid since it's under $25,000.

The commission also agreed to a preliminary engineering cost of up to $4,500 for some recommendations by Burgess and Niple for work needing done at the Stewart Road water tower to meet new requirements by federal and state authorities.

The next regular commission meeting will be 3 p.m. Oct. 9.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at



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