The Village of Jeffersonville’s Board of Public Affairs (BOPA) was abolished at the start of 2018 and a village administrator position was created to replace the board, according to village mayor Bob Kinzer.
Jeffersonville’s BOPA was comprised of three salaried members — Johnnie Bobbitt, Kenny Roush, and Janet McCarty.
Kinzer said that under Ohio Revised Code law, once a board of public affairs is dissolved, a village administrator position must be established to carry on the duties that the board had, including overseeing the water utilities.
Kinzer nominated former village service director Bryan Riley for the new village administrator position.
“Since Bryan (Riley) was already the service director, it seemed natural that he would become village administrator,” said Kinzer in a recent interview.
Jeffersonville’s village council approved the decision Dec. 27 after a third and final reading of the new ordinance.
The vacated service director position will not be filled. The duties of the service director and the board of public affairs are now consolidated into the village administrator’s powers.
Riley said the decision to end the village’s BOPA was a financial decision to save the village money in the long run.
BOPA worked to make decisions for the village’s water utilities, and assuming those responsibilities as village administrator, Riley said he is busy working on new plans for the village’s water system.
Kinzer and Riley said the plan is to replace the filtration system at the water plant this year.
“Our existing filtration system is 28-years-old and they have a lifespan of about 30 years, so we put in for a new system. The contractor is GGC Engineers in Gahanna, Ohio, to look at the system we have now,” said Kinzer.
Kinzer and Riley said the village will apply for grant funding to help pay for the filtration system replacement, a project that they expect to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $800,000 to $900,000.
The project has not been put out for bids yet, said Kinzer.
“Once it’s put out for bid and they come back with bids, Riley and I will go through it and see what part of it can be done in-house, but it’s going to require extensive contracting because of the nature of it,” said Kinzer.
Kinzer said the village hopes to have the water filtration system replacement completed by the fall of 2018.
The filtration system removes iron and manganese from the water, said Riley. Riley added that the village water is chlorinated to kill bacteria that may be present in the water.
About 1,200 residences in the village and all of the businesses in Jeffersonville depend on the water system, said Kinzer.
“The new water system will be installed, the piping will be ran, and we’re still going to be using the old one. When we turn on the new one, hopefully in the fall of 2018, we have to switch it over in the same day,” said Kinzer.
But, Riley said, service customers should not notice a change in their water services.
In addition to the water system filtration replacement, Kinzer and Riley said the village is working on a water meter project this year. The existing water meters in the village are coming to the end of their 10-year life cycle, said Kinzer.
“They’re operated by a battery system and we go around and take a hand-held, and it reads it,” said Kinzer. “We have about 50 that don’t work, we have to read them manually, which takes extra time. The system will be replaced and we will begin this summer. We have two years to finish the project but we’re hoping to get it completed this summer,” said Kinzer. “What’s so good about this, we don’t have to go out and read the meters. It will be coming into the office through cellular communication.”
Kinzer said that the technology can also detect leaks and issue a red flag to the village if someone is using excess water or if water pressure has been lost. A field technician will still have to go out to homes to inspect suspected leaks, such as in the cases of a water line break, said Kinzer, but added that the new water meter system will allow leaks to be detected and responded to much more quickly and efficiently.
Kinzer said the full price of the water meter replacement is about $110,000, and the village is using a $72,000 Community Development Block Grant grant to offset the cost of replacing the water meters. Jay Myers at the Fayette County Building Department assisted the village in applying for the grant, said Riley.
Contact Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton and sending a message.