(Posted Feb. 5, 2015)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
West Jefferson village council is studying a proposal to change billing procedures for water, sewer and sanitation services.
The proposal was introduced at council’s Feb. 2 meeting. Council members want to hear from the public before the legislation comes up for a second reading and possible vote on Feb. 16.
The major change concerns the amount of time between a bill’s due date and a shutoff notice. Under current regulations, for example, a bill received March 1 is due March 15. If the bill remains unpaid by April 15, a shutoff notice is sent. Utilities are shut off if the bill and late fees are not paid within five business days of the shutoff notice.
Under the new proposal, a bill received March 1 would be due March 15, and if not paid, a shutoff notice would be sent the following business day. Utilities would be shut off if the delinquent bill and late fees were not paid within 10 business days of the shutoff notice.
The call for a change in the bill paying policy came about after reports of numer-ous unpaid bills for water, sewer and sanitation services.
Finance director honored
Council paid tribute to Jack Herrel who retired Jan. 31 after 20.5 years as West Jefferson’s finance director.
A resolution honoring him was ap-proved, a framed certificate of achieve-ment was presented, and council members heaped accolades on him.
While most members thanked Herrel for his long service, council vice president Steve Johnston singled out “his memory of ordinances.”
Councilman Jim King recalled the help Herrel provided during his first campaign for council.
“I came (to his office) to seek his advice,” King said.
Councilman Doug Eakins said, “When I had a question, he had an answer.”
Debbie Dileo, Herrel’s long-time assistant, is the new finance director. She admitted, “I had mixed emotions about coming to work this morning, but then there he was.”
Herrel said it only seemed natural that he go to the village’s administration building where the finance office is. But although he wasn’t working in the finance office, he was working on council business since he is now the clerk of council.
Jackie L. Tiberio, the new assistant finance director, has 16 years of experience in finances. She was hired as a part-time employee.
“She fits into our long-term goal of combining the finance department and the tax department,” said council President Ron Garver. “She will work down in the tax department one day a week.”
Council approved resolutions:
• to authorize the public service director to purchase remote-read water meters;
• to contract with Peterson Construction of Wapakoneta for Phase I work on the waste water treatment plant; and
• to contract with Decker Construction of Columbus for curbs, gutters, paving and sidewalks in the Westwood subdivision.