Utilities Commission reorganizes for 2013

SALEM – The city Utilities Commission reorganized for the year Tuesday, re-electing Geoff Goll as chairman, selecting Bob Hodgson as vice chairman and welcoming new member Bennie Funderburg.

Funderburg was appointed to the commission by Mayor John Berlin, replacing Primo Citino, who had served for seven years after being appointed to an unexpired one-year term in 2006 and then reappointed for a full six-year term in 2007.

Goll presented Citino with a plaque to honor his service to the city and his work to help keep the city water and sewer rates among the lowest in the state.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the board and everyone involved,” he said, quipping, “This month we were going to get that 20 percent raise to our pay.”

Commission members receive no pay, with 20 percent of zero remaining zero.

Goll also welcomed Funderburg, who worked in the oil and gas industry and had served on several boards in the city of Salem, including the Habitat for Humanity of Northern Columbiana County Board, the Design Review Board, the Humane Society board and the Housing Board of Appeals, which he had served as chairman.

Goll said they had still not heard anything from the state of Ohio regarding the local limit for discharge of phosphorous into the city wastewater system. The city had submitted its justification for the local limit to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in March 2010.

Goll had spoken with the commission’s legal counsel who had a conversation with someone from the state Attorney General’s office who said the matter was being reviewed and decisions were being made. He said they were told there should be a response and a consent decree issued within 90 days, but no promises were made.