Archbold Village Council took the first step in increasing the cost of municipal water and wastewater at its Monday, Nov. 18 meeting.
Council held the first reading on legislation that increases rates for water and wastewater treatment by 3% each.
For a resident who uses 6,000 gallons of water per month, Donna Dettling, village administrator, said the increase will cost an additional $2.25 each month.
In a later interview, Dettling said a homeowner who uses 6,000 gallons per month presently pays $74.17 for water and wastewater monthly.
When the increases take effect June 1, the monthly water and wastewater bill goes to $76.42.
That figure does not include the monthly charge for refuse pickup. The current cost for refuse service is $9.50. That charge increases to $11.25 starting in January, Dettling said.
The village calculates the wastewater charge based on the amount of water used.
Dettling said most residents use around 4,000 gallons, “but 6,000 gallons is the amount I’ve been using” for calculations.
In January, council approved rate hikes of 8% for water and 13% for wastewater.
Water and wastewater rates were increased 8% and 13%, respectively twice before, in 2017 and 2018.
“Now, (the increase) is just a maintenance kind of thing. We’re trying to keep up so we don’t have to do the 8% and 13% again,” she said.
Council is technically required to read a resolution at three separate meetings before it can vote on an issue after the third reading.
However, to speed up the pace of legislation, council usually suspends the rules and declares an emergency to approve a resolution at one meeting.
Allowing the rate hikes to go three readings allows more time for public comment.
In another water-related action, council approved seeking bids to install new waterlines.
The project seeks to install a new 12-inch waterline on the east side of South Defiance Street from the intersection with Miller Avenue south to the south driveway of Terry Henricks Chrysler- Dodge-Jeep-Ram (the former Nofzinger Pontiac building) on the east side of the street.
The new line will replace an old 10-inch cast-iron waterline. The old line will be abandoned in place.
Kevin Morton, council president, said the old section of waterline also has several patches.
Houses on the east side of South Defiance Street will get new waterlines installed.
The project also calls for the installation of a new 12-inch waterline along the north side of Miller Avenue from Pin Oak Place to the eastern village limit.
The new line will replace a 10-inch ductile-iron waterline that was installed in 1979, she said.
Vaughn Bentz, councilman, asked about the bike path along Miller Avenue, noting the old waterline is beneath the paved path.
Dettling said the bike path will be restored as part of the project.
The estimated cost of the waterline project is $305,000. Dettling said village officials hope to put the project out for bids early in 2020, and have the work completed as a winter project.
Council approved a change in the village tree ordinance.
The change reduces the required spacing between small varieties of trees from 30 feet to 25 feet, and the spacing between mediumsized species from 40 feet to 35 feet.
Dettling noted village workers follow the smaller spacing requirements when currently planting trees.
She said the village tree ordinance has not been changed since 1984. Changing the ordinance is one of the requirements for the village to qualify for the Tree City, USA award, which Archbold has received for more than three decades.
Council also discussed a mural for the blank wall of the Rupp Furniture building.
During the Monday, Nov. 4 council meeting, Vaughn Bentz, councilman, suggested finding an old postcard showing the downtown from approximately the same angle, then painting a mural depicting that scene on the wall.
Passersby could compare the old downtown scene to the new, and see the changes.
Bentz said he had positive feedback on the idea.
“A number of people approached me (saying) that would be neat,” he said.
Dettling said she had received no feedback about a proposal by the Archbold American Legion Buehrer- Lauber-Weckesser Post 311 to construct a veterans memorial on a green space between the wall and Stryker Street.
The post suggests building a concrete pad with three flagpoles. A brick wall, with the names of former or present military members, would be sold to defray construction costs.
The legion would pay for the construction and flags for the poles, and would maintain the flags.
Drew Ginn, councilman and a member of the Sons of the Legion group, said the organization would support the project.
Council discussed sending the issue to a committee. Brad Grime, mayor-elect, suggested the issue go to a committee because in a large group an agreement can’t be reached.
Jeff Fryman, mayor, was absent.
The next meeting is Monday, Dec. 2, 5:30 pm, in council chambers.