Bellaire secures remaining funding for meter project

BELLAIRE — The village can now move forward with a $1.17 million water meter project after securing the remaining funds needed through the Ohio Public Works Commission.

During Thursday’s Bellaire Village Council meeting, Marla Krupnik, deputy clerk for Bellaire, announced the village’s application has been approved for a $349,099 grant and $150,000 interest-free loan.

“There was 120 villages and townships that applied for the funding. Out of those 120, there were 57 projects that were funded, and the village of Bellaire was funded. There were only two in Belmont County — the village of Bellaire and Barnesville,” she said.

Krupnik said the village is responsible for 26 percent, or $326,000, in matching funds, which will come out of the American Rescue Plan funding it received. The remainder of the village’s $420,000 ARP funds will go toward paying off the interest-free loan.

“So when all this is said and done, this project was $1,171,000, and it will cost us, the village of Bellaire, over 30 years, it will cost us around $50,000,” she said.

The project includes the replacement of 1,723 water meters, a waterline replacement on West 23rd Street, the replacement of asphalt from the waterline replacement, and a new fire hydrant.

“Every residential home, hopefully, will have a new meter. … Five homes will be connected to the new waterline,” she said, adding that every fifth house will be equipped with an auto leak detector through the new meters. “Which means that one meter every five houses, if you have a leak, it will detect that in your house as well as the service line. It will detect if you have a high flow, a low flow. There’s an alarm that will detect if your meter has been tampered with or if it was removed or disconnected, we will know that.”

Council members thanked Krupnik and grant writer Phyllis Barnhart for their hard work in obtaining the funds.

In addition to the recent grants, Krupnik and Barnhart obtained a grant through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to fund the project.

Krupnik said the OPWC Small Government Division funds will be released in July, then the village can put the project out for bid.

In other matters, Councilman Mike Doyle brought up the need for water loss reports to account for all the village’s water usage.

“When we go for these grants that have anything to do with water they look at our feasibility, they look at our water loss, they look at our accountability. Before they were arguing that we had a 70 percent water loss. … We continually ask for this and we haven’t got it,” he said “Every time there’s a water break, they need to date it and estimate the water loss. We have a water outage and they flush the hydrants, we need to estimate and date a water loss. If there’s a fire, we need to date it and estimate the water that’s used.”

Even though it is not creating any revenue, Doyle said it is not a loss, they are aware of where the water went and it needs to be accounted for.

“It’s going to come back to bite us if we don’t get that because it appears that we’re incompetent because they’re saying there’s 70 percent of our water we don’t know where it goes. I believe there’s close to 20 percent we don’t know due to leakage but once we get all this accounting, we’ll know where it is,” he said.


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