Four new members were sworn into Swanton Village Council last week at their first meeting of the new year.
Mike Disbrow, Samantha Disbrow, Derek Kania, and Patrick Messenger started their terms after being the only four to run for Council in November. Previous members Mike Rochelle, Kathy Kreuz, Craig Rose, and Tony Stuart did not run and finished out their terms in November.
Dianne Westhoven was elected president pro tempore of Council.
At the regular meeting, Council approved entering an agreement for a much discussed membrane improvement project at the water plant. Kirk Bros. Co., Inc. had the lowest bid and was approved for the project. Their base bid was $1,597,000 with a $28,000 for alernate 1 and $45,000 for alternate 2.
The new system will work in conjunction with the granular activated carbon (GAC) system at the plant. Installing the GAC has helped Swanton water in compliance with TTHMs in the water, which had previously been an issue.
The new project came to be when it became apparent repairs would be needed for a 30-year old elevator at the plant.
“So the conversation was ‘Do we look at that and continue to current treatment knowing the end result of that treatment was a sludge that needed to be disposed of properly and not many companies dispose of that? On top of the fact that the EPA was coming down with harsher requirements for that sludge,’” said Rosanna Hoelzle, village administrator.
So instead of spending millions on repairs, Council decided on the new treatment system. Hoelzle said it is safer for employees and more cost effective in the long run.
Jennifer Harkey, village finance director, said there was a cost benefit analysis done and there are large capital projects that will no longer have to be done with the new water system in place.
The project is tentatively scheduled for completion late this year.
Council also held one public hearing for a zoning change request and scheduled another. A public hearing was held for the property at 98 Dodge St, following a request to have its zoning changed from commercial to residential.
The property contains a house at the edge of the downtown commercial district. While it is next to a dentist office and unused commercial building, it is across the street from homes and has been used as a home as long as anyone can remember.
Council approved the first reading of an ordinance approving the zoning change.
A public hearing on a zoning change for 213 N. Main St. was scheduled for Feb. 17. The property is currently used as a duplex but under single-family zoning. The request is to change it to 2-family zoning.
The Planning Commision voted 4-1 against the zoning change. The final decision rests with Council.
Also at the meeting, Mayor Neil Toeppe read a proclamation honoring Alan Lehenbauer for his service to the village as solicitor since 1999. He has taken a similar position in Maumee.
• During the Committee of the Whole meeting, Council members heard a request for live streaming of meetings. Westhoven said that previously the potential for legal issues concerned members of Council, but said “I absolutely do not have a problem with live streaming at all.”
The matter will be discussed further at the next Council meeting.
• Council approved an annual resolution, allowing the village to sell property via internet auction.
• An emergency resolution was approved to authorize and support a grant application to Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a skid unit, for the fire department.
• Hoelzle gave a report of permits issued over the last three years. There were 10 permits issued for new single family dwellings last year, compared to 3 in 2020 and 5 in 2019.
• One of three warning sirens in the village may not be replaced. Hoelzle said sirens in the north and south overlap and the village chiefs deemed the middle one unnecessary. A final decision will be made later this year.
• A virtual field review took place for phase A of the Hallett Avenue improvements project. The phase includes improvements between Airport Highway and the railroad overpass.
Construction is tentatively scheduled for 2024, with project design taking place before that.
• Village officials are finalizing information to submit a request for Memorial Park improvements through the State Capital Budget Process. They are narrowing down items to include in the request between general improvements such as the upper conessesion stand and festival storage, a new walking path, and surveillance and security.
• Toeppe reported the new owners of a proposed 26-acre event center closed on a property in Turtle Creek. Pam and David Mills presented information on Birchwood Meadows to the Council at its December meeting.
A site plan will still need to go before the Planning Commission.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010