Water project approaching completion in Shadyside
SHADYSIDE – A water upgrade project is nearly complete, but some residents say the notification process could have been more thorough.
On Monday, Water Superintendent David Rucker reported water was shut off Monday on Wegee Road in order to tie in a 6-inch waterline.
“Hopefully that should be the last time we shut the water off,” Rucker said. “They’re doing a pressure test on it tomorrow, then clean it with chlorine and it has to sit for three days. We’ll bleed that out, and we’re looking at the beginning of next week to start tying in all the laterals.”
Councilman Nick Ferrelli said there have been complaints from residents that their water was shut off when they had not been notified.
Village Attorney Tom Ryncarz said he believed notification had been issued on the village’s social media, but he has heard from residents who did not see it.
“(A resident) said she had neighbors calling her,” he said. “Calling saying, ‘I don’t have any water, what’s going on? Is there a water break?'”
“I’m not trying to start a fight, but again … apparently numerous people were not notified that the water was going to be shut off today,” Ferrelli said. “We’re right back to the same thing we’ve been through how many times? I don’t want to rant and rave and I don’t want to raise my voice, but it’s disheartening that we’ve come this far and we’ve talked about it so many times.”
Rucker said efforts were made to let residents know.
Mayor Bob Newhart said options to notify people are limited. He doubted the county 911 system would call people to notify people for this purpose.
“How do you fix it? Even if you put it on the (electric) sign (at the center of the village), there’s people who don’t come into town,” Newhart said.
“It’s almost over with. That’s the last shutoff they’re going to do,” Councilman Robert “Bushwacker” Gorrell said. “Wegee should be pretty well done by next week.”
Newhart said the project should be completed by the end of December.
“It’s really hard to inform everybody,” Rucker said. “We’re trying the best we can.”
There are close to 90 valves throughout the village that can be shut off, and once the project is complete the village would be able to shut off isolated areas when necessary to conduct waterline repairs, as mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
In other matters, council will create a new full-time position of assistant clerk/laborer for Betty Snyder, who will work 24 hours in the administrative office and 16 hours a week at the water and sewer plant.
“I’m short-staffed right now. There’s just me and two other employees trying to take care of the water and sewer plants,” Rucker said. “(Snyder) has been there part-time at the water office. Now she’ll be full time.”
Newhart said Snyder will be paid $9 an hour for the administrative work and $13 an hour for the laborer work at the plant.
Rucker also reported a new 1-inch waterline was installed on Terrace Avenue, replacing a 2-inch waterline. Rucker said it only serves three households.
He said the supervisory control and data acquisition system at the water plant must also be updated. He will look into prices. The system controls feeding the reservoirs and booster station.
Rucker said the board will also begin looking into wastewater projects for next year.
“A lot of our problems is people putting trash and stuff in the sewers. It’s really getting to be an issue,” he said.
Water and sewer rates will increase 3 percent next year. Newhart said the minimum monthly amount will increase from about $35 to $37.
Ryncarz’s new two-year contract will also be addressed at the next council meeting. He could receive a 6 percent pay increase.
Councilwoman Melanie Haswell also commended the chamber of commerce and everyone else involved in the Christmas tree lighting event last week.
In other matters, due to a scheduling conflict with Councilman Brandon Parr, the next four meetings were set for 6 p.m. Dec. 14, Dec. 28, Jan. 11 and Jan. 25 – all Wednesdays rather than the normal second and fourth Monday of the month.
Council went into a closed-door executive session for about 40 minutes to discuss matters of personnel and finance. No action was taken afterward.