GREENVILLE — An ad hoc committee report which recommended the city reject an offer by Darke County to centralize the county’s emergency dispatch services was approved during Greenville City Council’s Tuesday night meeting.
Councilman Todd Oliver motioned to accept the committee’s report. However, Councilman Tracy Tryon, who stated he stood by the committee’s report, asked council to reconsider accepting it, saying Darke County Commissioner Matt Aultman had, that same day, offered up a rough draft on a new proposal to run 9-1-1 dispatch at the county level, which included concessions to concerns the city had, particularly its desire for a signed contract and the issue of complaint resolution.
“I think it would be in the best interest of this council to take the time to have the law director, the safety/service director and other administrative people look at this before we consider voting on this ad hoc committee report,” said Tryon, who himself made a motion to table the committee’s report. Oliver agreed to withdraw his motion to accept the report.
The motion to table the report failed, with Council members Doug Schmidt, Clarence Godwin, John Hensley, Dorie Howdieshell, and Oliver voting “no.” Tryon and Leon Rogers voted “yes.”
Hensley then presented a motion to approve the report. This motion was approved 6 to 1, with Rogers casting the lone “no” vote. A Finance Committee meeting Friday will review funding options for retaining the city’s current dispatch services. Legislation is expected to be considered by council during its Tuesday, July 18 session.
An ordinance granting a variance to the erection of an informational kiosk in front of the Darke County Visitors Bureau, however, was tabled after receiving its third reading. Darke County Visitors Bureau Director Matt Staugler requested the measure be tabled in order to continue working with the city on its concerns regarding the kiosk, in particular the location and the maintenance of the kiosk. During ordinances and resolutions, Tryon motioned to table the legislation. The motion to table passed 7 to 0.
Public hearings were held on a number of issues, including recommendations from the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission regarding pedestrian sign requirements at city businesses, requirements for murals painted on downtown exteriors, and a plan to extend the boundaries to cover the full downtown enterprise zoning district.
Council chambers were filled with residents, many of whom spoke out against extending the boundaries, concerned that Architectural Review Board regulations would hinder the ability of residents to renovate historic homes within the district, or thereby burden then with additional costs.
“Residences don’t operate under the same circumstances as businesses. We don’t have the same backing, we don’t have the same financing,” said Tim Nealeigh. “Those of us that are here now don’t have the funds and finances and the wherewithal to do all that even if we would like to do so.”
Harry Ballengee, pointing out that most of the properties affected by the proposed expansion are single-family residences, told council, “If I would be included into it, you probably ought to have all the single-family residences in the city included into it.”
However, Crysta Hutchinson, director of Main Street Greenville, spoke in favor of the redistricting.
“If we want Greenville to thrive, if we want to attract a young, strong workforce, having protected communities is something that does that,” she said. Council will vote on the recommendations at its July 18 meeting.
Safety/Service Director Curt Garrison presented council with an engineer’s estimate of $146,474 for the North Ohio Street sidewalk project. He said $135,000 has already been appropriated for the project and asked council for permission to prepare legislation for council’s next meeting.
He also discussed a $949,197 Walls Bros. bid for 2017 street paving, which came in more than expected. Legislation to accept the bid was given a first reading. The city’s Finance Committee will review the financing options for the project in time for the next meeting.
Regarding the HVAC upgrade project for the municipal building, fire department building and police annex, Garrison told council the estimates are $36,500 for engineering and design and $419,125 for the construction. He also told them the roofs of the buildings need replaced due to termite damage, at an additional estimated cost of $85,000 to $90,000. The Finance Committee will consider the two projects.
In other business, council approved the hiring of attorney Joseph Lattas to provide assistant law director services effective July 1; an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission program in order to receive assistance for capital improvements to public infrastructure on North Broadway; an ordinance suspending city code regulating home sales for the “World’s Longest Yard Sale,” scheduled for August 3 to 6; and appropriations of $150,000 in grant money for the Marling Band Shell reconstruction.
Greenville City Council’s next meeting is July 18 at 7:30 p.m. Council’s meetings may be viewed the following day on the City of Greenville Ohio Youtube channel.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com
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