By Lynne Phillips
"A sanitary sewer overflow project on First Street is 90 percent complete as far as relocation of the sewer lines on the east side of the street, New London Village Administrator Shaw Pickworth told council members during Monday night's meeting.
"We are 100 percent complete on the connections on the west side," he pointed out. "Two new manholes replacing the old ones have also been installed at each end of the street," he added.
On North Main Street new truck lines with laterals is approximately 75 percent complete.
"The crew is getting ready to install a new manhole just north of the Mickey Mart and sewer relocations have begun at the corner of West Fir Steet going south." Pickworth aded, "Our water/wastewater crew is working hard in order to stay ahead of the project with locates everyday. I hear them on the radio all day everyday trying to keep up," Pickworth commented.
"We are replacing pipes that have been in the ground for 80 years and I don't care how much engineering and research you do, you don't know what's underneath the ground till you open it up. Things change daily but they deal with it on a case by case basis and they are doing a good job."
With the continued cold weather crews continue to deal with numerous service calls in the village due to frozen water lines.
Pickworth stressed the recent move to monthly readings of water meters has been a good thing for residents as it has allowed customers to be notified of high water usages that could mean a water leak in need of repair. "It is definately a good thing and we are seeing the benefits."
Hit one more time with a major snow event last week by Mother Nature, Pickworth said the big plow was out all night on Monday night and back out at 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
"Then on Thursday and Friday we had to deal with warmer temperatures, flooding and snow melt. Every time this happens we get calls. We know there are areas in town in need of improvements and we are working on them."
Council members approved a request for replacement of a dump truck for the water/wastewater department.
"We budgeted for this at the beginning of the year," Pickworth said. He said he has received a quote from a local area dealer beating the state bid price by $746.
"I would rather buy from a local dealer rather than someone from southern Ohio and then have to go that far if there are problems," he said.
He indicated he is in the process of obtaining quotes for a dump bed and PTO hydraulic hoist for the truck.
Also approved by council was advertisement to accept bids for remodeling of the police department. The bid opening will be held on March 21 at noon in council chambers.
Bids for mowing of the cemetery, Triangle Park, village office and council chambers are still being accepted. Bids will be opened on Feb. 28 at noon in council chambers. Bid documents may be picked up at the village office.
Pickworth reported he recently attended a board meeting of the Huron County Revolving Loan Fund.
County commissioners requested the board approve two projects for funding. One is in Greenwich Township for a project on Plymouth East Road for $25,000. The other for the City of Willard for a project on Crestwood Drive for $32,600.
"The total in the fund was high enough that the state would have come in and told us the money had to be spent," Pickworth explained. "So we took a look at those two projects. The amounts aren't huge but the loans do two things. It gets their projects funded and it gets the revolving loan fund back down to where the state wants it."
Parks and recreation director Joe Thomas requested council give consideration to a number of major improvements to the Hileman Building.
"It needs a lot of attention," he said. "It needs new windows and doors, the floor is in pretty bad shape and the ceiling needs replaced.
"The first thing people who are interested in renting the building notice is the floor. There are a couple of high spots which hinder wheelchairs and are 'toe trippers'. The ceiling is not in great shape. You can see every stain and spot from the previous heating system. The glass doors have a gap where the wind blows through and they are not always secure."
Renovations have been completed to the building's restrooms and the kitchen and the building's walls have been repainted," Thomas said.
He told council he felt park workers can do the necessary work to the ceiling as a cost savings.
The cost of the renovations is expected to be approximately $70,000.
The renovations are something that needs to be done sooner rather than later, according to Thomas.
He pointed out the building is rented frenquently and fees generate $6,000 to $8,000 per year.
"I really think that amount could be more if we make those improvements," he said. "Right now the building has been rented 30 times so far this year."
Included in the park report was the following:
• A Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on Sunday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Hileman Building.
• A cornhole tournament held recently netted the parks $1,800.
"We had 22 teams from the area including Tiffin, Mansfield and Ashland.
• The Cabin Fever Cure event for Women Only will be held on Thursday, March 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hileman Building.
"This event was a huge hit last year and is expected to even bigger this year," said Pickworth.
Proceeds from the event benefit the cemetery and park funds.
Tickets can be purchased from any park board member, at Gilbert's Hardware or the village office at $15 each. There are a limited number of tickets available.