Bellville Council met tonight to discuss several items stemming from the village’s water improvement initiatives, as members answered questions from residents concerning climbing water rates.
Villager Ray Osborn kick started the meeting by addressing council asking members the reason for his increased monthly water rate.
“Our bill went up $13 last month,” he stated. “And I have heard from a number of other people in the village who have had the same problem.”
Bellville Village Councilman Larry Rose also stated his had climbed $17 from the previous billing cycle.
“The rate increase is a result of the improvements we made at the sewer plant,” said Bellville Mayor Darrell Banks. “And overall improvements to our water flow.”
The upgrades to the waste water treatment plant are part of an ongoing renovation project that is soon entering its final phase.
In addition to construction at the village’s waste water plant, Village Solicitor Jeff Mussman stated that the village has made improvements to a number of areas with previously poor flow, such as several hydrants located on Main Street.
“I encourage you to take a look at other’s city’s water rates,” stated Banks. “We are on the low end, and we are only raising rates to pay for improvements.”
During the course of the meeting, Banks also stated that the village received five bids for the final reconstruction phase of the wastewater treatment plant. The lowest was from Kelstin Inc. who bid the project at $309,700, which was $17,000 lower than original estimates.
Council then passed an ordinance to enter into contract with the construction outfit, who has completed the previous phases of the project.
“They are already out there,” said Councilman Rose. “They know exactly what they have to do and what they don’t have to do.”
Along with the water discussion, Banks gave an update on the search for a village administrator to replace Chuck Pscholka, who is set to retire in this fall. The deadline for application for the position closed July 31, and the mayor along with council is set to begin interviewing Aug. 6.
Resident Ruth Ann Kilgore also addressed council, announcing that the Bellville Community Foundation will be disbanding for lack of funding and group events. Their several thousand dollar fund will be disbursed for village improvement projects.
Council is scheduled to meet next on Aug. 18 in the Bellville Police Station.
Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org