Plans move ahead on Berlin wastewater plant update

Plans move ahead on Berlin wastewater plant update

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Making sure Berlin Township has proper wastewater management capabilities took on the most critical point of discussion for the Holmes County commissioners during the Monday, Nov. 1 meeting at the Old Jail meeting room in Millersburg.

The Holmes County commissioners were joined by Holmes County engineer Chris Young to open the sealed bids of three companies vying for the right to work on the Berlin wastewater treatment plant project, and all three were within proximity.

Simonson Construction Services in Ashland came in at $1,095,000, Workman Industrial Service from Kent came in at $1,055,310 and Stanley Miller Construction out of East Sparta submitted a bid of $1,098,000.

A fourth submission from Petty Farms out of Mansfield was disqualified because it was late.

Young said he will review each of the plans and give the commissioners his recommendation as to which company best suits the project’s needs.

“What this does is capture the flow during big rain events and basically trickles water into the plant slowly,” Young said.

The project will focus on the installation of flow-equalization tanks with a total gallonage of the tanks and flow system set at a maximum of 300,000 gallons. Young said the tanks will help distribute wastewater and run-off water evenly should the township experience high usage or heavy rainfall. The project has been under consideration for some time now, with the county having to do numerous studies to determine what type of system would best fit the need.

Young said the original estimate when the project first began was around the $600,000 mark. “We have an (Ohio Public Works Commission) grant for this, and the balance can be paid with American Recovery Act dollars.”

The wastewater treatment plant update and tank installation will begin as soon as possible, with Young stating the county would like to get the project completed before spring.

In other county news, the commissioners also signed a trio of resolutions during the meeting.

Resolution #11-01-21-1 accepted the Aultcare renewal plan for the county healthcare, effective Jan. 1.

Misty Burns, Holmes County director of human resources, said the renewal is for Aultcare to administer the county’s self-insurance healthcare fund. Burns said the focus was on the stop-loss portion of the plan because the county moved from fully insured to self-insured five years ago.

“It’s a fair renewal, and we thank all of the county employees for being responsible using their healthcare funds,” Burns said.

She said the county will be able to leave insurance premiums the same for 2022.

“It’s amazing we have been able to hold that portion of funds for as long as we have,” Burns said. “It has definitely been a group effort, and we appreciate the commissioners making the change to self-insurance, which has allowed us to keep the costs down for everyone.”

According to commissioner Joe Miller, the county is self-insured up to $60,000 per person, and he said the county only had five or six cases go over that amount this past year. He said the county has not added any additional healthcare expenses to the employees since 2007.

Commissioner Rob Ault said the county went into this five years ago, believing it was the right move, and he said that has shown to be the case.

“We knew we were going to have some ups and downs, but overall, it has saved the county money and benefited employees,” Ault said. “I think we have a lot of employees who are working hard to stay healthy.”

Resolution #11-01-21-3 also passed, supporting an application for funding under the Clean Ohio Fund Greenspace Conservation Program, available through Ohio Public Works Commission. It was signed on behalf of the Killbuck Watershed Land Trust, which is seeking to acquire 178 acres of property to protect the ecological integrity and functionality of local watersheds.

There is no financial obligation to the county in the resolution.