Marling bids to get Bellaire on right track

BELLAIRE Village Administrator Dan Marling is ready to formulate a plan of getting the village of Bellaire back on the right track.

In taking recommendations from village leaders and through his own observations, Marling has devised a list of areas in town that need attention.

Now comes the fun part prioritizing the list and coming up with ways to fund the various projects.

Marling broached Mayor Vince DiFabrizio about forming a strategic planning sub-committee, comprised of himself and council members.

They mayor thought it best, rather than to create a new committee, have Marling meet with the current committees in place that relate to the plan.

“I’d like to have the five-year plan done by the end of the year; ideally by the end of October,” Marling said. “One of the key steps will be meeting with the finance committee and (village clerk) Tom Sable to see what finances we’ll be able to come up with.”

Marling’s plan is to break down the needed repairs, upgrade and improvements into a 1, 3 and 5-year strategic plan.

Included in that will be the storm water drainage improvements necessitated by the state’s Environmental Protection Agency that the village already agreed to fix earlier this year.

Marling figured he’d need to meet with the utilities and street committees, along with finance.

“Once we have a few ideas in place, we can then go to the finance (committee) and see what we can do about getting the process started.

One area Marling will be working tirelessly is in working to get grant applications out and approved.

He’s had talks with the Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP), which is affiliated with the EPA, about grant funding for replacement of distribution lines.

Piling on the list are issues at the water plant itself.

Marling has also spoken with Jeff Vaughn of Vaughn, Coast and Vaughn, about needed repairs at the plant.

“We need to prioritize our needs. Our plan is to get a list and move forward and stick to that list,” Marling said.

Marling also broached the subject of replacing some of the bulbs for the street lights in town, switching from 200-watt bulbs to 100-watt bulbs.

There is an upfront cost of $80 per fixture for an approximate cost of $8,400.

“It would take us about 36 months to recover, but once it’s recovered, there will be a cost savings of about $400 per month,” Marling said.

Sable estimated the village pays between $90,000-99,000 per year in street lighting. That figure used to be around $65,000, but electricity costs has seen that figure nearly double.

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