Sabina’s new mayor: ‘We’re behind in many ways’


Mongold: Make it happen

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



From left, Bethany Grehl and Benjamin Collings are sworn in as new members of Sabina Village Council by new Mayor Jim Mongold.

From left, Bethany Grehl and Benjamin Collings are sworn in as new members of Sabina Village Council by new Mayor Jim Mongold.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

At his first meeting Thursday as mayor, Sabina Mayor Jim Mongold delivers a State of the Village speech.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Sabina Mayor Jim Mongold, left, presents 20-year service appreciation plaques to two longtime village employees: Village Administrator Rob Dean, center, and Randy Fair, head of the sewer department.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

SABINA — The new mayor did not lack for project ideas in the State of the Village speech, and during the address he asked people to join together and make things happen in Clinton County’s third largest town.

“We’re behind in many ways — technologically, aesthetically, and commercially. Our infrastructure needs much improvement. We need new ways to provide security and peace of mind for those who live and work here,” said Mayor Jim Mongold.

To change those things, townspeople will all need to step up and work as one team, he said. “Our goals must align, and our vision must be focused.”

One thing on the to-do list is to try to find funding to replace the South Howard Street water main. The project is estimated at $350,000.

“This is something we don’t currently have funds for and it needs to be completed this year if we can find a way,” said the mayor.

There are some improvements that it’s safe to say will occur this year. Rolfe Drive, Hunt Drive, and two very bad alleys will be paved, he said.

In addition, Mongold wants to get bids to repave Kenyon Drive and the Sabina Park parking lot if possible.

The Village of Sabina will apply for grants, and one person has already volunteered to assist with that, the mayor reported.

Mongold said he hopes to see a grant project completed in the park by mid-summer that will improve the restrooms and provide much needed playground equipment.

By year-end he would like to see security cameras installed at the water plant, the park and on the front side of the municipal building.

To promote involvement by residents and allow for new points of view, the mayor recommended that village council consider adding two members to each council sub-committee where possible — one person an expert in the area of the committee’s focus whether they live in Sabina or not — and the other a member of the Sabina community.

“I have no delusions this will be a rough year. There is so much to be done and so much more that needs doing. I will rely heavily on support from the council, the employees of the village, those who live here, businesses, organizations and so forth,” Mongold said.

“My 2020 vision for Sabina is one where we all stop waiting for someone to make it happen, and work hand-in-hand to be certain that it does,” he added.

After Thursday night’s council meeting, which included the State of the Village, Mongold said businesses and people won’t be attracted into a village if there’s nothing happening. “It’s [progress] got to be visible,” he said.

And looming on the horizon next year in 2021 is the repaving of State Route 729 (Howard Street), he said.

After presenting the annual State of the Village, Mongold gave a mayor’s report which is part of the scheduled agenda for each of the twice-monthly village council meetings. In it, he suggested that sub-committee chairpersons propose a project to the full council each quarter, and council would then decide on a project.

The committee then would develop an action plan, and responsibilities would be divided among council members.

Projects can be simple or more complex, he noted. Examples of simple projects, he said, are a village sign survey and researching grant possibilities for equipment.

Also at the council meeting:

• Funds are running low in the water department, and council voted 6-0 to raise the water rate 3½ percent.

• Rumpke will remain the village’s official trash pickup provider for the next three years. Rumpke and Pro Waste Services made bids for the trash service. Rumpke’s price will be $13.50 per unit per month this year; $13.85 next year; and $14.20 in 2022. Council voted unanimously to stay with Rumpke.

Rumpke currently has 715 customers in Sabina, said Sabina Village Administrator Rob Dean. Sabina residents have the freedom to choose their own individual trash service, apart from Rumpke.

• Legislation was approved to regulate the parking of semi-tractor trailers in town because they can cause a safety hazard by blocking the views of other motorists, and because they can hinder access to businesses and organizations when parked in certain areas.

One specific part of town where semi-truck parking is expressly restricted in the new law’s wording is Howard Street (SR 729) from the intersection at Routes 22/3 to Front Street. Semi-trucks will not be permitted to park along that stretch of roadway at any time unless village council has granted the trucker a variance.

Council’s vote on the measure, passed as an emergency with all three readings held in one meeting, passed 5-0, with new Village Councilman Benjamin Collings abstaining from voting either for or against the ordinance.

• Sabina Police Chief Keynon Young reported that as of Thursday, Jan. 9, he is aware of two drug overdoses in the village. He thinks there may have been a third one in the service area of SRWW Joint Fire District & EMS, which is based in Sabina, but also serves the residents of Richland, Wayne and Wilson Townships.

• Village Councilwoman Peggy Sloan was voted by her fellow council members to be council president in 2020.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

From left, Bethany Grehl and Benjamin Collings are sworn in as new members of Sabina Village Council by new Mayor Jim Mongold.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/01/web1_swear_in_p.jpgFrom left, Bethany Grehl and Benjamin Collings are sworn in as new members of Sabina Village Council by new Mayor Jim Mongold. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

At his first meeting Thursday as mayor, Sabina Mayor Jim Mongold delivers a State of the Village speech.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/01/web1_mayor_mongold_p.jpgAt his first meeting Thursday as mayor, Sabina Mayor Jim Mongold delivers a State of the Village speech. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Sabina Mayor Jim Mongold, left, presents 20-year service appreciation plaques to two longtime village employees: Village Administrator Rob Dean, center, and Randy Fair, head of the sewer department.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/01/web1_awards_p.jpgSabina Mayor Jim Mongold, left, presents 20-year service appreciation plaques to two longtime village employees: Village Administrator Rob Dean, center, and Randy Fair, head of the sewer department. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal
Mongold: Make it happen

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com