MONTPELIER — Although the agenda for the evening was light, the Montpelier Village Council had their hands full Monday with several citizens who wanted to address council with different concerns.
First was actually a holdover from the prior month.
Andrew Myers, who lives on River Street by the Williams County Fairgrounds, came to the council on Aug. 23 saying he’s had electrical issues and two instances of sewage backing up into his basement that he said was the result of a lack of village maintenance.
While he had spoken to both Village Manager Jason Rockey and Mayor Steve Yagelski, Myers spoke to council in open session, asking if there had been any updates on his issues.
Rockey said nothing had changed since they spoke and he had passed along an email to council.
“Any reparations that would be made would have to go through your homeowners insurance, first,” he said.
Myers had issues with some of what Rockey said in their phone call, being concerned that Kevin Mercer, village electric superintendent, had told Myers that he was talking with the insurance when Mercer, in fact, didn’t have the authority to do that. Myers also expressed concerns about how Rockey talked to him, specifically when Rockey asked how he didn’t know if Myers could have been lying or caused his own problems.
Rockey addressed these concerns, saying it wasn’t Mercer who submitted a report to the insurance company, but it was reported. In fact, Rockey said Myers even spoke to an insurance agent about the situation.
“(The insurance agent) got back with you and told you that there was no justification for the claim against the village,” Rockey said. “It was shown on our annual report.”
Myers didn’t remember talking to an insurance agent but admitted it was two or three years ago so he could be mistaken.
When it came to the sewage backup, Rockey never denied that village employees were there, like Myers claimed.
“I questioned what was said and there were a number of things in your statement, dates were mistaken and there were a lot of things that didn’t add up, especially timelines,” Rockey said. “When we responded, you had the lid open to the vacuum pit and were tampering with the valve. There was no way I could be certain that you didn’t cause the problem.”
Myers admitted to opening the pit, saying he wanted the crew to get to work as soon as possible, as he has children in his home and was concerned about the sewage.
He asked why someone would purposefully do something to send sewage into their own basement and added he had offered to help fix some problems such as running lines to get excess water out of a basin in the yard.
Yagelski said citizens taking that lid off has resulted in damages previously on other properties.
“The other part of the discussion was the previous owner was offered to re-plumb the sewer lines inside the house and it was even offered to you,” he said. “Both the previous owner and you, according to the email Mr. Rockey sent out, both refused to do it.”
Yagelski said some problems could have come from the fact that Myers called a village employee he knew personally rather than calling up the after hours emergency line. This causes issues with documentation.
Myers asked what would have been different if he had called this number, instead. Yagelski said he didn’t know as that’s not what happened.
Separately, Roy Rozell addressed the council about algae buildup in a pond or lake that he owned with a couple other property owners. He had actually spoken to the council last year about the algae buildup and requested help in finding the cause and fixing it.
Rockey said the village knows where several tiles are that come into the pond. He would like to get water samples from there to test it for E. Coli.
Since Rozell’s last visit, he has spoken to a group called Lake Erie Advocates, who was willing to do a DNA test on E. coli found in the water to see what animal the bacteria comes from.
Rockey said they had no problems with the group doing the test.
A third citizen, Robert Babcock, said he lives near a new firing range the Montpelier Police Department built by the water treatment plant.
He was concerned about the use of the range, especially if it was going to become a public shooting range, and with shooting on Sundays or at night.
Rockey said it is strictly for the police department and Yagelski said Chief Dan McGee said previously they would inform the neighbors if they were going to train at night.