(Posted Jan. 10, 2018)
By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer
Mount Sterling’s new water plant is now live and operating at 100 percent.
“So far, we have been getting really good feedback from residents,” reported fiscal officer Courtney Bricker at the Jan. 8 village council meeting.
“They say the water looks a lot better. We are not putting lime in it anymore, so everyone should see better water quality going forward.”
Village leadership asked residents to report any problems they might have with their water so that issues can be investigated.
Also on the topic of water, utilities clerk Misty Vance provided an update on unpaid water bills, as well as her hopes for the department in 2018.
“My whole objective from the beginning of this was to be fair to everyone and make sure no one is paying more or less than they should,” she said. “We still have approximately $7,000 that is owed to the village, but we definitely have made a dent.”
When Vance started with the village in 2017, residents owed approximately $19,000 in unpaid water bills.
“There were people who hadn’t been billed in years,” Vance said. “I had someone who hadn’t paid since 2010, if that gives you an idea of how bad the problem was.”
Council member David Timmons and Mayor Billy Martin thanked Vance for her due diligence.
“Misty, you are doing a great job with the delinquent bills,” Timmons said.
“She walked into 10 to 12 years of people neglecting their responsibilities,” Martin added. “She has done an amazing job turning this around.”
Vance noted, too, that work continues to move forward on replacement of manual water meters with radio or automatic readers.
“We have approximately 175 that need replaced and we still have about 130 more to go,” she said. “We are slowly getting this complete.”
In other action, Rebecca Burns was named council president pro tem.
“You know your duties with this,” Martin said. “You create the committees, and we want energetic and aggressive committees this year. We have some good things starting in this community.”
Among the items council hopes to introduce this year are a neighborhood block watch, a strong parks and recreation department, and bringing the group Helping Hands to the community.
Council approved the rehiring of Jack Dill as parks and recreation consultant at a rate of $13 an hour. According to Martin, Dill previously held this position for several years, but stepped down when the village went into fiscal emergency.
“This is really a win for the community,” Burns said. “The programs he comes up with for families and kids are wonderful for the community. I was really pleased to see this on the agenda tonight.”