WAYNESFIELD — Waynesfield Village Council members continue to move forward with bringing natural gas to the northeast Auglaize County community.
Councilors heard the second reading of an ordinance Monday allowing the mayor to enter an agreement with Fanning/Howey & Associates to move forward with design plans to bring natural gas to the community.
Councilors have several options to discuss as far as assessing the cost of the project and will spend the next several months considering all of those options. Two options are assessing property by amount of land or doing it by parcel. The option of assessing only developed lots was also discussed.
Village Administrator Fred Rowe told councilors at Monday’s council meeting that the village would do everything it could do to curb costs for residents who were unable to afford the assessments for conversion and tying into the line.
“There is possible CHIP (Community Housing Improvement Program) money to assist residents,” Rowe said. “There is a program for those 62 years of age and older to get assistance. We realize the hardest hurdle for everyone will be the initial costs.”
Councilor Bill Motter expressed concern that some people may not be able to afford the move to natural gas and that they may be forced to convert to something for which they did not want or could not pay. Very preliminary estimates have the costs per household at approximately $106.54, which includes assessment costs. However, depending on heating costs, that number still may be actually lower for some residents depending on the method they are using to heat their homes.
“You are never going to get 100 percent,” Fanning/Howey representative Craig Mescher said. “That’s what this board’s job is. It boils down to doing what you think is best for the village as a whole.”