GREENVILLE — At its Tuesday night meeting, the Greenville City Council came one step closer to approving an increase of the city’s water rates.
Council heard a second reading on an ordinance which will raise water rates approximately 4 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2016.
The ordinance will receive a third reading at council’s next meeting October 6, at which point council will vote yea or nay on the measure.
Council also heard a request from a resident of Eastwood Drive, relayed through Safety/Service Director Curt Garrison, for help in repairing the gutter in front of the resident’s driveway. Garrison estimated a $900 repair cost if performed by the city’s street department.
Councilman John Baumgardner said that if the city agreed to perform the work for one resident it would “open the floodgates” for others.
“I’d love to be able to help this person,” he said, “but it’s the responsibility of the homeowner, not the city.”
Councilman John Oliver agreed, saying, “This would open a can of worms — there would be no end to this.”
A motion by Councilman Tracy Tryon to split the cost in half between the resident and the city was voted down 4 to 2.
Council also voted to approve a $32,700 appropriation to comply with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitoring requirements for the city’s closed landfill at 889 Livingston Road.
In April, council had authorized a $49,900 payment for ground water sampling at the site, performed annually for 30 years by an Ohio EPA mandate. The landfill has been closed since July 1989.
Garrison said the additional funding is required by the EPA to perform additional methane monitoring.
Though he cautioned that there should be no cause for concern by residents near the landfill, Garrison said, “The EPA sees this as a potential issue.” He added that he expected the EPA will likely mandate a permanent methane blower system at some point, and that such a system would likely cost between $60,000 to $80,000.
Though council found itself with little choice but to approve the $32,700 expenditure, Council President John Burkett called the EPA’s mandate in this instance “a joke, a bureaucratic joke.”
In other business, council approved a resolution which will reduce by 50 percent a tax incentive for Beauty Systems Group, Inc., 5805 Jaysville-St Johns Road.
The company, a manufacturer of hair and beauty supplies, is one of the top ten employers in Darke County. The reduction goes into effect for the 2015 tax year and the tax incentive could be eliminated in its entirety for the 2016 and 2017 tax years if the employer does not comply with the conditions of its Enterprise Zone Agreement with the city.
Greenville City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of every month. Meetings take place on the second floor of the Greenville Municipal Building and are open to the public. For further information, visit the council’s page online at www.cityofgreenville.org/citycouncil.html.