HUBBARD Company proposes study of water loss

A councilman questioned why no civil service test was given to fill a vacancy.
HUBBARD -- Consumers Ohio Water Co. is proposing to conduct a $20,000 study to determine why the city is losing water.
Despite efforts to find the problem, the city is losing an average 31 percent of its water, according to city Auditor Michael Villano.
The city buys water wholesale from Consumers Ohio Water and resells it to its retail customers.
Although council took no action Monday on the proposal, Councilman William Williams, D-at-large, chairman of council's utilities committee, said he will schedule a meeting of his committee to discuss it.
Williams, who explained he thinks the study wouldn't cost that much, said council didn't budget for the expense.
The proposal calls for the water company to audit the 10 largest users, including doing flow tests to ensure proper metering.
The company would also select 50 residential customers at random to conduct tests. The work would take 120 days.
Councilman Richard Keenan, D-4th, said he was surprised to learn Mayor George Praznik replaced the assistant city engineer without a competitive civil service examination.
David Kelly resigned to take another job and was replaced by Robert Toth, a board of education member.
Praznik said he was pleased with the work he had seen from Toth earlier. Toth filled in for Kelly in April while Kelly was on sick leave.
The mayor said he named Toth to the $25,000-a-year job after no city employee sought the post.
Keenan asserted that the city's civil service commission should give exams to fill all vacancies.
Praznik responded that he welcomes competitive exams but that he will retain Toth regardless.
Councilwoman Bonnie Viele, D-1st, said commission members don't want to give tests because members think they're too expensive.
Williams said it's not the commission's responsibility to consider the cost of the tests; rather, it should ask council for the funding.
Paying for damage: In another matter, Praznik told lawmakers the city wants those who damage city property to pay for it.
He called attention to a motorist who struck a utility pole on a holiday and another who damaged a water hydrant.
Their insurance companies have been billed for $5,000 and $1,000, respectively.

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