SABINA — In the annual village speech, the mayor challenged council to find a way to get downtown buildings in better condition.
“And in uses something other than raccoon storage,” added Sabina Mayor Jim Mongold.
During his “State of the Village” address, Mongold commented he believes the conditions of various buildings on the main block downtown is one reason the village is struggling financially.
Ways need to be found to assist the building owners in the rehab effort, he said. The mayor also said the village needs to make the building improvements mandatory regardless of how the building is utilized.
The external appearance of Building A will influence the viable usage of Building B, said Mongold. And the same thing can be said about the effect of Building A’s “inside functionality” upon Building B, he continued.
There is no sensible reason for those buildings to sit empty and deteriorate year to year, according to the mayor. “That serves no one and no good purpose.”
An earlier attempt at changing the state of downtown buildings — vacant building registrations — unfortunately does not seem to work, Mongold said.
He touched on other matters in the address.
“I want to see more pro-active measures taken to cut down the drug and theft problems. And we’ll as usual depend greatly on guidance from the law director and legislation from council,” he said.
Mongold said he has asked the village fiscal officer to include funding in the budget for various projects. He will be sending out project requests to the suitable council committees.
He noted the new year started with a water outage and accompanying issues.
The mayor took note that the town went from no water at all in the water tower to water being restored in less than 12 hours on a New Year’s holiday weekend, which he called “absolutely remarkable.”
Included among those getting public thank-yous were Clinton Electrical & Plumbing Supply Inc. in Wilmington for getting the needed parts on the holiday, Uhl’s Market in Sabina and Wilmington Walmart for ordering extra drinking water to cover the boil alert, and the Clinton County EMA.
With the new year comes hope in the form of a COVID vaccination program, the mayor said. “I urge everyone when it’s available to get this vaccine.”
Mongold said he for one knows that he doesn’t want “to get this strain of coronavirus again.”
He added, “We’re all in this together in the problem at hand; so we should be in the solution as well.”
Regarding the water outage, Sabina Village Administrator Rob Dean said work crews have found several small leaks around town and fixed them, but are still looking for a major water leak. He speculated water may be getting into the sewer line somewhere, and asked residents to be on the lookout and notify the village of water-related issues.
Sabina Police Lt. John Grehl, who is the acting chief, reported at the Jan. 14 council meeting that there had been several drug overdoses in the prior couple weeks.
Councilwoman Peggy Sloan, who on behalf of the village attends meetings of the SRWW Joint Fire District & EMS, reported that Richland Township has given the fire district about $63,700 in coronavirus-related funding. The township used the funds it could and turned over the remainder to the fire department, said Sloan.
Benjamin Collings, starting his second year as a Sabina councilman, was appointed council president. The village council president fills in when the mayor is absent and co-signs legislation.
The membership of council’s various committees will stay the same as last year. Council members favored keeping the committees’ makeup as they are for continuity purposes, as Councilman Abe Arnold put it.
Collings said he thinks having the same committee members for longer than one year gives them time to see some projects through, and then maybe switching it up a little bit next year.
Those standing committees are the Employee Relations & Health/Safety Committee, Audit & Planning Committee, Infrastructure & Development Committee, Recreation and Tourism Committee (begun in 2020), Emergency Services & Flood Relief Committee, and the Finance & Records Committee.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.