Gas process OK’d

WAYNESFIELD — An attempt to bring natural gas to the village of Waynesfield moved even closer to reality when Waynesfield Village Council members approved Monday a resolution to conduct an assessment of the properties.

After Fanning-Howey & Associates consultants provided councilors with several options permitted under law to assess the project, legislators chose an option which will assess property owners based on equivalent dwelling units (EDUs). With this option, owners are basically assessed by strctures rather than by lot or by the square footage of their property’s frontage.

With councilor Cheryl Jerew absent, councilors approved the vote by 5-0 vote. Preliminary estimates placed the average cost using that option at $400 to $500 per year, which would be paid annually on real estate taxes.

“This gives the engineering firm an idea of where we want to go from here and where we want to focus,” Mayor Michael Ridenour said.  “We can get the numbers crunched down even further.”

The move does not tie the village into construction at this point. Ridenour explained it simply states how the village wants to pay for the project.

A third public meeting for the project is scheduled to be held March 20, which will be the first of three where officials will  discuss the assessment process.

The village will need an estimated $4 million loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to finance the project. Village officials have already received confirmation from the USDA that the project would be funded.

The earliest possible start to construction would be late this year or early 2014, though Ridenour said that was even unlikely.