Village unveils plans for $2.5 million project


By Joshua Keeran - jkeeran@civitasmedia.com



The Mechanicsburg Village Council on March 7 agreed to move forward with the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) Project as it prepares to seek funding for the endeavor.

Village Administrator April Huggins-Davis said the proposed $2.5 million project includes upgrades to the WTP and the replacement of 13,000 linear feet of aging water lines.

“We’ve been working on this project for five or six years now, and we need to work toward getting to the construction phase as soon as possible,” she said.

The current project details call for the WTP to receive electrical upgrades, new filter valves and piping, new doors and a new paint job.

The bulk of the project – about $2 million worth – involves replacing water mains with larger pipes to increase water flow throughout the village and decrease the number of water main breaks due to the age of the pipes.

Huggins-Davis said the water mains scheduled to be replaced include those on West Main and North Main streets, High Street, East Sandusky Street and various other side streets scattered throughout the village.

“The mains are going to run down sidewalks because it is a whole lot easier to repair a sidewalk than it is a street,” she said.

On the streets where new water mains are installed, the project calls for the replacement of service taps as well as the water lines running from the mains to the curb stops of village residences.

“With the plans ready to go, we can now go out and apply for grants and zero percent loans,” Huggins-Davis said.

Village’s financial records to appear online

Within the next week or so, the village will become the fourth entity in Champaign County to post its financial information online at ohiocheckbook.com, a site operated by the Office of the Ohio Treasurer.

Andrew Coutts, a public affairs liaison with the state treasurer’s office, attended the meeting to answer questions and provide council members with a brief tutorial of the website.

“The main benefit is the transparency,” he said. “This is a free site at no cost to the entity, and you can update it as frequently as you want.”

Coutts added the website, which contains the financial information of 225 governmental entities throughout the state, will allow council members as well as the public to quickly access the village’s revenue and expenses for any fiscal year made available.

“We are taking public information and putting it into this easy, accessible format,” he said.

Other entities within the county already participating in Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s online initiative include the village of St. Paris, Goshen Township and Mad River Township.

In other business:

•Council passed a motion agreeing to donate $1,633 to Our Towne Mechanicsburg to cover 10 percent of the total project costs associated with the group’s installation of four new welcome signs to be located at the north and south ends of state Route 29, and the east and west ends of state Route 4.

Fiscal Officer Dan Eck, speaking on behalf of Our Towne Mechanicsburg, said all but one of the steel frames have been installed, and the signs will be attached to the frames as soon as possible.

“It’s my view that this sign project benefits the village as much or more than anyone,” he said. “It’s hard to put a tangible value on something like this. It gives a first impression, and it lets people know a little bit more about the organizations that exist here.”

•Champaign County Animal Welfare League Inc. (CCAWL) Executive Director Tiger Franks informed council the nonprofit corporation has formed a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) task force to help address the feral cat population in the county.

Franks said the group visits areas with large feral cat populations, traps the cats and takes them to the CCAWL clinic to be spayed or neutered. The cats also receive shots and a flea treatment.

“This is a free service that we are offering,” Franks said. “We will fix them, and we will put them back. We don’t plan on keeping any unless they are small kittens that we can adopt out.”

Before trapping any feral cats in the village, Franks said, notice will be provided through fliers or word of mouth.

•Council agreed to sell the village’s 1996 International dump truck, donated to the village by Jim Trainer in 2008, to Goshen Township for $10,000.

“It’s a township-size dump truck that has a spreader and plow, but it’s too big for our streets here in the village,” Huggins-Davis said, noting the village plans to use the $10,000 to help pay for the purchase of a new snow plow truck.

•Eck revealed to council that the village’s annual Summer Celebration will feature a tractor pull this year.

“It will be different and probably a bigger event this year,” he said.

•Council passed a motion approving the hauling away of sewer sludge at a cost not to exceed $20,000.

•Fire Chief Bob Keene said he expects the village’s new 2016 International Harvester medic to be delivered in mid-May, a few weeks ahead of the initial delivery date.

By Joshua Keeran

jkeeran@civitasmedia.com

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.