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02-05-03: Village will finance EPA permit process for sanitary sewer project
The Daily Standard
    CHICKASAW - The village took another step Tuesday night toward installation of a sanitary sewer system when they authorized a local design firm to file necessary paperwork with the Ohio EPA, a process that will cost the village $8,000.
    Only councilman John Arling, who joined council recently when Mark Klosterman resigned due to ill health, voted no on the application submission.
    "I'm not yet convinced of the positiveness to the village of the sewer project. Based on my own experience I view filing government documents as I do a marriage license. It's forever," Arling said, adding council has yet to vote that the project is a definite.
    "You should view it (the application) as an engagement," countered Craig Mescher of Fanning/Howey Associates, Inc., Celina. "The village must have the EPA permit before CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) will consider awarding money.
    Councilman Bob Schwieterman observed the Catch-22. "The EPA wants $8,000 to review our application. CDBG won't let go of money without an EPA permit," he said.
    Following the meeting, village clerk Rose Lochtefeld verified Arling's statement regarding the lack of council's formal vote giving the entire project the go-ahead.
    "There has never been a vote that this is a sure thing. So far, council is looking at the feasibility of the sewer system. A lot depends on funding," Lochtefeld said.
    The village was turned down on a request for $300,000 through Issue II, but other grant possibilities to fund the $2.2 million project exist, such as those through CDBG and a low interest loan through the Ohio Water Division authority.
    To date the village has invested about $100,000 in preliminary requirements such as design, permits and grant applications. This amount is offset by a $75,000 low interest loan through the Village Capital Improvement Fund.
    The next matter council considered at the meeting was the amount village property owners will need to pay.
    A question of lot size and charges to multi-lot owners came up at the village's public meeting last week. Mayor Virgil Puthoff assured those attending that council would address these matters at the next council meeting.
    Villagers with more than one lot had objected to paying multiple debt retirement fees, especially if those additional lots are vacant.
    Council members discussed various possibilities surrounding lot size and the community payment share at length, but after a couple hours of discussion, tabled the matter until a future meeting.
    "We want to be fair to everyone as to what they'll pay per month (to retire the debt of the sewer cost over 30 years). There are a lot of things to consider. It'll take a couple meetings to get this done," Puthoff said.


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