SABINA — Mayor Dean Hawk said New Sabina Industries (NSI) “gave me the nicest ‘no’ I’ve ever had in my life” to his question of annexing the factory site into the village.
At the request of Sabina council members, Hawk met with two NSI officials on the annexation idea. Annexing NSI would bring in revenue because it would mean employees there would become subject to the village’s earnings tax.
“They are sympathetic with the situation of the village, but they want us to understand they have competition on both sides,” Hawk said in summing up NSI’s position.
Those two areas of competition are keeping employees, and the pricing of its products, the mayor relayed.
“They [NSI] have a warehouse in Wilmington where the associates [workers] must pay the Wilmington 1 percent income tax. They stated they have a hard time getting people to volunteer to work there because they don’t want to pay the tax,” said Hawk.
The mayor said he advised NSI that the village has a General Fund shortfall “of well over $100,000” this year, and that adding NSI into the village corporation limits “would make a tremendous improvement in our ability to provide services to everyone including them.”
In his two-page, detailed printed account of his May 25 visit to the factory, Hawk stated the General Fund depends primarily on state and local taxes.
“On [regarding] the state funds, the governor balanced the Ohio budget, over the backs of Ohio municipalities,” wrote Hawk.
“He did this by reducing the Local Government Fund Sharing that was designed to help the municipalities to provide for goods and services such as public health, public safety and other aspects of well-being that are responsibilities of the state,” the mayor wrote.
Hawk added the NSI officials offered to cooperate with the village in an endeavor “far too speculative to mention at this time.”
During Thursday’s village council meeting:
• A resident addressed council concerning a property dispute he has related to the construction of a section of bike trail in town. Larry Fair, who has filed a complaint in court on the matter, said village officials did not get back with him to explain why trail workers — whom he called trespassers — had not been removed from the disputed property.
Hawk, who told Fair he is sorry for not getting back in touch, said the official opinion at this time is that the property is now in the hands of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and hence ODOT is the entity that’s in the position to ask for removal of trespassers.
Fair responded, “How’s it their property when my deed says I own to the center of the railroad. I mean, everybody is assuming that they’re right and I’m wrong.”
The mayor noted Fair’s court action, and said if the judge rules in Fair’s favor, then the village police department would do what the judge says to do.
• The mayor reported that Becky Thompson-Waits and her mother delivered three large bags of new teddy bears. The teddy bears are for police to give to small children who are in need of comfort.
• In May, the village police department received three breaking-and-entering complaints, seven theft reports, two domestic violence reports and an animal cruelty allegation among other cases, reported Police Chief Keynon Young.
• Sabina Councilman Bill Lewis wondered whether the village could negotiate a better price, or go elsewhere, for its bulk candy orders for the concessions stand at the municipal pool.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.