Curbs, gutters being repainted

City council addresses several pieces of legislation

By Jennifer Woods -

At Wednesday’s Washington Court House City Council meeting, city manager Joe Denen advised residents who don’t like bright yellow to stay away from curbs and gutters as they are currently being painted throughout the city.

He said, “As much as you can, when we’re painting curbs and gutters, unless you really like bright yellow you need to stay away a little bit.”

During the meeting there were five resolutions adopted.

Two different types of legislation are ordinances and resolutions. The first time legislation is seen and approved by council it is placed on a first reading, the second time on a second reading and the third time on a third reading. Ordinances pass once they reach the third reading and resolutions pass once placed on the second reading and are adopted.

The first of the five resolutions authorizes Denen to submit an application for participation in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program and the Local Transportation Improvement program. Both can provide financial assistance for capital improvements deemed necessary in Washington C.H.

The second of the five resolutions authorizes Denen to accept a bid from Hi-Tech Electrical in the amount of $60,500 for the 2019 Directional Drill Project. Two other bids had been received for this project: one from Amerilect Inc. for $103,648 and one from BJ’s Electric for $74,800.

The third resolution states the intention of the City of Washington C.H. to award a contract to Dugan & Meyers LLC. The purpose of this contract is to improve the wastewater treatment plant.

The fourth resolution is serving as a statement of promise for the council to partner with the 2020 US Census Bureau. The purpose of this partnership is to help ensure an accurate count of people within Fayette County for the census.

As previously reported, census takers will be out and about in the community through mid-October to double-check addresses and housing units on properties. By making sure they have the correct addresses, the right amount of paperwork can be sent out and delivered to the appropriate locations.

According to Christopher Bowshier, one of the census takers, he has been asked why the census takers cannot obtain the needed information from the county auditor. Bowshier explained that census takers are now provided with an IPad that has GPS so housing units can be mapped out better than when the census takers used a small, hand-held device.

The final resolution that passed authorizes Denen to apply, accept and enter into an agreement with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency as well as with the Ohio Water Development Authority. The purpose of this agreement is for the assistance with planning, designing and constructing waste water facilities on behalf of the city.

One ordinance was placed on its second reading. If the ordinance is placed on a third reading and passes, it would allow the annexation of the golf course property. Denen explained during a previous meeting that the ordinance would also designate “the zoning of the property as ‘community facilities’ within the city of Washington Court House.”

James Blair, one of the candidates for city council who will be on the November ballot, spoke to the council of concerns regarding the golf course and the restaurant on the property. Blair was informed that ownership of the property belongs to the Fayette County Park District and will continue to be owned by the district following an annexation.

Two ordinances were placed on their first reading. If these ordinances are passed they will authorize Denen to abate the public nuisances at 314 E. Paint St. and 834 E. Paint St. As previously reported, a nuisance is caused within a city if a property is dangerous, in a state of disrepair, is uninhabitable, decreases local property value or decreases the enjoyment of the lives of surrounding neighbors. An abatement of nuisance is a way for the city to handle the situation while charging the owner of the property.

Seven resolutions were placed on their first reading.

The first of the seven resolutions would authorize Denen to enter into an agreement with the Fayette County Commissioners in order to provide public defender services. The period for the services would last from July 1 of this year through June 30 of 2020. The cost for the city’s portion of the $71,036 contract is 35 percent: the city would pay $24,862.60.

As the resolution to provide funding for public defenders was brought up, council member Ted Hawk said, “I just wish some of those people that we provide money for would send us a thank you.”

In his closing comments, council member Caleb Johnson said, “I saved something very special for Ted today.”

According to Johnson, this year he has used a public defender himself. That public defender was Thomas Arrington, who Johnson said does great work.

“Ted, I’d like to personally say thank you,” said Johnson.

Two of the seven resolutions would confirm the reappointment by Denen of members to the city planning committee for terms ending on Dec. 31 of 2023. The two individuals in question are Scott Snyder and John Pfeifer. Appointments issued by Denen must be confirmed by the council.

The remaining four resolutions placed on first reading would confirm the reappointment by Denen of four different members to the city’s historic district review board. John Pfeifer and Scott Snyder would have terms expiring on Dec. 31 of 2023 while Scot Dallmayer and Dane Blamer would have terms expiring on Dec. 31 of 2022.

Denen explained the reason the same people are potentially being appointed to two different boards is it’s important to keep both the Historic District Review Board and the City Planning Committee “well informed and in communication with each other—on the same page.”

Washington Court House City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month at 7:30 p.m. They are located in the second floor council chambers of the City Administration Building, 105 N. Main Street. The public is welcome to attend and may sign up to speak before the council.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355. Woods | Record-Herald file photo
City council addresses several pieces of legislation

By Jennifer Woods