Coshocton City Council calls special meeting

| February 23, 2016

COSHOCTON – Water rates were again a hot topic at the Coshocton City Council meeting.

Resident Dan Ford had more questions for city council members since their last meeting and brought them up during the Feb. 22 meeting. He wanted to know if the water department had cut back on chemicals and why his water bill was as much every month as it was when residents were billed three months at a time. Most of all, he wanted to know why raises were given out when the city knew it was headed for troubled times with WestRock closing.

Utilities Director Dave McVay assured Ford that the water department has cut back as far as they can and Ford also was told that the water department would be more than happy to go over his water bill with him. As for the raises, City Auditor Sherry Kirkpatrick explained that department head raises were given before the city knew about WestRock and the only ones given out after that were to elected officials.

“Not one elected official is paid out of the water fund and the other raises were effective Aug. 1 and we didn’t know about WestRock until October or November,” Kirkpatrick said.

Ford said he’d been hearing a lot of rumors and appreciated everyone’s explanations and felt better informed.

“One reason we encourage the public to attend these meetings is so they can get information straight from department heads,” said Council President Cliff Biggers.

Ordinance 5-16, an ordinance amending ordinance 3-14 water rates for the City of Coshocton customers effective March 1 was given a second reading at the meeting.

McVay had hoped that it would be given a third reading at the meeting so the water dept. didn’t risk losing any more money, but that did not occur.

“We promised the public that we would have three normal council meetings for this,” said Councilman Tom Grier. “Let’s not rush this.”

Council agreed to have a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, in council chambers for the final reading of ordinance 5-16. The public was once again encouraged to attend and voice their opinions about the proposed water rate increase.

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I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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