By Dustin Ensinger
Reynoldsburg City Council took the first step on Sept. 21 toward the continuation of a policy to out source its water meter readings and possibly moved closer to monthly billing for water service.
Council’s finance committee voted to send a measure on to full council that would allow the city to renew its contract with Michigan-based Bermex for meter reading services.
The contract will take effect on Jan. 21, 2016, when the current contract expires, and extends until Dec. 31, 2017.
“It’s been a very, very good thing,” Service Director Nathan Burd said of the arrangement.
The company will read one-third of the meters in the city on a monthly basis.
The company’s contract, when approved in March, was anticipated to cost the city about $21,000 in 2015.
The formerly vacant meter reader position was converted to a bill clerk position, which city officials said in March would help transition toward monthly billing.
City Auditor Richard Harris said the transition from quarterly to monthly billing could occur as soon as next year. Officials believe the transition will lead to fewer delinquent accounts.
The finance committee moved two engineering contracts, totaling $125,000, on to full council.
The first, for an amount not to exceed $75,000, was with EMH&T, which oversaw recent improvements to Livingston Avenue, along with several other projects in 2015.
The second is a contract with CT Consultants for an amount not to exceed $50,000. The company will essentially serve as a back-up engineering firm for the city.
“This is the last piece of the engineering puzzle,” said Burd.
Special use permits
The service committee moved two special exception permits on to full council.
The first, for Auto Direct at 6366 E. Main St., will allow for car sales.
The business, however, is already in operation.
“This should have never been open without a permit,” said Councilman Mel Clemens.
Owner Jason Goss apologized for what he said was an oversight.
“It was just ignorance on my part,” he told Clemens.
The permit was approved with a six-month review, which will require Goss to make improvements to the lot and remove a former car wash structure on the site.
Goss promised to do both well before the six month deadline.
“I’m ready to pull the trigger and get it done,” Goss said.
Between 50 and 60 cars will be on the lot at any time, he told council.
The second special use permit involved a home health care service office at 6475 E. Main St.
Stepping Stone Health Care Service has been operating out of the location for about a year-and-a-half.
The business’ permit was moved on to council, also with a six-month review, which requires owner Sam Ugbo to clear up any back tax issues. He agreed to comply.