Thursday, July 30, 2015

Village Council to hear proposal


Published in Johnstown Independent by ThisWeek News
Published in print on Sunday July 26

At the next regular Johnstown village council meeting, Finance Director Dana Steffan will present to council a potential ballot issue about a community choice aggregation policy with the Powell-based company Aspen Energy.
Passing it could allow the village to save up to $15,000 and changes would be implemented as early as February if the issue were approved.
Steffan said at the regular July 21 Johnstown council meeting there’s no real risk with the issue and that even if it passes, community members are under no obligation to join.
At the June 2 meeting the council heard a presentation by Jay Sell from Aspen Energy explaining how aggregation could help residents get a better utility rate on electricity or gas by pooling resources together and negotiating with wholesalers. 
Sell said that more than 300 communities in Ohio have already gone through the community aggregation process with Aspen Energy. 


Additionally, the village police department received a $2,000 donation from resident Joyce Evans to buy four body cameras. 
“I knew they were understaffed and I wanted to help. This was one way to keep them a little safer,” she said at the meeting when she was recognized with a certificate of appreciation. 
Police Chief Don Corbin said the cameras are a very positive step because it’s important to “stay ahead of the curve.” 
However, he did point out the department has seven officers so the cameras are shared among them. They hope to get additional cameras soon.  


Also, the village’s 20-year-old street sweeper is back in action after several months of being out of service. 
A local welder fixed a lot of the holes and made the necessary repairs to get the vacuum part of the machine operational again. 
Service Director Jack Liggett said that while the streetsweeper is now working, it is still old. 
“A lot of the metal is fatigued, making it hard to use. It’s a tough piece of equipment but it does a tough job,” he said. “If we’re going to clean the streets, we seriously need to consider a new piece of equipment.”


As for construction on Concord Road, CenturyLink was on site July 21, relocating their utilities. Columbia Gas has already finished the relocation their utilities. AEP is struggling to receive approval for easements for the relocation of their utilities. They may have to move their overhead power lines closer to the sidewalk. 

They also voted to approve purchasing 350 tons of rock salt from ODOT. 

Council members Cheryl Robertson and Bill Van Gundy were not in attendance. 

The next regular council meeting is Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. at 599 S. Main St.