Councilmen attended Monday’s virtual meeting from their homes. All were present as well as Law Director Andy Knueve, Auditor Adam Kayser and Water Superintendent Harry Hodgson. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Councilmen attended Monday’s virtual meeting from their homes. All were present as well as Law Director Andy Knueve, Auditor Adam Kayser and Water Superintendent Harry Hodgson. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
DELPHOS — Delphos residents will get a reprieve from the annual Consumer Price Index increase on water and sewer charges. City council voted the measure down 6-1 after it was brought back from the table at Monday’s virtual meeting.

Councilman Jeff Klausing had the only “yes” vote.

Councilmen and other elected officials, including Law Director Andy Knueve and Auditor Adam Kayser, attended the meeting from their homes on their computers to follow Governor Mike DeWine’s order for no more than 10 people to gather in a room. Council President Nichole Coil, Safety Service Director Shane Coleman and Council Clerk Sherryl George were at the city building.

Two other measures were brought from the table: the Marion Township and Washington Township fire and EMS agreements. Councilman Mark Clement had asked the ordinances be tabled at the last meeting on March 2 due to several councilmen being absent.

“I have talked with Shane leading up to this meeting and he has assured me that township residents outside the city are paying closer to what city residents pay than they ever have and so I’m glad we could work this out with the townships to have a fairer deal,” Clement said.

Five-year agreements were approved. Marion Township will be assessed $64,190 for 2020 increasing approximately 2-percent per year after. Washington Township, with a comparatively smaller coverage requirement, is at $36,540 for 2020, increasing to $39,552 by 2024.

Safety Service Director Shane Coleman announced changes with the city since the COVID-19 outbreak.

“There are days where this consumes almost all our time,” Coleman began. “Our facilities are all closed to the public except for mail and package delivery. Personnel can be reached by phone and email. We are implementing split shifts in the Water, Wastewater, Maintenance and Parks departments to spread out our employees and keep contact to a minimum.”

All EMS personnel are wearing long sleeves, gloves and masks. Coleman said several people are under self-quarantine in that department.

“We really need to safeguard our employees. One or two missing would have a huge impact on our operations,” Coleman added.

Utility bill payments can be put in the drop box, mailed or done online. Coleman said he is working with Jet Pay to eliminate the fee for online payments and the city will not charge the 10-percent late fee in April or May for tardy payments.

The city parks are open for all to enjoy, however, the playgrounds are taped off and should be avoided.

Coleman also said he is hoping the state government looks at the income tax file date and moves it to coincide with the federal government’s decree to move theirs to July 15.

“We follow what the state does so I’m hoping they will move that date,” he added.

Coleman said he is putting street maintenance proposals on hold as long as possible due to COVID-19. The Pierce Street project has already gone out for bid. Several blocks of Pierce Street will see new pavement this spring. Shinn Bros. Inc., was the successful bidder for the Fiscal Year 18 Community Development Block Grant Pierce Street Pavement Improvement Project at $165,000. Pierce Street will be paved from Third Street south to the CSX railroad tracks including curbing and ramps. The cost of the project came in $10,000 lower than previously expected. The city’s share is $40,000.

The Big Item Pickup is set for 8 a.m. to noon on April 4 in the parking lot across from the city building. Users will need proof of residence.