Lisbon extending water cutoff ban another month
LISBON — While the governor has lifted the temporary ban on shutting off water to customers who fall behind on their bills, the village Board of Public Affairs intends to extend it another month before resuming normal delinquent collection practices.
BPA chairman Bill Hoover said they made the decision at this week’s meeting after learning Gov. Mike DeWine lifted the shut-off ban he enacted in March in response to the coronavirus. The ban will expire July 10, but he said Lisbon’s ban will remain in effect for their customers until Aug. 10.
“We want to give them a chance to bring their accounts up to date or come into the office and make arrangements to make payments,” Hoover said. “If people are in dire straits we’re willing to work with them.”
There are about 100 of the village’s 1,200 residential water customers currently delinquent on their bills, which is about four times the normal delinquency rate. The bi-monthly bill for the average household of four is $84.
In other news, Hoover said the BPA voted to proceed with replacing all water meters with new devices that can be read remotely, with the engineering firm being used by the BPA authorized to prepare bids.
The cost is an estimated $550,000, which will be paid with a loan obtained by the village. The loan will be repaid with a $2.50 monthly fee added to customer bills in 2017 for that specific purpose.
The original plan was for the village to use the fee money to replace meters in a piecemeal manner as the pot of money generated by the fee grew.
“We tried to do it a little bit at a time and it didn’t work. So we’re going to do it all at once,” Hoover said.
Finally, long-time BPA office clerk Hazel White announced she is retiring a year from now after 25 years with the department. The part-time assistant clerk does not want the job, so the BPA will be looking for a replacement.,
Hoover said they intend to have someone in place within the next several months so White will have sufficient time to train her replacement. White has enough unused sick and vacation time that she will likely be done by February.