Funding a mandate: Buckland residents to pay sewer fees

Residents in Buckland will soon begin paying a new assessment to help fund a mandate from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Buckland councilors on Thursday night held the third and final reading of an ordinance that would establish sewer rates for an expansive sewer project being mandated by the EPA.

Each residential and commercial dwelling is to pay a $60 fee per quarter, or $20 per month, to help fund an expansive sewer project planned for the village. The new fee became necessary after the EPA ruled early last year that the village had to improve its sewer system to meet state regulations.

The village already has secured much of the funding needed for the project, including a $1.3 million principal forgiveness grant awarded in February.

Another $350,000 could be available in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money, along

with $100,000 to aid qualifying low income residents. As much as $350,000 more also could be available if time restraints are met.

However, village council members said

assessments still had to be made to meet the costs.

“No one likes it, but the community has been pretty understanding,” said Buckland Mayor Dan Lambert. “Most people understand it was necessary with the EPA mandate.”

In other business, the second reading of an ordinance banning wind turbines within village limits also was heard by council.

The ordinance is a duplicate of an existing ordinance passed in St. Henry.

Turbines have become a hot topic in the area after U.S. Mainstream Renewable Power Inc., headquartered in Chicago, announced it was looking at potentially 60 to 70 sites in Ohio for a wind farm, and focusing on an area that includes large portions of Duchouquet, Logan and Moulton Townships in Auglaize County, as well as small parts of Noble Township in Auglaize County and Shawnee Township in Allen County. The proposal has been met with strong rejection from several residents.

“We want to get this passed so we don’t have to deal with things within village limits,” Lambert said. “It is a safety issue.”

Council members also discussed the possibility of a dangerous dog ordinance.

They decided to discuss the ordinance after a pit bull recently left its property and went after Buckland Police Chief Randy Trayer. The dog did not bite Trayer, but its aggressive behavior was enough for the dog’s owner to be served with a nuisance dog notification under new state guidelines.

Auglaize County Dog Warden Russ Bailey said the owner has been served with a notification. A second notification would result in the dog being classified as a dangerous dog.