Talks continue

CRIDERSVILLE — Discussions continue among an area village’s elected officials as they talk about possibly raising water and sewer rates — but one thing is for sure, something needs to be done.

Cridersville Village Council members and Mayor Lorali Myers met during a special Committee-of-the-Whole meeting Thursday to discuss the inevitability of increasing water and sewer rates on village residents and businesses.

“Unfortunately, we are in a position that we will have to do something,” Councilor Stacey Cook said.

Myers said it is just a sign of the times.

“We are not the only village going through it,” Myers said, noting a recent article she read about another area village increasing their rates.

As no resident attended the public meeting Thursday to voice their concerns, councilors continued talking about ways to change the water and sewer rate situation and potential scenarios they can do to make these funds financially sound in the future.

“We need to increase the rates due to the decreasing funds in both the water and sewer areas,” Myers said.

Myers said councilors plan to update the community at the next regularly scheduled council meeting on April 8 with a proposal.

An idea Myers shared was to have a $10 increase on the base rate for water and sewer bills combined, and this could possibly take effect later this year, and then a 3 percent increase on the base rate, not the total bill, could be implemented later.

Councilor Rick Walls suggested another idea to cut the overtime of the part- and full- time village employees who manage the Cridersville Water Treatment Plant.

Overtime is accumulated each weekend, as the employes rotate Saturday and Sunday hours working in the plant, keeping the operation going.

But one thing is certain, councilors stressed they wanted to be good stewards and they decided to review this issue each year and see how things are going with the water and sewer funds.

After making this proposal public, a special public meeting will be held, as Myers said it is important to communicate with the community and let them know what they have decided on these two utilities.

“We want to have three readings and want to have one meeting (prior to the three readings) to announce to the village of the open forum,” Myers said. “It will give people the opportunity for discussion.”

After the councilors propose an increase at the regular council meeting in April, a public meeting is set for a tentative date, May 2, as this will be a time for discussion as the community is welcomed to voice their comments.