Council approves Elm St. underpass April start date

Water rates to rise, city joins opioid cases

By Josh Ellerbrock -

LIMA — The Elm Street underpass has received an official start date of April 2018, now that contracts with the project’s construction company and engineering company have been unanimously approved by Lima City Council.

Construction will last from April 2018 until October 2019.

The $9.2 million, decade-old project will construct an underpass on Elm Street underneath the Indiana and Ohio Railway and an associated roundabout at the intersection of Elm Street and Bellefontaine and Calumet Avenues. Roughly $8.9 million of the construction costs will be paid by the Federal Highway Administration and the Ohio Department of Transportation. The remaining $300,000 will be covered by private donations, G&W Railroad and the City of Lima.

Eagle Bridge Company of Sidney was approved as the lowest bidder. Council also approved a contract with DLZ as the engineering firm in charge of inspection, materials testing, coordination with railroad and utility companies and payment applications.

In related news, Lima City Council also approved a contract with Cameo Global to enable city residents to pay their water bills online starting this spring.

Residents, however, might notice an increase in those water rates. As was communicated to council during Monday night’s meeting, Husky Refinery is constructing a reverse osmosis plant that will enable the company to reduce its daily water use by 5 million gallons. The construction of the plant was a reaction to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that kept Husky from dumping increased particulate into Lima’s water system.

As a result, individual water rates will jump $1.50 on an average user’s monthly bill to help recover the $1.3 million in lost water revenues.

Lima City Council also approved entering into a contract with Lima law firm Cory, Meredith, Witter & Smith to join the 465 opioid-related cases consolidated in Cleveland under U.S. District Judge Dan Polster.

The local firm would communicate the extent of the opioid problem in the region to Cleveland firm Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber, who was named by the court as lead co-liaison counsel for all 465 plaintiffs.

The agreement would not cost Lima any money out of pocket as the firms participating in the case would collect a contingency fee from any funds recovered.
Water rates to rise, city joins opioid cases

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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