Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
By Margie Wuebker
New Bremen expects to save $90K by withdrawing from program
  NEW BREMEN - Village council members Tuesday night decided not to renew participation in the American Municipal Power's Energy Smart program and pocket the nearly $90,000 participation fee.
The three-year contract with AMP expired Jan. 1. Council members have discussed the issue and tabled it several times since last fall.
Energy Smart offers financial rebates and incentives to customers who use energy-saving equipment like appliances and CFL lighting and systems, as well as technical assistance. Approximately 25 percent of residents participate, along with commercial and industrial customers.
Council member Jim Kronenberger said he spoke with the community's largest and smallest energy users regarding the program.
"They did not think it was a big deal or a big savings for them," he said.
One of the companies he contacted had never been approached by Energy Smart officials, he said. Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Scott Frey had confirmed no companies seeking locations in New Bremen had asked about the program.
Council member John Schwartz suggested officials investigate what type of rebates could be offered to residents in the future with the money the village would have paid to the company.
In other business, council members unanimously voted to proceed with the planned Miami and Erie Canal Shared Use Path project from near the ABC Center to Lock Two Road. Grants from Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio Department of Natural Resources should pay most of the $100,760 cost, officials said.
Trees are being felled along the proposed path and the New Bremen Tree Commission is interested in replacing some of them after the project is completed, council and commission member Dennis Burnell said.
Following a presentation by Chris Cobel of Eagon & Associates, council authorized spending up to $38,000 for consulting fees related to the test well expansion at the Crown Equipment Corp.-owned Hehr Farm between state Route 274 and Tri-Township Road.
Ohio EPA has approved plans to enlarge the existing pipe in two wells from 6 inches to 12 inches. Officials are hopeful the new wells will pump between 300 and 500 gallons of water per minute to meet long-term needs.    
Council members also,
• authorized Garmann/Miller & Associates, Minster, to conduct a facilities study at a maximum cost of $13,000. The study will determine the space needed for village departments and make recommendations.
• received an update on the purchase of a 2003 Pierce Enforcer Pumper for the New Bremen-German Township Fire Department. Delivery is expected later this month after the vehicle passes certified pump tests.
• learned mayor's court fines, fees and forfeitures totaled $818 for February.
• reminded residents the village's Facebook page is now operational. The site received 199 likes in the first few days.
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