(Posted March 3, 2017)
By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer
Mount Sterling’s new water treatment plant will be completed in August, a few months later than originally expected.
“We have had several rain delays and have to push back the date,” said John Martin, village administrator, at the Feb. 27 village council meeting. “I can’t say when in August it will be done, but right now the tentative completion date is sometime in August.”
The village broke ground on the $6.7 million project in April 2016. The plant is being built on the west side of State Route 207, across from the Wingate Place subdivision.
“The roof was recently put on,” Martin said. “The concrete floors are also complete. The siding should start soon and the internal walls should start next month.”
In other business, Martin asked council to pass an ordinance designating a downtown business district.
“Until this is complete, we can’t put up signage or reduce the speed limit,” he said. “We need council to approve this first before we can take the next steps.”
While the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will have the final say on where the business district will be, council tentatively approved designating parts of London and Columbus streets.
“This may not be the final region that is the business district,” Martin said. “We still have to coordinate additional details with ODOT. However, for right now the benefit of passing this is that we can manage speed and traffic, as well as put signage up.”
The village is experiencing increased issues with speeders and traffic accidents downtown. Increased safety is needed because the area sees heavy pedestrian use.
Mayor Lowell Anderson informed council that the village is still in the red, to the tune of $320,000, as a result of the $1 million former village administrator Joe Johnson stole from the village.
“We continue to get ahead of this and are continuing to work on this,” Anderson said. “I’m also in private talks with the state and county auditors to work together to resolve this issue.”
Council passed an ordinance setting procedures for payment of water and sewer bills.
“We have residents who owe as much as $700 on their water bills,” Anderson said. “We can’t turn their water off because the turnoff is in their home, so we are going to dig up the water line from the curb and add a turnoff there.”
The village plans to start working on this project as soon as the weather breaks and considers it a priority for the spring.