By Leigh Ann Rutledge
CARROLLTON – After much discussion Carrollton Council closed an un-maintained alley near Carrollton High School.
Tom Konst, chair of the Village Planning Commission, explained they met prior to council meeting to discuss closing the alley that runs from Third St. NE to the alley which runs from behind the school to Park Ave. The alley borders the property of Frank and Bonnie Foit to the west and four properties to the east which abut from Park Ave.
Konst said they heard discussion from residents and were recommending council close the alley. According to residents in attendance, they have mowed the alley for several years.
Johnathan Nitz, whose home faces Park Ave., told council he had no problem with the alley being closed but wanted to see if it could remain open but unmaintained to his property. Otherwise his backyard becomes landlocked. He has a garage behind his home which blocks access to the backyard from Park Ave.
Kristy Galantine, whose home is on the south side of Nitz’s home, voiced concerns regarding closing the alley part-way, noting the unclosed area would be behind her garage and the yard they have maintained. She told council when it rains and in the winter there is a big slush and mud area that gets rutted up.
The Foits also said water lays in the area in back of their property. They also felt if the alley remained open part way, cars would use the entire alley.
Margery Howell, whose home is located north of Nitz’s home, has lived at that location for 50 years and had been told it was an open alley but it is unmaintained and all the residents mow it.
In an unrelated matter, Carrollton Police Chief Robert Ellington and Officer Jason Neidert visited council to discuss a K-9 unit for the department. Ellington told council they have raised about $10,000 for the program but still need $7,500. Ellington told council they have chosen a dog and must put $500 down to hold him. Cost for the dog is $12,500 and includes a five-week training period. The remainder of the funds would be due when training is complete. One of the patrol cars would be customized for the dog which would include climate control and a cage.
Council approved the request to enter into a contract with Tri-State Canine Services and a resolution to establish a fund specifically for the K-9 unit.
Deryk Freudeman of Utility Service Partners visited council after meeting with Village Administrator Mark Wells regarding the National League of Cities Service Line Repair Program several weeks ago.
He presented an overview of how the program works, explaining the program provides a way for a homeowner to make a repair or replacement to an exterior water or sewer line lateral (private portion of the line that extends onto the homeowner’s property from the service main). The cost savings program was created due to the fact most cities do not provide a way or assistance to help homeowners if they have a broken service main or a clogged sewer lateral.
“It makes sense for cities to look at this type of program to help and educate their residents about what their responsibilities are when it comes to making repairs to these service lines when they become impaired, leaking or broken,” Freudeman stated. “We only market the program through a partnership with the city.”
They work with approximately 500 cities across the United States and 20 in Ohio. Once city decides to enroll in the program, the company uses a public awareness campaign sending letters letting residents know of their responsibilities and they have the option to opt into a service plan.
If a resident opts in and has an issue, they would call Utility Service Partners and they would send a vetted area contractor to make the repair. The contractor bills the company and they pay. Therefore, the resident has no out of pocket expense, no call out fee or deductible.
“Essentially when a homeowner enrolls in the program all they pay is what they pay per month,” said Freudeman. “An exterior water line is $5.25 per month and a sewer line is $7.25 per month.”
There is no cost to the village for the program but they do approve each campaign letter before they are mailed. They also offer an in-home plumbing plan for infrastructure. There is no limit on calls per year but there is an $8,500 cap per year for exterior water and sewer. There is a 30-day wait period after signing and no cancellation fee.
In an unrelated matter, Bill Shepherd, a former member of the Veterans Memorial board, explained why the board was not in charge of the fireworks celebration this year.
Shepherd said he and two other member’s terms expired and they were replaced with members of the Save22 group. According to Shepherd, the Save22 group was asked about the fireworks but they said they did not have time due to their yearly walk the first Saturday of May.
Shepherd and Perry Fenton decided they would search for a non-profit group to take the project over. The FOE 2185 Ladies Auxiliary has taken on the project and is currently raising funds. Shepherd also told council about an issue with the building being changed from the Veterans Memorial.