MONTPELIER — Village council last week agreed to spend about $88,200 with Spectrum Engineering Corporation to fix faulty electrical switches and upgrade relays at the Steuben Street electric station.
Village Manager Jason Rockey said the faulty switches were found during a recent inspection, while the relay upgrades will allow the village to incorporate electric usage from the new solar field that’s built and nearing ready status, he said.
The solar field is located on 10 acres at 351 Airport Highway and will provide electric power to the village in partnership with the FirstEnergy power grid.
“It will satisfy FirstEnergy’s requirements for the village to be able to consume power from the solar field,” Rockey told council members of the relay upgrades.
Council also approved a budget for 2020 with some revisions that leave the revenues at $16.609 million and projected expenses at about $18.8 million.
Revisions included about $6,000 in additional expense for dugouts at the village’s youth baseball field, about $2,600 to Norfolk Southern Railroad for water and sewer easements and adjustments upward for employee health care coverage, according to village Fiscal Officer Nikki Uribes.
Council held a line-by-line review session for the budget in October with Uribes. At that time, she noted the village historically overestimates its expenses and underestimates its revenues, and expects the final 2020 numbers to show the village in the black, similar to this year.
For instance, Uribes said the village this year to date has collected more than $1.3 million in revenues over expenses, and expects village revenues by the end of 2019 to finish around $1.5 million over expenses.
In other action Monday, council:
• Heard that the Wood Drive street improvement project will go out to bid soon. The village plans to repave the street between 619 and 752 Wood Drive.
• Heard that Santa’s House is now at the library, and not Patriot Point, and the new location is a hit with both the library and the public, Rockey said.
• Passed two resolutions resetting the allocation of 1 percent of the village’s income tax from 75 percent general fund operating expenses and 25 percent capital improvements, to 65 percent general fund operating expenses and 35 percent capital improvements.
The village income tax is 1.6 percent, and the changes do not affect the 0.6 percent portion.
The changes have been previously discussed and supported by council on the recommendation of Uribes to meet changing budget needs in 2020.
• Went into closed, executive sessions to discuss employment of a public official and to discuss public safety, per Ohio Revised Code 121.22(G).