New Haven talks water upgrade project, sewer rates

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

NEW HAVEN — Questions arose once again on the upcoming water upgrade project, when the New Haven town council held its most recent meeting.

Ronnie Zerkle said he had heard that the council changed its scaled-down plan, going back to the original project with an estimated cost of $7.4 million.

Mayor Jerry Spradling said the town has a chance to obtain $1 million in debt forgiveness toward the project, if the council will commit to doing the entire project as first submitted. This would be in addition to the $849,000 in funding already secured.

Spradling also announced that an additional $2 million might be added to the project by the Army Corps of Engineers. Word of the possible funding came through Kathy Elliott of Region II Planning and Development, he said. The money will not be available, if granted, until the end of September.

The council was also questioned on when water rates would increase, and by how much. Recorder Roberta Hysell said the raise in rates would not come until the first of the year. The estimate for the average household using 3,400 gallons of water would be an additional $20 per month, based on the total $7.4 million project. Any grants and debt forgiveness would lower the increase on the bills.

The council held its second reading of an ordinance to increase sewer rates by 19 percent. The rates will go up as of June 1, and will generate approximately $70,693 in additional revenue yearly.

The average monthly bill will increase $6.96 for residential customers; $6.73 for commercial customers; $458.42 for industrial; and $751.26 for public authority. The increases shown are based on averages of all customers and may be more or less.

Four building permits were issued at the meeting, including Manning and Nikki Roe for a building; American Legion Post 140 for an open shelter; Benji and Cassie Manuel for a roof; and Councilman Matt Gregg for a building (Gregg abstained from the vote).

In other action, the council:

Heard a request from Jessica Rickard for help in getting the Department of Highways to fix holes on Layne Street;

Updated those attending on the progress of the basketball court, with the goal to have it completed in April;

Received a petition signed by 48 residents wanting Railroad Street opened to traffic, with the issue tabled;

Heard a request for a new street sign at George and First Street by Teddy Hoffert;

Received a thank-you from Roy Grimm for a street light, and note of thanks from Mr. and Mrs. Denver Gibbs for the donation of scrap materials that were used to construct a handrail at Union United Methodist Church;

Discussed property at 107 Sycamore Street, which the county health department has now deemed a health nuisance;

Agreed to repair a large door at the community building at a cost of $952;

Tabled the purchase of four tires for the garbage truck;

Agreed to place police officers at New Haven Elementary both before and after school to assist with people parking illegally in the handicapped spaces and fire lane;

Announced donations are still needed for the April 8 Easter egg hunt, set for noon at the ball field; and,

Announced a “Dancin’ Away the Winter Blues” glow-in-the-dark dance at the community building on April 7, 6 to 9 p.m., for grades K-9, with a $2 admission charge.

Attending were Mayor Spradling, Recorder Hysell, and council members Gregg, Grant Hysell, Matt Shell and Jim Elias.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at