Leipsic Tree City - Putnam Sentinel
Councilor Rick Recker helps Miriam Gibson display Leipsic's Tree City flag, awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn Griffis)

LEIPSIC — The fast approaching reality of a waterline linking the Village of Leipsic to the Blanchard River was discussed during Monday’s meeting of the Leipsic Village Council.

Last year, Leipsic administrators negotiated a deal with the Village of Gilboa allowing for the tapping of much-needed raw water for industries within Leipsic village limits. On Monday, council heard the first readings of resolutions for the construction of the waterline and a pump station. The legislation dealt specifically with bids for both construction projects, including a bid of just over $4 million for the pump station, submitted by Kirk Brothers Construction, and just over $4.7 million for the construction of the waterline, submitted by Underground Utilities, Inc.

“We’re really comfortable with the bids,” Village Administrator Justin Barnhart said, later remarking that initial cost projections for the project exceeded $14 million. With anticipated engineering costs of $1 million, the total combined estimated cost of less than $10 million creates what Barnhart described as a “government wins” scenario.

Richard Kirk, a principal of Kirk Brothers Construction, was on hand to address questions posed by council, including how soon the project could start and when it will finish.

With the caveat that contracts will have to be in hand sooner rather than later, Kirk said, “A bunch of the work will get done this fall,” and anticipated a completion date of March 30, 2019.

Barnhart advised council that to achieve those start and finish dates, resolutions for both projects would likely be presented at its next meeting under an emergency basis.

Council also heard from Miriam Gibson, a member of the village’s Tree Commission. Gibson displayed both a flag and a plaque recognizing Leipsic’s Tree City designation by the Arbor Day Foundation. She informed council this year’s Tree City designation is the village’s 37th such and that Leipsic’s commitment to trees reaches back to July of 1897, when Leipsic first enacted a tree resolution.

“I think that’s something we should all be very proud of,” Gibson told council.

In other business, council:

• heard the third reading and passed a resolution contracting with the Putnam County YMCA for management of the village’s municipal pool through the 2018 season.

• approved a request by Barnhart for the hiring of a seasonal, part-time employee.

• approved a request by Nate Mangas, a Leipsic resident who owns a landscaping business, for access to the village’s truck tap. Council also approved a similar request put forward by Norfolk Southern Railway.

• approved a request by Pastor Jerry Meyer, Break Through Harvest Church, for the use of the village’s Buckeye Park on Sunday, July 8 from 4 to 9 p.m. for an open-to-the-public entertainment event.

• approved an ordinance increasing the maximum amount of water the village will donate to the Leipsic High School football field.

• heard the first readings of two resolutions requesting a determination of total current tax valuation from the Putnam County Auditor. The requests are tied to a 2.6 mill renewal levy for street lights and a 2 mill fire renewal levy under consideration for the November ballot.

Finally, council entered into executive session to discuss contracts and land purchases. No action was taken.

The next regular meeting of the Leipsic Village Council is scheduled for Monday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the village offices.