MOUNT VERNON — The city has began receiving readings via the internet from new water meters.
Mount Vernon Utilities Superintendent Mathias Orndorf reported Friday that about 50 percent of newly installed MXU water meters are successfully being read through Flexnet. All meters are currently being read by crews driving by, which can pick up the readings via a radio signal.
As of Thursday, 4,300 MXUs have been installed, Orndorf said, with about 300 more ready to be installed by the end of summer.
Orndorf further said that a farmer has expressed interest in farming hay on 15 city acres near the utility garage. City crews currently mow the acreage, and having someone farm it would free up crews to do other things, as well as save on labor costs, gas and wear on mowers.
Two of the city’s new welcome signs were installed Friday at West High Street and Newark Road. There are a total of ten signs going up.
Street Superintendent Tom Hinkle said two old concrete signs, at Newark Road and Ohio 13 north, will be taken down as the new signs go up.
Hinkle said two historical signs about Dan Emmett were also taken down due to their being in poor condition. The city will retain the signs.
Ditching work that closed New Gambier Road for part of Monday and Tuesday was completed without damage to the road’s new chip and seal surface. The high temperatures experienced this week and last week caused the tar substance used in chip and seal to soften, and the tires on the heavy equipment used for the ditch work started to peel away at the surface. Hinkle therefor had crews out early in the morning, then stopping work as the temperature rose.
Crews got to a pile of wood Friday on Wooster Road from a fallen tree branch that was cut up and left by AEP. The wood had been left on a resident’s property since at least Tuesday, and the city only became aware of it after the resident called in, Hinkle said.
The city takes fallen limbs and trees and chips them up, then gives them to a local company that uses them in compost, Hinkle said.
City Engineer Brian Ball said the Dixie Drive/Newark Road water line project will start next week on Dixie Drive. The Newark Road portion has been moved from installation in the right-of-way to the east side of Newark Road.
City Hall and the Plaza building got a little hot last Sunday following power outages in the city that caused HVAC systems to go down and be reprogrammed, Parks Superintendent Dave Carpenter said.
Carpenter said that while both buildings had air conditioning restored by noon Monday, it took a while for the buildings to cool down.
Carpenter further reported that Hiawatha pool had 1,100 people through the gates Thursday; with record heat forecast for this weekend, the pool was expected to average around 1,300 people per day Saturday and Sunday.
The pool’s new heater room is all under roof and complete except for a few small items, Carpenter said.
Pews from council chambers finally found a buyer and were hauled away Monday and Tuesday. The buyer wanted one for his daughter, who plans to put it on her porch, but isn’t sure what he’ll do with the others, Carpenter said.