City Commission discusses budget, sewer rates

By Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham -

GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis City Commission met Tuesday evening for a regular meeting where commissioners discussed the annual budget, ongoing projects and sewer rates.

During the meeting, City Manager Ted Lozier presented the proposed budget to city commissioners. Lozier said the department heads throughout the city put in requests for the yearly budget, which Lozier found to be “reasonable.” Lozier said there are no “big problems” with the budget, but the general fund will have to have “constraints.”

At the end of 2019, Lozier said approximately $8,000 was carried over from the general fund to the 2020 budget. This year, approximately $380,000 will be carried over from the general fund from 2020.

Lozier said the overall budget requests for the 2021 budget are approximately $10 million. The overall projected revenues for the year are $13.12 million. However, Lozier said the revenues were “precarious” to predict for the year due to the changes and situations in 2020.

Some of the projects on the proposed budget presented by Lozier include replacing a police cruiser; new equipment for the maintenance department, including a hot box, skid steer, replace leaf pick-up equipment; updates at the city pool, including replace pump and filter, roofing repairs, lighting, doors, etc.; replace PCs in the technology department; paddle watercraft launch ramps at the public use area; plan to partner with Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) for digital water and wastewater lines; new roof for the water plant as well as cleaning the contact tank and replace a heating and cooling unit for the building; and for the fire department, several self-contained breathing apparatuses need replaced and pagers need replaced.

Lozier asked the commissioners to think of other projects to create revenues or updates throughout the city.

Commissioner Cody Caldwell said the commission needs to think about options for healthcare due to the rising costs each year.

Commissioner Beau Sang suggested having a work session with Lozier and other commissioners to discuss ideas.

In his report to the commissioners, Lozier said the city received the black-headed vulture decoy from the USDA as part of the program to try to get the vultures to leave the pool area. The decoy, which represents a dead vulture, is to be hung in the area and should discourage the vultures from roosting in the area.

Commissioners Sang and Mike Fulks were reappointed to the Volunteer Fireman’s Dependent Fund, which only meets if there is a loss of a firefighter.

From the city auditors recommendation, commissioners passed an emergency ordinance to increase the sewer rates by six percent and freeze the water rates. Commissioners passed the ordinance during 2020 also. In the auditors report about the details of the ordinance, residents should save a few cents each month by increasing the sewer rate rather than the water rate.

All commissioners, including Cody Caldwell, Tony Gallagher, Mike Fulks, Mike Brown and Beau Sang, were present for the meeting.

The next meeting for the Gallia County Commissioners is scheduled for March 16 at 6 p.m.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were unanimous.

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham

Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.

Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.