Village utility bills could see drop in surcharges


MECHANICSBURG – Utility bills could decrease in the coming months pending Village Council’s approval of an ordinance relating to water and sewer services, which underwent a second reading on Monday.

“It’s a rate decrease, overall,” Mayor Greg Kimball said.

Currently, utility customers pay a $15 sewer surcharge implemented years ago to help pay for upgrades at the sewer plant. The ordinance calls for the sewer surcharge to drop to $5 and a $5 water surcharge to be added, bringing the total surcharges per utility bill to $10. In all, utility customers would be paying $5 less per month.

Village Administrator April Huggins-Davis said the proposed decrease in the sewer surcharge is due to the upgrades costing less than expected. The $5 water surcharge is needed to help fund upcoming water projects, she added.

While the ordinance calls for the $5 sewer and $5 water surcharges to remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2032, council can elect to waive or lower the surcharges at any time.

A public hearing to discuss the measure will take place at 6 p.m. on March 20 in the municipal building.

If the ordinance is passed following the third and final reading on March 20, utility customers should notice the $5 decrease in overall surcharges early summer, Huggins-Davis said.

Cracking down on junk vehicles

To help enforce the village’s law regarding the storage of unlicensed and inoperable vehicles, council passed on emergency basis an ordinance giving the Mechanicsburg Police Department the authority to cite those found to be in violation of the ordinance pertaining to junk vehicles (unlicensed or disabled), which must be stored in an enclosed structure.

According to the newly approved ordinance, no person is to store vehicle parts, unlicensed vehicles or disabled vehicles outside an enclosed structure for longer than 72 hours after receiving a warning by police.

If the violation isn’t addressed within three days after proper notice is given, a separate offense can be issued for each subsequent period of 10 days that the unlicensed or disabled vehicle remains left in the open.

Violators of the ordinance can be cited with a minor misdemeanor on first offense. If found to be in violation for a second time within a one-year period, the citation becomes a fourth degree misdemeanor. More than two violations within a year results in a third degree misdemeanor.

Roof work approved

The Mechanicsburg Municipal Building, 18 N. Main St., will receive a new roof this spring after council agreed to fix the leaky roof and damaged gutter system at a cost of $24,560.

Lee’s Roofing and Spouting Inc., Bellefontaine, will do the work, which will involve the installation of a Duro-Last membrane over the existing metal roof. The gutter system, which council member Charles Foss said is a bigger issue than the leaky roof in his opinion, will also be repaired.

“This was by far the cheapest and looked like the most comprehensive job of the people I talked to,” Foss said.

In other business:

•Council passed a motion approving the purchase of a new pump for the sewer lift station as a cost of $8,791 from Excel Fluid Group, Cleveland. The pump comes with a five-year warranty.

Huggins-Davis said one of the two pumps at the lift station was put out of commission by a piece of wood.

“We are holding our own with the water and rain right now because we have the backup engine that helps pump that down,” she said.

•The village’s annual spring cleanup will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. During this time, residents can dispose of solid waste by hauling it to Dumpsters located at the Street Department building on Mill Street. No hazardous waste, tires, or building material will be accepted.

Huggins-Davis said the Dumpsters are only being made available to village residents.

•Permit-free garage sales will be allowed by the village from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 21-22 and April 28-29.

By Joshua Keeran

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Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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