Reynoldsburg News

Long eyes partnerships for city water conservation


City residents will have to pay an additional fee for water use if a proposal now before Reynoldsburg City Council goes into effect, but they might be able to recoup some money if they buy water-saving faucets and other devices.

Councilman Chris Long said during the Feb. 4 finance committee meeting he is working with local business partners to create a water conservation project.

"If our CIP (capital improvement project) fee ordinance goes into effect, residents may provide a water bill to get a discount when they are purchasing a water-saving device," Long said.

Council heard the first reading of the CIP water fee ordinance on Jan. 28; a second reading is scheduled at the Feb. 11 meeting.

If approved, the ordinance would authorize the city to charge a fee of $1 per 1,000 gallons of water usage and 50 cents per 1,000 gallons of sewer usage to water bills.

The additional money would be used to repair broken and damaged water lines.

Service Director Nathan Burd and Water Superintendent Mike Root explained the CIP fee to council members during the Jan. 22 service committee meeting. Burd said the CIP fee would generate about $1.3 million per year to replace broken water lines.

He said an estimated $1.68 million worth of water purchased from the city of Columbus is projected to be unused in 2013 because of to water line loss.

Council members asked Root and Burd to consider a way to give senior citizens a discount on their water bills, but Root said since Reynoldsburg purchases water from the city of Columbus, other residents would have to subsidize any senior citizen discount.

Long said the proposed water conservation project would be a way to give all residents, not just senior citizens, at least a small discount on the purchase of water-saving devices.

"The project will also give us an opportunity to partner with other organizations and companies in the city," he said.

The Feb. 11 council meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Reynoldsburg City Hall, 7232 E. Main St.

In other business Feb. 4, Councilman Mel Clemens said during the service committee meeting that he supports an amendment to a city ordinance that would remove daycare centers from the permitted uses list in designated areas along East Main Street.

"I've spoken with the zoning officer and the city attorney," he said. "The amendment would remove from the permitted list any daycare centers in the community overlay and historical areas of East Main Street, mainly for safety's sake, because of traffic concerns on East Main Street."

Clemens said the amendment would not affect any current daycare centers in the city.

Council denied a request in January from Angela McClendon Hill and Kendall Hill for a special exception use permit for a proposed daycare center at 6800 E. Main St.

Clemens said in November that he had walked around the proposed site of the daycare center but did not think it had adequate parking for people who would work there or who would be picking up children. Action on the ordinance that would have allowed the daycare center was tabled until the applicants could attend a council meeting and answer questions, but they not show up at either of the next two meetings, so council members rejected the ordinance after three readings.