SABINA — With word that some state funds to go toward blacktop on the bike trail is coming, the village mayor suggested now is a good time for a private fundraising effort so that even more of the path gets paved.
The longest multi-use trail in Clinton County — a 7.1-miles leg of the Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail — opened last spring. About 2½ miles in the middle of the trail route is currently paved, from Sabina Farmers Exchange west to Reesville.
The trail stretches from Melvin Road which is east of Wilmington to Borum Road in Clinton County, via Sabina. The two end sections of the trail currently consist of crushed stone and gravel.
At council’s Thursday night session, Sabina Mayor Dean K. Hawk said about $69,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is expected to be coming. However, Clinton County commissioners “have dibs on some of it,” said the mayor, adding he didn’t know how much that is.
“If we could get enough people excited about it, perhaps we could raise enough money by the time they start making blacktop to get it finished at least to Borum Road this year,” said Hawk in his twice-monthly report to council.
He said there are people in the area who really appreciate the trail, and “if we do it [fundraising] right, we should be able to tap into that.”
The mayor suggested the fundraising include volunteers-provided spaghetti or bean or noodle dinners; he recommended having a variety of donation levels such that children, teens and families could find a reachable target; and he urged getting as many people as possible involved.
There already is $1,300 for the bike path in the Clinton County Foundation from the now-disbanded Sabina 2000 organization, Hawk noted.
This round of paving is anticipated to go east (toward Borum Road) from where the blacktop currently stops in Sabina.
During his mayor’s report, Hawk said the “gentlemen’s club” idea that surfaced about three weeks ago in town did not get off the ground when, it’s his understanding, the developers couldn’t make a deal with the property owner.
After the meeting, Hawk elaborated that two men came to see him and mentioned their idea and he asked them to define “gentlemen’s club.”
“I wasn’t terribly pleased with their answer to that,” the mayor stated Thursday. Their answer fell into the category of adult entertainment, he also said.
Newly elected councilman Michael Bishop has submitted a letter of resignation, effective immediately, stating that due to his schedule, he does not feel he is able to fulfill the obligations of the office. His letter concludes with his signature and the word “regretfully.”
In a 4-0 vote (one member was absent Thursday), council members appointed Bruce Gottschalk to fill the vacated seat. Gottschalk ran unsuccessfully for council last November when seven candidates sought four available seats. The losing candidate who received the most votes was Bill Olds.
During the Thursday night process of appointing a successor to Bishop, Sabina Director of Law Melissa Upthegrove said by making the appointment the same evening as council accepted Bishop’s resignation, it wasn’t giving everyone else an opportunity to apply. Hawk said the position needed to be filled to enable council to pass measures Thursday on an emergency basis, a procedure which requires more than four council members.
When running for office last fall, Gottschalk, 49, gave as one of his qualifications his experience after accepting a short-term position as village administrator with another municipality to assist in redoing the infrastructure there.
A truck driver by occupation, Gottschalk said last fall as a candidate, “I am an open-minded individual and feel that citizens of Sabina will be able to come to me if an issue presents itself that needs brought to council’s attention.”
Nick Selhorst, P.E., with Choice One Engineering out of Loveland, spoke with council to let it know the firm would be interested in performing civil engineering work for the Village. The firm also does grant-application writing work, he said.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.