Union City council discuss utility hike, cell tower sale, other measures


UNION CITY, Ohio — Union City council passed measures Monday involving new water and sewer rates for the village, authorization of tax levies, and the purchase of a K9-equipped police vehicle, but tabled the issue of whether to request a hearing in Sutton’s Foods’ application for a Class C liquor permit.

The council unanimously passed an ordinance establishing new rates for village water and sewer users. The council also voted to allow the Mayor and Village Administrator to enter into a contract with ATC Sequoia LLC, a Boston, Massachusetts-based company, to pay for the use of a cell tower in Union City.

“We’re trying to work this deal out,” said Union City Clerk of Council Karen Stubbs, “so that we can move forward with the sale of the tower.”

Council members also passed a resolution to authorize tax levies based on determinations by the Darke County Budget Commission.

“Doesn’t seem like we have much of a choice in the matter,” Councilman Duane Pouder said.

“Not if you want any money,” Clerk of Council Stubbs replied.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, resident Paul Hartzell asked about the state of the village’s plan to build a restroom in Railroad Park. The project, as previously reported in The Daily Advocate, was cancelled after the estimated cost increased drastically.

“The price went up,” Mayor Zachary Pruitt said. “And we decided it wasn’t worth the effort.”

The council voted to purchase a K9-equipped 2009 Crown Victoria for $661, for use as a police cruiser. Union City Police Chief Mark Ater indicated that the purchase of the car was necessary in the event that one of the city’s current K9-equipped vehicles goes down for repairs, or is otherwise rendered unusable for a period of time.

Council members discussed increased traffic issues in the city, with Councilman Pouder asking that police crack down on speeding, while Rust raised the issue of increased semi traffic on residential streets.

“I’m glad to have these new businesses,” Rust said, referring to Sutton’s and other establishments which receive shipments in the area. “But we might want to consider limiting the damage from that increased traffic to certain streets.”

Finally, Union City resident Darrin Smith, owner of Smith’s Auto Service, Buckeye Beer and Wine, and Woodcrest Lanes bowling alley in Union City, spoke to the council as they debated whether to request a hearing in Sutton’s Foods’ application for a Class C liquor permit, which would allow the grocery store to sell beer and wine for carryout purposes. Smith argued that only three Class C permits were allocated for the Union City area, based on its population, and that the one applied for by Sutton’s would constitute a fourth.

Councilman Eric Rust asked if the additional population of Union City, Indiana could be included to increase the number of C permits allocated, but Smith argued that would also increase the number of establishments already holding equivalent permits.

“I’m not in favor of passing something like this until we know what’s in front of us,” Councilman Pouder said, citing fears that the council might vote to accept Sutton’s application, only to have to rescind it later if state liquor authorities object. Councilman John Fields agreed, suggesting that the council consult with the village’s attorney before taking action. The measure was tabled until the council’s next meeting October 2.

City council discussed measures involving taxes, utility rates, and purchase of a K9-equipped police vehicle.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/web1_6281236277_92be28f0f6_b.jpgCity council discussed measures involving taxes, utility rates, and purchase of a K9-equipped police vehicle. Courtesy photo

By Tony Baker

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. To join the conversation and get updates on Facebook, search Advocate360. For more features online, go to dailyadvocate.com

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