WEST SALEM – At the request of the village administrator, the village council began consideration June 12 of an increase to the sewer rates.
Village administrator Rick Witucki told council that the funding applications required for the new wastewater treatment plant needed to show sufficient reserves. In order to accomplish that, he recommended a hike to the sewer rates of a little over $5, bringing them to $37.74.
“We haven’t had a rate increase since 2011,” Witucki said.
Witucki also recommended raising the water reconnection fee from $25 to $75 to further encourage the timely payment of bills.
“A lot of these people are habitual offenders,” Witucki said.
Council approved an ordinance that night to pay $7,000 for new pumps for the wastewater treatment plant.
“We were trying to make our sludge pumps last while we start construction on the new plant,” Witucki said. “Unfortunately, they haven’t.”
Council voted to extend the village’s trash contract with Kimble Companies for five years. Residents currently pay $14.82 per month. At the end of the five-year term, this will have climbed to $17.53. The deal includes a 90-gallon trash cart.
“If there is malicious damage to the cart, the resident will pay $100,” Witucki said.
Council also voted for a supplemental appropriation to the police fund to pay $1,700 for ballistics vests for the officers. This is the village’s share, the total cost was paid by a 75 percent grant.
Council also voted to give fiscal officer Jennifer Webb a pay raise.
Council was given a new revised employee handbook to look over and recommend changes. Village solicitor Allan Michelson pointed out sections on vacation and holiday pay.
Councilman Roger Johnson reported that the new fire station is coming along nicely and Chief Lois Welch is eager to show villagers around.
Upcoming village events include the Town & Country Firefighters Festival June 29, kicking off with a parade and culminating in fireworks; the Old School House Time Trials bicycle race July 6 and the state championships Aug. 3.
Council’s next meeting will be Wednesday, July 10 at 6 p.m. at the village hall.