Delta charter changes head to ballot


Water rate increase tabled

By Max Householder - mhouseholder@aimmediamidwest.com



For now, talks of an increase in water rates are being tabled by the Delta Council. They are awaiting results of an inspection as to why there has been a discrepancy of billing versus production.

For now, talks of an increase in water rates are being tabled by the Delta Council. They are awaiting results of an inspection as to why there has been a discrepancy of billing versus production.


File Photo

Several ordinances related to potential changes to the Village of Delta’s charter were passed with emergency provision at Monday’s Council meeting.

Three dealt with changing or removing the Delta residency requirement for the positions of mayor, village administrator and Director of Finance.

At the beginning of the meeting, this brought about concern from village resident Tim Cowden, who wondered why this had to be changed at this time. He said this matter came up last year as well and no action was taken.

“I just didn’t know what the significance of it was now to change it, if we didn’t change it last year when it was brought up,” explained Cowden.

However, it was explained that these changes were being visited to better align the charter with state law.

“A lot of the municipalities we represent have charter review commissions that look at it annually or every two years,” said Law Director Kevin Heban of Heban, Murphree & Lewandowski. “So I suggested that Council take a look at the whole charter to determine what — if anything — they would like to change. There is a residency requirement for the mayor. What it is, it’s changing to provide how long the mayor has to live within the village.

“The reason it’s an emergency, it has to go to the Board of Elections by Aug. 3 in order to be on this ballot. So this is not changing the charter, this is putting it on the ballot so the residents can vote on whether or not they want the change.”

These ordinances were passed and made final on their second readings.

Also passed with emergency provision was a charter amendment to change the time frame for filling a vacancy on Council.

They also approved the third reading of an ordinance establishing salaries and wages for employees of the Village. As well as a second reading of an ordinance authorizing the village administrator to dispose of certain real estate not needed for any municipal purpose.

Both matters within new business failed, to be tabled for future discussion. They pertained to increasing village water rates, and the rates charged for sanitary sewer.

The desire to table these discussions was expressed by Councilman Michael Tanner. He recently received a letter from former Water Department Superintendent Dave Daniel about concerns of a discrepency on billing versus production.

“It makes me nervous to pass an increase without doing our due diligence to see what that discrepancy truly is. Whether it was just a miscalculation or not,” said Tanner.

Village Administrator Brad Peebles explained his findings upon looking into the matter.

Two months ago he asked Daniel for a production report and realized there was a significant difference from what he reported compared to a report given to Peebles by the utility clerk. Daniel’s report showed they were producing 25 million gallons a month but billing for 14 to 15 million.

“With Mr. Daniel now gone, I have spoken with our new operator, Jamie Flores. She believes what Dave was reporting as his production numbers also include the approximately 300,000 gallons a day discharge as a result of the cleaning. If that is accurate, and I believe that it probably is, than that’s a nine million gallon waste number that taken off that 25 (million gallons) puts us down to 16 which puts us in the range of the EPA. That’s being confirmed right now.”

Ten percent and below is an acceptable amount of loss allowed by the EPA.

Nevertheless, until more information is learned, discussion of these rate increases has been tabled.

Police Chief Nathan Hartsock also addressed Council, informing residents that Delta will be part of a process orchestrated by Ohio State University in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Health, in which 1,200 residents across the state will be chosen for free random COVID-19 testing.

They will be in the area July 25-28, according to Hartsock. Those selected will receive info in the mail ahead of time.

Additionally, fueled by an idea from former Delta mayor Dan Miller after the killing of Toledo police officer Anthony Dia, Hartsock reached out to other local law enforcement within the county to put an event together backing the police.

“He wanted me to reach out to see if the chiefs and the (Fulton County) Sheriff would be receptive to backing that issue. I reached out, they said yes. I responded to him (Miller),” Hartsock explained.

As a result, an event is being put on by the Delta Eagles.

A “Backing the Blue” barbeque will take place Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Fulton County Fairgrounds. It will be a drive-thru service from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. — or until everything’s sold out. Chicken and rib dinners will be available.

All proceeds will go towards every county law enforcement agency and their programs. “Hats off to Mayor Miller and the Eagles for their support of law enforcement,” concluded Hartsock.

Administrator Peebles informed Council that Dustin Makula, an employee of the water plant and driving a village vehicle, was rear-ended Friday attempting to turn into the post office. And although he didn’t appear to be hurt, Makula has been off this week suffering from whiplash. He has numbness in both arms according to Peebles.

Peebles says Makula will return to work on Friday. Initial report from the body shop is the truck will “likely be totaled.”

For now, talks of an increase in water rates are being tabled by the Delta Council. They are awaiting results of an inspection as to why there has been a discrepancy of billing versus production.
https://www.swantonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/07/web1_Delta-Treatment-Plant.jpgFor now, talks of an increase in water rates are being tabled by the Delta Council. They are awaiting results of an inspection as to why there has been a discrepancy of billing versus production. File Photo
Water rate increase tabled

By Max Householder

mhouseholder@aimmediamidwest.com