County considers NR sewer issues

County Engineer Mark Zimmerman spoke about issues regarding New Riegel’s sewer system at the Seneca County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday.

Zimmerman said he spoke with Commissioner Fred Zoeller about the equity of charges for equivalent dwelling units for larger users in New Riegel.

Rural Community Assistance Partnership reevaluated the wastewater rates and current billing structure and made recommendations based on usage.

“American Legion is assigned three EDUs but their usage is significantly less than that and is equal to what a single landowner would be, so one EDU, so their recommendation is to drop down to one,” he said. RCAP also suggested Paul’s Market be dropped from six EDUs to three.

He said the numbers were set by New Riegel’s village council, but now that it is the county’s system, the board can decide to change the EDU.

Zimmerman also said a certain amount must be paid, so if EDUs are changed, that cost would have to be made up by other individuals.

Commissioners gave him authority to change the EDUs.

He also said malfunctions in the system are causing costs to be four times higher than they should be in New Riegel.

“Our largest cost to the system is treatment from the city of Fostoria,” he said. “As those rates continue to rise, every extra gallon of water that goes through the system, whether it’s sanitary waste or not sanitary waste, cost the residents of New Riegel a great deal of money.”

Zimmerman is to look further into the sewer system and how to fix the issue.

He also reported that US 23 and US 224, the Hammer-Heinsman Subdivision and Honey Creek Subdivision sewer systems are on one fund and he said he is working with Seneca County Regional Planning Commission to split each into a separate fund.

He also said Hammer-Heinsman Subdivision east of Fostoria paid too much last quarter and he suggested billing a zero amount in the next quarter.

Zimmerman said it would not be permanent, but after evaluation, rates may be reduced.

County Auditor Julie Adkins requested a resolution to reaffirm the two Pictometry agreements that she approved.

She said she made the decision to use new technology called Pictometry 100, a program that allows 100 users access to aerial imagery. The program can be used to assess properties, and since 100 users are allowed access to the information, Adkins said that law enforcement and public safety have been allowed access to the program with no cost to the departments.

By entering into the agreement with the vendor before the product was delivered, Adkins said the county saved $4,500.

She said the cost was paid from the real estate assessment fund.

A resolution is to be prepared for a later meeting.

In other business, Zoeller addressed a letter to the editor regarding the cost of the joint justice center study.

“There was a letter that stated the commissioners authorized $435,000 for a study of a joint justice center,” he said. “That is absolutely not correct. The (North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments) has applied for a grant for $100,000 and was granted by the state of Ohio.”

He said that the study is not being paid from the General Fund.

Zoeller also suggested an increase in the county’s funding toward Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp.

He said that in the past, the county put about $25,000 toward SIEDC. It was reduced to $17,000, and Zoeller suggested increasing the funding to $20,000.

“I believe we’re in a new era here with SIEDC, with a new development director,” he said.

Wagner said the board also needs to consider other areas that still need budget increases.

Zoeller said the RTA Building has a leak and he suggested evaluating the building. The board suggested that County Administrator Stacy Wilson work with the maintenance department to fix the issue.

Zoeller also said he was to meet with Brad Newman and an aide from U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan’s office regarding the open ditch at the Seneca County Airport.

Because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in contention with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Seneca County Soil and Water Conservation District on filling in the ditch, Newman and Zoeller sought assistance from Jordan’s office to resolve the issue.

In new business, the board approved:

Appropriation adjustments of $2,570.67 for the EMA Fund.

Fund transfers of $68,714.27 to the Delinquent Care and Custody Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $57,260.26 for the Delinquent Care and Custody Grant Fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $11,454.01 for the Delinquent Care and Custody Fund.

A supplemental decrease of $15,737.60 to the permanent appropriation for the Soil and Water Fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $42.58 within the Community Housing Improvement Program Grant Fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $2,500 within the General Fund.

A fund advance of $15,000 to the Wolf Creek Ditch Fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $1,432.56 for the Public Assistance Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $2,000 to the Child Support Enforcement Agency Budget.

An appropriation adjustment of $22,000 within the General Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $45,000 to the General Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $1,500 for the Airport Contract Services line.

A resolution authorizing the board to sign a satisfaction of mortgage for Richard Switzer for satisfaction of the mortgage with the board for work done through the Community Housing Improvement Program FY 11 Home Funds.

A resolution authorizing a contract with Lowe’s for the construction of overhangs at the Dog Warden’s office and authorizing County Administrator Stacy Wilson to sign.

Bill vouchers.