November 1, 2014

Free water line installations ending for Sims Township district

Snow tires approved for township police car

Posted

SIMS TWP. — The Sims Township Board unanimously decided to set an end date for the free water line installations in the 99-2 special assessment district at its January meeting after discussing the issue Nov. 20, at its first meeting after the election.

Trustee Rodney Francis said a project has been underway for 11 years to hook up all the properties in the 99-2 district to the township’s water system, free of charge to the residents aside from a special assessment in the area. However, no end date had ever been set for it, and he wanted to see it wound down and ended.

Francis proposed a $2,000 flat fee to connect properties to the water system after the program ends, and suggested January 1, 2014 as a good date to end the program. He added 2019 should be the absolute latest end date the board should consider, as the bonding program that funds it ends that year.

According to Clerk Wanda Boley, the 99-2 district encompasses a large portion of the township, from Bessinger Road to the point, and down Delano and Tonkey roads. It was set up initially for the water line installation special assessment, and everyone in that district pays on the assessment, which is $4,136, she said.

The assessment is collected per property owner, not per parcel as they usually are, Boley said, which means one person would pay the same amount regardless of how much property they own. Additionally, some were able to opt out of the program for reasons unclear to her.

Supervisor Robert Quackenbush suggested a 60-day period to get feedback from people in the community about when the program should be wound down, and Francis suggested getting the township attorney to give a legal opinion on the matter. The attorney’s office could also draft up a resolution capping the program, Francis said.

Boley said the original document that put the program in motion is little more than a handout. Francis said he did not believe it was ever properly approved by the township board, merely written up by a township office worker who interpreted the special assessment in a specific way.

“Nowhere else in the state does this thing exist,” Francis said.

The township board also approved the purchase and installation of two snow tires if needed for the Sims Township Police car.

Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Ochab, who serves as the township’s police officer, said the sheriff’s department has never used a Dodge Charger as a police vehicle before, and is unsure how well it will handle in winter conditions. As a result, he wanted approval to get the tires if the vehicle does not handle as well as he needs.

The cost of purchasing and installing the two tires is roughly $260.

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