Oakwood swears in city officials, raises stormwater fee

Oakwood installed city officials at its Monday night meeting and also voted to increase the stormwater fee for residents.

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Oakwood installed city officials at its Monday night meeting and also voted to increase the stormwater fee for residents.

Oakwood installed city officials at its Monday night meeting and also voted to increase the stormwater fee for residents by more than 40 percent.

The meeting started with City Manager Norbert Klopsch presiding, as he gave the background on how the 24-page charter established in 1960 for Oakwood works in terms of the installation of the city’s five council members.

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Oakwood council members serve four-year terms, with two members on one four-year cycle and three members on the alternating four-year cycle.

The charter also calls for an organizational meeting to determine who will serve as mayor or vice-mayor. The five council members choose by majority vote who will serve in those positions.

Mayor Bill Duncan and Vice-Mayor Steve Byington won re-election in November to council, and members Monday approved them returning to their existing leadership roles. Duncan, Byington and Chris Epley all were unopposed in the last election.

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Doug Spitler was formally appointed as Oakwood’s director of Engineering and Public Works, effective Monday, at an annual salary of $120,194. This is a department head position with dual responsibilities as city engineer and public works director.

Spitler will lead 29 full-time employees in performing all Oakwood Engineering and Public Works services to include refuse collection and disposal operations, public roadway and sidewalk maintenance, water and sanitary sewer service, and stormwater management.

In the capacity as city engineer, Spitler is responsible for providing professional engineering services in managing, operating and improving Oakwood’s public infrastructure. This includes developing the long-range capital improvement plans and implementing the annual capital improvement programs.

Spitler is a 1996 graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering, and is an Ohio licensed Professional Engineer. He comes to Oakwood with 23 years of experience in local government, and spent 15 years in Centerville serving as public works director.

“We are very pleased to have Doug join our staff in service to the residents and businesses of Oakwood,” Klopsch said. “He brings a wealth of experience to our engineering and public works department and will be a wonderful addition to our senior leadership team.”

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Council also unanimously approved raising the stormwater fee for residents by $3 per month, a move that was previously announced and met with approval by the Budget Committee.

It has been a couple of years since the stormwater fee has been raised, and the 43 percent increase next year will help offset infrastructure expenses, according to city officials.

“It will be raised from $7 a month to $10 a month per residential unit,” Klopsch said. “The stormwater fee was last raised in January 2017. The fee increase is needed to address stormwater infrastructure expenses.”

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