The first regular Washington C.H. City Council meeting of the month was held in the council chambers of 105 N. Main Street on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The invocation for this meeting was led by council member, Ted Hawk and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by council member Kendra Redd-Hernandez.
The attendees of the meeting included City Manager Joe Denen, Kelley Ford, clerk of council, Mark Pitstick, city attorney, and the following council members: Redd-Hernandez, Steve Shiltz, Jim Blair, Jim Chrisman, Hawk, and Dale Lynch.
Council member Caleb Johnson was absent from the meeting.
Multiple Washington Court House High School students showed up to earn extra credit points for their government class — two of which were grandchildren of two council members.
To begin the meeting, the council reviewed what was discussed at the Economic Strategies and Cooperation Meeting as well as what was discussed at the Finance and Personnel Meeting, both held on Aug. 24.
Denen followed with the City Manager’s report.
He started off by mentioning the Scarecrow Festival that was held over the weekend and all the hard work that went on behind the scenes.
“I would like to sincerely thank the members of the Scarecrow Committee and in particular Kelley Ford and Mekia Rhoades for the effort that they put into this year’s festival. I would also like to thank Debbie Bryant and the United Way for the 5k/10k walk/run that she puts together. There’s a lot of work that goes into that and she does it tremendously,” Denen said.
Denen then went on to mention the paving and road work being done within the city. “We apologize for any inconvenience with the Columbus Avenue paving. We’re doing a lot of full depth repair and citizens should have a lovely, smooth surface for many years to come. We also ask for folks’ cooperation with the traffic control directions that they’re given. We ask everyone to pay extra attention for the safety of the construction workers and to allow the project to move along as smoothly as possible.”
Finally, the last part of Denen’s report discussed the electric aggregation that the city has to offer. “The city rate is good through March 24 and that rate is 0.04579. You can always talk to me about it or you can call Energy Harbor directly at 888.254.6359.”
“Residents would’ve also received a recent letter, that is quite honestly, a bit confusing, about the Natural Gas Aggregation. In the past, we have always fixed the rate for the heating season so that people could have an easy number that they could identify with and understand. With speculation in the energy market, fixing the rate for the winter this year was incredibly expensive. So, it will be a variable rate for this winter. The letter explains how that is calculated which is also a bit complex. All it is saying is the rate will fluctuate with the market price for natural gas through the winter months,” he said.
Denen also made clear the alternative options available for citizens.
“If residents have a fixed rate option that they want to take from another supplier that they are comfortable with, they are more than welcome to do that. If they want to come back to the city program later on, they can do that as well. If residents choose to take a private offer, they need to pay attention and make sure that there is no early termination fee and understand what an early termination fee is. They also need to be aware of how long the attractive rate is. Sometimes, it’s only for a fixed number of billing cycles.”
“If you join Energy Harbor, you must be in for one billing cycle before you can leave. Also, when we move somebody over, that change won’t occur until the next billing cycle,” concluded Denen.
Continuing the meeting, Godwin Apaliyah, Fayette County Economic Development Director, presented a new Broadband Connectivity project to the council as well as an invitation to an interactive lunch for a select number of businesses from the community.
The meeting concluded with comments from all of the council members before dismissal.
The next city council meeting will be held on Sept. 28 in the City Council Chambers at 7:30 p.m.