ELIDA CHANGES RATES AND FEES, DISCUSSES ANNEXATION AND ASSESMENTS
Your Elida Village councilors have seen a busy four months this year with many issues directly affecting the residents and customers of the village. As one of those councilors, I would like to share a short synopsis of some those issues.
One issue before council is the possibility of mandatory annexation. An ordinance before council would require customers to annex properties to the village when requesting water, sanitary or storm sewer services to premises outside the village. This would apply to properties that are, or become, adjacent to the village. This would include new owners of existing properties and current customers who need to make changes in the location of their services such as for a new building. Current customers who make no changes would not be affected by this ordinance.
Another ordinance under consideration proposes property owners “will be held responsible for replacement of any trees, shrubs, bushes, and or landscaping, when removed for infrastructure, improvements to streets, gutter, or sidewalk”. Discussion will also include who will pay the costs of removing trees in a village “right of way.” The issue of assessing property owners for other work performed adjacent to their properties has also been discussed, including replacement of curbs.
Recently, the City of Lima increased water rates to Elida and we have been faced with the need to increase our water rates. The need to provide for future needs and mandates were also considered. With these issues in mind, council passed an ordinance to reflect a 5-percent rate increase for all village residents and a 10-percent rate increase to customers outside the village per year in the years 2018 to 2022. The first increase will go into effect with the May billing cycle.
Storm water user charges were also discussed as the existing rates for sanitary sewer services are not sufficient to maintain the integrity of the current sanitary sewer system. Storm water getting into the sanitary sewer system is part of the problem. This causes storm water to go through the sanitary treatment process along with household and business water. To enable the village to address this and other issues, a $3 monthly storm water sewer charge for village residents was enacted. (Elida does not provide storm water sewer service outside the village.) All funds generated by this charge will be set aside for capital improvements associated with storm water infrastructure improvements.
Elida is also faced with costs in refuse handled by the village which will require new equipment along with other costs such as labor. In order to address this issue, the village is adding, in addition to the residential and business garbage and recycle collection fees, a $1.00 increase in 2018 and a 50 cent increase each of the following four years.
These are just some of the issues which the Elida Village council has and is facing this year. I invite all interested citizens to attend Elida council meetings to ask questions or express you concerns. Council meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the town hall located at 406 E. Main St.
Claude Paxton is a member of Elida Village Council.