Bethesda council hears analysis

BETHESDA- Larry Baxa, a representative from the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) attended Thursday night’s village council meeting to give a presentation analyzing the upcoming water system upgrade. During the project, 90% of Bethesda’s water lines will be replaced, along with hydrants, valves, and meters. The purpose of the report was to “analyze revenues and expenses of Bethesda’s water utility to determine if the rates and charges set by the village are sufficient to maintain the water system on a stable, financially sound basis”, Baxa wrote.

Baxa mentioned the current water loss issue; much of Bethesda’s water use goes unaccounted for, possibly due to old meters which can lose accuracy after 15-20 years. “You should see a significant decrease in your water that’s unaccounted for”, Baxa said, referring to after the meter replacement is complete. Baxa suggested that over the next two years, the village roll out rate increases. He proposed a 25% increase for the next year, followed by a 30% increase, and then an annual 3% increase for the following years. The annual increase will help to offset the costs of inflation. Baxa also recommended the council consider a “rate structure realignment” to make water bills easier to understand. Finally, Baxa gave an expenses report that detailed estimated costs for the next five years.

Police Chief Jeremy Campbell reported that he responded to a complaint on Water Tower Rd. about two men sitting in a car, one with a radar gun and the other with a handgun. Campbell wanted to clarify that one of the men was arrested not for attempting to enforce the speed limit, but for having a concealed handgun.

The next regular village council meeting will be Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.

Warner can be reached at