The Kenton City Council met for their 18th regular session Monday evening in the City Building. During the prayer, council members and those in attendance observed a prayer for Council Clerk, Brenda Hanna, and her family after the passing of her husband.
After the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, the council heard from Merleen Barnes, United Way Campaign Chair, about the current United Way kickoff. The theme this year is "Turning Compassion Into Action" and the program is celebrating 50 years of service in Hardin County. The United Way currently serves 17 non-profit agencies, and there are 3 current applications for new parties as well. Barnes told the council that in years past, the government section of the campaign had not done as well as they would like with their fundraising efforts. To combat this, the United Way is offering an incentive for government employees: each $1 pledged or donated will give the employee 1 entry into a raffle for a set of tickets to the Ohio State vs. Nebraska football game. The United Way plans to draw for the event at the Hardin Council Chamber and Business Alliance's Buckeye Bash on October 15.
Council then heard from the following committees:
BKP - the BKP board met last Monday. Topics discussed included paying the bills, a new TV for the common room, and the board is looking to insulate the building.
Cemetary - Bob Melvin, of the cemetary board, has retired. The board congratulates Amber Judy as the new Assistant Superintendent.
Regional Planning - Regional Planning will meet on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 7:00pm in the Commissioner's Office.
Finance - the Finance committee will meet Monday, October 3, 2016 at 5:30pm in Council Chambers.
Downtown Revitalization - the committee is in the process of getting funding in place for the planning phase of the project.
There was no Old Business to attend to, but the council did hear 3 new pieces of legislation. Each piece moved on to second reading, to be heard again in two weeks. The first ordinance provided for transferring funds; the second, additional appropriations; and the third, amending the city codified ordinances to adjust the city's contribution rate for health insurance premiums.
During comments, City Law Director Jon Schwemer encouraged all council members to be present at the next meeting on October 10th. The meeting will have legislation that needs to be passed in order for the city to close on the former Mid-Ohio Energy building purchase, set for October 14th. Schwemer explained to council that the building had been broken into approximately three sections for business and utility purposes. The departments currently slated to be moved to the new facility include the Water and Sewer departments, the Income Tax department, a small office for the Parks and Recreation department, office space for the crew of the Street department, garage space for the Street department, and storage space. The proposal has estimated the utilities at the facility to be broken into 3rds; 1/3 water, 1/3 sewer, and 1/3 general. For state auditing purposes, the estimates have to be as close to exact as possible and cannot just be estimated to all be general funding, according to Schwemer. The council briefly discussed the phone situation at the new building, since it was a concern of Council President Joel Althauser that the ability to transfer calls would be lost if the offices were no longer connected to the general phone line at the City Building. The council will be looking into the matter further.
Also during comments, Mayor Randy Manns noted that there will be a Teen Night held at Wharton Park on Sunday, October 9th from 4-7pm. There will also be a 1st Responders Annual Dinner held at the new building (the former Mid-Ohio Energy site) on October 20th at 7:00pm.
The next meeting of the Kenton City Council will be on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 7:00pm in Council Chambers.