Bellaire gets EPA loan, water project to begin

BELLAIRE - Bellaire Village Administrator Dan Marling told village council Thursday that the village received its loan from the Environmental Protection Agency and work on the village's water system will soon be moving forward.

Back in January, council accepted a bid of nearly $1.9M from Layne Heavy Civil Inc. out of Orleans, Ind. that includes construction of a collector well.

It will consist of a 13-foot diameter concrete caisson, three horizontal laterals, a masonry pump station building and 12-feet of water line.

Former water superintendent Sue Bell, who resigned her position effective May 1, previously stated that the village's raw water supply has dwindled over the years and previous attempts to fix the problem failed to prove fruitful.

This project should rectify that issue.

Jeff Vaughn, from Vaughn, Coast and Vaughn, notified Marling that construction should begin the week of May 13. The area near the village's boat ramp may have some traffic interruptions from time to time according to Marling during construction.

"We desperately needed this and we're looking forward to having it completed," Marling noted.

Councilman Jim Williams inquired as to a potential estimate of how long the project will take to complete.

Marling stated that it will likely take close to a year, but hoped that by middle to late October, the village should be able to start utilizing some of the water. It won't be completed at that point, but the new intake may be able to be used at that point.

  • Village council likely committed a violation of Ohio Sunshine Laws during its hour-long executive session.

The reasons motioned and voted upon for entering the executive session were "personnel" and "property.

The Ohio Open Meetings Act stipulates that property may be used as a reason for an executive session, but that it is for either the purchase or sale of property.

It also states that "it is not sufficient to simply state "personnel" as a reason for executive session, though the motion does not need to specify by name the person who is to be discussed."

A citizen, who is neither a member of council nor an employee of the village, was invited in to speak during the executive session.

While official minutes of the executive session are not recorded, this individual, after exiting the session, stated that one of the topics discussed pertained to zoning.

Zoning was not listed as a reason for the executive session, nor, on its own, is a legal reason to call said session under the Ohio Open Meetings Act.

  • Marling recognized the service of Bell, along with Harry Kilgore, who retired from the village on May 1 after 34 years as both a city and village employee.

"We wish them well and after 34 plus years of employment, Mr. Kilgore deserves some hurrahs for his retirement," Marling said. "I'd also like to thank Sue for her help. She came in at a time when former superintendent Kirk Baker passed away and helped support the village. We wish her well."

Marling reported that Barry Edwards has taken over as water superintendent.

  • Councilman Williams reminded about the village's upcoming cleanup day set for Saturday, May 11 form 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The cleanup dropoff point is at the service department and residents must bring a copy of their garbage bill. The village will not be performing home pick up.

The Knights of Columbus, which is offering to collect any appliances or other metal items, will come to pick up said items if necessary. Tires are being collected but Williams asked that a limit of four tires per individual be observed.

  • The next meeting of Bellaire Village Council will be Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m. inside council chambers

Hughes may be reached at mhughes@timesleaderonline.com