WELLSVILLE - Wellsville Village Council members voted to formally adopt an increase in sewerage rates for village homeowners during a brief meeting held Tuesday evening in council chambers.
Sewerage rates are extrapolated from the amount of water used by a household. The existing charge has been $21.07 for the first 3,000 used gallons per month, with a rate of $6.19 per thousand for all usage over 3,000 gallons. Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, the charge will be $20.07 for the first 2,000 gallons used per month, with a rate of $7.50 per thousand for all usage over 2,000 gallons.
During his report to council, village administrator Thom Edgell requested a meeting with the village Property Committee to discuss meeting the costs of modifications to the village holiday lighting system, which has been requested by AEP Ohio. Edgell also reiterated a previous request for the purchase of automated external defibrillator units. He touched upon the recent death of a friend, most likely from a heart attack, and stated that in a similar scenario inside the village hall, people attending to the victim wouldn't have the equipment on hand to save the person's life.
"I'm afraid that that will happen one evening at council, or in the middle of an afternoon, someone will come in to pay a sewerage bill, and have a heart attack," Edgell said. Although knowledge of CPR is valuable in such an instance, he said the presence of an AED unit in the village hall, the fire station, village garage and in the police cruisers could provide a much greater chance for the victim of a heart attack or other cardiac arrest to survive.
During her report, councilwoman Rosie Goss read a passage about the biblical story of Zacchaeus, a formerly corrupt tax collector, who mended his ways after hearing the teachings of Jesus. She related it to the theft of a pair of gingerbread Christmas decorations from Broadway Avenue on Nov. 23 and her hopes that those
responsible for the theft would also make amends and return the decorations.
Goss admits she believes that they are now gone for good, but said that her disappointment has been salved by another story: Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Like the residents of Whoville, she said that having these items stolen shouldn't dampen the town's Christmas spirit. "We're good people, we have good hearts," she said, and added that next year's display will be better, and perhaps more theft-proof, than this year.
Wellsville Police Chief Joe Scarabino thanked village Mayor Susan Haugh for the support of her office throughout the year. He also addressed previously-voiced suggestions by council member Diane Dinch, chair of the finance committee, to curb spending whenever possible. Scarabino said that his officers had pursued numerous felony cases to the grand-jury level this year and that his department had done the best it could to balance those priorities within the budget.
Scarabino also shared holiday shopping safety tips, particularly for women, including "buddy shopping" with a friend or family member rather than alone. He said that, if a person is ever threatened in a store parking lot, they could use their car alarm to call for help, or in a worst-case scenario, use a car key as a weapon. Scarabino also urged shoppers to never leave gift items inside a car where they are visible and vulnerable to a determined thief.
In other business:
* Mayor Haugh reminded attendees that the village Light-Up Night ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Thursday at the Fourth Street Gazebo, with the annual Christmas Parade set for 6 p.m. on Saturday. In addition, the Christmas for the Animals event at the Gazebo will be held at 12:30 p.m., Dec. 16.
* Councilman Don Brown renewed warnings for owners of nuisance properties to clean them up, or else face charges and be brought before the village magistrate.