SABINA — They are so intent on being considered for the second cycle of Clinton County Legacy Fund grants that the village’s elected officials have created a special council committee to improve their chances.
At the latest meeting of the Employee Relations & Health/Safety Committee — which is a standing committee — the continuing problems with sewer laterals in Sabina were brought up and Councilman Abe Arnold mentioned the Legacy grant as a possible way to secure funds.
And at the most recent meeting of the Recreation and Tourism Committee, the discussion included project ideas for Legacy Fund grants. Those projects consisted of a Community Gardens near the municipal swimming pool which could help induce kids to eat fresh fruit and vegetables; a Farmers Market at the Uhl’s parking lot where dumpsters for drop-off recycling are going to be moved from; and, again, sewer laterals.
Then at Thursday evening’s regular meeting of full council, Arnold proposed that a new council committee be formed that temporarily focuses on the Legacy fund, and while he was at it, Arnold added a couple more project ideas such as a shelter house at the pool.
Before the night was over, Councilman Benjamin Collings suggested the new committee’s scope be enlarged to encompass grants in general, and so the name will be Grants Committee to reflect that.
In the coming weeks though, the Grants Committee will focus on the Legacy Fund because those grants have a March 1 deadline to submit letters of intent, which is the first round of the Legacy process.
In other news from council, Sabina Law Director Laura Gibson was rehired, and the mayor announced plans for legislation to be presented at the next council meeting to employ a new chief of police.
An “outside candidate,” rather than promoting a current officer, is in line for the position, said Sabina Mayor Jim Mongold. He went on to say he knows this is not a favored choice by many in the community, acknowledging it is a hard decision.
The mayor asked everyone to keep an open mind, and understand that every choice is made for the betterment of the entire village.
Mongold met last week with engineers who will be working on installing a lift in the Sabina Municipal Building. The prediction is the lift will be in place and in use sometime in early April.
Collings, who is chair of the Employee Relations & Health/Safety Committee, reported the issue of pay rates for council and mayor was raised during the committee’s most recent meeting.
“I noted it was last changed in 2014, and they’re rather low for the work both council and the village expect of these officials, specifically regarding the mayor’s pay,” said Collings, entering his second year on council.
Other members of the committee agreed, he said, and after it was noted that any raise would not go into effect for anybody’s current term, the Employee Relations Committee sent a pay raise recommendation to the Finance & Records Committee for consideration, he said.
Audit & Planning Committee Chair Abe Arnold reported that the group wants to look at some emergency protocols and procedures in the village. He specifically mentioned, in the case of a tornado alert, designating certain basements in church or business buildings for use by residents who don’t have home basements to take shelter in.
Emergency Services & Flood Relief Committee Chair Peggy Sloan reported the SRWW Joint Fire District & EMS in Sabina has openings on its roster. The starting pay is $15 an hour.
Arnold said council has passed 22 ordinances or resolutions since July 2020, and of those 17 were passed as emergency measures. He said he finds that a high number, and wonders whether the public perception may be why don’t council members know what is coming up and plan accordingly, in particular legislation that comes up annually.
The mayor agreed there needs to be fewer things passed on an emergency measure. He also said “just as a note and a reminder,” council is supposed to be preparing and doing the legislation.
Mongold added the village currently does not have a village clerk.
Village officials want residents to be aware that although their water rate will be higher, their sewer rate will be lower by a corresponding amount.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.