Denen: City water reserves doing well

Council touches on various topics and legislation

By Jennifer Woods -

The city water reserves are still doing well and leak detection will soon be completed on the water system, according to Washington C.H. City Manager Joe Denen

“What we’ll do there, basically you listen to the water vein, because you can hear the water movement at the leak. And you can actually narrow it down pretty decently as to where the location is, so you don’t have to dig everything up, and you can dig relatively close to where the leak is,” explained Denen.

Aside from discussing the city water system, various other topics were touched on at the Wednesday Washington Court House City Council meeting.

Individuals were thanked for supporting local businesses and local businesses were thanked for their efforts to support the community and keeping people safe.

“Many small businesses downtown have done a great job,” said Denen. “I know that McDonald’s and Nick Epifano (the owner/operator of McDonald’s of Fayette County) have done a great job. Home Depot is an example of a chain store that has done an excellent job.”

Denen also recognized various board members who attended the council meeting: Tami Bath, Eddie Fisher, Donald Moore and Steve Lewis.

“Those are examples, and council members were very clear about this, of people that have made wonderful contributions to the community and thanked them for their service,” said Denen.

He further explained that one interesting tidbit is the city has been asked by other communities how it manages the flowers that are located in downtown.

According to Denen, the flowers are handled by the city working with the Master Gardeners.

As for legislation during the meeting, five resolutions were placed on second reading and were then adopted. Six new resolutions were heard and then placed on first reading.

One ordinance was placed on second reading while a new ordinance was placed on first reading.

The first time legislation is seen and approved by council it is placed on a first reading and the second time on a second reading, etc. Adoption of resolutions can occur once they have been placed on the second reading. Adoptions of ordinances can occur once they have been placed on third reading.

The five resolutions that were adopted allow various re-appointments:

-Mikki Hunter-Smith to the Revolving Loan Fund Committee (term ending Dec. 31 of 2024)

-Eddie Fisher to both the Fayette County Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31 of 2024) and the Fayette County Regional Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31 of 2023)

-Steven Lewis to both the Fayette County Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31 of 2024) and the Fayette County Regional Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31 of 2023).

As for the newly-heard resolutions, there are a few different focuses.

Four, if passed, would appoint various individuals to different entities. These include:

-A reappointment of Kay Oughterson to the Fayette Metropolitan Housing Authority for a term ending on Dec. 31 of 2026.

-The appointment of Mandy Miller to both the Fayette County Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31, 2024) and the Fayette County Regional Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31, 2023).

-The appointment of Mark Pitstick to represent the Joint Economic Development District Committee (JEDD) for an unspecified term length.

Another of the resolutions, if passed, would allow the creation of a COVID-19 grant program with Denen and City Economic Development Director Chelsie Baker acting as administrators for the program. Both Denen and Baker would determine the eligibility requirements for the program.

“We’re using a portion of our COVID-19 funds,” said Denen. “We’ll have a grant program of $10,000 for locally-owned small businesses that experienced a greater-than 25 percent decrease in sales during the lock-down period.”

Essentially, up to $10,000 can be given out through that grant program to the local small businesses that meet the determined requirements. After passage of the resolution, Denen explained there would be an application for businesses to fill out, but basically, they must be able to show a loss of greater-than 25 percent of sales and must be locally-owned.

The final resolution recognizes the Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition (FCSPC).

As previously reported, FCSPC was formed last summer to combat rising levels of suicide numbers. The coalition is organized under the Paint Valley ADAMH Board in Chillicothe although its attention is on Fayette County.

The coalition has several goals including to reduce stigma around mental health, provide the community with education, to provide related training services, to assist individuals in understanding the kind of help they can turn to, etc.

The idea of the resolution came up during the first council meeting of August after a sign was shared with council members. FCSPC had raised funds to have signs made that include its logo, an inspirational message, and the national suicide hotline number. They then asked the city to place the signs in public areas such as along walking paths.

The ordinance placed on second reading, if passed, would rename Mars Drive to Companion Drive. As previously reported, this alteration was a request made by Red Collar Pet Food, which is located off Mars Drive in Washington Court House.

Washington Court House City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. They are located in the second floor council chambers of the City Administration Building, 105 N. Main Street. Currently, attendance is being limited due to the pandemic and meetings are being held at 9 a.m. Meetings will be streamed live on the YouTube channel “City of Washington Court House, Ohio” at

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.
Council touches on various topics and legislation

By Jennifer Woods