Denen gives positive update on Hottinger’s condition

By Jennifer Woods -

At Wednesday’s Washington Court House City Council meeting, City Manager Joe Denen provided a positive update on the condition of Washington C.H. Police Department Chief Brian Hottinger.

Hottinger was ejected from his Jeep Wrangler on Friday during a one-vehicle crash. As previously reported, the vehicle was traveling on Greenfield-Sabina Road when it went off the roadway to the right and hit a ditch. Although he was ejected from the vehicle at that point, the vehicle went on to strike a fence and two trees.

Following the accident, Hottinger said he received medical care from Grant Trauma Center and was released on Tuesday.

As previously reported, Hottinger explained he is currently recovering at home with his family for six-to-eight weeks as he sustained six vertebrae fractures, five broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder.

“Brian Hottinger—I wanted to express my enormous delight—is doing very well,” said Denen. “He called on the telephone today. He’s in excellent spirits despite his current physical challenges.”

“That is just a tremendous relief to me. Brian has been enormously dedicated to the City of Washington Court House and to the Washington Police Department,” said Denen.

As for legislation during the meeting, there was one ordinance 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 ordinance that was placed on its third reading and adopted allows 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.”

Two ordinances were placed on their second 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 second reading and were then adopted.

The first of the seven resolutions, as previously reported, authorizes Denen to enter into an agreement with the Fayette County Commissioners in order to provide public defender services. The period for the services lasts 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.

The only council member to vote against the resolution to assist funding for public defenders was council member Ted Hawk. Hawk had no comment on his choice of vote.

It was previously reported that when the resolution was brought up in the previous council meeting, Hawk had said, “I just wish some of those people that we provide money for would send us a thank you.”

During closing comments for that same meeting, council member Caleb Johnson explained that he, himself, had used a public defender this year. Johnson then said, “Ted, I’d like to personally say thank you.”

Two of the seven resolutions that were adopted confirms the reappointment of members to the city planning committee for terms ending on Dec. 31 of 2023. Those two individuals are Scott Snyder and John Pfeifer.

The remaining four resolutions that were adopted confirms the reappointment of four different members to the city’s historic district review board. Pfeifer and 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 in a previous council meeting that the reason the same people are being appointed to two different boards is because it’s important to keep both the Historic District Review Board and the City Planning Committee “well informed and in communication with each other.”

Two new resolutions were placed on first reading.

One of these resolutions, if adopted, would accept the amounts and rates as decided by the budget commission and would also authorize the needed tax levies, certifying them to the county auditor.

Denen explained that this resolution has to be done every year and basically said the council agrees with the county auditor in regards to tax rates.

The other new resolution, if adopted, would authorize Denen or his designee to enter into an agreement for an Ohio Water Pollution Control Fund

Denen explained, “They’re a conservation program which the effect in the city of Washington Court House is a further interest rate deduction on our loan for our Waste Water Treatment Plant improvements. Which over the life of the loan is about worth— oh, approximately $650,000 roughly or a little bit more than that.”

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

By Jennifer Woods