BOURBON – The monthly water bills for the town of Bourbon will show an increase as of Aug. 1.

The town council held a public hearing on the proposed increases Tuesday at its regular meeting, but there were no comments either for or against the increase from the audience.

The increase will be phrased in at a rate of 3.5 percent in 2018 and 2019 and at 3 percent in 2020.

Eric Walsh, of Umbaugh and Associates, said the last rate increase was 10 years ago. As a means of comparison, Walsh distributed a graph showing that the state average for households in towns for local and similarly sized communities using 4,000 gallons per month is $30.03. The current monthly rate in Bourbon will increase in 2018 from $22 per month to $22.77.

The current Plymouth rate is lower than Bourbon at $18.43 monthly. However, other area town rates are significantly higher. Akron’s rate is $31.94; Etna Green, $42.99; Argos, $45.09; and Silver Lake, $52.57.

Walsh said, “It is really a cost-of-living increase and the cost of operations.” He then commended the town council and water department superintendent for their handling of the water systems.

Although an agenda item listed Fourway under “Business Brought to Attention of Business Meeting,” it was noted that the council members present had discussed problems with internet services by Fourway and Hyperwave. Both providers use the town’s tower to house their equipment. According to Town Clerk Kim Berger, Fourway does not pay the town for the tower use, but Hyperwave does pay a monthly fee.

The problems seem to center around frequency range disruptions. At this point, both providers have expressed an interest in coming to a solution and will report back to the council within 30 days.

In other matters, the town signed a five-year contract a few months ago with Republic Services for recycling pickup . The contract was a renewal of a former contract. Although details of what prompted a request presented to the council to discontinue weekly pickup services and go to a pickup every other week were not elaborated on, the council voted to table the request.

Attorney Tony Wagner indicated that there were other considerations. Wagner said, “I’m not sure we can modify (contract) mid-stream.” By tabling the request, Wagner said it would give an opportunity for public feedback.

Steve Stacy, wastewater superintendent, said hydrant flushing will take place July 18 to 27. He indicated that they anticipate that the process will be completed during that time period, but that it could take a little longer.

The town council continues to tackle the task of attending to vacant and unsafe buildings. A home at 207 N. Park Ave. that the town holds several liens on due to non-payments will be torn down. Bill Keyser, zoning/building, said the owner of the property is no longer communicating with him and he advised that the structure be leveled. A garage on the site appears to be sound and will be left standing.

A storage building located at the Little League Diamond will be torn down and replaced with a new shed. Keyser said the quote to make needed repairs was $2,240 and a new building was quoted at $2,345. The council voted unanimously to purchase the new model.

A building on Main Street in the downtown area has now been deemed vacant and unsafe. The building was the former site of the News Mirror and is commonly referred to as the Pilot building, however, the building is not owned by the newspaper. Keyser will now take further steps to resolve the problems with the site.