Eyeing 2021, Sabina mayor says, ‘Let’s Own it Sabina’

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com

SABINA — In looking back over a pandemic-effected 2020, the town mayor is pleased — perhaps even taken aback — by what the municipal government and its workers were able to do.

“Through hard work and dedication this year, we paved all or part of an unbelievable 13 streets as well as two alleys. We’ve taken two unserviceable police vehicles out of use, and replaced them. We now have a great start on a wonderful park, we have security cameras in place to reduce vandalism, [and] a modern Internet provider,” Sabina Mayor James “Jim” L. Mongold said in his report Monday to village council.

He also mentioned a telemetry system in connection with running the lift stations in town, a new official village website in development, a community alert system nearing the point of public release, needed personal protective equipment (PPE) going to businesses and organizations “and the list goes on,” said Mongold.

Addressing his remarks to council members and village employees, he said, “You’ve done a remarkable job under normal circumstances. In the middle of a pandemic, however, you’ve done something unprecedented and incredible.”

Eyeing 2021, the mayor encouraged them to keep it up.

“We need to find new ways to help our businesses and organizations. We need to look at old infrastructure and find ways to update it with the resources we have, or find new resources,” Mongold continued.

He added, “The theme of this year has been ‘We’re in this together’. Going into 2021, ‘Let’s Own it Sabina’.”

Council members voted Monday night to move the residential recycling drop-off location in town from private property to a village-owned site near the community swimming pool.

Clinton County Solid Waste Management District Outreach Specialist Erin Hartsock said the only downside to that location is the spot’s gravel surface. During inclement weather, heavy trucks that go to the site can be expected to degrade the existing surface.

The county is willing to provide the cost of gravel and material if the village will do the groundwork on an in-kind basis. The village has a backhoe it can use to level gravel with, said Village Administrator Rob Dean.

During his own report to council, Dean mentioned that something to look at in 2021 is a possibility of lead service line replacement grants.

The village is getting closer to naming a new police chief. The initial interviews were held last week, and next comes background checks followed by interviews with the top two candidates for the chief of police position.

In action at the session, council heard the second of three readings on legislation to adopt a new policy and procedural manual for employees of the village.

Some changes in the proposed manual include: Adding two paid holidays for employees; the pay scale system; accrual of vacation time; the probationary period for new employees reduced from six months to 90 days (three months) except for the police department; permitting an employee to use sick time during their probation; adding two weeks of paid parental leave as well as rewording sick time so that it can be used by the person having the child and their spouse; and an effort to clarify the disciplinary procedure.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/12/web1_Sabina-sign.jpgFile photo

By Gary Huffenberger