At the April 26, 2016 meeting of the Bethel Township Trustees (Miami), Trustee Beth van Haaren announced that 35% of the wells for the residents of Phonton who voluntarily had their wells tested by the Miami County Public Health Department failed. The wells were tested for the presence of e coli, chloroform, and nitrates. In addition, the department tested the wells for chlorine to ensure that the property owner had not disinfected the well prior to the sampling. The most frequently occurring contaminant was chloroform. In large doses, chloroform can cause depression of the central nervous system producing deep coma and respiratory center depression.

Bob Hepner, who is a resident of Phonton, spoke against the Phonton Water System. van Haaren explained that with the large percentage of residents with contaminated wells, the water system would help ensure public safety. In addition, she said, “This project is our best defense against annexation by Huber Heights.”

Hepner responded that he would rather be annexed by Huber Heights than pay the assessment for the water system. However, his comments seem premature considering that the water tap-in fee for a Huber Heights resident is $1,400 for a 1” meter. The fees increase as the size of the meter increases. In addition, if the area were annexed by Huber Heights, residents would be required to pay the Huber Heights income tax on all income in addition to the earned income tax for Bethel Schools. For a household earning $50,000 per year, this would amount to $1,125 more per year. This quickly becomes a more expensive option that the proposed $8,000 assessment paid over 20 years.

In regular business, the trustees passed a resolution to appoint Chelsea Lipiec to the Bethel Fire Department. They also passed a resolution to approve supplemental appropriations for 2016 to cover the cost of Workers Compensation. In previous years, the Workers Compensation costs were paid at the end of the year. However, the Ohio Bureau of Workers Comp now requires the payment in advance.

For the Fire Department, Township Administrator Andy Ehrhart reported that the department made 24 runs between April 9, 2016 and April 22, 2016. The runs included mutual aid to Clark County for a building fire. In addition, the department responded to a brush fire and an outside rubbish fire. The majority of the calls were for emergency medical services including two calls for vehicle accidents with injuries.

For Planning and Zoning, Ehrhart reported that the department received and issued one building permit to construct a residential covered porch at 4904 S. Dayton-Brandt Road. He also announced that neither the Bethel Zoning Commissioner nor the Bethel Board of Zoning Appeals would meet in April. Neither board has any cases.

The next meeting of the Bethel Township Trustees is scheduled for May 10, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the township meeting room.

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