|Spencerville Village Council — $2.3 million; still no water plant|
|Wednesday, September 04, 2013 12:06 AM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
SPENCERVILLE — Since H2O innovation’s termination of its contract with Kirk Bros. on June 17 for material breach, the Village of Spencerville has been looking for answers to stalled construction on its water plant and currently don’t have many to offer its residents.
Mayor P.J. Johnson opened Tuesday’s council meeting with a discussion about the ongoing conversations with Richard Kirk of Kirk Bros., CT Consultants and now the Environmental Protection Agency and bond holder Ohio Farmers Insurance Company are or will be up to speed regarding the contractor’s failure to complete the contract.
“At this time, there is no agreement to get it done,” Johnson stated. “We are notifying the bond holder the contractor is in default.”
Within 15 days of receiving the notice, the bond holder will schedule a meeting with the village and Kirk to discuss a resolution — a substitute methodology.
Johnson said he and Village Administrator Shawn Chapman held a conference call with the EPA to bring them up to speed.
“A lot of them had no idea,” Johnson reported. “They want us to work on finding a remedy.”
Johnson said they will grant a letter of extension with the end of next year into 2015 permissible. The village will request a letter of extension which they can accept by email.
“There is no problem with the EPA,” Johnson said. “They want to review the change order and proposal, which is Kirk Bros.’ responsibility.”
Council member John Miller questioned the new contract.
“The change order is for the scope of work only; no more money?” Miller asked.
Village Solicitor J. Alan Smith said there would be additional fees with the change order. Those fees, which were included with the overview documentation provided by the village, comes to a total of over $38,000.
Johnson explained Kirk Bros. is in the process of “inserting their contractors and subcontractors into the proposal.”
In new business, Johnson said he received a letter of resignation from Smith, who will work until the village finds a replacement.
“I’ve enjoyed the experience,” Smith added.
During the Aug. 7 meeting, council unanimously approved a resolution declaring it necessary to place a permanent .25-percent Income Tax Increase on the ballot for the Nov. 5 General Election. The increase would be effective Jan. 1 and would be used exclusively for the operation of the village police department.
Johnson addressed the new tax levy.
“With the current levy, a designation of treasurer has to be made and registered with the board of elections,” Johnson stated, “someone to keep track of the funds.”
The mayor, Police Chief Darin Cook and Utilities Committee Chair Nancy Taylor have agreed to work on getting information out to the community detailing what the levy is for and what the funds will be used for.
“We can do handouts, mailers and newspapers,” Johnson said. “We can not use public funds.”
Miller suggested a town forum.
Chief Darin Cook said that he wants everyone on the same page.
“We need to let people know how we are spending money,” Cook detailed. “The state has taken a lot money back to fix the state’s problems.”
He said the department has done a lot of good work and the village has low crime.
Johnson suggested a Block Watch meeting in October and a public meeting prior to the election.
“People who work outside of the village are already paying .05 percent,” Johnson explained.
In the Police Report, Cook said two juveniles went in through an unlocked gym door at approximately 6 p.m. on Aug. 23 and discharged fire extinguishers inside the school. They were apprehended at the football game and charged with felony vandalism and criminal trespassing. Other charges are pending since the juveniles re-entered the school after the first incident.
Cook also described a theft of two firearms from a home in the area.
“We have two suspects,” Cook explained. “We need more information from the ATF (The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives).”
Cook also told council his office computer has been malfunctioning and after working on resolving the issues and upgrading the memory, it continues to shut down. Cook says he will process the paperwork this week or next to get a new one.
Cook also spoke with council about the Park Fest set from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept.14, where the police department will be on hand with I.D. kits to fingerprint school children.
In the Administrator’s Report, read by Johnson in which Shawn Chapman gave an overview of some of the issues the village addressed in the past few weeks, including: a water main break on Main Street, which caused water outages; an update on Moving Ohio Forward, which is stalled due to owners not cooperating with raising properties; a new bike rack in Acadia Park; completion date on Mulberry Street water line installation; purchase of a new water bill program at $799, plus a $20 monthly support fee; a sanitary lift station failure due to a clogged pump; completed painting and installation of four existing traffic lights; and a CIC (Community Improvement Corporation) meeting slated for Sept. 26.
The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 in council chambers.