Upgrade needed to prevent sewage backups

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(Posted March 14, 2019)

By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer

Dan Leavitt, London’s wastewater and sewer plant superintendent, fielded questions from city council members on March 7 about a needed upgrade to the sewage plant.

Leavitt said a bypass channel and alarm system are needed for times when errant pieces of plastic and other debris clog the system’s wastewater influent screen and cause the raw sewage to back up and overflow into the plant’s garage and parking lot.

Each time this happens, the city must notify the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, a situation that has happened at least twice in the last four or five years, Leavitt said.

The estimated price for the alarm system is $83,000.

Council’s discussion on the topic stemmed from the first reading of a resolution that would allow the Board of Public Utilities to advertise for bids on the project.

In other action, council:

  • approved a resolution calling for annexation of land that was the former site of an Ohio Department of Transportation garage on U.S. Route 42 and now houses the city’s street department.
  • approved appropriations for the city’s current expenses and other expenditures during the 2019 fiscal year.
  • approved a measure that allows the city to issue free parking permits to downtown residents. Once a permit is obtained, the holder can park his or her vehicle on the streets overnight, with some exceptions such as snow emergencies or events like the Rib and Jazz Festival.

Mayor Patrick Closser welcomed plans for a new business downtown, London 101. The prospective sports bar will inhabit 101 S. Main St., most recently the former home of The Moose Lodge. The new owners had “just fallen in love with London,” according to the mayor.

The closing for the sale of the city’s old administration building at 6 E. Second St. took place the week prior to the council meeting. The new owner, Matt Yerkes of Cultivate, a non-profit specializing in start-up support and acting as an “incubator” for small businesses, is already making repairs to the building.

Closser thanked Rent 2 Own and Staples for their donations to the city’s southside fire and EMS station. Among items the businesses donated are five recliners, two televisions, two desks and three office chairs. The building has been painted and new flooring was scheduled to be installed.

“Everything is moving at a real good pace,” Closser said.

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