GPS unit approved for utility work

WASHINGTONVILLE – Council approved purchasing a GPS data collection unit for the water and sewer department through a matching Ohio Mid-Eastern Government Municipal Association grant program on Monday.

Utilities Superintendent Brian Gudat said the 50 percent matching grant includes mapping manhole covers, sewer grates, water lines … everything while providing the data and a hand-held GPS unit.

The village’s share is $3,200 and the money can be split between water, sewer and the street departments.

Council can change the contributing percentages between departments around, he said, noting that anything added in the ground will be added in the program.

The grant application has to be in no later than April 30 and Gudat said most municipalities and government agencies in the county “are doing this.”

Councilman Jim Smith said it would be a shame to miss out and Councilman Herman Frank said he thought the program would assign and identity code to all the valves, residential connections and “and then you would have to have some sort of program to locate them.”

He asked how valuable it would be and Gudat said that in a foot of snow it would help find someone’s service valve.

Councilman Al Vignon asked about a warranty.

Gudat was unsure about that because of the electronics but explained they will be adding items in the ground taken from the village maps and he will assist with that.

He suggested getting the whole package which included the hand-held GPS unit.

Council President Ramona Custer said, “It does sound valuable” and moved for council to buy it.

In other business , council also approved purchasing two pumps for the utilities department for $2,010 with a two-year warranty on each.

Vignon suggested installing both new pumps (one is a backup) and removing one currently in use, cleaning and maintaining it as a reserve.

Gudat said he will meet with Columbiana County commissioners on Wednesday and submit a Community Block Development Grant application for $50,000 for the renewal system in the water tank to help lower the trihalomethane readings in the water.

There isn’t a lot of money available and the total project cost is $102,250, “which means we have to go after additional money if we get the $50,000,” he said.

Mayor Will Jones asked when he would know about the CBDG grant and Gudat said probably in a couple of weeks.

Council discussed purchasing road maintenance material but tabled formal action until the first meeting in May.

In other business, council voted to obtain a 40-yard dumpster from the Carroll, Columbiana and Harrison counties solid waste district for a three-day village cleanup June 10-12.

Only certain items like furniture and mattresses will be allowed and no tires will be accepted.

Hours will be set later and Jones said as soon as the weather breaks the village will renew its red tag program to get the village cleaned up.

“We’re not joking around,” he said, adding a lot of people come through the town and he wanted to get it cleaned up.