Village of Sabina employees donate sick-leave time to co-worker


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Bill Olds, foreground, asked several questions of village officials at Thursday night’s council meeting. George Wilson sits in the background.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

From left, Kevin Bean and Jim Combs, both with the Sabina Church of Christ, attend Sabina Village Council in connection with their congregation’s newly built facility — which soon will open its doors.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

SABINA — Four Village of Sabina employees have each donated 40 hours of their own paid sick time to assist a police officer who underwent a second knee surgery Friday and already has used all her vacation and sick time.

Sabina Fiscal Officer Nancy L. Cornell reported to village council Thursday that a request was made at village hall for donations of sick time to help the colleague financially get through her recovery period. In a formal action, village council approved the employees’ donations.

The four people donating their paid sick time-off to a fellow village worker are Sabina Village Administrator Rob Dean, Sabina Police Chief Keynon Young, Sabina Police Cpl. John Grehl, and Sabina Utility Department Clerk Charissa Summers.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Bill Olds asked several questions of village officials. He wondered whether there was a committee to oversee operations of the municipal pool. He was advised the pool is discussed in council’s Infrastructure Committee, which was formed by combining two prior committees: Streets Committee and a Pool Committee.

The fiscal officer in September, looking back at the summer swimming season, had suggested an adult pool coordinator could help oversee things in an operation largely run and staffed by youth.

Olds, who is a candidate this fall for village council, urged that New Sabina Industry’s (NSI) site near the village corporation limits be annexed, which would mean the employees there would pay the village’s earnings tax. He also said there is an Ohio Revised Code (ORC) section that has a process involving a citizens petition to incorporate a nearby site and bring it within a municipality.

Asked by Mayor Dean Hawk what the ORC section number is, Olds said he was sorry he didn’t have the number at hand but would get it in a couple days.

In summer 2016, Hawk reported he had made a conscientious effort to invite NSI to petition to come into the village, but they did not consider that a good business decision. Village officials have said previously the company has to agree to being annexed.

An attendee, George Wilson, said part of the company’s back parking lot is already within the village.

Olds recommended village officials speak with some company official higher in the corporate chain of command than the person spoken with up to now.

Olds questioned the village transferring $200,000 from the town’s Sewer Sanitation Reserve Emergency Fund to the General Fund in January 2017. Generally, the dollars in a municipality’s Sanitary Sewer Fund can legally be spent only on the sewer system. As part of the process allowing for exceptions, Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck granted the proposed transfer, confirming a need for the funds to go toward general operating expenditures.

In other news from the council session, Jim Combs of the Sabina Church of Christ said the congregation hopefully will move into its newly built facility soon. Once the doors are open, everybody is welcome “to check it out,” said Combs.

He emphasized Thursday that the building can and will be utilized in ways to benefit the community and not as a house of worship only.

After-school programs and youth basketball are two examples of the facility’s expected community uses, he said.

Combs was accompanied by Kevin Bean of the church, who inquired whether the $13,000 in tap fees are negotiable, given the church’s non-profit status and its community outreach, and the fact Bean installed the sewer tap.

The mayor said he asked some weeks ago whether council was willing to reduce the tap fees for the church’s construction project, and he said he was “absolutely thunderstruck” when the vote was 4-1 not to lower the fee.

Councilman Bill Lewis said he was one of the four who voted not to reduce the fee for the project. He added that though he is positive toward the church and has attended it about a dozen times, the village’s tap fees are “set standard rates” and it is important for the village to be fair and equal to everyone.

On a separate matter, Lewis asked that the Infrastructure Committee look into the possibility of re-routing trucks headed to Premier Solutions in town because they have been breaking down street curb for a long time.

Sticking with streets, Lewis said contracts for road work need to be specific in terms of the expected “care and quality” of street work. Specifically, he mentioned there have been many cases where gaps and seams in the pavement have not been closed so that grass grows up and water collects and freezes, damaging the street.

Village Administrator Rob Dean announced there will be hydrant flushing the week of Oct. 23 through 27.

In an effort to further clarify a topic discussed at the Sept. 14 council meeting, the excerpt provided below comes from the approved Minutes (the official record of proceedings) of the Sept. 14 council session. The general topic is the FEMA Flood Zone Relief Committee which is chaired by Councilman Lewis.

According to the Minutes, “Mr. Lewis wanted to clear the air and directly asked the Mayor if he [Lewis] had not come to his office and state he wanted to look into the sanitary storm system flows as another aspect of the FEMA Flood Control, so he wasn’t over stepping his bounds. The Mayor eventually responded yes and agreed that looking at storm sewers was an appropriate part of your [Lewis’] job.”

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Bill Olds, foreground, asked several questions of village officials at Thursday night’s council meeting. George Wilson sits in the background.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/10/web1_olds.jpgBill Olds, foreground, asked several questions of village officials at Thursday night’s council meeting. George Wilson sits in the background. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

From left, Kevin Bean and Jim Combs, both with the Sabina Church of Christ, attend Sabina Village Council in connection with their congregation’s newly built facility — which soon will open its doors.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/10/web1_k_bean.jpgFrom left, Kevin Bean and Jim Combs, both with the Sabina Church of Christ, attend Sabina Village Council in connection with their congregation’s newly built facility — which soon will open its doors. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com