KILLBUCK -- A Killbuck resident sought council's help in helping him out of a contract with Kimble Trash Removal.
"We have been taking care of our trash ourselves," Clifford Beck said. "They are asking for a letter of compliance from the village council."
Mayor Buck Hahn noted that Beck has not had any trash taken by Kimble since July.
Hahn said the idea is that council doesn't want another trash supplier coming into the village. "That's the main reason we went to one service, to keep so much traffic out of the village," the mayor said.
Rick Allison moved and council passed unanimously that Beck be allowed to opt out of the village contract with Kimble.
"I wrote 'cancelled' on the bill they sent me and they called and told us we can't do that," Beck said. "They told me we have to have a letter of compliance from the village."
Hahn assured him it will be taken care of, he just has to hang in there.
In other business before council, Susan Schupp, a senior energy consultant with Aspen Energy Corp., addressed council and guests about the gas aggregation in Killbuck.
"We can put everything through to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) once these town hall meetings are done," Schupp said. "That certification will take another 30 days. Then we'll actually put numbers together and let you decide which way you want to go. We will come up with the best rate we can. Once you're certified, we'll get the rate set. The only people who won't receive one are those who are in contract with another supplier or on a special type of heating plan with the utility, you won't receive an opt out notice.
"If you don't opt out in 21 days, you will automatically be plugged into the gas aggregation," she said. "The great thing about this program is, there are no termination fees. When you call in, it will be to the Killbuck Aggregation. They will ask, how can we help you. They will know exactly what your terms and rates are and exactly what you need to do."
Sans a crystal ball, Schupp said she doesn't know where gas rates will be going.
"We don't want anybody to be stuck with a rate they can get cheaper at another point," she said. "It will be the lowest rate we can get at this time. We're at market low, so we're at a good place to lock those rates in."
New customers will be eligible and the rates will be locked in for two years.
The aggregate also will be single billing. It will come on a resident's gas bill.
"If you have an outage or anything, you will still call Columbia Gas," Schupp said. "You are paying them to service your lines and keep them up. The aggregate will just be the supply costs, the commodity cost of the gas."
Council member Pat Mishler told Schupp the question she hears most is, will this save us money.
"Yes, that's the whole point of doing this," Schupp said. "We'll always be about a percentage point below the utility rate. Now is a good time to lock in a fixed rate because the market's so low. They're saying by 2018 or '19, rates could double. But they say a lot of things that don't happen."
Allison asked if the rates are similar to the apples-to-apples comparison rates on the PUCO website.
"You can look at different gas prices for your area on the PUCO website," he said.
Schupp explained that Aspen Energy looks at the entire village usage, and by taking the load of the village, they are able to negotiate a lower price.
"It is group based, but it is individualized as well," she said.
One of the properties that received notification regarding the vacant building issues (195 Purdy St.) has asked for a hearing. The owner is making improvements to the home and hopes to have the vacant building assignment lifted.
Another problem property at 208 S. Main St. has been turned over to the Holmes County Auditor for assessment.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.