ALL SMILES … Fayette Village Council members Rodney Kessler and Bryan Stambaugh flanked Mayor Dave Borer with happy faces while discussing the wonderfulness of a ten million dollar grant, at the October 27, 2021 council meeting. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Just one day after being congratulated by Governor Mike DeWine, in person, when he stopped by the Village of Fayette on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, Fayette Village Council met for the October 27 council meeting.
They did cover other business, but the joy over this incredible grant of $10,000,000 was palpable in the council chamber. Laughter and excitement were the tone over everything they did that night.
Following prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, Council approved the agenda for the meeting as well as the minutes for October 13, 2021 and for Public Works and Finance Committee on October 20, 2021.
In the Mayor’s report, Mayor Dave Borer dryly said, “I can’t even think of anything. Oh! Wait a minute, we got ten million dollars. Does that make anybody feel all warm and fuzzy?”
Amidst the laughter, they all indicated that they are thrilled. “It is a huge lift off our shoulders knowing this is actually going to get taken care of,” declared Council member Kimberlee Priestap, with Council member Rodney Kessler adding that it was like winning the lottery.
Next up was the Village Administrator’s Report and Genna Biddix continued the comments, saying that it seemed like that was all there was to talk about, but at the risk of driving it into the ground, “Yesterday was a great day!”
She passed on the link to the Governor’s website that details all the other projects awarded over that two day period. “As the Governor stated, the first round of water infrastructure grants announced awarded 93 million to 54 projects in 60 counties in Ohio.
Other regional award winners included Hicksville who received $1.3 million for a water main project, and the City of Bryan who received $2.1 million for a sanitary sewer project.” Mayor Borer added that out of all the awards, Fayette was the largest single village award. There was a county who also received $10 million but no other villages.
Biddix shared with council that her phone had been ringing constantly with congratulations. She also said that Fulton County Communications and Marketing Director, Lauren Lester, sent her the following information about the response on Social Media. “
Facebook statistics for October 26 were: Reached over 5,400; had over 1,700 clicks, 54 likes or hearts with some people liking each individual photo, 8 comments and 61 shares.”
On Instagram there was 1 comment and 34 likes and on Twitter it was viewed by 731, had 6 likes, 2 retweets and 79 total engagements with Twitter. Lester texted, “That’s really great traffic for us across all platforms. Fayette is getting noticed, Genna!”
The public can view the Governor’s speech on YouTube at the Fulton County Ohio Commissioners channel. “We can now look forward to the real work, getting project started and completed,” Biddix said.
She also shared that she thought, of all the well wishes received in the past 24 hours, this one, from former Mayor Anita VanZile, seemed the most appropriate to quote, “May we all have the patience and fortitude to get through some of the messiness that progress brings.”
Some discussion followed the approval of her report with Council member Dave Wheeler asking if they plan to “keep water lines off the sidewalks.” Bidix said they will do the work “lease intrusive as possible.”
She added that it will be a year of planning ahead and the Fall of 2022 is probably the best case scenario for a start date. They are also working on getting the rest of the funding for the $14 million dollar project.
Village Fiscal Officer Karin Sauerlender reported that she is working on the budget for 2022. Public Works and Finance Committee decided on the water ( 10% increase) and sewer (2.5 % increase) rates so council was scheduled to vote on approval of the First Reading of Ordinance 2021-12 Establishing Revised Water and Sewer Rates.
Council member Suzette Boesger commented that this still keeps the village rates below what the expected rates are in the state. “We are still trying to catch up slowly. We are so far behind where our rates should actually be, so we have been raising it in stages.”
When the vote came up for the ordinance, Council member Chris Meeker made a motion to table that ordinance for further discussion.
It was seconded and Council voted to table it until after the next Public Works meeting so they can have further discussion. They then approved the VFO report and to have the bills paid.
Mayor Borer shared with council that he had received a nomination form from Northwest State Community College. The form is to nominate someone in the six county area who should be given the “Making a Difference” Award.
Some of the recipients in the past were Erie Sauder, Dean Spangler and Judge Steve Bird. Amidst whole hearted agreement from council members, they all felt they should nominate Genna Biddix. She commented that she is an alumnus of NSCC.
There was no new business, old business, or “funny business” so council adjourned.
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