New Carlisle City Council passed an ordinance Monday evening raising water rates each year for the next four years.
The action was taken partly to pay for repairs to the Scarff Rd. water tower which has not seen any maintenance in over 30 years.
The ordinance sets rates at $8.74 per thousand gallons beginning January 15, 2018; $10.05 per thousand gallons beginning January 15, 2019, $10.25 per thousand gallons beginning January 15, 2020 and $10.46 per thousand gallons beginning January 15, 2021.
The ordinance passed unanimously.
Council also discussed an additional levy for the Fire Department.
“Our average pay for firefighters and medics is lower than other departments in our area. Currently, New Carlisle pays $11.42 per hour for basic firefighters, $11.75 for advanced and $12.69 for Medics. The average pay is $12.75 for basic, $13.44 for advanced and $15.12 for Medics.
The city used pay scales from Bethel Twp, German Twp., Mad River-Enon, Moorefield Twp., Pike Twp., Springfield Twp. and Bethel Miami in figuring their averages. New Carlisle pays the least of any of those townships.
“We have trouble competing with other departments and with private ambulance services,” said Fire Chief Steve Trusty.
Trusty also said that the department will need a new Medic soon and will need a new engine within three years.
“Our engine will soon be 20 years old,” said Trusty.
A new Medic unit was priced at $225,000 and a new engine was priced at $400,000.
“The glory days of being a firefighter are over,” said Trusty explaining his difficulty in attracting new recruits. He said that Fairborn advertised for firefighters recently. “They would normally get 250 applicants. They got 30,” he said.
Council then introduced an ordinance to place a 3.0 mill additional levy on the May ballot. The ordinance would begin in the tax year 2018. A public hearing and action on that ordinance will take place at the January 2, 2018 council meeting.
City Service Director Howard Kitko told the city’s procedure for snow removal in response to requests from the community.
“We consider plowing at a minimum of 2 inches of snowfall,” said Kitko, “however we typically start plowing at 4 inches.” He said that the state routes get first priority, then main arterials, hills and main school bus routes.
Police Administrator Sgt. Ralph Underwood was late for the meeting. As soon as he arrived in town, there was a call regarding a suspicious person at the City Building looking in cars with a flashlight. Underwood responded with other units, but the person was not located.
Underwood reminded council that most thefts are done by taking items from unlocked cars. “Please lock your car and do not leave anything in plain sight for someone to take,” he said. He also reminded residents to call the Sheriff’s office at 328-2560 if you see a suspicious person.
The next meeting of the New Carlisle City Council will be on January 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Smith Park Shelter House. The public is invited to attend.