SABINA — Keeping up his efforts to tap into the town’s business potential, the mayor has offered an idea for a store opportunity he feels could prove profitable.
His thought is for Sabina to have something along the lines of a “Hardware Express”, Mayor Dean Hawk said during his Thursday report to village council.
“One cannot build a birdhouse or fix hardly anything without making a trip to Wilmington or Washington Court House,” said Hawk. And with a new multi-use trail that goes through the village, Sabina also needs a bicycle store, he said, “one with a proprietor who can repair bikes and will stock parts for that purpose.”
The two businesses need the same kind of skills to operate, said Hawk, suggesting a hardware store and bike shop be combined at one of Sabina’s empty storefronts.
Hawk wonders whether there isn’t already a franchise system for small-scale hardware operations, given today’s logistics option of overnight delivery. “If there isn’t one [a franchising system] there needs to be one. That may be another opportunity,” he said as another light bulb lit up over his head.
Also during the council session, Sabina Police Chief Keynon Young reported that in the first eight days of June, there were at least seven drug-related reports, two rising to the felony level.
A Springdale Police Department email to Young stated new officers there start at $31.25 per hour, he said. The Sabina police chief then said, “It’s really hard to keep officers or recruit officers when other departments are paying almost twice what you’re paying the chief of police.”
A 0.5 percent increase to the Sabina income tax that voters approved in May does not go into effect until July. The tax issue was promoted as being needed to prevent a reduction in the number of police officers — that is, to maintain village police services rather than a pledge to expand its police roster.
Sabina Village Councilman Bill Lewis responded to Young, saying he is sympathetic to the chief’s statement that it would be good if a previously cut full-time officer position were restored.
With the way society is, Lewis said, there’s a need for good law enforcement.
Councilwoman Peggy Sloan, who is chairperson of council’s Police & Finance Committee, agreed the current SPD is short-handed.
During public comment, David Young said SPD Officer Brown is too aggressive in his policing, such as allegedly stopping motorists or pedestrians without cause. Young replied that he had counseled the officer concerning such complaints; Young has said in the past that Officer Brown has the potential to be an outstanding policeman.
Councilman Mike Walls, chairperson of the Planning & Records Committee, reported the committee has concluded there is no existing available building in town that could house a medical marijuana operation. The buildings either are not big enough or they don’t satisfy the state law that they be sited more than 500 feet away from a church, public library, park or school, he said.
Lucie M. McMahon with CCD of Ohio Inc. addressed council on the fair-housing subjects of housing discrimination and of landlord-tenant disputes. She said often low-income citizens are renters, and they can get taken advantage of by landlords who don’t maintain rental units.
There are lots of landlord-tenant issues in Clinton County, mostly in Wilmington, McMahon said in response to a question from Lewis. “Generally, they’re landlords who don’t make repairs,” she added.
“My advice is always to have a lease with your landlord, and then also to make claims of needs for repairs in writing,” said McMahon.
The Clinton County Fair Housing Hotline for renters to make complaints, or when there is possible housing discrimination is: 1-800-850-0467.
In other news:
• Sabina Assistant Fiscal Officer Stephanie Stewart has given notice she will leave later in the month to become fiscal officer for Jeffersonville.
• The village’s nuisance law may be updated to include a category for broken-down or disabled “conveyances without motors” such as hay wagons, carts and old campers with flat tires. The intent is to get these units off the streets or out of yards, said Lewis, who recommended the village’s nuisance ordinance be revised to address “conveyances without motors” that are “just collecting dust and sinking into the dirt.”
The councilman said the revision needs to include good definitions of the nuisance items.
• More volunteers are needed for the town’s Fun Days scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 4, 5 and 6, said Councilman Jim Mongold. Aug. 4 is a pool party; Aug. 5 is a downtown event from late afternoon to mid-evening; and Aug. 6 is a car show at the village park.
• Mongold announced he has a Little Free Library book exchange in the yard of his residence at 153 Stockton Ave. in Sabina. He encouraged others around town to consider having a Little Free Library, too. There are several Little Free Libraries in Wilmington.
• Resident Tom South has offered to pay for “Welcome to Sabina” entrance signs at seven locations, in addition to the two existing ones he funded in the past. The new welcome signs are planned for the two State Route 729 entrances into town, as well as Dakins Chapel Road, Polk Road, Greenfield Pike, and two signs on the newly opened Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail that goes through Sabina.
South described the donation for the welcome signs as a “little something extra” for the town. The design of the signs will be made with council’s approval, per South’s request.
• In the future, subdivisions in Sabina will be required to have street lights following council’s passage Thursday of an ordinance to amend subdivision regulations.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.