VVC discussed fee changes and handicapped parking


By Meladi Brewer


VERSAILLES — The Versailles Village Council meeting discussed fee changes and handicap parking.

The council voted to consider an ordinance adopting a new Income Tax Code effective Jan. 1, 2023. Per the House Bill 172, it is mandated by the state to follow the guidelines. One of the requirements presented by the bill had already been in effect in Versailles and will not require any change.

“Everyone in the state of Ohio has to now reporting taxable income at age 18. Some villages I think had it as 16 or 17, but we are all now going to be uniform,” Fiscal Officer Kathy Ording said.

Ording said the other piece of change is a matter of “at home working versus in village working” and how it is taxable on the payroll. There is a lot to be discussed on the matter, as an explanation has yet to be given to Ording regarding the change.

“The third piece has to do with fees,” Ording said. “When can a village penalize someone for not getting their taxes filed and to what amount?”

Versailles is going to be uniform with everyone else under this bill; all municipalities cannot charge more than the other. Once everything is approved and Ording gets the full layout of how things are to be done, it will be finalized and uploaded to the website in order to limit confusion.

The council adopted the adjustment of rates, terms, and conditions for electric services provided by the village. Village Administrator Mike Busse advised the goal is to not raise or decrease rates overall.

“We want to continue rates as they currently are. There will be some people who have minor adjustments that go up or down, but it is all based on how much electric you use,” Busse said.

Due to the factors that will go into play, Busse said there is no way to say whether someone’s bill will stay exactly the same after this change because everyone’s electric use is different. The village’s revenue will be zero in regards to the increase or decrease, and another goal is to keep the revenue from each weight class the same.

Assistant Village Administrator Kyle Francis said there were some customer charge adjustments within the weight classes, but the goal is to keep the revenue the same. With this revenue being looked at to remain neutral, the council will be updating various fees applying to the provision of certain utility services that are provided.

“The goal is to balance costs between the village fees versus what the village was charging people for connection fees,” Busse said.

There were adjustments to the security lights, as the terminology with the old rates were outdated, and everything was based on incandescent lighting. Nowadays most lighting is switching to LEDs, and with this change, rates and terminology needed to be updated as well.

“We came up with a reasonable charge for the LED lights, and we based it on size of light and not how many Watts there are because there is no true way to measure this wattage takes this much electric,” Busse said.

He said it will depend on the equipment inside of the LED light, and even though they are more efficient, there is no true way of measuring. Customers will also be seeing a change to connection fees.

“We used to not charge an overhead connection fee, and we have increased that to $1000 for an overhead service,” Busse said. “The underground was increased to $2000 for an underground up to 200 feet and 200 amps.”

He said the cost of everything has gone crazy, and this increase gets the village into the right ballpark. Francis piggybacked and advised they did look at the average lengths of underground electric installs and these costs were the average numbers they were coming up with for a new house install.

“The other thing we modified was re-connection fees,” Busse said.

The fee was increased for those who were not paying their electric bills to $75 during work hours and $250 for it to be turned on outside of working hours.

“You can think geeze that’s pretty expensive, well to do it off hours, it has to be an emergency for them to pay for it, but we have to call in two guys for a minimum of two hours straight time pay, plus time worked, and the cost of the truck,” Busse said.

They agreed $250 is not out of line for someone who would like their electric turned on outside of normal working hours. Busse said most of the time this situation would not be the case because “most of the time they have to pay their bill first.”

“We have to be here to take the payment in the first place, and I will say we do go out of our way to not shut people off,” Busse said. “When we shut someone off it’s because we tried everything and we can’t make it work.”

The council went into executive session to discuss the sale of property no longer needed for municipal purposes and consider the public employee hourly/salary compensation for 2024. When they returned from session, the Street & Safety committee gave an update regarding the meeting they had on Oct. 31 to review the traffic study for Greenlawn Avenue.

Francis said many residents came to the meeting to discuss the findings and concerns they have for the road after the council voted to limit parking to one side of the street earlier this year.

“All with the exception of one were in favor with leaving the no parking on the south side of the street as if. The general consensus was that traffic flow has improved with some concern regarding speed,” Francis said.

Dialogue took place about putting in a flashing speed limit sign within the area, and Francis said he would look into the costs to do so. They would like to look into a solar powered sign as to not draw any power from the village, thus rendering it low maintenance.

“We did have one residence not in favor of the current situation, and what we told those in attendance was we appreciate their comments, the no parking signs were installed legally, we are going to look to paint a double yellow center line with the correct spacing to allow parking on one side with two lanes of traffic,” Francis said.

The painting of the stripe will take place next year when weather allows, and the village begins striping work. There was a resident who requested a handicap parking spot on the no parking side of the street, and it was voted against.

“It was ultimately voted against because there is no parking on that side, and the committee felt there was no way they could have offered a handicapped parking spot in a no parking zone as it’s illegal,” Francis said.

The resident in question also had adequate off street parking to their property. Francis said it was the recommendation from Street & Safety to not proceed with the request. Ralph Gigandet, council member, advised all the residents felt the street was not being patrolled enough, especially after school. The street is being looked into to ensure the safety of those who utilize the road.

The council will be holding a Public Hearing regarding the Villages 5 Year Capital Improvement Plan before their regular session starting at 6:30 on Tuesday, November 21st. The Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. directly after, and both meetings will be held in The Versailles Emergency Medical Services building is located at 320 Baker Rd in Versailles.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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