UNION CITY, Ohio — During its Monday night meeting, Union City Council considered proposals related to adopting a 2018 budget, hiring new police officers, and whether to request a hearing regarding the application of Sutton’s Grocery Store for a Class C liquor permit.
Few details were given about the budget, with Clerk of Council Karen Stubbs distributing copies to all council members and advising them to get in touch with her later with any questions.
“It’s pretty much a standard budget,” Stubbs said. “If you have any questions, maybe I can answer them next week.”
The council voted unanimously to hire two police officers, one a new hire and the other a rehire of an officer who previously worked for the department, pending the receipt of background check results. Union City currently employs seven officers, two full-time (including Chief Mark Ater) and the rest part-time.
Council also voted to sell former Union City Police Chief Harold Schafer his service revolver to him at a cost of $1, following a motion made by councilman Duane Pouder and seconded by councilman Brad Horsley.
Council voted to continue with Best Way Disposal out of Indiana for trash pick-up. There were no other bids received for the city’s waste management contract. Additionally, a bid for 133 acres of farmland was accepted from J.J. Sargent Farms, at a price of $220 per acre.
Finally, council again discussed the issue of whether to request a hearing in Sutton’s Grocery Store’s request for a Class C liquor permit. The Class C permit would allow the store to sell alcohol in sealed containers, for consumption outside the premises.
During last month’s meeting local business owner Darrin Smith, who operates a number of businesses holding liquor permits in the city, advised the council to request the hearing, stating that the Sutton’s permit would put the Union City area over the limit of such permits allocated for an area of their size. At that time the motion was tabled pending consultation with the council’s attorney.
At Monday’s meeting, councilman Eric Rust made a motion that the council not request the hearing, citing an email received from the council’s attorney stating that there were, in fact, enough permits to accommodate the Sutton’s request.
“We really don’t have a leg to stand on in order to fight against them,” Rust said.
Chief Mark Ater agreed, stating that, unless the council felt there was some reason why Sutton’s, specifically, should not have the permit, there appeared to be no grounds on which to challenge the request.
Smith disagreed, saying he felt the council was misinterpreting the email from their attorney and suggesting that council members call the state liquor authority to doublecheck the number of allotted permits.
“I thought that’s what we paid a lawyer for,” Rust said. Councilwoman Vickie VanTrees seconded the motion, which was ultimately carried by unanimous vote.