BOTKINS — At the Botkins Village Council meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Steve Woodruff got to break a tied vote.
After a presentation from representatives from the North Central Solid Waste Management District (SWMD), council members got the chance to vote whether to join Russia, Fort Loramie, Anna, Kettlersville, and Jackson Center in looking at negotiating a bundled rate for trash and recycling services.
The current prices have been the same for a while, and an upcoming rise in prices had the solid waste district think they could put together this bundled contract to lower prices; they have this ability through the Ohio Revised Code. The SWMD will draft up the contract and talk with haulers, Republic, Rumke, etc., to find the best deal for the villages.
Right now the contract will include two options for residents. One option would include an unlimited weekly trash tote, bi-weekly recycling tote, and additional items outside the trash tote, like furniture. The second option would be a bag option. The residents would have to buy their bags for trash, and receive a recycling tote. There would be an additional cost for extra items with the second option.
Residents would choose which option they wanted, and the way they are billed would stay the same.
The vote council took was to join the other area villages during contract negotiations. This doesn’t lock the village into anything if the bid for services comes back too high for the council’s comfort, but it does put the village at risk for higher rates in the future, explained Village Administrator Ryan Piche.
Nick Greve made a motion to participate in the negotiation process. Yes’s were Greve, Josh Meyer, and Steve Heuker. No’s were Craig Brown, Lance Symonds and Casey Dietz. Woodruff voted yes, agreeing to have the village participate.
In other business the council discussed having the village police officers carry Narcan. The opiate antidote is being offered free of charge from the Sidney Police Department. Botkins Police Chief Tom Glass asked council to consider it. Council agreed they would like more information about potential side effects it could cause if used on someone not experiencing an overdose, and the training their many auxiliary officers will have to complete.
Piche reported the Edgewood Street project will for sure be completed on or before the end of October deadline. He said all the new water meters have been installed, and asked for council’s permission to go ahead and buy the rest of the meters to get the project completed.
The lodging tax was also brought up again. There is already a state tax applied to visitors, and some counties have the taxes too. These taxes are anywhere from 1 percent to 6 percent and can be set by the village council. Piche said there is an easy way for the owner of the hotel to keep track of these taxes and it can be processed in house.
The council can also use this money in their general fund, or can put it in it’s own fund for specific purposes to enhance Botkins. Council agreed on a 4 percent tax, and a separate fund for the revenue to be put in to. Now Piche will draft an ordinance and the council will get to vote on it.
At the next several meetings Piche will go through the 2017 budget with the council. Something on the horizon for next year project wise is the upgrade of the waste water treatment plant. The study has been completed on how to best improve the plant, and the project total comes to about $1.3 million.
Piche discussed how they would get a no-interest loan for this project, and use cash funds in their budget to pay off current debts they have to allow for the new loan to be the only thing they are paying on.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.