Council thanks Scarecrow Festival organizers

By Jennifer Woods -

At Wednesday’s Washington C.H. City Council Meeting, several council members along with City Manager Joe Denen expressed their gratitude to various individuals and organizations who helped to make last weekend’s Scarecrow Festival a success.

Among the many mentioned were Mekia Rhoades, Kelley Ford, the Washington C.H. Police Department, the Washington C.H. Service Department, the Washington C.H. Fire Department, etc.

Denen explained during the meeting that brush collection will begin on Monday. For those who want their brush collected, such as trimmed trees and vegetation, should call the service department at 740-636-2380 to be added to the pick-up list. Brush can be placed near the alley if there is alley access or near road.

The fire cistern unearthed at the intersection of Elm and Court streets during road construction will soon be filled with flowable fill.

Denen explained that flowable fill should allow the cistern to be filled without the need to compact the fill. It should be more cost-effective and will be easier to dig through than concrete if the need to do so would arise in the future.

“It’ll be a lot safer with what’s there now,” he said.

Ordinances and resolutions are two different types of legislation. 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. Adoption of new legislation can occur once ordinances are placed on the third reading and resolutions are placed on the second reading.

On Sept. 13, a special meeting was held where a resolution that authorizes Denen or his designee to enter into an agreement for an Ohio Water Pollution Control Fund was placed on second reading and was then adopted.

Denen explained in a previous council meeting, “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.”

Legislation introduced in the most recent meeting included three new resolutions as well as the adoption of one resolution and two ordinances.

The two ordinances placed on their third reading and adopted 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.

The resolution that was placed on its second reading that was then adopted accepts from the budget commission their determined amounts and rates. It authorizes needed tax levies, certifying them to the county auditor.

Denen explained in a previous council meeting that this resolution has to be done every year. Basically, he explained the resolution is the council’s way of agreeing with the county auditor in regards to tax rates.

Three new resolutions were heard and all were placed on first reading.

The first and second new resolutions, if passed, would confirm Denen’s reappointment of both George Shoemaker and Brenda Caudill to the tree committee for terms that would end on Dec. 31 of 2023.

The third resolution, if passed. would authorize Denen or his designee to accept a bid and enter into a contract with Dugan & Meyers for improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The amount of the contract should not go above $51,581,000. During the meeting, several council members discussed this project as there have been many meetings and concerns with the Ohio EPA regarding the current state of the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The funding will mostly come from a loan, however, there are some grants and special financing through the Ohio Water Development Authority that will be utilized, according to Denen.

“When we had the disagreement with the Ohio EPA we needed to do that—-to run with the scale of the project and in particular to have enough time to do it in a way that’s affordable for the community,” said Denen. “It worked out well in the end.”

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.

By Jennifer Woods