Goshen council OKs water meter project

Published 10:28 pm Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Many Pike County residents will be getting an upgrade on their water meters in the coming year.
For Goshen, the project comes with a $200,000 price tag.
“It is a state revolving fund loan,” said consultant Troy Hudson of Hudson Engineering during this week’s City Council meeting.
The money will come from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The Council passed a resolution designating Mayor Jack Waller as Goshen’s official representative in the matter.
The “smart meters” will eliminate the need to go out and read individual meters and have leak alerts that notify consumers when water consumption has a drastic change.
As part of the process, Goshen will hold a public hearing Thursday, April 24, at 6 p.m.
“It’s kind of geared toward environmental impact, but there really isn’t any,” Hudson said.
Funds should be available by the end of the year.
The inequities in funding Goshen’s Volunteer Fire Department came up during the council meeting after the Council was hit with a $1,500 propane bill.
The fire department has to heat the truck bay during cold weather in order to keep the water in the trucks from freezing, explained Councilwoman Mary Jane Hughes. She said the fire department was caught off guard with the recent cold snap and had to purchase the propane at a higher rate than it normally would.
Waller said Goshen is carrying a hefty load of the fire department’s expenses. He said the Council would like to see those who benefit from the fire department pitch in and help with the expenses.
“The Goshen area is made up of about 6,000 people. Goshen has 300 and we’re paying for all of it,” he said. “Even donations of $10 would help.”
As a firefighter, Councilman Darren Jordan said he could see both sides of the issue.
“They’re funded through tobacco tax, which has been cut by 40 to 60 percent. Funding cuts and increased fuel costs have put them in this situation.”
The Council also took issue with the fire department’s inconsistent reporting of financial statements. Goshen had previously asked the department to keep them apprised of expenses and where the money the city contributed was going. It has been a while since they have seen a report.
Jordan said he was proud that Goshen’s volunteer fire department was the largest in the county, but they are also given more financial assistance than any other volunteer department.
“It’s a lot to keep it going,” he said. “As aggravating as it may be, if they went away, think of what your homeowner’s insurance would be.”

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