Bellaire council tackling water woes

BELLAIRE — The village is facing some delays in placing new water meters in residents’ homes.

Only about 16 have been installed so far, with several hundred remaining. Core & Main subcontracted with Fort Steuben Maintenance for the work. The company apparently has been placing notices on residents’ doors informing them their meters will be checked, but failing to set a time. Village Council members spoke about this and other issues Thursday.

“You just can’t just hang a door knocker and people’s waiting for them and they don’t show up. That’s not right for our citizens,” Marla Krupnik, fiscal officer, said.

“This is grant money, and the contractor is coming in and out at their will and not communicating and not showing up,” Councilwoman Janet Richardson said. “We need to let the village residents know somebody’s coming to install a meter.”

Councilman Mike Doyle said there has been a delay.

“I think they’re behind schedule in putting the water meters in, that’s what it comes down to,” Doyle said.

“There’s a breakdown in communication.”

The work is being funded with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency grants.

Mayor Edward Marling reported speaking with the OEPA, which informed him the village wastewater plant requires a Class 2 operator.

He noted the village of Shadyside is contracting with Quality Environmental Services for a temporary worker at about $1,580 per week.

“So you can see what the cost is,” Marling said, adding that 20 hours of time must be put in over five days. “We’re going to have to get some of these done. That, or we’re going to start paying some fines.”

Marling also noted a recent waterline break on Trumbull Street. Doyle asked if the village’s water loss has been estimated. Marling said it had not.

“We’ve been hassling this for over a year,” Doyle said. “They’ve got to start estimating water loss. We keep saying it.”

Richardson said Water Superintendent Gary Zavatsky should provide monthly water reports — including news of water loss — as part of the employment contract.

Council also heard a report from the OEPA on a Jan. 10 analysis to monitor potential explosive gas at a landfill that Councilman Jerry Fisher said is located on 26th STreet and has been closed since the 1950s. No traces of explosive gas were detected at any of the 13 monitoring locations in and around the landfill.

Also, council noted the municipal parking lot is not included in the designated outdoor refreshment area, which may exclude a farmers market from participating. Village attorney T.J. Schultz will look into altering the DORA map.

Doyle will also speak with Schultz about the locations of “build back lines” for new construction, which limits the the size of buildings. He said an investor is looking into possible build back lines downtown and wished to know if there are any lines in the commercial district.

“There’s been some historic data that says there is no build back lines, but we want to make sure there’s a variance put in place,” Doyle said, adding he did not want an investor to run into any problems once work has begun.

Council held the third reading of an ordinance to increase the pay of part-time police officers from $13 to $15 hourly. There are two part-time officers.

Council also approved a pay increase for the fiscal officer position to $68,000 yearly and ended Krupnik’s six-month probationary period.

Council went into a closed-door session to discuss matters of personnel, property and litigation. Afterward, members voted to hire an attorney through the Shaheen Law Group for pending litigation. Shaheen recently resigned as the village attorney and was replaced by Schultz.

The water committee will meet at 11 a.m. Feb. 14 at the municipal building.


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