Washingtonville sinkhole will prove costly to repair

WASHINGTONVILLE – Street Department Foreman Ed Garrett said he received a call Sunday night about a sinkhole at the northwest corner of Union Street and South County Road.

“I was kind of surprised because – bam – there it was.”

Garrett said, “It’s a little worse than what we thought it was” explaining it was about four feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide.

Utilities Superintendent Brian Gudat said a 75-foot section of pipe will be needed and said the preliminary cost was about $1,196 for that.

Labor will be around $1,354, he said adding both were the only estimates he had time to obtain before Monday’s meeting.

“Then we’ll have to get someone to blacktop it,” he said.

Councilman Jim Smith said, “We need to get it repaired … we can’t let it go.”

Garrett said there was a gas line issue that had to be resolved but he expected to have it repaired in a few days once the materials are purchased.

He said the recent rainfall washed away the dirt under the road.

He said there are abandoned coal mines under the village and the rest of the drain goes up by the post office.

In other business, Street Committee Chairman Al Vignon said R.T. Vernal Paving had a grader with a ripper available at $100 an hour and thought all the roads set for chip and sealing could be leveled out in one day, or for about $1,000.

“We could probably do all the roads on the list in a day,” Vignon said.

“If we’re not going to grade them down we might as well not chip and seal them.”

Councilman Herman Frank agreed, “We’re just throwing good money after bad” and Mayor Will Jones said that would be the way to do it right.

Jones said they needed to have R.T. Vernal do it close to the chip and seal program dates and council unanimously approved a resolution to grade the streets first.

Also, Council President Ramona Custer said the Ohio Department of Transportation would check the road sensors on the newly-installed traffic signal at state Route 14 and South County Road.

In other business, council looked at new water meters and Gudat said he would get quotes on others.

Also, Resident Joyce Waggle aired a water-bill issue regarding a rental property at 875 Washington St. that reached $893 despite efforts on her part and her husband’s to have the water shut off to three different tenants.

“We requested a shut-off,” she said, explaining the bill comes by them as landlords but “when we realized the bill was getting too high … and we needed to get a response to get it shut off.”

Fiscal Officer Dale Davis said he needed to “correct” that and Jones jumped in as the conversation heated up regarding whether messages were left or where they were left.

“When was a message left?” Jones asked, explaining he is the only one authorized to erase messages from the village answering machine.

Waggle said she “stopped in” when the bill reached $500.

“It never was shut off when the tenant left,” she said. “This has happened for three tenants in a row.”

An issue regarding steam heat was discussed and Jones believed the village ordinance calls for cutting service after 90 days of no payment.

Waggle said, “I just don’t believe these bills should get this high.”

Jones said, “We’ll take care of it” explaining this was the first water-bill issue for him since he became mayor.

He said, “No one left a message or I would have called back. I check the machine every two days or so.”

In other business, council will provide traffic control support for the May 26 Memorial Day Parade that will assemble at the plaza at 10 a.m.

The request was made by the VFW York Drexler Post #5532.

Jones said, “We’ll support it as we have every year in the past.”

Council also held a one-hour executive session to discuss personnel with no action taken.