Cadiz council mulling sewer system options

CADIZ – Village Solicitor Costa Mastros called a special meeting to discuss the proposed agreement between Kokosing and the village regarding a plan to fund modernization of Cadiz’s antiquated water and sewer systems.

“We have three options on the table and we need to decide which option we will pursue: 1. Do nothing. 2. Adopt the original deal that the water and sewer programs interlocked. 3. Just move forward with the water deal at this time.” Mastros explained. “The findings and orders from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are already in place and if the village does not comply the EPA will shut you down.”

Chad R. Lampe P.E., project manager for Kokosing was on hand to answer questions from council members and citizens. “The initial division of the sale is 70/30, that includes 40 percent which is directed toward debt service covering project and construction costs for Kokosing and then the remaining 60 percent is split evenly, 30/30 with the village.”

“This is a good deal for the village, Kokosing is a well known and respected company in this industry,” said Cadiz Mayor Ken Zitko. “When it flips we will get 70 and they will get 30.”

“Water sales will be from the reservoir, wells, waste water affluent and hopefully Tappan, keep your fingers crossed.” added Zitko. “Everything is to be transparent, an open book cost and fee basis and the village would have the ability to approve each phase.”

“We will not be taking any of the financial risk and I feel it is a no lose situation for the village,” said council member Curt Crawshaw. “We will be asking that all water lines specs will be to code so we can utilize them for the sale of potable water once the drilling is done.”

“That 70/30 will also apply if there is no cost for operational sales,” said Lampe. “Our expenses come out first, there is a 10 percent contractor fee, but after that whatever remaisn will be divided fairly.”

“Convenience and location is key for drillers seeking water,” added Lampe. “For our part we will keep everything equal and commit to never unbalance prices.”

“Design work with the village and EPA will determine what the plan is going to look like,” Lampe stated. “A nice new water plant with the ability to service a large area will allow the possibility of a regional facility.”

Crawshaw told Lampley that the village had a unique partnership with the county already which accounted for one-third of their sales.

“As far as water sales go, the larger time commitment is contract and legal in our business dealings,” added. Lampley. “Administration on every water sale is seperate.”

“We are just making sure everyone goes into this with their eyes open,” Mastros said. “This is an emergency situation and we are going in ‘no bid’ and that could be a challenge, we could catch a law suit.”

“I talk with auditors and it is important to note that anything over $50,000 has to be bid out,” warned Amy L. Ossman Village Clerk-Treasurer. “If we go with ‘no bid’ there could be an Auditor’s challenge.”

“We have contacted outside law firms for their legal opinion on the agreemtn,” Mastros replied. “Specifying that this is an emergency situation, these will be qualification based selections and cost competitive so we feel we can contract outside of the hard bid environment,”

“We anticipate that there will be conflicts,” Crawshaw answered. “But this has come to the point we need to do something and Kokosing seem to be the people who can do it for us.”

“Another hurdle is that the Auditor’s Office is still of the opinion that water monies must be used for water improvement,” Mastros explained. “Kokosing has stated that while they would accept no liability that with their vested interest in the agreement that they would provide additional legal counsel in any such instance.”

“The water and sewer are combined in the agreement but they are separate entities,” Crawshaw asked Lampley about the sewer portion of the agreement.

“Initially we think there are some early steps we can take to get the current facility working as best we can,” Lampley answered. “Hopefully we can show progress and with the temporary fix petition the EPA to lift the connection ban.”

“Interim waste water improvements will remedy the short term, then as s funds are available we will move to the long term; plan, design and contract expansion of the sewer plant,” Lampley continued. “Once again we believe that a regional sewer district would be beneficial to the area and we will also work towards that goal.”

“We can play scared and do nothing” council member Larry Sickles stated. “I feel we have to move now on our findings and orders, if we do nothing we will miss the boat.”

The council then agreed to proceed with Kokosing and after convening their regular meeting at 7 p.m. voted unanimously to approve the deal and Mastros stated he would have the ordinance ready for the next regular meeting on Nov. 15.

In other business;

Council approved the contract with Frontier for a new phone system.

Kay Sedgemer was approved as the new member of the village park board.

Reported that 30 spaces were available for winter camping.

Cadiz Police Chief Bryan Dowdle reported 51 complaints, 35 citations issued and 12 accidents in the village in October.

The yearly Christmas party for village employees was cancelled.

CUT: Chad R. Lampe P.E., project manager for Kokosing answers questions during the special meeting of Cadiz Village Council. Mayor Ken Zitko, Amy L. Ossman Village Clerk-Treasurer and council member Curt Crawshaw listen.