By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Madison County and the city of London each have started plans for new water towers. The county recently approached the city with the idea of consolidating the two efforts into one tower serving both needs.
“We would like to offer water to you guys,” said Madison County Commissioner Mark Forrest at the Oct. 17 city council meeting.
The county plans to build a new water tower and well field at I-70 and U.S. Route 42. London’s Board of Public Utilities plans to build a new water tower and well field in the city on State Route 142.
“We would be running a line to Lafayette, so it wouldn’t be much farther to take it to London,” Forrest said.
London Council President John Dixon asked about the capacity of the county’s new tower.
“We were looking at 300,000 to 400,000 gallons a day, but we will build (our tower) to accommodate other groups,” Forrest said, later noting that the offer stands for not just London, but any entity reasonably close to the planned tower, such as Lake Choctaw and the village of West Jefferson.
London Safety-Services Director Steve Hume said the city is aiming for a tower with a capacity of 1 million gallons a day to accommodate future development.
Referring to recent interest from developers in locating projects in London, city councilman Pat Closser commented, “If things keep moving in the direction they are, we might need both (towers).”
Closser encouraged the county commissioners to take their offer to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), which was scheduled to meet Oct. 24.
“Hopefully, BPU will have a recommendation by our next meeting,” he said. City council’s next meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7.
At their Oct. 17 meeting, council held a first reading on applying for a loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority to finance the costs of the water tower project planned for the city.
The county commissioners are offering to expand their water tower project to accommodate the city’s needs at no capital expense to the city. What the county would gain through the collaboration, Forrest said, is a larger customer base.
Currently, the county has just a few dozen potential water customers at I-70 and U.S. Route 42. They expect that number to grow as the area develops. In the meantime, they hope to gain entities like the city of London as a customer.
“It’s all about collaboration. If we can help everybody else, it helps us,” Forrest said.
In other information, the city reminds residents to bag leaves for pick-up by the street department. Any kind of bag can be used, though recyclable bags are preferred. Leaves should not be placed in the streets. Call (740) 852-1111 to let the city know when you have placed bags out for pick-up.
Parks and Recreation Budget
Council approved increasing the Parks and Recreation Department’s budget by $3,400 for operations and $6,000 for personnel to cover expenses for the remainder of 2013. Originally, Hume requested $13,500 for operations and $12,500 for personnel.
A large portion of the operations request was for utility costs at the London Community Center. That portion of the request was eliminated because money was already set aside in the city hall budget to cover the center’s utility costs.
The request for more money for personnel was geared partly toward making the parks and recreation director’s job full-time for the rest of the year. Council denied that part of the request because the same has not been done for other city employees whose jobs were negatively impacted by budget cuts made for 2013, Closser said.
Ben McCoy, parks and recreation director, expressed displeasure with council’s reduction in the amounts requested. He said council’s expectations for services from the department don’t match the reality of the funding they provide for those services. He said the department was improperly budgeted for 2013 from the start.
Parks and Rec Board Appointment
Eades appointed Henry Comer to a seat on the city’s Parks and Recreation Board. Comer replaces the late Betty Scott.
Councilman Dick Minner donated fire extinguishers to the city to replace units that were vandalized recently at the London Community Center.