Council approves sewer line capping, plant work

SALINEVILLE-On Monday, village council held the first reading of an ordinance that would require sanitary sewer lines in demolished, burnt or abandoned homes to be capped. They also approved an agreement that will allow the village to seek funds to upgrade its aging sewage plant.

Board of Public Affairs (BPA) member Kim Adams had suggested a sewer line capping ordinance to council in May after the issue was brought to his attention by County Engineer Bert Dawson. The purpose of the ordinance is to prevent uncapped lines from posing a possible environmental hazard to village.

Council had originally discussed a permit process to ensure that those responsible for capping sanitary sewer lines had done so, but the final draft of the ordinance states only that the village street department must be contacted to inspect the cap prior to backfilling.

Among its requirements, the ordinance states that PVC sewer pipes must be sealed with glue while clay pipes must be sealed with concrete. The ordinance defines abandoned houses as those which have been “substantially destroyed by fire or other casualty,” but have not been demolished or reconstructed by the owner within 90 days. Failure to obey the ordinance results in a minor misdemeanor.

Village Solicitor Andy Beech, who drafted the ordinance, suggested council put the ordinance on first reading to give BPA members a chance to review it and give their approval. The BPA oversees the operation and maintenance of the village sewer system. Council approved a motion to place the ordinance on first reading.

In other sewer-related business, council approved an emergency resolution authorizing a cooperative agreement between the village and the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) for funding for the rehabilitation of the village’s sewer plant.

A joint committee made up of council and BPA members met with officials of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP ) last month to develop a plan of action to have crucial repairs and updates done at the plant. With the help of RCAP, the joint committee developed a two-stage plan to seek funding for major repairs at the plant through OWDA.

The resolution approved by council Monday allows the OWDA to seek funding for the repair on behalf of the village. Joint committee and council member Brian Zaverl explained the village needed to adopt the legislation in order for the OWDA to apply for loans and grants. Citing the urgent need to get the project under way, council waived the typical three readings of the resolution and adopted it on an emergency basis.