Water lines focus in Toronto

TORONTO – City water line breaks and replacement of water lines were discussed during Monday’s City Council meeting.

Mayor John Geddis told council city that crews had to deal with two water line breaks on city streets during the past weekend.

“We’ve had some seriously bad weather,” said the mayor, adding crews repaired two water line breaks on Federal Street and Wentworth Avenue during the weekend. “The (city crews) were out for eight or nine hours for both. They could hardly stand up after that. The guys worked diligently. These were two streets with water lines scheduled to be replaced. We hope to begin (replacing water lines) by April 1.”

The water line replacement project will be citywide with an emphasis on areas with frequent breaks, the mayor said previously. Geddis also has said funding for the project would come from a variety of grant sources as well as a low-interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Geddis said during Monday’s meeting he still is pursuing more grant funding for the project.

He said antiquated water lines were more apt to break in the winter due to the frequent ground freezing and thawing, eventually rupturing pipes due to the stress. The lines will be replaced with plastic pipe, which is more flexible, said Geddis.

“We’ve been working on the funding,” said the mayor, adding the OEPA already has approved the project. “Hopefully we can resolve the (funding) by the end of this week.”

Geddis said the project would be out for bid for at least three weeks.

“We hope to wrap up the project by October or November before the end of the construction season,” he noted.

Geddis added the project also would stabilize water pressure throughout the city.

In other matters:

Council approved a resolution allowing Geddis to seek a Natureworks grant for improvements at War Memorial Park.

“There are some things we need to do at the pool,” said the mayor, adding the city’s portion would be 25 percent of the matching grant.

Council voted to keep 2nd Ward Councilman Dorothy Blaner as the city representative for the TEMS Joint Ambulance District Board. Blaner also acted as council president in the absence of Tom Thomas during the meeting.

Council voted to approve an increase in salary for city patrolman Jared Rock as stipulated in the police union’s contract with the city.

Rock was granted the increase after serving in his position for one year.

There will be a meeting of the finance committee at 6:30 p.m. Monday, followed by a service committee meeting at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings will be in council chambers.