BWD welcomes new board member

WELLSVILLE – The Buckeye Water District Board of Trustees welcomed a new member to its ranks, as well as a pair of returning members, during its first meeting of the year Thursday morning in Wellsville Council chambers

Mike Lynn was sworn in and participated in his first meeting as a member of the board. Lynn was appointed by Wellsville Mayor Susan Haugh to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of former member Dave Lloyd in December, one of three seats the village has on the board. Also sworn in were returning board members Tim O’Hara and Robert Wines, who were reappointed to their seats. The six-year terms of service for all three will expire December 2018.

Board members voted to carry over the offices of president, vice president and treasurer, which were retained by Mike Ryan, Roy Dray and Bob Wines, respectively.

Lynn says he’s still in what he called a learning phase, though he has already been appointed to the Computer Study and Purchase Committee. “I’ve always been impressed with Buckeye Water District,” he said, and that he looks forward to future expansion projects as his term unfolds.

The board passed a resolution authorizing the district to advertise requests for proposals from local contractors to BWD. The RFP model allows the district to view proposals from contractors for water-line extension projects in the coming year instead of fixed-price sealed bids. The measure was actually approved last month, but was not contained in a formal resolution at that time.

District manager Al DeAngelis told the board of damage caused by the compacting and melting of recent snowfall at the water treatment plant. He said the melted snow refroze and slid down the building’s steel roof, causing damage to approximately 40 feet of gutters around the building. The snow load was so heavy that it tore off several snow guard clips when it slid down the slick metal surface, pulling the gutters away from the building. “It just pulled everything off,” DeAngelis said. An insurance claim has been filed, he added.

Ryan said the Finance Committee has begun discussions on the creation of an interactive BWD website, which has been passed on to the Computer Study and Purchase Committee. The expanded site that would allow customers to track their billable usage over time and pay their bills online, amongst other interactive features. Cost will be the deciding factor before moving forward, he said.

BWD attorney Fred Emmerling reminded the board that a settlement hearing in the lawsuit case against the district by the City of East Liverpool is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 in the courtroom of Judge C. Ashley Pike.

When asked about the district’s prospects at the hearing, Emmerling stated that BWD has complied with the ruling handed down by Judge Pike, already paying out more than $4.4 million of the $5.9 million settlement reached last year between East Liverpool and the district. “That’s what was done, we agreed to it, we proceeded with it, and we paid them the money,” he said.

The city has argued that interest charges continued to accrue during the settlement period, leaving BWD responsible for an additional $700,000.