CONNEAUT – Work is progressing on Conneaut’s 2022 budget, with discussions on the city’s capital projects continuing in a working session ahead of Monday night’s regular meeting.
City Manager Jim Hockaday discussed potential options for a new generator for City Hall.
Hockaday said the existing generator in the building powers the dispatch center, the fire department and a number of selected outlets throughout the building. The current generator is reaching end of life, Hockaday said.
One option is a diesel generator larger than the current model, which would cost $ 205,000. The second option is a smaller generator with a capacitor bank that would provide uninterrupted power to the building. It would cost $ 345,000 and use natural gas instead of diesel.
Both options would solve the problem of parts of town hall that don’t have back-up power, which is part of the reason the price is so high, Hockaday said.
“These are two very different proposals,” Hockaday said. “One is a fairly advanced proposal that would also protect our electronic equipment and other critical components.” The capacitors would ensure that town hall electronics are not damaged by outside power issues, Hockaday said.
Council Chairman Jon Arcaro asked Hockaday to get a quote for a generator that runs on natural gas without the capacitors. Hockaday said a generator large enough to power the building without the capacitors would require a larger natural gas line to be installed to serve it.
“The biggest problem we have to solve is that when the power goes out, this building has to be able to function,” Hockaday said. “And every office has to be able to function. Not just the privileged few. “
Council also discussed the cost of purchasing a new street sweeper. Previously, Hockaday had said he was looking for a better trade-in value for the city street sweeper. He said he was unable to get another quote and suggested budgeting $ 295,000 for the purchase of a new street sweeper.
The current street sweeper is insufficient for the city’s needs, Hockaday said.
In other cases:
• In a meeting after the working session, second ward councilor Terry Moisio proposed to file an ordinance that would reduce the amount of credit given to people who reside in Conneaut but pay income tax in the city. other regions.
The city has an income tax of 1.65%, and currently anyone who pays income tax to another city receives a credit of up to the full amount. The proposed order would cut that credit in half.
Conneaut’s chief financial officer, John Williams, estimated the move would raise around $ 200,000, which would go to the city’s public works department.
During a working session before the event, Moisio said he had heard a number of complaints since the announcement of the order. He cited the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation among his reasons for not wanting the measure passed now. “I’m not completely against it, I just don’t think it’s the right time,” Moisio said. “I would like to see us review this in a few more months. Let’s see where we are with everything, and take it one step at a time.
Third Ward Councilor Joe Emery supported Moisio’s motion to file the ordinance and said during the working session that he agreed with Moisio’s concerns.
“I don’t think this is the time, with inflation rising,” Emery said. “I agree that we need the money, but at the same time, I think it’s short-sighted.”
Moisio and Emery were the only two votes in favor of filing the ordinance.
During the working session, General Councilor Nick Perkoski said that the decrease in the staff of the city’s public works department is reflected in the quality of the roads in Conneaut.
Council Chairman Jon Arcaro said he believed the ordinance was a fair solution. “But obviously everyone vote your conscience,” Arcaro said.
Moisio suggested getting people to vote on the issue or creating an additional tax. “It’s a failure of the tax code,” he said.
The ordinance could be voted on at a meeting later this month.
• The city received a grant of $ 198,000 from the State of Ohio to replace a sewer line under the tracks on Buffalo Street. The grant will be used to finance the construction of the project. The city will have to bear the engineering costs of the project. The line is not in good condition, Hockaday said.
“It allows us to do more,” Hockaday said. “We have a lot of needs in the areas of water and sewage. Anytime we can offset those costs to residents directly and keep getting things done, then that’s our goal. “