|Elida residents: water quality, price not comparable|
|Tuesday, April 22, 2014 8:45 PM|
BY CYNTHIA YAHNA
ELIDA — The hot topic of discussion at the Elida Village Council meeting Tuesday was the proposed water rate increase for consumers.
An ordinance before council to establish rates and charges for water services rendered by the village to users within and without the corporation limits of Elida calls for a $30-per-month service fee on all non-metered users inside the village and $45 per month on all non-metered users outside the village for the May billing cycle. In November, the service charge will increase to $32 per month on non-metered users inside the village and $48 for non-metered users outside of the village.
Privilege of the floor was given to resident Judy Brennan.
“I am furious about the water situation and our water has not ever been good since 1998. You know it has been years ago that they put asbestos in buildings and they said it was safe and we all know that it is not safe. They said mercury was safe and we find out that is not safe either. Are we going to find out the chemical that is in our water is not safe years from now?” Brennan asked. “Our taxpayers pay those in government their salaries and they need to find out how to fix this. The usage rate is crazy and we are not being charged according to our usage. That doesn’t seem fair. I don’t think you are in touch with what is really going on. You have been talking about fixing this problem since 1998.”
“The Trihalonethane you are talking about is what the filtration system in Lima is supposed to help but they don’t run it all the time. If they would run it more we would benefit. Lima has spent millions on this filtration system but they have found it is costly to operate,” Mayor Kim Hardy explained. “We are investigating this and it is an on-going battle to find something as to how, why and when we can rectify this situation. Right now, I don’t know of any cure for this until we see Lima running the filtration system on a more consistent basis.”
Brennan asked if there were any recourse.
“Would it help me to go to Lima city council about this?” Brennan asked. “It doesn’t seem to do any good to talk to the Lima water department because all I get is the run around.”
“You can try. All I can say is we are trying to work on it; we press Lima to run the filtration more because our numbers of .08 percent (which is the required safe number per the EPA) is up,” Hardy said.
Resident and former water department employee Ken Hall also spoke.
“My point is there is a definite problem and Mike Caprella of the Lima Water Department said the lines need to be looped. So, let’s get the looping done and get on with it,” Hall said.
Hardy said the loops won’t solve the problem but it will help.
“I have been a resident of Elida for 23 years and when you get that water bill, it does make you cringe. If we have to solve the problem ourselves, that is what we are looking into doing so that it can be as economically feasible as possible for the village,” Hardy added.
Hardy said the water rate increase is something no one likes.
“Lima gives us an increase and we have to pass that on. I can assure you our efforts are focused on the Trihalonethane and trying diligently to solve this issue. In the last six weeks, this has been a hot topic that we are pushing to solve. The Lima city’s filtration system costs $1 million a year to run and they are only using it 20 percent of the time. We have to do something ourselves and find the most economical way in order to do that. We really do appreciate your input on this matter,” Mayor Hardy told residents.
In other business, the village is planning a road work program and the estimate for that is $47,400 and will be putting out bids.
Village Adminstrator Scott Fessler met with the tree commission Tuesday and discussed looking if there are any changes that need to be made to the tree ordinance. They will be getting information from the state forester if there needs to be any changes.
In the police report for April, there were 260 calls, 18 traffic violations, nine general calls and six arrests and citations.
Donations were made to the Elida Police Department from the Elida Breakfast Club for $200 and the Lima Eagles for $100.
Council appreciated the donations given.
The next village council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 13.