Sabina sets aside $20K in CARES funds for PPE at local businesses

By Gary Huffenberger -

SABINA — At the request of the mayor, village council set aside $20,000 of CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) funds to go toward personal protective equipment (PPE) for businesses.

Mayor Jim Mongold said he and the Sabina Area Business Association president reached out to local businesses concerning the business operators’ anticipated needs over the next three to six months. About 15 have replied so far.

The businesses expect to need masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes and spray, bleach, disposable pens, hand sanitizer stations and refills, touchless thermometers, plus other items the mayor and Sabina Area Business Association President Stephanie McFadden had not previously thought of, including hospital-grade germicide for a hair salon, said Mongold.

Councilman Ben Collings said he happily would make the motion to support local businesses through purchases of PPE equipment, and Council President Peggy Sloan seconded the motion.

Mongold said, “I can think of no better cause.” He elaborated that “our businesses and organizations are struggling,” and “we have to find ways to support them.”

To that end, the mayor urged townspeople to shop and buy local when they’re able to. “Many area businesses offer gift certificates; they make excellent gifts,” he said with an eye to the upcoming holidays.

Moreover, Mongold asked people who are looking to make donations, to donate to local organizations. Food pantries are going to need help this year, he remarked.

In another matter, Sabina Police Lt. John Grehl, who is the acting chief, reported about a truck that came through town Nov. 6 when the driver got lost by following the GPS directions. In the process, the truck went down Center Street and tore down electric lines, pulled a power box off and broke a pole, causing a power outage.

Similarly, trucks have been going down West Mound Street to Orchard Avenue following GPS directions which, according to Grehl, show Pennant Moldings sitting in a field at the dead end of Orchard.

The Emergency Management Agency is seeking a solution, said the mayor. And Councilman Bruce Gottschalk said he has contacted a Pennant representative who plans to contact dispatch to communicate to truckers that they can’t go by the GPS directions for the Pennant destination.

Sabina Fiscal Officer Nancy Cornell reported the village is looking at buying two new SUVs for the police department, with a projected total cost of $106,000.

Infrastructure & Development Committee Chair Gottschalk said the next meeting of that council committee will have incentives for new businesses as the topic, adding “we got one possibly coming in.”

In the near future, village officials also will discuss how they plan to deal with the water flow issue on Krebs Drive.

Recreation and Tourism Committee Chair Bethany Grehl said the hope is there will be a local home and business holiday decorations contest with prizes. Councilman Abe Arnold pledged he would give prize money for the residential part of the holiday decorations contest.

Bethany Grehl also reported that letters will be sent out to business franchises to try to get them interested in locating in Sabina. In conjunction with that effort, she hopes to obtain a vehicle traffic count for the town from the highway patrol.

Councilman Collings updated his colleagues and the virtual meeting audience about a project to have a new official website for Sabina, saying there’s been an initial design meeting.

In that connection, he said the website homepage will have pictures of the village, preferably buildings or landscape photography, and he asked for photo contributions or suggestions.

Collings then quipped, “And embarrassing photos of the mayor will be considered.” Without missing a beat, the mayor’s wife Vicki Mongold, who’s a Sabina councilwoman, said, “I have those,” drawing further chuckles.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768. photo

By Gary Huffenberger