Washington C.H. City Council talks projects, kennels and the arts

By Bev Mullen - For the Record-Herald

The Washington C.H. City Council’s last meeting of March, though minus two excused members, had a full agenda and a full house.

The city’s council chambers are still under repair. The meeting was held in the basement of the Washington Police Department for the second time. According to Joe Denen, city manager, “Council will probably meet here [the basement] one more time before returning to its chambers” on the second floor of the administration building, 105 N. Main St.

After the call to order, the invocation and roll call, council accepted the minutes of its March 8 meeting. Also accepted were the minutes of the March 6 meeting of the service, safety and recreation committee. Among the items discussed at the committee meeting was a review of service department projects, the Washington Avenue project, the proposed street paving list, and the bike trail to the YMCA.

In his report to council, Denen shared with council a proposed ordinance limiting the number of dogs kept at any one location and defining the operation of kennels. The ordinance would limit the number of dogs for those not involved in selling and buying dogs to three. Any property with more than three dogs will be considered a kennel and must file an application as a kennel with the city finance director. Upon being deemed a kennel owner, the annual license fee will be $100 per year and the owner must meet all guidelines subject to kennel owners.

The impetus behind this legislation is the large number of complaints the city receives regarding barking dogs, unhealthy living conditions for the animals, and dogs who threaten the safety of others in a neighborhood. The goal of the legislation is to restore harmony in the city’s neighborhoods. A copy of the proposed ordinance may be obtained at the city administration office.

Also on the agenda were the reading of three more abatements of nuisance properties. All three were approved.

City council members were given a brief overview of the collaborative work being done between The Ohio State University Barnett Center and the county’s and city’s economic development departments, as well as a dozen or more Fayette County business partners. Basically, the idea behind the collaboration is to use “culture, heritage and the arts” as another avenue for revitalizing the downtown.

The Barnett Center think tank members started with brainstorming ideas back in December of 2016, and in the near future, along with some of the local business partners, they will be visiting other cities the size of Washington C.H. that have been successful in creating a revitalized downtown.

Also signed up to address city council members were three local residents. Jim Blair spoke to council and city department heads regarding a drainage problem, or lack thereof, at his Golf View residence. After a rain of any significance, the water accumulates and does not drain for at least 48 hours. There are three properties impacted by this problem. Denen asked Ron Sockman, service director, to look into this situation.

Next to address council were Norman May and Robert Bishop — both speaking about a property in their neighborhood that harbors eight dogs which results in continuous barking and unsanitary living conditions for the dogs, as well as “a stench” that does not allow others in the neighborhood to enjoy outside activities.

Prior to adjourning the meeting, council members thanked “the employees of the city for all they do to keep the city solvent. Also, the same gratitude goes out to the residents of the city for passing levies that allows the city to purchase the equipment and manpower needed to keep the city moving forward.”

The next council meeting will be Wednesday, April 12, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the basement of the Washington Police Department. The public is welcome to attend.


By Bev Mullen

For the Record-Herald