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Byesville reaches agreement with Ohio EPAWritten by Mike McKay
Agreement saves village thousands of dollars in fines
During Wednesday night's Byesville Village Council meeting, Village Administrator Brennan Dudley reported that they have come to an agreement with the Ohio Enviornmental Protection Agency regarding a civil penalty levied against Byesville. Dudley reports the initial fine of just over $31,000 has been reduced to $7,616. During the summer, the agency issued "findings and orders" against Byesville for past violations which took place between 2006 and January of 2013.The fines were primarily for the high amount of chlorine in the backwash water from the water treatment plant, a problem that was fixed prior to the issuance of the fines.
Council approved the payment to the OEPA, no further action expected from either side.
Dudley also reported that a number of test wells have been recently drilled in a continuing effort to establish another source of water for the village. It was noted that Well #2 is "underproducing" and is of concern to officials. It was pointed out that the well's output has typically fluctuated, but overall, is not producing the water flow expected. Currently, test wells are being dug around the village Water Treatment Plant, in an effort to keep the source of water close to the plant. The village does have a water well along S.R. 660, but Dudley notes that the last estimate to rehabilitate the well could cost between $2 and 3 million. However, officials have not ruled out the possiblity of bringing the 660 site up to specifications.
Dudley also asked council to revisit the request by Fabri-Form to vacate some alley's which actually run through the facility. The company, which has said it is leaving Byesville, is asking for the vacations to make the building easier to sell. Despite social media and other rumors to the contrary, Dudley says the inaction by council did not cause the company to move. The Village Administrator pointed out that the village is working with the county and other agencies to find a new occupant for the building, and is "doing everything possible to protect those jobs."
Council Wednesday night also learned that the recent fall clean up program cost the village $671, with residents turning in 2 dumpsters, roughly 70 yards, of household waste.
Village Solicitor William Ferguson reported that the Byesville PD will be taking in two additional cruisers. The vehicles had previously been patrolling the streets of Cambridge, and are being cycled out of their fleet.
As the paving season closes out, sections of Hope Ave have been patched or paved. Village officials thanked the Guernsey Co Commissioners for their assistance in the project. Officials say Hope Ave will likely be completely paved next year.
In other matters, at the request of the Village Clerk, the Community Room in Village Hall will no longer be available for rent. It was pointed out that the village makes very little money on the room rental, takes time to clean after an event and space in Village Hall is now a issue. It was discussed to possibly move the Byesville PD into that room sometime in the future.
The Indian Hills subdivision was again a topic of discussion at Wednesday night's meeting. The property and homes are a part of the village, however the road is not. The street was never brought up to specifications set by the village, and agreed upon by the developer. The village could take over the roads, but then would be required to repair the road, at an estimated cost of $30,000 or more. According to the Village Solicitor, William Ferguson, if the property owners agree, the village could take over the streets, and assess the cost of the repairs onto the homeowners taxes. One other possible solution is for the homeowners to band together and legally force the developer to fix the road.
Ferguson stress that the village legally cannot go into Indian Hills and conduct any paving or patching of the roads.
The homeowners in Indian Hills are invited to a council meeting to discuss the situation with officials.
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next Byesville Council meeting will be on Wednesday November 20, at the regular time of 5:30 pm.