Byesville council approves engineering agreement with Guernsey Power Station

SOURCE: The Daily Jeffersonian
AUTHOR: John Lowe

BYESVILLE, Ohio – In what is expected to be one of the first agreements, of many, between the two entities, Byesville Council approved a water service design agreement between the village and the Guernsey Power Station.

The agreement is for waterline design costs, stating that the power station will pay all out-of-pocket costs incurred by the village in regard to the necessary engineering work for a waterline extension. Officials stressed that the agreement is not for construction costs, only for engineering. Construction costs will be addressed in later agreements.

The agreement however, initially, appeared to have stalled. The agreement vote was to be in two parts, the first, to “suspend the rules”, meaning council could vote immediately on the measure, the second being approval, or failure of the issue by a vote of council. The first vote to suspend the rules initially failed after Councilwoman Karen Foraker voted no, halting the proceedings. The chairwoman of the Finance Committee said that she disliked voting on an important matter after seeing the document just hours before the council meeting.

After lengthy discussion, a repeat vote to suspend the rules was taken, and approved unanimously. A vote on the measure also was approved unanimously.

In other matters, the village’s insurance broker, Thurman Harmon addressed council on employee health insurance for the upcoming year. Harmon pointed out that village insurance will be increasing approximately 8%, slightly below the average increase of 8-10%. It was pointed out that around 16 village employees have health insurance. After lengthy discussion, council identified two separate health plan options, and voted to allow Mayor Jackson to negotiate with village union employees on Thursday, the contract deadline.

In other matters, Village Administrator Brennan Dudley says crews are still conducting leaf pick up in the village. Byesville residents are asked to bag their leaves and take them to the curb then call Village Hall to arrange pick up. Dudley also thanked the numerous agencies involved in a fuel oil spill that took place in the village on November 14. Byesville and Cambridge FD”s, Ohio EPA and Guernsey Co EMA were all involved in a situation in which fuel oil from a ruptured residential tank spilled into a storm sewer system. Dudley says the spill was quickly contained, and despite rumors on social media, village water sources were not contaminated by the spill.

Fire Chief Scott Wilson reported to council that, year to date, the department has made 166 calls, approximately 16 per month.

The chief adds that they are currently recruiting new active firefighters. Contact any member of the department for more information.

Police Chief Jason May requested, and was granted permission to scrap three black and white cruisers. The chief says the police cars are obsolete and are really only worth scrap value.

Both the Byesville Police and Fire Dept. will be taking part in Secret Santa donation drives. The FD will be at the traffic light on December 1 and 15, while the PD will be at Byesville Dollar General Store on December 9, to receive donations for the Guernsey Co Secret Santa program.

A reminder, the Byesville Christmas Parade is Saturday December 2 at 5 pm. After the parade, the Byesville Fire House will be open for holiday treats and activities.

The December Byesville Council meetings are set for December 13 and 27. The meetings begin at 5:30 pm and take place in Council Chambers in Byesville Village Hall.

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