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City Council hears reason for high gas rates

February 14, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Canfield City Council got first-hand reasons why so many city residents have been charged a higher rate for gas than they should have for January. A representative from the utility brokerage firm spoke at the Feb. 6 meeting.

"A new computer system affected billing in five states," said Tom Bellish from Buckeye Energy Brokers. "For some reason, 410 city residents were not put in the system on the correct rate."

He said the problem was found and those residents affected will be getting a letter explaining what happened along with a reimbursement for the overcharge. The letters are supposed to go out over the next two to four weeks.

He said the current rate gas customers in the city are charged will remain in effect until the end of April. At that time, a new negotiation for the following 12 months will be discussed and worked out.

Following Bellish's presentation, council voted 3-0 to waive a penalty for Boak and Sons, which is working on the formerly abandoned home at 253 Fairview Ave. A permit had expired and the company was replacing some damaged parts of the house, not knowing they needed another permit to handle replacements.

Speaking during public forum was Sarah Easton from Glenview Drive. She again complained of flooding along the creek, blaming the Broker's bridge as the culprit. She said the bridge causes water to back up and flood her property. She presented photos from the May 2011 flood that brought 22 inches of water on her back porch and seven inches inside her home. She wanted new Councilman John Morvay to be made aware of the situation.

"Either the bridge has to go or a retention pond needs to go in," she told council.

Morvay said there was nowhere up stream to fit a detention pond, and even if there were, one would cost $500,000 that the city don't have.

Councilman Steve Rogers said the city will have a new engineer this year and that he would be looking at the area to review the problem.

Council President Dan Frazzini said engineering did drop the ball when the new high school was built by not considering flooding down stream.

In other business:

Morvay reported the Cardinal Joint Fire District responded to a mutual aid call in Boardman on Jan. 28 when a fire broke out at the Mill Creek Village Apartments. He said the district's decision to move to five inch hoses helped distinguish that fire and save the building. "It was clearly evident that Canfield was the shining star in that incident," Morvay said.

Frazzini reported that he received a letter from Armstrong that said the rates were going to be increased again. The letter also mentioned a future offering of a new lower basic with just local channels and few others thrown in. There will also be an increase in the premium channels. "There is nothing we can do about it," he said.

City manager Joe Warino reported the Ohio Public Works Commission approved the North Broad Street Phase II project. Council approved an ordinance to enter a contract with MS Consultants for basic engineering services and project management for it.



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